Asmus Tietchens

Asmus Tietchens - Fahl, blue line gradient on white background


A short little release from Italian label Farmacia901 and German composer and musician Asmus Tietchens. The latter is a new name to me, which undoubtedly says more of my general ignorance than it does of Mr Tietchens, whose work has previously been released on Staalplaat, Selektion, Mille Plateaux, and more. “Fahl” is comprised of three tracks, each one composed using electronic sound sources, and yet each quite different and in their own way quietly impressive.

First piece “FmF 4” is mostly very quiet, the faintest of synthesised hum occasionally broken by a gentle woosh or burble. I’m not sure whether this was the intention, but to me it sounded like a very fine reproduction, in electronic tones, of a quiet indoor environment, with the infrequent noise of passing traffic or central heating. In any case, the piece is beautifully measured, containing just enough things happening to keep me enthralled.

A clinking metallic sound dominates second track “L10RB”, like a stick drawn across metal railings or bicycle spokes; the traces of pulse, rhythm, tonal harmony etc. were stronger here, but still muted. Despite the similar title, “L10RC” is different again: an eerie, airless drift that reminds me somewhat of some of Andrea Valle’s alien lunar landscapes, a classic theme in electronic music but one executed particularly expertly here.

The high level of thought and craft that has gone into creating this short release is obvious from first listen, and I wasn’t too surprised to discover the depth of experience behind it — “Fahl” strikes me as the sound of an artist both skilled in and comfortable with his craft. That’s not to say there’s anything jaded or overly familiar about this music, however: I was particularly taken with the first track’s experiment in form and pacing. A most impressive twenty minutes of electronic sound. (Asmus Tietchens)

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