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Asmus Tietchens - Soiree CD (album) cover


Asmus Tietchens

Progressive Electronic

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4 stars Asmus Tietchens on Progarchives must be something of an accident, because there is 0.00% rock in this music, this is pure avantgarde electronic music, and will consequently not appeal to the majority of people here. But then, Tangerine Dream's Zeit, Klaus Schulze's early works, and the more experimental stuff of Brian Eno and Art Zoyd and some others are also here, so there may be something of a pattern (loads of music from this genre isn't represented, though - Alvin Curran? Artificial Memory Trace?).

Somewhat schizophrenically, after having got this guy on the site, nobody has given him more than three stars for anything yet, which is a minor scandal, although actually I see why thinking about whether this is "essential" as a prog album or even just an "excellent addition to a prog rock collection" makes you not choose higher marks. Why should a prog rock collection have any avantgarde electronics that the collector probably hates? I don't have any idea. Still I will give this four stars because it's just excellent music, apart from any considerations about whether it falls into the genre that gave the site its name.

There are various varieties of avantgarde electronics, and this album falls into the "meditative" category, which by and large is my favourite (some other varieties get annoying at times but this one doesn't). This means that this is very minimalist and calm. There is the odd surprising louder sound, but normally it is driven by rather quiet, often hissing or noisy sounds (the rich English vocabulary for sounds of a native speaker would help here, I'm feeling that my description doesn't really hit the spot), some pauses, usually one or two or hardly ever three sounds at any time. Atmosphere is everything, contemplation and the ability to concentrate on very subtle things when listening. If you're craving for entertainment, this is not for you. If your life is rather too full, though, and you need something to slow you down, and to get you to listen to every subtle small thing that is going on insoide and outside of yourself, this is the way. Oh, it's also listenable as background - my experience is that it makes the room larger in which you are and gives it some kind of depth and connection to things that go on in some other place where you wouldn't normally hear them. I should probably mention that there is the odd repetition that with many goodwill some people could define as rhythm... not much of it but still. Obviously there are no melodies and harmonies or even percussion sounds. But OK, I may revise the 0% rock to 0.5%.

Soiree is very mature and uncompromising music of a composer who doesn't have to prove himself to anyone. I enjoy this a lot and a small but special minority on this site may do so, too.

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Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 | Review Permalink

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