back in stock as of
february 25th, 2014
first in stock on
july 30th, 2013
|bureau b (germany) #bb 141 lp|
asmus tietchens “biotop” long playing record
- in die zukunft
- miss ann trope
- die elektrische horde
- geisel des monats
- cretin statique
- gasmaske in blau
- moderne arroganz
- tango fellatino
- träumchen am fenster 16 biotop
|july 2013 release ; ... reissue of the first of four albums (really only his second album overall after 1980’s “nachtstücke” for egg) asmus tietchens would record for the hamburg-based 80’s euro-electronic powerhouse sky records between 1981 and 1983 ...|
... if tietchens’ later, ultra-prolific spate of work has you kind of overwhelmed, i recommend going back to these early blueprints, each rife with short, almost “library” styled nuggets of “cold” electronics, harmonically-interesting melodies & avant-leaning synthesizer wrangling that set him quite apart from the reigning “berlin school” tropes of the sky roster at the time, closer to a more “industrial” bent ...
|bureau b press release ::|
reissue. originally released 1981
release date: july 26, 2013
in retrospect, we might suspect that asmus tietchens was deliberately leading us up the garden path with the discordant pseudo pop of his early musical productions. four albums between 1981–83 and a handful of individual pieces comprise the “zeitzeichen” (time signal) phase which, in the words of their creator, was characterized by the implementation of “rhythmic-harmonic set pieces and gaudy record sleeves”. these albums do indeed feature elements of the noisy-abstract structures which tietchens would be in a position to release from 1984 onwards in a more industrial setting, figuring prominently in his main body of work. yet to understand “zeitzeichen” as a period of transition, a mere curiosity, would be wide of the mark.
günter körber released the biotop, spät-europa, in die nacht and litia albums on sky records. his label specialized in contemporary electronic music, often cosmic or kraut-like, but also offered a platform to unagitated- cryptic experiments. tietchens was well acquainted with the sky programme, both as a listener and through personal friendships — with dieter moebius, hans-joachim roedelius and michael rother. hence establishing contact presented little difficulty. sixteen tracks had been produced for biotop but, in 1980, saw no genuine prospect of a release, so signing to sky was a logical move.
the sky series is markedly different, surpisingly so, from the debut album nachtstücke, rife with “soft rhythms and harmonic bliss” as tietchens acknowledges today. not something which can be said of biotop. in keeping with the sleeve’s garish colour scheme, derision, idle pathos and dissonance in abundance are flung sardonically at the expectations of pop. but there was more than ironic intent in the disjointed rhythms and sliding melodies. these blaring, crashing tracks glare with artifice, mirroring the ideas of an artist lacking the inclination and capacity to compose straightforward easy listening music.
biotop is inhabited by insectoid squeaks, banging percussion and echoes of displaced nursery rhymes. the hectic piece moderne arroganz is notable for a voice listing types of insurance; from behind this “unbeatable idiocy” (guido sprenger) a critical reflex emerges which can be taken as social commentary — it is no coincidence that sauberland resounds with squeaky absurdity, taking itself none too seriously. one would not be wrong, therefore, to divine the artist finding himself in the banefully piercing title track, which rejects the alleged harmlessness of the album, a contrary “i’m here too”, attenuated only by the remark “let’s see how things go”. but tietchens’ half hoping, half sceptical stance—underlined as an endless groove on the initial pressing—proved unfounded.