Boomkat Product Review:
Highly respected and hugely influential sound artist Asmus Tietchens (who not so long ago had an article dedicated to his work in the Wire) has been writing music since the 1960s, with his first forays into electronic music appearing on the scene in the 1980s. Z-Menge (Zeta Quantity) is the latest addition to Tietchens' Mengen series, which began life with a triptych of releases on the now deceased legendry Ritornell label. Taking white noise and the sine wave as basis for the tracks (don't run away now, it gets better!) Tietchens' primary strength is his use of space. He is noted as saying that 20th century art lost sight of three dimensional space, and with these musical experiments he is trying to recreate that sense, the sense of distance and enormity. This is all very well, and the album does carry these ideas fairly consistently, yet what startles me about this particular Tietchens release is the subtle melodic elements. The third piece on the album Teilmenge 37, could even be compared to William Basinski's work, with a gorgeous decayed loop at the core, embellished with external sounds giving it a feeling of immense depth. Z-Menge is certainly not an album for everyone, but a rewarding experience and a landmark in Tietchens' ongoing series.