Asmus Tietchens concludes his three CD relationship on L-NE, with Eta-Menge. Tietchens is one of the most enduring characters on the experimental electronics scene, and with a considerable catalogue of releases under his belt with labels great and good, it is still nearly impossible to categorise or catalogue is works in all their shapes and forms. I have followed his career over several incarnations and permutations since the early 1990’s, when I was hooked by the epic Seuchengebiete release, based on contact mic recordings of a water basin. At the time, this radical, and avant garde approach to music making forged my passion and fascination with the burgeoning experimental scene, so for me, and many others of my generation of forty–somethings, Tietchens has been a reliable and constant companion in the repertoire of my extensive experimental music collection. Like any audio explorer, Tietchens’ experimental forays are often rather hit and miss affairs, that range from sublime brilliance, to angular, difficult, often impenetrable tracts. As a self-confessed “adventurer in the studio”, Tietchens range has only ever been eclipsed by Cage, as almost no experimental avenue is left unexplored. With that in mind, Eta Menge is a definitive set of seven sketches ranging from 5 – 8 minutes in duration, and are perhaps some of his most accessible pieces of late, apart from his brief collaboration with Richard Chartier, that for me was one of the greatest and most fruitful meeting of minds of the last decade.L-NE, never at a loss for nurturing and developing new and established artists, have enriched their catalogue with Tietchens’ presence, and Eta Menge would not be out of place alongside the likes of Steve Roden, Heribert Friedl, or Bernhard Gunther.
Eta Menge fuses restrained, intricate atmospheres and warped electronica, in a lilting series of works that gently unfold on each track. Tietchens deploys expansive atmospherics with metal-tank reverberated events, to engender unique and fascinatingly evocative environments, populated with an extensive range of pops, clunks and slightly otherworldly electronics. Tietchens has often said that there is no message in his music, it being purely a result of extensive experimentation, if that is the case, then these 7 tracks curiously have some kind of loose narrative, triggers for an active imagination that are like an audible hall of mirrors. As a conclusion to a wonderful series that started on Ritornell/Mille Plateaux as the CD’s Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma-Menge, and continued on L-NE as Epsilon, Zeta, and Eta, this has been one of the most definitive works, by one of its finest elder statesmen. Essential. BGN