Deflections by Fabio Perletta x Asmus Tietchens

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Fabio Perletta + Asmus Tietchens
Deflections (aufabwegen; CD/DL)

Asmus Tietchens, in my humble opinion, is by far one of the most underrated German composers of his era. Recording since the late 70’s the man has a discography a mile long, including multiple collaborations, like this one, with Italian field recording sound artist Fabio Perletta, he too, a regular collaborator with others in the field. This recording is an irresistible pairing. Tietchens actually began experimenting with sound in the mid 60’s, before his collaborator was a twinkle in his parents’ eyes, but this proves that diverse generations can wield significant revelation to the senses. Over a half dozen tracks, each titled Deflection 1 through 6, this duo bring their individual precision to the table, which if you thought would cancel each other’s signature styles out, think again.

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CRANK IT!: This is between you and your ears and you will be best suited in headphones. It all begins with a slightly whimsical starry-eyed tone, that dips into darkness. Listen closely, you will catch its tail as it continues, albeit blurry, into cool gray zone drone. Recently I had a hearing test, as you do, and this will test yours with its finite tiny softened tones. The space is dim with hints of reverberation and mechanical harmony, in a pace like honey. The tracks have a strong sense of continuum, rolling gently into and out of each other like marbles on a slick floor. On Deflection 2 the crackle of glass rears itself in a brief yet spectacular moment as the hypnotic background fades slightly. This is a thriller/ing soundtrack loaded with tense mystery and ghostly apparitions. The mood remains loose, with ever-so-slight actions popping up at random. This is an addictive space for the curious and suspicious among us.

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The two manage to intricately balance the pitch black quietude with a pensive timbre that intrudes and evades the white noise of this room. It’s so intimate at times, as heard on the ethereal Deflection 4. Barely audible in its introductory minutes, the slight ‘tick’ starts a domino effect that just echoes after it goes silent, and until another percussive element juxtaposes the matte scene. At a scant glance if you just had this running in the background as you went about your daily routine, you might think someone was tinkering in your shed while the New York Art Quartet were taking their time to warm up. It has a great balance of obtuseness and complexity – which makes it one of those records impossible to pull away from, especially on the spacey Deflection 5. It gets lost, but has a fine tether pulling it back at its bare ends. And in conclusion, the final ‘deflection’ takes you into a melodic expanse that is driven by many sheer layers coming together gradually. Its a pre-storm warm/cold drone meeting in the middle. Stunning.

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