Kontakt Der Jünglinge | Makrophonie 1
Die Stadt (CD)
MMXIV – The year was 2014: And this is a random surfacing of a collaboration by German master sound artists Asmus Tietchens and Thomas Köner that somehow slipped through my radar. Was it the obfuscation of the gray on black Greek cover text (μακροφωvή I)? Likely not. This is not a reissue, but a discovery, half a decade later. Perhaps you might be one of those people who accidentally purchased the same album twice, or might understand the feeling of following an artist (in this case I have actually worked with both artists in various capacities) and a rare bird somehow sneaks in without notice or much fanfare but, once you realize it, hits you like a lead balloon on the top of your skull? Why, yes, this is one of those rare moments.
The thirty-seven minute work of kinesthetic ambient is finely woven drone that passes over and under and through the listening experience, filling the room with a constant nerve-ending like presence. More spacey than several of their former collaborations this is the most recent example (hopefully not the last) of their work together. Yet they maintain a heady sense of minimalism that at times sounds like an alien language breaking through the vapory surface.
They manage to combine pockets of geiger counter-like static with fluttering effects that emulate a hovercraft quite nicely, putting the listener in a spacial context. Makrophonie 1 makes for some seriously other worldly noises and visitation from ethereal beings that may only be traipsing through your imagination. Or it could ‘simply’ be electronic voice phenomena of some sort or other. One way or other Tiecthens & Köner take you deep into their visionary world where attention is key; both the listener’s regard and their every single detail, so restrained and picturesque. What comes into the frame is barely recognizable, more of a cast shadow of drones and mystery. Yet, even though this could be the entire soundtrack for a short contemporary thriller, the ‘action’ as it were, is playing outside the observer’s consciousness – it’s all implied, a muted impression permeated by patina and vague memory.