Hematic Sunsets is an anagram of the words Asmus Tietchens, and while much of his vast canon of work that came in the wake of his integration into the post-industrial experimental music landscape (on the heels of the release of his "Formen Letzer Hausmusik" LP on United Dairies) has adopted a somewhat severe and po-faced posture, there's always been an underlying playful and pranksterish dimension to the work of this German master. Having begun his recording career with the quasi melodic synth quease of "Nachtstücke" and followed that with four drop-dead-brilliant instrumental synth pop LP's on the legendary Sky Records, Tietchens adopted a sudden about face stance in the years that followed and was quick to dismiss this early chapter of his work as a brief and awkward dalliance before his Real Work began. How then to explain the emergence of the three LP's issued from the late 90's to the early 00's under the Hematic Sunsets banner? The work found on Hematic Sunsets extends and deepens the giddy and highly melodic strategies deployed on his Sky era albums, and though he might pay lip service to the notion of this dimension of his work being peripheral and minor compared to his primary avant gardish investigations, his re-engagement with his Sky Records aesthetic here even extends to re-adopting the conceit of assigning supposed instrumental duties to fictitious individuals whose names are anagrams of Asmus Tietchens, as was the case on said Sky LP's. Ah...but Tietchens thrives on being a contrarian (his disavowals of involvement in both Werkbund and Mechthild Von Leusch, despite numerous credible sources acknowledging his involvement is a good case in point) and though he continues to trot out his dismissive rhetoric about his Sky-era recordings, these three gems (his second will follow next week) utterly belie this notion. If the Sky-era albums took as their point of departure Cluster's groundbreaking work circa "Zuckerzeit", Hematic Sunsets finds Tietchens situating these sorts of melodic figures in front of fun house mirrors, taffy stretching and woozing out delirious little candy coated and rhythm machine-driven themes by subjecting them to dub-worthy deployments of Mechthild Von Leusch-like floor sucking reverb, tactics that result in some of the most dazzling and auspicious work in this man's vast discography. My first listen to Hematic Sunsets back in the late 90's literally dropped me to my knees. Don't overlook this one, folks...
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