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Asmus Tietchens & CV Liquidsky, "Monoposto"

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cover image Concluding Die Stadt and Auf Abwegen's ambitious reissue program is Monoposto, a collaborative work between Asmus Tietchens and CV Liquidsky (Andreas Hoffmann) from 1991.  Originally a vinyl only release, the album comes across as an approach to digital electronic instrumentation akin to his work in the analog domain from the 1980s.  With prevalent guitar, and even a Neil Young cover, however, it makes for one of his more accessible and conventionally musical works.

Die Stadt/Auf Abwegen

The album proper is presented in a different running order than the original vinyl release for some reason, and like previous reissues in this series, there is also some bonus material appended at the end.  Like others in the reissue program, such as Geboren, Um Zu Dienen and Notturno, Tietchens and Hoffmann’s sound on this disc has distinct industrial tinges to it.  But unlike those records, and the bizarre synth pop works from the Sky Records era, everything here has a very digital sheen to it.  The processed guitar throughout "Junge Hoden" almost sounds like a MIDI approximation, and the metallic rhythm of "Drangsal am Hauptbahnhof" resembles a deconstructed KMFDM or Klinik from that area stripped down and reconfigured in a much more quirky, idiosyncratic manner.

The digital sound is not just from the instrumentation, but also production:  there is a massive amount of digital reverb covering these songs, like the murk throughout "Vergessene Jungens" or the simulated spring reverb and depressive synths throughout the aforementioned "Drangsal am Hauptbahnhof."  Also, digitally thin rhythms and wobbly synths of “Schlotzen” are enhanced via bass string plucks, but still has that undeniably brittle texture.  Amidst the guitar tones of "Fraueninnenhygiene," the two also add in a crunchy, low bit rate rhythm track as well.

The addition of guitar makes this a rather unique work in Tietchens's expansive catalog.  Throughout "Der Appelbeker Kreis," there are loopy rhythms, but also a guitar part that, with its odd effects and processing, could have been pulled from Dome's first record.  "DDR" is another standout with a rhythm that emerges from a dark background perfectly.  The key element, however, is a guitar melody that is not at all far removed from the sound Lush was utilizing on their early EPs that were contemporaneous to Monoposto.  The cover of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey,” titled as "Aus Heiterem Himmel" is unsurprisingly the most conventional sounding from a structural perspective, but is still melodic guitar cast atop a metallic knocking and other randomly injected noises, making it not necessarily an obvious reworking.

The bonus material consists of three pieces that fit right in with the original record.  "Prinzip Hoffmann" stands out a bit in comparison with its more complex rhythm programming, but the growing darkness is not that dissimilar.  "Schwachholz Vorsetzen" has a bit more of a stuttering feel to it from a structural standpoint, and "Liquidsky Spricht", which appeared on the Soleilmoon compilation Das Digitale Vertrauen is simply a bit of radio noise and Hoffmann thanking the listener for buying the album which, as the final installment of the reissue series, is a fitting coda.

Like his earlier works, Asmus Tietchens's work with CV Liquidsky fits in nicely with his early synth pop and vintage industrial excursions, using the instrumentation and production of late 1980s/early 1990s industrial music, but in a way no one else would.  It may sound distinctly from its era, but the unique approach the duo take on Monoposto results in a timeless quality that is just as brilliant as it was 29 years ago.  It is an excellent conclusion to a 17 year reissue campaign that is among the most impressive I have followed.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 22 March 2020 22:32  


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