admin / April 18, 2022

GUENTER SCHLIENZ “Music That Glows in the Dark” | CS / DL (Eiderdown Records)

Guenter Schlienz has a steadfast career with a long history of live performances across Europe and has accumulated a considerable body of work spread across the international music community. The artist is based in Stuttgart, Germany, and works with various effective flotation techniques. Waves of controlled tone arc, suspended motion goes full gelatinous, arms turned to noodles. “Music That Glows in the Dark” is the latest exploration, arp actuated, compressed to resplendent hum. The text accompanying the new album includes a lovely short poem by 18th century German mystic, philosopher, and author Novalis, which is translated below, serving as an illuminating window into the mindset behind the hypnotizing music. 

“Which living, sensual person doesn’t love all the miraculous phenomena of the widespread space around him, the joyful light?” – Novalis, “Hymns to the Night”

Joyful light indeed. A lovely thought, each developing a greater love and appreciation for that which surrounds us all, for space itself. With “Music That Glows in the Dark”, Schlienz uses tapes and field recordings with his own homemade modular synthesizers and electric organ to achieve complete weightlessness, strange personal lullabies for lonely aliens. The word “Glühwürmchen” from one of the track titles might offer a clue, which can be translated as “firefly”. Seattle’s great label Eiderdown Records has well established itself with a solid rotating cast of psychedelic all-stars. The ever growing catalog features a baffling host of world class auteurs, with each release unique, and always presented with the label’s own sharp aesthetic. They announced a pre-order recently for new Elkhorn vinyl, which is obviously making the world a better place, but Eiderdown really did us a solid by making 100 copies of this new one from Guenter Schlienz. They’ll probably disappear quickly, so don’t sleep. The artist’s personal Bandcamp has hours of penetrative iridescence on offer too, suit up sisters.

Guenter Schlienz - Music That Glows In The Dark

- June 05, 2022

Guenter Schlienz has shifted once again, away from the material plane. He rests with occluded presence in the periphery aural expanse. Waving hands over transposed keyboards, theremins or the virtual semblance of what once required analog contact. In this new realm, flora and fauna saturate the sonic upheaval. The natural world returning to provide both time and space, it's most plentiful resource. There remain connections though, lulling rhythms stippened across a canvas of other worldly melodies, out of this world lullabies and the prolifically creative mind of Guenter Schlienz.

Music That Glows In The Dark is four tracks around forty minutes in length. Guenter Schlienz seamlessly amalgamates the mechanical process of a massive organ releasing air and the ethereal vibrato of synthesizers in the earliest morning's twilight. Adding creative instrumentation from David Colohan with voice, Niko playing drums and the piano of Masako Kamikawa, Music That Glows In The Dark embodies sublime sonic details and mysterious depth. Like a satellite traveling on in infinite galactic journey, the aged hull is a nostalgic connection to empty space and solar systems on the horizon. The sounds of home glow within the enclosed circuitry while energy radiates in massive oscillations from the surrounding expanse.   

Releases in an edition of one hundred by Eiderdown Records from Seattle. At this point, "classic" Eiderdown artwork by Max Clotfelte. Unfortunately all physical editions are sold out from the label. 





Number 1310
Week 46

GÜNTER SCHLIENZ - UNSTET (cassette by Meditape)

Music by Günter Schlienz, so I noted before, is on the edge of ambient and new age, so seeing him do the inaugural release for a label called Meditape is not strange. The catalogue number is Mantra 001. Does that mean Schlienz crossed the bridge and is now fully new age? Not, still not 'over', and that is a great thing. Schlienz is a man to play a DIY modular synth (according to the cover; isn't do it yourself part of the whole idea of modular synths?), tape machines, guitar and field recording. This time there is help on piano, electric guitar, percussion and voice. What Schlienz does best, he does here, is to create melancholic electronic tunes. It never borders on the totally abstract, but Schlienz waves in small melodic lines, all minor keys to evoke that sense of desolation and sorrow. And, perhaps, that is the reason that is not really your new age record. That sort of sad lullaby quality, mixing with weird sounds (in 'Salz', for instance, I have no idea what these are; electric guitar? Amplified egg slicer) and more sustaining patterns in other tracks. Schlienz touches upon the notion of an entirely composed piece, and perhaps these are such. Still, he also knows how to make it sound like he's merely sketching his ideas. That gives the music a different character as if Schlienz is not really trying too hard, but at the same time, it all sounds wonderful. I am quite a big fan of his music, and 'Unstet' follows a line of great releases. I like the vagueness, the non-directiveness and the melodic touches of it all. Music to meditate? Sure, if that is your thing. I enjoy it equally without the meditation. (FdW)
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Günter Schlienz - Unstet

- December 05, 2021

Two dogs laying side by side with backs to each other. They are beneath my feat and completely content. Many times this has happened in some form of dog napping, but i am always busy with stuff to do, things to complete. Today writing might be the thing, the music of Guenter Schlienz plays in the foreground. While looking at the dogs, thoughts began to form on how very special this is. They could sleep anywhere in the house, but they choose to be next to me. Listening to this recent release titled Unstet, there is a realization of how artists connect with us in levels we sometimes miss the strength and emotion of. Artist's music plays in the background while we are busy tasking time to finish responsibilities. Even with the musicians we follow and love, there are still moments of explosive realization on how special the relationship is and what it means to us. This is one of those moments...

Unstet is another massive composition by Guenter Schlienz. The timbre and tones he chooses to use are reflective and contemplating. You can here the nostalgic metronome clicking in a faded black and white photo. The image depicts a young person with a concerned grin as an adult looms over them while playing the piano. A few pictures later, we see a washed out color image of a young man with longer hair holding a way to big guitar, the grin has become a true smile. Unstet plays in thoughts and has transformed. Meditations of dream like upbringings have pushed past, we explore the moment now. The solace with favorite artists has been invigorated once again. Undisturbed listening providing opportunity to follow sonic pathways to the thresholds of harmony. Guenter Schlienz  has pulled me in with a sonic grin and pushed consciousness towards aural meadows of unknown beauty. The dogs still sleep back to back under my feet. They have no idea where i have gone to experience this exquisiteness of life, but they will know the love my journey with Unstet has energized me with. 

This is the first release on the new label Meditape. This is a new subsidiary label from the long running Sanity Muffin based in Oakland, California. Günter Schlienz's cassette release Unstet is an an edition of one hundred and currently available. The label already has a second release with Glasgow artist Ostrofti. A composition titled Sudden Vision Iones and also in an edition of one hundred. Both release have artwork designed by Jetter Green



Günter Schlienz : Orphée aux Enfers

Posted on November 11, 2020 by J. Hubner

Orphée aux Enfers, the new album from German musician and composer Günter Schlienz is an exploratory and experimental music journey. It’s both playful and steely in its composition and arrangements as Schlienz blends both classic electronic experimental vibes from 70s German music innovators, as well as more modern touches. Using an array of DIY modular synths, tape machines, guitars, and field recordings, as well as viola, voices, piano, and saxophone, Orphée aux Enfers is a world of sound built with both the synthetic and organic.

According to record label Moon Glyph Records, “Günter Schlienz is an electronic musician and composer based in Stuttgart, Germany. He combines do-it-yourself modular synths, tape machines, guitar and field recordings to create cascading layers of ambience verging on musique concrète.”

Listening to something like “Eurydike”, those cascading layers of ambience come through beautifully. I feel as if I’ve been transported back 50 years. It has a patina quality to it, aged to perfection after years of dormancy. The electronic buzz and mysterious spaciousness of the track gives it just the right amount of shaded enlightenment. It’s nearly 13 minute run time makes for an extended listen into sparse, musical experiments. “Hades” has a dream-like quality to it; modular synth takes the place of a theremin as strings give the song an almost Japanese folk music quality. “Händel & Gluck” continues that playful, hazy vibe. It locks into the feel of classic Steve Reich and Terry Riley without ever feeling too close to their work.

Orphée aux Enfers is an enthralling escape into sound experimentation and compositional audacity. Dissonant headspaces combine with ambient bliss to make Günter Schlienz’ Moon Glyph Records debut an exciting and singular listening experience.

7.5 out of 10

Orphée aux Enfers is available now via Moon Glyph Records. Order it here.



Number 1253
Week 41


As I noted before and as I will no doubt repeat in the future some more, I do enjoy the work of Germany's Günther Schlienz quite a bit, but I also feel some of it hoovers closely to the world of new-age. Sometimes more than at other instances. 'Mutterkuchen' is one that is surely 'more' towards new-age than less. In the information, Schlienz writes that this release is about his inspirations, being Cluster, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, but also, quite surprising, Johan Sebastian Bach. The first piece is called 'Bach'; another one is 'Kosmische Musik'. In the Bach piece, we hear a cello, which is no coincidence, I would think. Otherwise, this is an all-around synthesizer affair. Because I was curious (well, finally!), I looked up what kind of synthesizers Schlienz is using and it is mostly of the modular variety. I am not an expert, so it doesn't mean much to me. All four pieces sound delicate, fragile and light. Cluster is one hell of influence here, save for the absence of any rhythm here, especially in 'Spoonful Of Stars', whereas in 'Kosmische Musik', Schlienz delves into the history of Tangerine Dream. Lovely mild music, of sustaining sounds and soft tinkling sounds; indeed something that is quite close to the world of new age, but the synths of 'Kosmische Musik', a bit darker and alien, so all ends well, I think. On a darker autumn day, this is the perfect mood-enhancing album. Great stuff once again! (FdW)
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Posted by Ryan at November 11, 2020

GUENTER SCHLIENZ “Mutterkuchen” C40 (Auasca)

You know something’s up with Stuttgart electronic composer Guenter Schlienz when he starts literally listening to his DNA. He says there are “sounds and styles … encoded” in it, and these “resonate heavily in [his] mind” and “rattl[e] his bones,” until they’re forced to emerge via the fingers touching synthesizers in certain predetermined patterns. These patterns are encoded within a computer program. They are organized and refined. They are offered up to the world.
Mutterkuchen finds Schlienz pondering these broadcasts from within his own body, wondering how they connect with the world and the wider universe, maybe offering a way that he, himself, find meaning out there. He’s certainly connected to the artists who have inspired him this time around: Bach on “Bach” (I think …), Tangerine Dream and Cluster on “Spoonful of Stars” and also, quite obviously, “Kosmische Music.” Basically he does what he does best, which is close his eyes and follow a muse out into outer space, like far out, and the sound of it reaches our ears at whatever point the soundwaves travel the interstellar distance back to our receivers. He’s a human broadcasting system, somehow surviving out there. Without a space suit.
But it’s really for him, and you can tell. The sound is within him, and he channels it in reverence for itself on its own terms. Doesn’t matter that there are antecedents and inspirations – they just help him translate it. And we are the lucky recipients who have it all translated for us. Bystanders, somehow in the path of excellence and delight.
Also, Mutterkuchen translates to “mother cake” – seems obvious, I think?

Günter Schlienz - Mutterkuchen

- January 23, 2021

The vibrant orange sky casts it's majestic colors in unequaled grandeur. Prismatic pageantry of both dawn and dusk comes infrequently and always with patient speed. A moment of pinnacle delight, when the fiery orange hue burns with a glow that can only diminish. In order to experience this, we must set aside the time to observe. Then, the beauty absorbed prompts the question, "why would i ever miss this?". The refraction of the sun's radiance through long runs of atmosphere and a density of exhumed particles happens twice every day, yet most view this natural event on seldom occasions. Günter Schlienz has tapped into the rhythm of natural beauty. The place where sublime sounds fill thoughts and cause tension to flee. Sonic equivalence to the breath we take and never think about or the love we give with passion and true joy. Sounds as simple elixirs of raw energy. A current of tranquility speckled with swirling eddies and sparkling delight. 

Mutterkuchen is four tracks in just under forty minutes. Heartfelt and playful, a combination that works for the enjoyment of all. Like the sun setting or rising, this composition is waiting for the moment top be heard. Starting off with "Bach", a selection resting in the pivot of classically structured music and the electronic expanse. A stoic Mr. Schlienze, dressed in black tails with hands outstretched playing the Theremin to an audience mesmerized with wonder. "Spoonful of Stars" drifts in the cosmos. Mathematical equations of density, orbits and gravity hold court while the nexus of the unknown streaks across empty space. A seam rips open to another dimension with a shuddering creak, harmonic beauty pours through. The longest track "Komische Musik", oscillates with orchestral majesty. Like an opera recited by gas giants across distances no one truly understands. Energy speaking to energy, molded by time and physics. This is a special listen and so worth setting aside the time.

Released in an edition of one hundred by the Los Angeles, California label Auasca. Mutterkuchen is currently available in cassette in original cassette format. Lots of good releases on the label to explore as well. 

Number 1208
Week 47

GÜNTER SCHLIENZ - ISLAND (cassette by Feathered Coyote Records)
GÜNTER SCHLIENZ - ICELANDIC TAPES (cassette by Hangover Central Station)

Recently I reviewed a new release by Schlienz and once again I noted the careful drift of the man towards the world of new age music, but playing 'Moksha' from his 'Island' cassette, I think it will not be an easy transition from ambient music to new age, as this is a subtly distorted release of repeating drone, radio waves and some orchestral strings plucked out of the ether. There is a voice that whispers/murmurs about LSD and it could indeed be a tribute to Albert Hoffman's
accidental invention of the stuff in 1938. The music is based on impressions on reading Aldous Huxley (who drifted into death while on LSD). Schlienz' music acts in a similar hallucinated way. 'Here And Now' on the other side is also not your usual new age cup of tea. The field recordings he uses are quite shrill and are mainly there in the beginning. In the rest of the piece these field recordings disappear, and the mild distortion stays but now with a slow and low melodic touch to it. This is quite a lovely cassette; exactly the kind of ambient music I like. It is very atmospheric and moody and has that wonderful rough edge that doesn't make you fall asleep.

Also on the other cassette, Schlienz' mind isn't clouded with incense. Here he presents a series of pieces that he recorded on different locations in Iceland in August 2017. He was armed with a small battery-operated synth and recorder and maybe a microphone to capture some of the cold air (also August isn't exactly tropical over there) or other surroundings and taking inspiration from the rocky landscape. Maybe it is the limitation of the equipment or the Spartan recording circumstances but this is Schlienz in his most rough modus. His synthesizers peep and crack or are otherwise a bit distorted or just a bit meaner, even when things are quite soft, somewhere in the middle of this tape. Field recordings don't play a very big role here, except for an occasional splash of water and somebody coughing there; except for that bit of church recording that takes some more time. This is the kind of modular synthesizer music I like very much. Again it is moody and atmospherically, but taking the experimental side up a bit more, making this great stuff. This tape is packed in a neat black carton box and only reveals information when the tape is removed.
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Günter Schlienz – 3 Tapes

11.12.19 by Ryan Masteller

It’s almost impossible to think that Günter Schlienz still has so much to say. In the copy for one of these tapes, somebody mentions that it’s his “thirtysomethingth” release (or thereabouts), meaning he’s been around and doing it for a while, and doing it (and doing it and doing it) well. I guess you’ll get to “thirtysomethingth” pretty quickly if you release three or four tapes a quarter, among records and other things (mostly records), and also if you have your own label, as Günter Schlienz does with the excellent Cosmic Winnetou. That doesn’t mean you can’t release things on other labels. Günter Schlienz dabbles in that as well. In fact, as we review three of the Stuttgart synth maestro’s opuses from the past few months and consider them in the parlance of our times, we’re treated to no less than one label per tape, and by the rules I’ve just defined, only one is Cosmic Winnetou. That’s three labels giving us Günter Schlienz music! I’m so pumped.

Günter Schlienz – Farbton I’m gonna dust off my old Google Translate and plug in “Farbton,” and I get “hue.” Fair enough. How about “Tiefes Weiß”? “Deep white.” “Flageolett Gelb”? “Flageolet yellow.” I knew what the colors were in German, but I had no idea that a “flageolet” was a flute-y kind of instrument, but now I do, and my vocabulary is increased. But these things all make sense, the “hue,” the “white,” the “yellow.” The tape itself has a two-tone shell, and I bet you can’t guess the colors on each side, and which track they pertain to. Give up? I’m not falling for it, nor do I have time to entertain silly answers. “Farbton” was recorded using a “DIY synthesizer and cassette tape,” and “Tiefes Weiß” utilizes field recordings and vocal samples and weaving together an utterly haunting excursion through repetitious world-building, each pass through reinforcing and invigorating the last and realizing the remarkable whole. “Flageolett Gelb” unfolds like a lullaby, like someone’s humming the most beautiful tune and it’s just carrying you off into wild unconscious adventures. Except that their mouth is a synthesizer, so it’s even better than you thought at first. Did I mention that each side’s a half hour long? Gosh, there’s so much going on here. Cosmic Winnetou tape available exclusively on the “Galactic Supermarket” tour, which is over now. EVERYTHING ENDS.

Günter Schlienz – The Icelandic Tapes Not to be outdone by himself, Günter Schlienz took off for Iceland and made this one there (and this is the description that has the “thirtysomethingth” line, so there’s your citation). Still using his DIY synths, he captures the desolate loneliness of the landscape, the simple progressions as filled with space and cold as the island nation. Interspersed with field recordings, the progressions repeat and converse, sinking into your mind and marrying your imagination of what Iceland is (if you haven’t been there – I haven’t) or your recollection of the place to Schlienz’s representations of the living, breathing processes of Icelandic geography and society. Winds sweep across vistas, lava bubbles in volcanic lakes, the northern lights flicker across the night sky. Schlienz captures all of this in sound with a videographer’s eye, and does so over 35 minutes (program repeats on side B). Stay for the quirky ending! “Edition of 60 pro-dubbed cassettes housed in a cardboard box” on Hangover Central Station.

Günter Schlienz – “Island” Iceland, now “Island,” where are we going next? Not where you’re thinking, sadly, because, yes, you could use a tan. No, this island is the Huxley one, as in Aldous Huxley, and I’ve not read the “psychedelic novel” of the same name. I read “Brave New World” for my high school English class (loved it even then, so much so that I read ahead of our assigned chapters!), and I read “The Doors of Perception” also in high school because of The Doors connection of course. That one baffled me though. Still! “Island” is a miasma of lysergic ambient, with freaky samples and field recordings serving as, ahem, islands of focus throughout the sounds, although those islands of focus are all about LSD and religion and evolution and all manner of strangeness. Günter Schlienz is a willing and patient guide, allowing this trip to unfold and play out as shifts color and shape within your brainpan. Then it becomes tranquil, and pools and lakes and other various bodies of liquids and waters engulf you. This is all just like an LSD trip, just like Aldous Huxley intended. Did Huxley foresee this tape version of “Island”? Probably, on some shamanic spiritual wandering through his own mind. How could he not? Edition of 50 “dubbed in real time on high end decks” available from Feathered Coyote Records.



Monday, August 26, 2019

günter schlienz ~ icelandic tapes (hangover central station, 2019)

Finally realized after being a pipe dream for a few years, Günter Schlienz presents Icelandic Tapes. With album thirty-something, Schlienz literally explores new places: this is «journey music» in a literal sense. Schlienz and his partner Hanno Braun actually recorded the piece in the loneliness of Iceland’s high plateaus, nearby active volcanos and in the midst of stony deserts – hence the title (no fraud!). Batteries, synthesizers, cameras and good shoes were the main studio equipment trying to capture the unknown emptiness of this dark, warm and bleak breathtaking landscape in this most remote European country. Most of these sounds were recorded in the open, so Icelandic Tapes takes you on a field trip into the vastness of the north. Inside the black box of your mind, there's always something beautiful to explore ~ hangover central station
We can only add to this that being clinically addicted to Günter's music it's virtually impossible not to enjoy such an inspiring journey. The bare minimum of sounds present here gives the maximum result for imagination and perfectly reflects the nature of the North. Not many colors needed to paint a vivid landscape. Not many notes to form a melody. Sometimes silence between them tells even more. Enjoy!




Number 1246
Week 34

TRISTAN MAGNETIQUE - 3 (cassette by Muzan Editions)

For his more experimental work, Günter Schlienz uses the name Tristan Magnetique; come to think of, that name also has a slightly romantic touch. His third release is called '3', following '1' (Vital Weekly 1143) and '2' (Vital Weekly 1230). According to the cover he still uses his Casio CZ101, and a few pedals, plus some field recordings captured on a Dictaphone, in different places in Stuttgart. I very much enjoyed his previous releases, as well as his other work. Whereas the works he releases under his name is a bit too smooth for me, verging towards new-age perhaps, I like the Tristan Magnetique music for its gentle roughness. The music breezes, spaces, and yet there is that rough edge of something not going according to plan, a mild distortion here and there that has not been edited out, or tape-speed changing a bit, such as we tumble into this release and the way we leave it. It all has a very organic feel as if Tristan Magnetiques plays live; maybe he does, come to think of it, with windows open, and we hear some voices from outside (or is that my outside? I sometimes get confused with these things). The tape is short, thirty-two minutes and consists of various, distinctly different parts but it works well as one long flow; tracks have, as always, no titles and can be short and doodle-like, or longer and worked out. I used auto-reverse for quite some time on this lazy afternoon. (FdW)
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TRISTAN MAGNETIQUE “3” C32 (Muzan Editions)

Anybody else find it odd that Tristan Magnetique releases shrink in size as the number of said release increases? The first TM jam was a triple cassette on Otomatik Muziek, and I wrote about it here. For those of you keeping score, that’s release number: 1, tapes in release: 3. For 2, on Cosmic Winnetou (again written about here), TM dropped a double cassette on us – so 2:2. Now we’re on 3, the subject of these words, on Muzan Editions, and we’re down to 1 measly cassette. Turn that into a chart and the line shoots up and to the right at a direct 45-degree angle. What’s 4 gonna be, an unplayable half-cassette released Auris Apothecary style (perhaps filled with sand)?
I only point out this pattern as an observation, not a critique or a criticism. Because if there’s one thing you can’t do to a Tristan Magnetique release is criticize it! (I am, currently, critiquing it.) Perhaps that’s because Tristan is the alter ego of ambient GENIUS (and Cosmic Winnetou label head) Günter Schlienz, sometimes styled “Guenter,” but don’t let that fool you – that’s just for people who don’t want to deal with umlauts). We like Günter Schlienz around here, and by proxy (and evidence), we like Tristan Magnetique too. The fact that he’s finally paired with the equally GENIUS ambient label Muzan Editions seems like a fait accompli, a match that was so destined from the outset of the careers of each that the intersection is almost too banal to even mention.
For 3, Schlienz pared down his gear list to include only a “Casio CZ101 and a few effects pedals,” and with them he crafted another ambient dreamworld populated by field recordings captured around his hometown of Stuttgart. It’s certainly a psychedelic wonderland, the hypnogogic tones and soft-focus palette make for an utterly immersive experience, and that’s absolutely the point – you want these two long-form pieces to simply overtake your worldview for a while, to cause you to float in a half-awake state until the line between awake and not awake completely blurs. It’s easier said than done, but with Günter Schlienz at the helm, it’s easier done than said. And he does it, like, all the time!
Also, Peter Taylor, aka MAbH, did the artwork for this tape, along with two others in the batch.



The sun's radiant energy reflects from a softly moving water surface. Small ripples providing perfect motion for a sparkling spectacle of light. The wind picks up causing the surface to become rough and steal serenity away for a moment. On the third release by Tristan Magnetique, listeners are treated to sounds from a Casio CZ101 in the most sublime fashion. A strange breeze of music noir ushering in and billowing away these synthetic sagas. The heart of these sounds are like a lake or inland body of water, an expansive aural dance of sonic radiance reflected in mesmerizing splendor.

This is composition is simply titled 3. Two selections divided almost equally in over thirty minutes of melodies. Tristan Magnetique takes twisting notes and weaves them together to form unique strength. With a wisely subtle command of the keyboard, Tristan Magnetique is like a modern Virgil Fox. In today's appreciation of music, listeners look for these releases to lead the conscious away from cacophony of current civilization, not revive works of Bach with a "Heavy Organ" concert. With the third installment of this project, the path has become even more clear. The most palatable psychedelic passages helping reposition current views of the world around us. Go ahead and take the third dose, a little shorter in length from the first two, but equally as soothing.

This is a Muzan Editions out of Nara, Japan. Part of the summer batch, Tristan Magnetique 3 is sold out from the label. Not sure how tapes there are in a Muzan Editions releases, but they all sell out in a short amount of time. Fortunately Günter Schlienz has physical copies available on his bandcamp page. You can also pick up a very recent release titled Orphée Aux Enfers that was put out on the Moon Glyph label. Both compositions are beautiful and different.   



Muzan Editions - bandcam

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Digital synths don’t get a lot of love these days, but the Casio CZ-101 – the electronics manufacturer’s first professional-grade synth – should conjure a lot of nostalgia for those of us who grew up in the 1980s.  I’m pretty sure I banged out a few mediocre melodies on one when I was a kid.  But this dinosaur is aging himself.  True synth wizards, such as Günter Schlienz (a.k.a., Tristan Magnetique and the head of the Cosmic Winnetou enterprise), have unlocked god-mode on the instrument.  An ambient music maestro who has achieved mastery over the instrument keyboard’s eight voices is someone to be respected, and so is the instrument itself. 
Schleinz is certainly no slouch; his catalogue is lengthy.  But his work as Tristan Magnetique, in which he has limited his arsenal to only the CZ-101, is quite beefy in and of itself.  His first outing bearing this particular brand was spread across a whopping three cassettes, while this bad boy spans two spools.  This is an auteur who understands what the ambient music aficionado wants: a lot of music in lengthy passages to support inner exploration and nocturnal meandering.  And this is what we have been given.

The pieces on 2 are nameless, but they each span a side of a cassette.  There are distinct movements, and these seem to be bookmarked by interjections of field recordings.  For example, the A side begins with at least three or four interwoven voices that take their time to lock onto each other before what sounds like a skittering violin shatters the mystique at around the five-minute mark.  This then leads into the next passage of dreamlike drift, peppered with chiming resonances.

If I were to be forced to describe this body of music in a single word, that word would be “tranquil”.  There is a decidedly calm vibe present throughout, and it’s definitely refreshing.  One feels at ease, even when the sounds stray toward the alien and synthetic.  And while the emotional tone is placid, the music is also nuanced and full of interesting ideas.  2 is the ambient genre at its most effective.

There are still copies left of this relaxed masterpiece over at the Cosmic Winnetou Bandcamp, so stray in that direction to fulfill your mind’s need for solace.  And we all could use a little bit of solace these days, am I right? 



Number 1230
Week 17

TRISTAN MAGNETIQUE - 2 (two cassettes by Cosmic Winnetou)

The first release I heard from Tristan Magnetique was a triple cassette, released by Otomatik Muziek (see Vital Weekly 1143) and for reasons not explained, this is the nom de plume used by label boss (here) Günter Schlienz. Under that name, he released some great albums of moody modular synthesizer music in combination with field recordings and perhaps the difference is (and thus the reason for adopting another guise?) is that as Tristan Magnetique he uses a single keyboard, the Casio CZ101, "a few pedals" and the four-track tape recorder. Maybe it is all a bit more conceptual, but at the same time, it all works very well. There is a most enjoyable crude edge to this music that I find very appealing. It is all bit aimless doodling and tinkering away, but with some roughness that we don't find in the work under the other banner. That is all very delicate and this is all a bit rough, both in the way the pieces are composed and in the way they are recorded. Sometimes there seems to be a strangely abrupt ending to it all as the machine ran into some dirty bit of tape. It is music without many aims or much direction, but that is the beauty of it, I think. I like Schlienz' other work quite a bit, but the old noise-head that I am I have a slight preference for the music of Tristan Magnetique, I think. The slightly corroded drone music that has been left out in the rain for too long has that bit of extra drone quality for me. Great stuff, once again and a full hour of great music. (FdW)

Tristan Magnetique – 2

5.8.20 by Ryan Masteller

Hey, we live in troubled times. Times that only seem to get weirder the deeper we get into them. Times that absolutely defy us when we say, “Welp, can’t get any worse!” Guess what these times have to say to us when we mouth off like that? “They can, dude, and they will!” And they have. 

Ugh, crap, they sure have.

So what’s there to do about it? How do we feel better about anything? How do we get ourselves out of bed in the morning to face a new damn day when we know we’re just going to get force fed a worse piece of information or encounter a more horrific experience than we did the day before? I know for me there’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee and a jog around the block to get me going. But that’s not for everyone. What IS for everyone is this new Tristan Magnetique tape on Cosmic Winnetou, and you know it’s gotta be perfect because “Magnetique” translates from the French to “magnetique,” which sounds like “magnetic,” which is basically the term that connects any cassette-based conversation. You’re obviously in good hands!

Another reason you’re in good hands: ol’ Tristan is actually Günter Schlienz, purveyor of all things Cosmic Winnetou and electronic ambient artist of some renown. This is his first TM release since 2018’s triple-decker self-titled slab on Otomatik Muziek, a cornucopia of unending sonic drift. (Well, it ended at some point, but it was long after I had succumbed fully to its state of mind.) So even though “2” is ONLY a double cassette, it stretches nicely past the hour mark. And I need a bit more than an hour of Tristan Magnetique in my life to get me back on track, get me into a more normal headspace.

So “2” twinkles like stars reflecting of a lake surface, built from synthesizer drones and samples, centering all around that can hear its tranquil tones to a place of sheer comfort. Didn’t I use the verb “need” when referring to a tape like this? It’s such a calming presence, yet packs enough mystery in its shimmering aura to keep the intrepid adventurer happy. It’s also intimate and therapeutic, so you can pop this on while you’re by yourself for a lengthy soothe, or, god forbid, you can use it when you’re not feeling so hot for some curative vibes. Either way, you’ll be better off once it’s over.

Limited to 70 hand-numbered copies from Cosmic Winnetou. Get it!




microphones in the trees

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


tristan magnetique - 2 (cosmic winnetou, 2020)

"tristan likes the limits of one single vintage keyboard combined with a four track tape recorder. he says that the pedals are crucial, and he likes to stare out of the window while playing his music. so much to discover." synthesizer music to be played on your walkmen while wandering through inner worlds. watch the steps while humming along." ~ cosmic winnetou

A new offering of warm and soulful synth tunes from Cosmic Winnetou (we highly recommend getting the whole batch), featuring new jams by Tristan Magnetique whose synth drones and minimal textures are collaged here with some field recordings, apparently found sounds from tapes or TV/radio, building a hazy yet comforting vision of some distant times/places, existing probably just in one's head and at the same time in the infinite number of parallel universes. And who knows, are those fruits of Tristan's imagination or they are visions of those worlds, approaching through music, using it as a higher-dimensional portals... And if Tristan is an imaginary persona too, then how many layers of imagination we are dealing here with? And how many of them we can create ourselves... One may wonder, of course ~ and this tape offers a best soundtrack for that kind of activities.

Tristan Magnetique - 2

- February 22, 2021

Something small becomes noticeable in the myriad of surrounding details. This is how the music of  Tristan Magnetique delivers it's ethereal weight. Melodies with deep currents of emotion flowing within, but resting above, the slowly turning autumn colored leaf floating on the surface is the focal point. What tree did it fall from, how beautiful did a collection of these leaves make the tree appear, has the journey been long to arrive at this point? These questions could easily be about the earth, fauna or even people. Slight changes in the qualifiers and then the considerations follow the beauty before you beckoning thoughts.  

For the second Tristan Magnetique composition, the sounds have found home in simple energy. A sea of notes sustained for mesmerizing lengths, always absorbing the flare of crisp brilliance by the composer. The deep undertow of bass like drone fills the body while Tristan Magnetique crafts harmony for the conscious to follow. With over an hour of music divided between four tracks, each selection has time to flourish as well as dissolve. In many instances the path changes during the track, turning each piece into it's own world. In the last track, field recordings eventually come into aural focus, like crossing the street to a new shop of sonic curiosities. All four tracks escape the heaviness of night, even with the drone, this is not dream time music. These sounds are a companion for exploring the world around us. A soundtrack for a stroll in the heart of the day. For a place where the movement around us is experienced in subtle doses, a light breeze causing a wavering shadow, rain illuminated by sunlight changing the natural texture, a fish coming to the water's surface to cause a circle of ripples... Beautiful small details extracted while we are physically present, given a moment of grandeur by the sounds of Tristan Magnetique.

Released on Cosmic Winnetou within the sixteenth batch. This double cassette offering by Tristan Magnetique is amazingly still available on the Cosmic Winnetou bandcamp page or directly from the Cosmic Winnetou website. Both the first and third Tristan Magnetique compositions are sold out on Otomatik Muziek and Muzan Editions respectively and it is surprising the second volume of work has not followed the same path. It will...

Cosmic Winnetou has moved onto the seventeenth batch and the three new releases that make this (Cops - Energy Trap, Schweben - Trees, Snowflake Orchestra - s/t) have already sold out. With exception, there are still a few copies of Snowflake Orchestra (Joachim Henn and Günter Schlienz) available at both the Cosmic Winnetou website and bandcamp page.

Tristan Magnetique – s/t
8.27.18 by Ryan Masteller

That Günter Schlienz has outdone himself this time…


What? Oh, we’re not talking about that? Is it a secret or something? I mean, it says right on the Otomatik Muziek page that “Tristan Magnetique is the latest solo work of german [sic] sound artist Günter Schlienz.” So – I guess I’m not really concerned about dropping that bombshell on you guys. You can quit making that slashing motion with your hand across your neck at any time, Mike Haley.

Whatever. It’s neither here nor there, really, if I refer to “the Artist” as “Tristan” or “Günter,” because … just look at this thing! “Tristan Magnetique” the release is really a sight to behold. A triple-cassette album, each side housing a long-form ambient piece, packaged in one of those old audiobook library shells. But yeah, as a listener you gotta take Otomatik Muziek’s advice and be proactive, ignoring the New Age reactions something like this could engender in the passive fan, instead allowing yourself to dig deep into the microcosm of Tristan Magnetique’s soundworld. The tonal and timbral shifts are exquisite as they gradually progress, filling the ear and the heart with peaceful vibes.

And you need those peaceful vibes as you make your way through this world, don’t you? It doesn’t matter whether you’re facing life with your own name or you adopt a pseudonym as a personal shield to deflect enemy attack. I kid, but boy, there are a lot of people in this world, and if you let them get to you, you’re in for some maddening social torture, which is the worst kind of torture, even worse than waterboarding or whatever they do on “Game of Thrones” (I don’t own TVs or books). And even though you’re going to have to play these Tristan Magnetique compositions through headphones, you can at least do it with a smile on your face as you walk down the street or take the subway or sit in traffic on the beltway on the way to work. Because you have inner peace. And that reflects outward.

So pony up the euros (they don’t take deutschemarks anymore, I checked – I had a suitcase full of them) to Otomatik Muziek and grip the latest Schlie… uh, Magnetique before the edition of 40 sells out!




Number 1143
Week 32

TRISTAN MAGNETIQUE (3 cassettes by Otomatik Muziek)

So here's what I understood. Günter Schlienz is Tristan Magnetique and under his own name he produced an excellent CD, 'Autumn' (see Vital Weekly 1056) with some excellent moody synthesizer music played on a modular set-up. "As Tristan Magnetique, Schlienz pays tribute to noise artists like Mike Pollard or Peter Friel, who started „getting mellow“, as Günter puts it, around 10 years ago. Putting the usual machines aside, Tristan took just a Casio CZ101, some basic effect pedals and a 4-track recorder and bounced out this whole new persona", writes his label. But listening to the six sides on these tapes (surely, some ninety minutes of music, altogether) I couldn't help but noticing that this sounded awfully similar to the work he carried out under his own guise. Surely that stuff is taped on a computer and this on a four-track cassette, but honestly I find the differences very hard to notice between both monikers. That is, mind you, no complaint. I liked 'Autumn' a lot, the follow-up 'Book Of Dreams' also (see Vital Weekly 1093), even when that one sounded a bit too sweet for my taste, and the pieces on these three cassettes seem to hark to a somewhat cruder approach, and 'crude' is a word that should be used with great care here. In the work of Schlienz as somewhat strange end to a track is a crude thing, or the allowance of some hiss while recording; a bit of high end sound going on for a bit too long; that is crude in the world of Schlienz. He usually deals with quite delicate textures of on-going melodic lines, overtones and using delay and reverb with some finesse in these pieces. It is textbook ambient synthesizer music and I love it. I realize that I beyond the few works I reviewed from him, I never heard much else, but I should surely check out some of his other release. It seems to me pleasant music for any time of the day, or night, and for all seasons. While reading a book on a sun-soaked day, like today, or during some grey rainy day in autumn. I can easily imagine that there are also people who would think this all too sweet and easy and a fine album of noise and/or rhythm to follow this is indeed an option to consider. (FdW)
––– Address:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Tristan Magnetique by Tristan Magnetique

Here is a box set of extremely high caliber meditative music by Tristan Magnetique. If you are interested in finding physical copies, apologies to be made at this instant. The forty copies created sold out speedily. These were gone before Lost in a Sea of Sound received a copy, so this description ratcheted down one notch in the sense of urgency. But this composition should not fall into obscurity, an important collection of works reflected in the exquisiteness of the sounds within. A lengthy set, roughly an hour and a half of recorded music, matched in magnitude by sheer creativeness in diverse tranquility.

When thinking of the name of this set, Tristan Magnetique, the first question asked is, who is this. Seems like a person, not a project or band. This box set on the label Otomatik Muziek is the first recorded works of Tristan. Maybe the label found original cassettes in a thrift store or a music collection lost over time. There is the story of the unknown artist Blind Joe Death. One hundred copies on 78 RPM were made, some sent to friends, music aficionados, others placed in record stores and thrift shops. The man behind this was legendary guitarist John Fahey. He created the fictional character Blind Joe Death and caused a stir around interested circles. Tristan Magnetique could be a similar story, just based in the world of ambient music, not primitive guitar. Listen first and try not to read too much. See if you can make a connection to modern artists with sublime capabilities.

Three cassettes in total, all side long tracks, sounds flowing with cohesion, maintaining allure with skilled variegation. You can blast this descriptive oxymoron before it is even written, "vintage new age throw back quality" of a Casio CZ101 interwoven with field recordings. Tristan Magnetique channels past ambient pioneers with a push towards spiritualism. Almost expect to hear Sri Swami Sivananda recite "You are the architect of your own fate. You are the master of your own destiny. You can do and undo things. You sow an action and reap a tendency. You sow a tendency and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap your character. You sow your character and reap your destiny. Therefore, destiny is your own creation. You can undo it if you like-destiny is a bundle of habits." Just thoughts from the canvas Tristan Magnetique paints. There are moments when the nostalgic ambient float is interrupted by field recordings. Sometimes these are determinable, but other times these interludes are other worldly. Woven with the Casio's melodic timbre and with the length of the total composition, realities exposure or some form of reality is like chapters in a book. They do not correspond with consistent points in the three tape set, they happen almost sporadically. These sounds are beautifully simple yet exceptionally skilled. One of 2018's ambient gems.

Released on the labels Otomatik Muziek together with Cosmic Winnetou, both from Germany. Forty copies total, all sold out quickly. There is still the digital and it is absolutely worth a full listen. Also Be sure to keep an ear turned towards future releases form Otomatik Muziek. Their ninth releases is the only one still available in the physical, Nils Quak's heavy experimental ambient tape titled Form Phallus Function. Also soon to arrive Hardtack Oak's Cold War Nostalgia, but can not locate a sound sample for this release yet.



Number 1203
Week 42


I very much enjoyed Schlienz' first release for Zoharum (Vital Weekly 1093) and the follow-
up was good, but I detected a tendency towards new-age music, which in my book is not a particularly good thing. The title of his third CD for this label (also available on LP) may poke a bit fun with that new age notion but, on the other hand, there might also be some directional shift. In the press text, comparisons are being drawn with music from Peter-Michael Hamel, Deuter and Eberhard Schoener, all synth mongers of the gentlest kind. The cover says 'this is music to heal your soul', so there you go; it might not be tongue in cheek. Schlienz is of course at the control of his modular synthesizer, adding a few field recordings capture on his"cassette Dictaphone". As before, I find it quite difficult to separate the ambient from the new age (not just with Schlienz’ music but in general), and yes, I realize the question implied: why would you separate them? There are no good reasons for that, obviously, but I like the music that I heard to be engaging and not just soothing. It can be shooting, but not for the sake of it. Schlienz walks a very fine line here. In these six pieces, he plays quite soothing music, calmly meandering about. The new addition of an acoustic guitar and the humming added to that feeling, and yet he also adds somewhat meaner frequencies (such as the low end of 'More Beautiful'), but throughout it stays on a gentle side. I fell asleep at one point, so perhaps that is a good sign? Probably it is in this realm of music. (FdW)
––– Address:




microphones in the trees

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

günter schlienz ~ know your new age (zoharum, 2019)

”Know Your New Age”, a third album by Günter Schlienz released on Zoharum, is a great treat both for devout followers of his work and also the newbies. Starting with the shimmering of seawaves, it takes you on a journey through the universe created by one Mr. Schlienz. Inspired by the works of Peter-Michael Hamel, Deuter and Eberhard Schoener, he has created 6 meditative composition clocking in at 52 minutes. Schlienz merely takes cues from his masters to develop a unique sound based on sonic structures built on his own modular synthesizer interspersed with occasional acoustic guitar accompaniment and subtle field recordings. After organ studies, music for space airports and musical interpretation of autumn, this album would be best experienced meditating on the seashore. Yes, ”Know Your New Age” lives up to its title."

siempre me quedo sin palabras con la música de mi querido Günter Schlienz. da igual todo, me siento obligada a volver aquí y, aunque no me salga ni de lejos una crítica que le haga justicia, no sé...que alguien le haga un monumento, o que alguien encuentre las palabras que yo no encuentro. en Zoharum dicen que este disco está inspirado en la música de Peter-Michael Hamel, Deuter y Eberhard Schoener (qué preciosidad sky music, mountain music...), y que debería disfrutarse meditando en la orilla del mar... y sí, me visualizo en una isla desierta con la única compañía de 'lamb part II' (hay viento, mucho viento) y de 'the prophet part I', donde incorpora una guitarrilla acústica suave y delicada, y olas, y ese sintetizador tan tan característico. Günter siempre compone la música que más me gusta y necesito, tan lleno de matices y elegante. y bueno, supongo que es una obviedad decir que la música dice mucho de quien la compone, pero en su caso lo siento con mucha fuerza. precioso homenaje a la música que le gusta e inspira, también: 'know your new age'. synth magician Günter Schlienz.

Gunter Schlienz: Know Your New Age

Gunter Schlienz è un musicista elettronico tedesco di cui ho già parlato in passato a proposito dei suoi dischi Autumn e Book Of Dreams. Erede della nobile tradizione della musica Cosmica tedesca degli anni ’70 e autore di una musica pacata e meditativa, Gunter Schielnz continua a dimostrare di essere un artista integro. Ora esce un nuovo lavoro – Know Your New Age – che si colloca nel solco di musicisti del calibro di Peter Michael Hamel, Deuter ed Eberhard Schoner. La musica è composta da un tappeto di synth intervallata da raffinate parti di chitarra acustica. In effeti, lungo le 7 tracce da cui è composto questo Know Your Age, non possono non venire in mente i nomi prima citati e, in particolare, il miglior Deuter, quello di Aum e di qualche altra prova successiva. Onestamente non siamo molto distanti, come filosofia, dalla new age ma qui siamo lontani da certa vuota produzione che caratterizza questo genere. Se saprete predisporvi con il giusto approccio, non potrete non lasciarvi trasportare dalla magia insita in questi suoni. Le atmosfere sono pacate ma mai vuote e prive di mordente. “The Prophet Part 1” ci introduce a questo viaggio esoterico con sonorità ipnotiche. Il successivo “Lamb Part 1” è un brano molto efficace e subliminale con l’organo in evidenza e voci eteree sullo sfondo. Dopo la breve “Lamb Part 2” è la volta di “The Prophet Part 2” immerge l’ascoltatore in una dimensione catartica dischiudendo il Velo di Maya della realtà. “More Beautiful” ci conduce in una terra incantata forse la Terra di Mezzo inventata dal grande Tolkien mentre “The Prophet Part Three” conclude il Viaggio verso l’Oriente evocato da Hermanne Hesse in Siddharta. Imperdibile per chi segue l’elettronica più raffinata e la migliore new age. Know Your Age esce sia in vinile – in 300 copie – sia in cd – in 250 copie. Disponibile su Bandcamp:




Friday, October 04, 2019

günter schlienz ~ lissajous (cosmic winnetou, 2019)

"the concept around those tracks is relatively loose. first i was fascinated by the idea of how jules lissajous made acoustic vibrations visible in his experiments. i think this has a vibe of synaesthesia, so some pieces are an attempt to transform certain memories and the associated emotions into sound.furthermore, the projections lissajous made in the 19th century must had been very pretty and i'm fascinated by the fact that we perceive integer mathematical relationships as nice, no matter if perceived acoustically or optically. so i did the drones which can be heard on this album rather optically than musically, i took a look at the lissajous image of the drones in the oscilloscope and then decided if i would use it. i also love all these enlightened natural scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries. they were really crazy in a way that seems almost funny to us today. real for me this album feels like a bit of a self-propagation with a twinkle in the eye." günter schlienz "electronic music to comfort your restless mind"

Two New Excursions on Cosmic Winnetou

By TJ Norris on November 18, 2019

The title refers to the curve of harmonic motion, Lissajous. This latest effort from Günter Schlienz is the artist beginning a new phase as an innovative electronic artist capable of incredible subtlety, with a twist of surprise. One just has to drop into the drone float of phonoptomètre to see (hear) the light, so to speak. The atmosphere is seemingly boundless, saturated in shallow pulsations and something quite sublime, untouchable. It simply glides like a sailboat at 15 to 19 knots.

What emerges is an undefined dreamscape (or dreamstate, depending) with just the hint of humanity by its inclusion of incidental field recordings. And after a gloriously lush (albeit short) elegy (?) for tristan, which sounds ceremonial, Schlienz adds a short film snippet sample of two women talking abut an artist which leads into the passionate Famous Last Words. It’s my favorite track here, soulful w/peculiar transmissions bathed in an undulating aura. Again judging by the titles (plus, Mythos) there is some sort of dedication going on here, but it doesn’t in any way come off morose or overtly melancholy. Instead these lushly collaged works of synths and tapes become a quasi natural pairing.

Things take a slight turn for the grey on wintermärchen, however it’s not long for things to turn more towards a pastel palette. Another standout here is surface noise, I only wish it were twenty and not two minutes in length. It’s yet a tiny dose of atmospherics with a dialed in synth that flexes amid some static flecks of microsound. It reminds me of staring into the planetary abyss. Things are rounded out on held between both hands and this is where we are left, that sense of the ‘between’ – neither here nor there, but most definitely with a sense of distinctive ambient sonics. The album feels like a stepping stone to me, as though this is a volume in time, and I know just by taking in these forty-one minutes that there is a whole lot more to this story.

Yet, I also do not read deeply into this work as something particularly conceptual, rather it feels to be a soother for the nerves, in common with the previously reviewed work by Navel. Except here Schlienz seems far more capsulizing of both non/tangible sides of his impressions upon the senses. This could easily be filed under ‘Music To Watch Starry Skies By’…


Günter Schlienz - “Spaces”

By JasonC · May 31, 2018

Here we go, another ace cassette of tripped out, meditative synth voyages courtesy of Günter Schlienz. “Spaces,” the first taste off of Liederbuch, coming at you via Japan’s ever dank Muzan Editions imprint, is one for the heads and the newcomers alike. If you’re feeling like you need to pop a cinnamon candy and mellow out, what better soundtrack could you ask for? Crazy enough, but the cassettes are already sold out (JK there is a second batch now available), but you can snag on digital too!!! People are buying what Muzan is selling, and when it’s this dope, can you blame them? Stream “Spaces” now, and pick up the whole digital package today, so next weekend can be a reel chill time, ya feel me? [Editor’s Note: seriously, reach out and feel him]:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Günter Schlienz - Liederbuch

Back to back description for releases on Muzan Editions. This time from the prolific Günter Schlienz. Like German Army, Günter has compositions manifesting around the world and with equal selling ferocity. Another similarity is the deviation in sound chosen for the Muzan Editions edition. Liederbuch is exactly that, six songs playing like chapters in a book. Varying diversity, both in style and tempo, but unfolding so fluently together. These compositions are a complex menagerie of rhythms and tones. Ever so slightly deranged, like the immediate confluence of two rivers, unlike waters meeting and colliding only to produce a more grand augmentation.

Six tracks crossing molecular space in just over forty minutes. Sounds creating an analog path with firm ground underneath and copious sparkle above. Günter Schlienz is well adept at creating this duality. A tranquil placation of the spirit while the will-o'-wisp performs it's ritual. The consciousness is pulled forth, but physical form has fused with temporal existence. The last two tracks are most unique using vocals for each; The basilic "Stauboper", with David Callahan's monastic timbre. Teresa Smolnik with ethereal power on "Coda Forever". Both beautiful departures for this eclectic wonder.

The final similarity to the Muzan Editions German Army release, Liederbuch is sold out as well. The digital is ready for listening and there is currently one copy for sale on discogs. If you want to get in front of Muzan Editions releases, check out and pre-order the newest edition by Aidan Baker titled Deer Park. Equally exceptional as well.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Günter Schlienz - Collage Tristes

What is this.... A Günter Schlienz release that has not completely sold old within a week! An edition of eighty CDRs released just a little over a month ago. This time on the eccentric Was Ist Das? label from the heart of the southwest, Phoenix, Arizona. A combination of artist and label fitting together like German watch gears, silently spinning, a microcosm of sounds now brought to audible levels. And as the title implies, Collage Tristes is definitely filled with a myriad of rotating sound parts. It could be a little melancholy, but only in a somber sense, there is only sadness if it is already in your heart.

Two tracks, equally divided over forty five minutes. For Mr. Schlienz, Collage Tristes seems to whirl in directions not taken in many of his releases. A collection of magnificent melodies escaping all descriptions. Like looking at time lapsed photo over countless evenings, showing the hues of a setting sun. Both words and pictures struggle to convey the vibrancy of emotion associated with the physical aspect of being "in the place". The transcendent characteristic of this composition is the fine line these sounds perch on. As example, near the end of program un, an old piano radiates forth, the timbre releasing nostalgic sentiment from the consciousness. Each listener's experience will be different, both happiness and sadness present and intertwined in so many thoughts. Collage Tristes pushes gently on the sentimentality we all possess, each transition in sound creating contemplative pathways for all to follow. The entire album going to the depths Günter Schlienz can fathom. The changing density of the medium is the only difference with Collage Tristes.

Was Ist Das? still has a few copies of this CDR still available on their bandcamp page. Once there, be sure to go to the website, so much love and work for describing and promoting music in creative fashions.











Guenter Schlienz ~ Peace

By ukstratboy / September 11, 2017 / Ambient / Leave a comment


Pacified tones flow out of Peace. In the key of sweet love, higher notes float on translucent, ever-calm waters. Occasionally, a soft, undulating bass will accompany them, drawing near and walking beside them.

Peace is more than just an absence of war. It goes deeper than anything else, save for love. Love and peace operate on the same parallels and frequencies, sharing many of the same characteristics; both are warm and all-embracing, sparkling with crimson and aquamarine, an inner radiance which both flows and flowers outwards. Its intoxicating perfume gives hope to this cruel, frosty world.

It scents everything you do in your life. It becomes more than a mere state of mind as it ascends to and enters a spiritual plane of existence. Peace isn’t mere contentment, nor is it always passive. In a world where violence and revenge is often glamorised to the point where Hollywood rakes in billions of dollars per year by selling it as entertainment, peace isn’t always in the mainstream; passivity is not a bestseller.

Peace sells…but who’s buying? Sadly, war is a profitable business.

And so, after receiving a number of emails from friends that ended with the word ‘Peace’, Schlienz began asking himself what the word really meant. He began reading the impressionist travelogue, ‘The Colossus of Maroussi’, by Henry Miller, which was written in 1939, when the world was on the brink of another war. Basking in a pre-dawn stillness that would later be shattered, 1939 was a year in which peace itself would be annihilated. And yet, even in the catastrophic amphitheater of war, stories of love and immense bravery abounded, claiming victory in the hearts of millions of people. Peace rose from the ashes and vanquished the evil that had gripped much of Europe. Peace isn’t just a state of mind: the old saying is that you come to know peace.

You befriend it.

Perhaps, as Miller discovered in Greece, peace can be traced to a slowing down of things, a differing of tempo and rhythm; certainly, in the physical body, a slowing down of the heartbeat can result in feeling calmer and more relaxed…but relaxation in and of itself is not entirely peace. Schlienz uses modular synths, electronic organ and guitar as his weaponry, while tape loops and analog and digital delays help in layering the music.  The tender, opening explorations of “Outer Corridors of Space” set off subtle changes in the atmosphere. The cosmic loops in “Powdered Stars Lightning Inaudible Noises” will soothe with its endless, calming repetitions, while “Marble Light” drifts ever onwards, sleepily looping, a lovely thing. The dulled, slower harmonies produce delayed reactions, like the softer glow of sunlight in September.

The absence of drums is akin to the absence of gunfire, of artillery, of bombs. No distortion = the death of rage.

Ambient music is more peaceful than metal – but why is this the case? It may seem obvious, but the answer isn’t a simple one. Guenter Schlienz is more interested in finding out the why. Sometimes, though, there are no answers in life, and that’s fine…more than fine. You don’t necessarily need to analyze something that brings so much joy, freedom and bliss – just know that it’s here, free and unlimited. Likewise, there are no restrictions in the form of ambient song, absent as they are of pop music’s tight, often claustrophobic structures. A melody is there as a slow pulse, but if you raise its heart rate, you automatically diminish its sense of peace. Slowness is at the core of Peace, and no more is this so than in the blissful closer, “Epidaurus”, a point at which the music comes full circle. The music rests in open fields and amber light. Yes, peace is being able to smile on, come what may. (James Catchpole)

Guenter Schlienz


By Ryan Masteller · November 16, 2017

Golly, it’s been a couple months now since August 22, when Guenter Schlienz released Peace on Halifax’s Rural Colors. On it he channels grand human emotions as he explores “themes of tenderness, alienation and homecoming.” Utilizing his ever-present modular synthesizers, Schlienz cascades sonic fractals out from his heart and into the great unknown, the soundwaves intended to penetrate the collective human psyche and adjust outlooks to “positive.” Let’s see how he did by checking the ol’ Facebook feed — wonder what happened throughout the world in the interim?

Hmm… not looking too good here… hurricanes, saber rattling at the highest levels of leadership, overt racism, protests, counterprotests, sexual harassment/assault, church shootings, trucks used as weapons… and that’s just in the United States. Sorry to bum you out, gang, but this is Exhibit A as to why I go months between FB scrolls. Head in the sand, I guess.

Guenter: it seems like you might have your work cut out for you. Changing hearts isn’t easy, but Peace is as good a place to start as any, so let’s broadcast it loud and clear.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Günter Schlienz - Peace

Really wanted to get to this composition by Günter Schlienz before it sold out, but did not win the race. Did not even come close. Have listened to a good amount of music by Günter, and so many times have been emotionally called out. Like a locksmith for the consciousness, his melodies seem to unlatch the peacefulness often covered by responsibility. Is it possible to always be tasked and remain tranquil on the inside? There are individuals with this skill, but mellow on the outside and relaxed inside are two different things.

This compact disc titled Peace (maybe subconsciously started writing in this frame, but actually just noticed the connection in the title and the words). Either way, the end result is a much desired outcome. Eight tracks over the course of a tad shy of an hour. Electronic manipulations gathering energy from light. Peace takes the path just above the forest canopy. The beauty from this listening point encompasses both natural aspects of life on Earth and the vast expanse beyond. Tracks oscillate slightly to surprise with what is below, almost reaching field recordings, then gaining altitude, relinquishing the compacted effects of molecular pressure. Notes finding neuron pathways to change microscopic aspects in each of us. Sound's effects on sentient life is a very interesting topic, much more in depth than this description can focus on. Seems like Günter Schlienz has a good amount of research and development in this area already.

Peace was released by the Halifax, UK label Rural Colours. An edition of one hundred cdrs that found homes almost immediately. Both Tiny Mix Tapes and A Closer Listen had great words to say. Good chance this will be released in some other format at a future date. No inside information here, just intuition. There is one pricey copy on discogs, if you want the physical. The digital is available from the Rural Colours bandcamp page. This would also be a good opportunity to explore Rural Colours and keep the label on the radar. An excellent product from sound to physical form. Small runs, with most being sold out.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

guenter schlienz ~ sterne über der stadt (πάνθεον, 2017)

«Dedicated to the barely visible stars above your home town.» ~ guenter schlienz

In the gleam light of night streets we always see the same. City envelopes us, creating space inside itself, which is almost flat compared to the actual world around. Sometimes it seems that we live inside a dome of glass, like ones from sci-fi books about distant future in post-apocalyptic world. We don't look at the sky, unless it's raining, we are losing the feeling of vastness, of the universal endlessness, which surrounds our little tiny home planet. Cosmos doesn't fit in coordinate system produced by the rows of street lights. But still there are some dreamers, inspired by the blinking stars above the never sleeping towns, bringing the melodies of this elusive beauty, which hides between the city blocks, trembles over the rivers and dissipates in roars of the streets... This exquisite album by our favorite modular synth wizard Guenter Schlienz is a dreamlike journey over the routine of life, perfect companion for late night walks and leisurely stargazing.


augenblicke - Günter Schlienz (sacred phrases)

cosmic winnetou主催でおなじみGünterさんがsacred phrasesからリリース。カセットだと2本に分かれています。

これが朝に聴くと溶けてとろけてしまいそうな、めちゃくちゃ素敵なシンセなドローン。Günterさんの、どこかコズミックな色合いは、"soothing sounds for baby"のコントラストをもっとモヤモヤとさせた感じもありつつ、カラフルなようで、統一感もあり。



投稿者 map_miyuki 時刻: 0:47 0 コメント

Augenblicke & Evocations


Und wo wir gerade dabei sind,‭ ‬zeitgenössische kosmische Kuriere zu besprechen,‭ ‬da darf der Stuttgarter‭ ‬Günter Schlienz nicht fehlen.‭ ‬Man sollte nicht den Fehler machen,‭ ‬die Musik von Schlienz unter einem Berg von Geschichte zu begraben.‭ ‬Der gelernte Elektrotechniker weiß selbst,‭ ‬was er Edgar Froese,‭ ‬Joachim Roedelius und anderen zu verdanken‭ ‬hat‭ ‬– seine eigene Musik wächst jedoch über die historischen Vorbilder hinaus‭! ‬Nicht zuletzt,‭ ‬weil Schlienz die Disziplin aufbringt,‭ ‬nicht in süßlichen Arrangements kleben zu bleiben‭ (‬wie Roedelius hier und da‭) ‬oder leicht angekokst in Richtung Stadion Rock zu schielen‭ (‬wie Froese ab‭ ‬1980‭ ‬oder so‭)‬.‭ ‬Schlienz zieht geduldig seine analogen Fäden aus dem Synthesizer und spinnt in aller Ruhe in sich ruhende Klangteppiche,‭ ‬die so schön sind,‭ ‬wie der melancholische Blick von Kris Kevin auf den Planeten Solaris.‭ ‬Zwei Veröffentlichung sind in jüngster Zeit erschienen:‭ ‬»Evocations‭«‬ auf‭ ‬Makrame Records‭ (‬Spanien‭) ‬und‭ ‬»Augenblicke‭«‬ auf‭ ‬Sacred Phrases in den USA.‭ ‬Beide sind unbedingt empfohlen.‭ (Holger Adam)A

Günter Schlienz: Book of Dreams

 Posted by Andrea Piran

Sep 16 2017


Artist: Günter Schlienz (@)
Title: Book of Dreams
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: * * * * *

A Jack Kerouac's citation introduces this release: "the fact that everybody in the world dreams at night ties all mankind tighter"; "Book of Dreams" is an expanded cd reissue of a vinyl release and is based on a musical form that is based on modular synth and this means that is something familiar to those accustomed to a musical flux spanning from Kosmische Musik to new age. The quietness of the music which should facilitate dreaming is obtained with simple and catchy melodies and the absence of any dissonance, so it's something that requires considerable writing skill to avoid trivial results.
When "Just Silhouettes" starts, the listener is introduced into a sound field as synthetic but warm and organic even if there's any melody to follow but it's something cradling someone so "The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf" sounds like a lullaby for heads in the clouds with his simple and hypnotic melody. The droning tones of "Kafkaesque Speeches" hugs the listener while "Mushrooming" is more experimental in his reminds of old sci-fi movies. "Stillleben" is a quiet and static ambient tune. The two new tracks, "The Girl with the Cloud Coloured Shirt" and "Diving into the Orange Pool", are a gentle track for cello, the first one, and a minimal pop divertissement, the second one. The hypnotic loops of "Two Big White Dogs" and the nostalgia of "Awaken", closed by the sound of an alarm clock, closes this release with a vague feeling of play again the play track.
While it could be the typical release that could be criticized by the fans of avant-garde with the classification of new age, this is that kind of release whose brilliance of writing let the listener enchanted. Practically recommended to everyone.

Günter Schlienz – “Book Of Dreams”

Siluetas sonoras

Zoharum – Julio de 2017- ambient - ZOHAR 148-2

 Günter Schlienz vuelve a amarrarse a la carrera editorial de Zoharum rescatando una de sus obras culmen, Book Of Dreams, un trabajo parsimonioso y trémulo confeccionado a base de sintetizadores modulares.

Günter Schlienz moldea sonidos tejidos entre sueños. La dinámica que este artista alemán plantea se encuentra cercana a la música cósmica y al experimental más etéreo, gestando álbumes que destacan por su inconsistencia melódica y su atractiva sonoridad. El que hoy presentamos es uno de los más celebérrimos: Book Of Dreams. Este trabajo fue publicado por primera vez durante 2016 en el propio sello del artista Cosmic Winnetou, su lanzamiento se limitó únicamente al formato vinilo y no tardó en agotarse. Un año más tarde, la casa polaca Zoharum amplia la posibilidad de adquisición relanzándolo en CD. Para ello se cambia el diseño de portada y se le añaden “The Girl With The Cloud Coloured Shirt” y “Diving Into The Orange Pool” dos temas extras registrados durante este año.

Book Of Dreams se caracteriza por su talante parsimonioso y placentero. Es un disco exento de sobresaltos y agitación, perfecto para relajarse y meditar, repleto de tonalidades calurosas y dúctiles. Nueve cortes lenes y frágiles que nos hacen sentirnos yacer sobre las nubes. Muy recomendables para todo aquel que siga de cerca de Brian Eno o Alio Die.


El álbum se plantea como un trabajo sólido que no admite fragmentación, ya que en muchas ocasiones da la sensación de que los cortes se solapan en un manto de sonido que se expande como la espuma del mar sobre la arena. Entre los más apetitosos podemos destacar los momentos acústicos de “The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf” o “The Girl With The Cloud Coloured Shirt”. Canciones en las que los únicos elementos intervinientes son sintetizadores modulares que el propio artista confecciona, obteniendo unos resultados fascinantes. Hablamos de puro y absoluto experimental en el que las voces quedan hacinadas en el ostracismo para dar importancia al matiz sonoro.

Zoharum ha decidido prensar una tirada de nada menos que trescientos ejemplares a pesar le la reciente publicación de la edición original, y no es para menos, ya que Book Of Dreams se eleva como un genial ejemplo de experimentación ambiental perfecto para disfrutar en silencio.


miércoles, septiembre 13, 2017


En el año 2016, el artista alemán Günter Schlienz publicó el álbum “Book Of Dreams” a través de su propio sello discográfico Cosmic Winnetou en una edición limitada de 100 unidades en vinilo de 180 gramos numerados a mano (75 en vinilo negro y 25 en vinilo rojo). Pero, el pasado mes de julio, el prestigioso sello discográfico polaco ZOHARUM RECORDS presentó oficialmente el álbum “Book Of Dreams” en formato digital y en CD en ecopak de tres paneles, edición limitada de 250 unidades, incluyendo dos temas musicales como extras respecto a la primera edición de 2016. Habiendo sido engalanada su portada con un austero diseño creado por Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), es la decoración de sus paneles interiores los que han recreado la atmósfera etérea del Reino de Morfeo, ya que cada una de las nueve composiciones que vertebran el álbum “Book Of Dreams” está inspirada en los sueños tenidos por el propio Günter Schlienz. Esos primeros diez minutos de vigilia posteriores al periodo de sueño, han resultado claves en la definición y en la recreación musical de cada uno de estos temas, los cuales harán las delicias de los melómanos lectores de Lux Atenea Webzine profundamente apasionados con la audición de estilos como el ambient, ethereal, dark-ambient, minimal, experimental... “Book Of Dreams” es el fruto musical de la mente de este genial artista saliendo de ese periodo de somnoliencia donde lo racional empieza de nuevo a activarse para la vida cotidiana, y donde las imágenes, los recuerdos, la memoria, las impresiones, y el lado emocional-sentimental bullen para dar vida a estas exquisitas y elegantes composiciones musicales. Un universo sonoro que dará comienzo con el tema “Just Silhouettes” donde la vibrante belleza de la música ambient en un impactante primer plano, no hará más que embrujarnos para que nuestra mente empiece a diluirse en la siguiente composición “The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf”, donde Günter Schlienz y Daryl Groetsch hacen una demostración de virtuosismo instrumental que les dejará impresionados. ¡¡¡“The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf”, qué belleza sonora!!! ¡¡¡Chapeau!!! Posteriormente, el excelso tema “Kafkaesque Speeches” dará continuidad al enigmático magnetismo sonoro en el que nos habíamos fundido mentalmente para que “Mushrooming” expanda nuestros sentidos hasta perder la sensación de corporeidad. “Stillleben” es más ambient, más new age, más reposado y sibarita en cuanto a su cuerpo melódico y a su perfilamiento sonoro, como si fuera una visión de las profundidades del mar iluminadas por los rayos solares, apareciendo el tema “The Girl With The Cloud Coloured Shirt” musicalmente asertivo en cuanto al estilo melódico cultivado por Günter Schlienz en este álbum, prolongando esta quietud del espíritu hasta la composición “Diving Into The Orange Pool” donde sus pinceladas instrumentales nos llevaran a un estilo experimental que recrea con sumo talento el arrebol tintineante de estas aguas. Con “Two Big White Dogs” sacándonos de ese estado de profundo relax debido a su base sonora en tono grave, este entorno mucho menos barroco nos acompañará hasta el ocaso final de este álbum donde el tema ““Awaken” presenta un entorno más humano y menos etéreo, siendo el sampler del sonido del despertador, una auténtica genialidad de este músico y compositor alemán para hacernos volver al día a día. ¿Deseas retornar al placer musical que acabas de perder? Entonces te invito a una nueva audición de esta edición discográfica, y lo onírico volverá a poseerte. “Book Of Dreams”, desde la ciudad alemana de Stuttgart, con este grandioso álbum Günter Schlienz se ha convertido en el embajador musical del Reino de Morfeo. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!!

Günter Schlienz – Book of Dreams

March 7, 2016 · by Ryan "Critical" Masteller · in Crate-Digging, Music. ·

schlienz record

(Cosmic Winnetou, 2016)

I always thought it’d be a good idea to keep a notebook by my bedside to keep a recording of dreams that I had upon awakening. That’s the only time you can truly harness the madness of what your brain is processing while you sleep. I never did it though – perhaps the prospect of actually making an effort was too much. My brain would have to fire synapses to so many places – to my arms and hands to turn on the light, to the language center of the brain itself to compose the words, to the motor controls to make those words letters – actually it’s pretty much just my hands and my brain that need stimulation. That and my eyes since they’d need to open up in the first place.

OK, so I never kept a “book of dreams,” as it were, but Stuttgart’s Günter Schlienz has, and God bless him, because the results of his experiment represent pretty much the epitome of what I’d want to accomplish. See, he’s actually made it past the point of waking up and writing things down – Schlienz has gone so far as to read his nonsense the next day, interpret it, and translate it into a musical language that actually makes sense for those of us lucky enough to hear it. What transpires on this absolutely magical 12-inch truly is the stuff of dreams, where wisps of the fantastical allow you to build entire worlds in your imagination. Schlienz himself has described it best as inspired by “those strange moments … when you can still remember the images and feelings of the dream before they are rubbed off by daytime thoughts and troubles.”

He also says this is “modular synth stuff for inner explorations,” too humble a statement if you ask me, but one that allows you to know exactly what you’re about to immerse yourself in. And “immerse” is the best word here, especially for so-called “inner explorations.” The tones and vibe wash over you upon dropping the needle, and meditation is the only activity you can participate in while listening. Perhaps no track would begin an album like this better than “Just Silhouettes,” a low-key movenment that highlights the impermanence of dreams and imagination as weightless nothingness that disappears the second the mind turns to something else. This sort of practice continues throughout side A.

Side B, then, begins with “Mushrooming,” a sort of beeping sci-fi ode that pushes the mood of the album in a decidedly different direction. It’s a nice diversion, and transitions into the “Stilleben” (“Still Life”), a lullabye made exclusively to be listened to in reverence, potentially inside the hallowed halls of Johanneskirche, or a similar Gothic-style church. “Two Big White Dogs” is as playful as Schlienz is likely to get, as a wistful, melodic synthesizer arpeggio scampers around the headphones space like the titular animals. Then, as if to taunt us as his own alarm has taunted him, Schlienz gives us “Awaken,” one minute of the sonic equivalent of realizing there’s light streaming through the curtains in your half sleep, before an alarm literally ends the track, the side, and the album. I want to go back to sleep.

Consider this experiment a rousing success. Book of Dreams is indeed dreamlike in all the best ways, offering a true peaceful experience even in the midst of its more restive or exploratory passages. And the track titles mostly give away that you’re not in the realm of reality: “The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf,” “Kafkaesque Speeches,” even “Two Big White Dogs” are psychological markers that you’re not to take your surroundings as actual or tangible. Therefore, sit down while you’re spinning this, and wear headphones. These are important for the proper experience.




Number 1093
Week 32

After all this heaviness and darkness it is time for some gentle music. Back in Vital Weekly 1056 I was very much surprised and taken by the CD 'Autumn' by German modular synth player Günter Schlienz, who now returns with a new album, 'Book Of Dreams', with more pieces, nine in total. Parts of this was first released on vinyl, but now expanded with more tracks. Zoharum calls this music at 'the intersection of ambient and new age' and that is very much true. With the
previous release I was thinking about ambient in the finest tradition of Brian Eno, and thus firmly rooted in the world of ambient music, but with some of these pieces Schlienz moves a bit closer to the world of new age music, which for all I know and care, is something he should not do. A piece like 'The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf' (a silly title I'd say) with it's soft tinkling bell synth sound is simply too easy and too sweet for my taste, but it is followed by ''Kafkaesque Speeches', a lovely dark drone with a soaring synth melody on top. It is limping on both ends here, the softer new age approach and the somewhat grittier ambient side, and for now, I'd like to give Schlienz the benefit of doubt here. The music is still lovely shimmering ambient, I am still reminded of De Muziekkamer and their 'Kamer Muziek' release, and that is enough for now. I am curious which road Schlienz will take in the future. (FdW)

Günter Schlienz ~ Book of Dreams

By postrockcafe / November 21, 2017 / Ambient / Leave a comment

Write down your dreams before they slip away.  The advice is wise, for as soon as we awake, we begin to forget.  By keeping a notepad next to his bed, Günter Schlienz was able to begin writing his Book of Dreams.  The album preserves both dreams and impressions of dreams, the titles merely fragments of memory.  The music is somnambulant, possessing the fleeting nature of clouds, as stylized on the cover by Rutger Zuydervelt.  But as phantasmagorical as the images may become (“The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf”), the music remains soothing, suited for a nursery.  By this we intuit that Schlienz has made friends with his dreams ~ in fact has fallen in love with the liminal time between sleeping and waking.  And how could he not?  Conjuring orange pools, white dogs and lovely companions, his mind seems a place of endless creativity, just what we might expect from such an inventive artist.

It’s amusing to think of someone drinking coffee during a dream, as if dream coffee might help one to stay asleep.  This ten minute track is graced with the sound of twinkles and bells.  One can imagine it on an endless loop, gliding through the night.  “Stilleben” rides glistening waves of synthesizer across a seemingly endless sea.  A siren sings a lullaby, inviting the dreamer to dock on her shore, but again the script is flipped; hers is a shore of safety.  Only in “Mushrooming” do the sounds grow disorienting, the result of radio fragments embedded in the mix.  But when music box tones take over, a sense of peace is restored.  Best of all is “The Girl With the Cloud Coloured Shirt”, whose gorgeous strings imply love in the liminal realm.  These dreams are worth holding onto, perhaps even returning to, which is why they have been preserved in such a fashion.

The album has only one down side: the final piece, “Awaken”, ends with an alarm clock.  The reverie is disturbed, the peace shattered.  Schlienz has created such a sweetly suspended atmosphere that it’s painful to see it disappear so quickly.  As accurate as it may be to real-life experience, we prefer the beautiful stillness.  (Richard Allen)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Günter Schlienz - Book Of Dreams

Absorbed into the Elysian sounds of Günter Schlienz again. Where the margins of music, mind and consciousness begin to become indistinct. Lush forms of constitutional electronics creating massive aural landscapes. A en devour in sonic purity loosing any date of origin. Book of Dreams was created in the vast continuum of reincarnated existence. At some point recorded and now physically alive for new listeners to experience. Seamless ambient drift at the very highest level.
Lost in a Sea of Sound described Book of Dreams on the original vinyl release, almost two years ago. The vinyl was a Cosmic Winnetou edition and on a very limited run of one hundred, sellling out extremely fast. You can read the first write up here. The second edition on compact disc is equally as good if not even better. Two additional tracks have been added and the entire musical journey plays with ease and fluidity.
The compact disc edition was produced by Zoharum, an incredibly prolific label based in Poland. They are also the co-publishers of Hard Art magazine. Two hundred and fifty beautiful tri-panel vessels containing the art designs of Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt, sound mastering of Niko and of course the sonic creativity of Günter Schlienz. Re-released in the middle of this year, there are copies available but the number is getting low.
If you did not get the vinyl, the compact disc version is a must. Possibly a strong consideration even if you have the vinyl. That good!

24/03/2018 Ed Pinsent


Noted Stuttgart musician and inventor Günter Schlienz in 2017 with his gorgeous Autumn album. All observations made then continue to apply to today’s record Book Of Dreams (ZOHARUM ZOHAR 148-2); it’s simply gorgeous electronic music and recommended to fans of Eno’s Ambient composition or Popol Vuh. A genuine feeling of well-being passes on to the listener. The tunes here were inspired by Schlienz’s own dreams, which he recorded in a diary; it’s his attempt to capture in music the “strange moments between fantasy and reality”. He takes the view that the composition process is a “sober interpretation” of the wilder moments he experiences in his dream life. Even the titles here contain some vivid images, such as ‘The Female Coffee Drinking Dwarf’ or ‘Diving Into The Orange Pool’, so we must assume that Schlienz’s imaginative facilities are in a very healthy state. Book Of Dreams was originally issued on vinyl by Cosmic Winnetou in a run of 100 copies; this Zoharum CD is a repress with two extra tracks. While perhaps slow and samey in tone, the simple melodies he plays are strong and enduring, and the use of major key resolutions and chords is probably what accounts for the calming and uplifting mood of this record. From 20th July 2017.


Gunter Schlienz: Book Of Dreams

di Caesar - (CD - Zoharum, 2017)
25 Agosto 2017

Gunter Schlienz è un artista di musica elettronica tedesco che si pone a metà strada fra ambient e new age. Avevo avuto modo di parlare in passato del suo pregevole album Autumn: nel complesso si trattava di un buon lavoro in cui emergeva il tocco raffinato di Schlienz. Schlienz è il tipico esempio di musicista tedesco che ha fatto propria la lezione della Musica Cosmica tedesca, quella per intenderci dei vari Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze e primi Popol Vuh il cui influsso su tutta l’elettronica e l’ambient e la new age è decisivo. Personalmente continuo a preferire i vecchi maestri rispetto all’evoluzione successiva del genere che ha portato a certa new age. Schlienz in questo senso non fa eccezione anche se la qualità della sua musica è lontana anni luce dalla new age di consumo più dozzinale e da carta da parati. Questo nuovo album, intitolato Book Of Dreams, eè però diverso rispetto al precedente in quanto è composto da composizioni brevi e concise: tuttavia le sue ambientazioni eteree riescono a creare un’atmosfera sospesa nel tempo. La prima edizione di Book Of Dreams era uscita in un’edizione in vinile limitata a 100 copie subito esaurite. La musica contenuta nel disco è stata ispirata, per stessa ammissione dell’autore, dai suoi sogni: Schlienz ha cercato di catturare le immagine oniriche attraverso l’emozione dei suoni. Questa nuova versione di Book Of Dreams esce in un bel digipack a 3 pannelli limitata a 250 copie. Disponibile su Bandcamp:

6 November 2016

Günter Schlienz – Autumn


Occasionally known as Navel, whose Ambient series of  albums of last decade included Eno-referencing titles such as Music For SpaceportsGünter Schlienz has been making delicately shaded melodic drones and curling electronica since the 1990s. His latest release comes courtesy of Zoharum, and concerns itself with the theme of autumn.

the whole setting out to evoke the falling leaves and encroaching darkness

The CD delivers three parts, each named for one month, though intriguingly “September” comes between “Oktober” and “November” in Schlienz’s season of electronica. While autumn may be a time of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as Keats would have it, for Schlienz it’s also a season of brushed cymbals and sudden interjections of French horn (provided on “Oktober” by Niko Lazarakopoulos and Matthias Baldauf respectively) and all the sweeping grandeur that his array of self-built modular synths can be coaxed into, the whole setting out to evoke the falling leaves and encroaching darkness of this muted time of the year.

folds in melancholy waves into the vibrato and rising swell

Intensely meditative, Autumn‘s slowness and stately marking of the passage of time precedes through the long, heavyweight drones of “September” and into the brighter flickers and bleeping wafts of “November”, where a Theremin-like warble folds in melancholy waves into the vibrato and rising swell of evocative pad sounds. Languid, reverberent basslines reflect the gathering in to the fireside to evade the winter that is always around the corner; perhaps the electronic voices hark to a Solstice chorale that marks the midwinter and the proper descent into the chill and silencing snow of the northern hemisphere too.

Autumn is almost the textbook definition of an ambient album — long, evolving and intended to suffuse the listening environment as much as it will equally reward being paid close attention to, should its audience desire. As its final notes play out into a gathering haze of rain and storm sounds (whether sampled or generated is not clear), it’s pleasant to reflect on the album’s deeply satisfying conjuration of the atmosphere of the season that is busy turning green to gold to brown outside right now; and that it is equally a record to enjoy at any time of the year.

-Antron S Meister-




Number 1056
Week 45


A group that I have not heard of in quite some time, and yet never forgot about is Navel. I remember back then, and I am speaking here some sixteen or more years ago, I was quite a fan of their ambient guitar sound and even released something on a short-lived CDR enterprise. I must admit I didn't recognize the name Günter Schlienz as being a member of that group; it all slipped my mind. I now learn he's also active as a solo musician and a man who loves his synthesizers, and has a bunch of cassette releases on his own label Cosmic Winnetou, but also Metaphysical Circuits, Gift Tapes, SicSic, Goldtimers Tapes, Constellation Tatsu, Makrame Records and others. I believe this is my first encounter with his modular synthesizer music, and with an expertly chosen title for the time of the year. Winter is coming and that means it is still Autumn, and so the three pieces on this release are called 'Oktober', 'September' and 'November', in this order and I must say: this is an excellent release. It's not something you haven't heard before in terms of modular synthesizer music playing a strict ambient card, but Schlienz does it with great care. These three pieces are long, sixteen to twenty-five minutes and on the surface it seems they are not changing a lot, but upon closer listening they do. Very minimally, but they do. The music he waves together is very slow and is like a web of sounds; you can never over see the totality of these sounds but all of them drop by in slow changing patterns and these patterns sound different all the time. So while it doesn't seem to change, it actually does, some sounds linger on, while others are added and subtracted. The sound is overall very quiet and reminded me of the very ancient cassette by De Muziekkamer, 'Kamermuziek' (sadly never released on CD!) as well as some of the releases by the Midnight Circles label.





independent blog about postindustrial culture

Günter Schlienz - Autumn

November 10, 2016 by darkroomrituals tagged new age, ambient, electronic, zoharum records, Günter Schlienz

Zoharum ZOHAR 133-2, 2016

  1. Oktober (25:32)

  2. September (16:33)

  3. November (17:32)

Немецкий музыкант Гюнтер Шлиенц известен тем, что не только создает электронную музыку, но и сам конструирует синтезаторы и прочее оборудование, с помощью которого регулярно пополняет свою дискографию, отдавая предпочтение кассетным релизам – быть может, потому, что столь тщательно культивируемое им аналоговое, олдскульное и чуточку наивное звучание идеально ложится на приятный уху пленочный шум. Но новый альбом Гюнтера вышел на компакт-диске, изданием которого занимался польский лейбл «Zoharum». По названию альбома и по трек-листу понятно, что создатель этой музыки посвятил часы и дни тому, чтобы с помощью звуков своих рукотворных машин воссоздать меланхоличное осеннее настроение, точнее, ту его «часть», которая ассоциируется с тихими прогулками по оранжевым, шуршащим под ногами листьям, поэтичными медитациями на угасающую природу и совсем немного связана с бросаемыми суровым ветром в лицо капель дождя и первых, еще колючих крупиц снега. Почему первым идет «Oktober» – вопрос к автору, но именно этот трек в полной мере передает авторский стиль Шлиенца. Композиция словно разделена на две части: первая из них следует в русле вновь популярного нью-эйджа из седых синтезаторных семидесятых, здесь превалируют очень спокойные тона и никуда не спешащие тихие сигналы электронного оборудования, дополненные минималистичными эффектами. Вот уж реально идеальный трек для прогулок, когда в руки и проситься томик грустных и красивых стихов. Вторая часть трека уходит больше в пасмурный дрон, намекая, что в октябре темнеет рано, вечера становятся холодными и тени в парке приобретают нисколько не пугающие, но странные, тем не менее очертания. В финале эмоций добавляют с помощью раскатистых цимбал и совсем уж потустороннего горна. «September» – это время спать, авитаминозная сонливость заключена в бесконечной череде неясных, тихих звуков, попавших в плен бесконечных пленочных петель, которые к концу композиции истираются в пыль, оставляя после себя аморфное облако гудящего эха. А в «November» небо спускается на землю: синтезаторы начинают звучать как небесные хоралы в исполнении ангелов, генерируя еще и мелодии  под стать этим певчим, гул становится более прозрачным и тихим, и, хотя слух отлично различает, что все три композиции альбома собраны, в общем-то, из примерно одних и тех же элементов, именно эта композиция уходит за эмоциональные границы осени и движется дальше, к постепенному угасанию в холодных руках зимы. Надеюсь, Гюнтер насобирает своих чудо-машин на целый цикл «времена года», уж больно душевная у него получается музыка, чистая, позитивная и искренняя в своей простоте. Очень хороший альбом, и сейчас, в почти что снежном ноябре эти осенние «картины-настроения» – самое то для правильной встречи осени и всего то, что с ней связано.


Günter Schlienz


Ambient - soundscape

19/11/2016, Henk Vereecken

Hij komt uit de Duitse experimentele underground, deze Günter Schlienz en is al 25 jaar als muzikant actief, waarvan 20 jaar als lid van het ambient / post-rock project Navel. Hij brengt ook solo analoge muziek uit als Cosmic Winnetou en sinds 2010 ook talrijke ambient releases onder zijn eigen naam. Maar bovenal staat hij bekend als een man die zelf synthesizers construeert en ze ook bespeelt.

Zijn nieuwe album heet “Autumn” (60 minuten speelduur) en de titel van het album en zijn drie tracks spreken voor zich. “Oktober”, “September” en “November” zijn drie lange, instrumentale, herfstige soundscapes van respectievelijk 25, 17 en 18 minuten. Ze klinken druilerig en mistroostig. Drie zich langzaam ontwikkelende ambiente synthesizercomposities net als traag neerdwarrelende bruine herfstbladeren. Het geheel doet wel wat denken aan een minder melodieuze versie van Tor Lundvall of aan een meer droney versie van de meest melancholische stukken van Brian Eno of Kaus Schulze.

“Oktober” is de langste track en bestaat uit langgerekte synthesizertonen en naar het einde toe gaan ze gieren als de wind tijdens een oktoberstorm. De modulaire synthesizerklanken worden hier ondersteund door spaarzaam aangewende hoornklanken en cymbalen (bespeeld door gastmuzikanten) wat hun organische natuur onderstreept. “September” klinkt het meest droney van de drie met ook gierende uithalen. “November” met zijn spooky, vibrerende theremin-achtige klanken is mijn favoriet.

Buiten regent het, een miezerige, klamme herfstregen. Het regent al dagen. Het asfalt glimt van de nattigheid en als ik dik tegen mijn zin met de fiets het weer moet trotseren (om te gaan werken bijvoorbeeld) is het een kunst om de plassen te ontwijken en niet te slippen in de bruine smurrie van natte afgevallen bladeren. Ik zit nu binnen en heb voor het eerst de verwarming aangezet. “Autumn” van Günter Schlienz past perfect bij de sfeer en het jaargetijde en het weer buiten. Vrolijk word je er nochtans niet van. En dan moet de winter nog beginnen....

“Autumn” kwam uit in een 3-panel ecopak in een strikt gelimiteerde editie van 250 copies.

Henk Vereecken

Artist: Günter Schlienz (@)
Title: Autumn
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria

The sense of this release is expressed by the quote David Pearce in the cover of this release: i see the leaves fall, in times of change; i see the trees fall, but i remain in the light of time, with the dawn. Günter Schlienz, who plays synthesizers and uses tape machines to construct his music, is that kind of artist whose music is rooted in the tradition and could be described as modern classical if he had used acoustic instruments as his music is evidently written playing an instrument with a melody in mind.
The sparse notes of "Oktober" open this release introducing a track which slowly unfolds exposing his layers one by one until they interact creating something at the crossroad between a drone and a soundscape as it has the apparent stasis of the first and the richness of details of the second until the sound of the wind introduces the second movement of this track based on sustained notes and cymbals. The sustained notes are the fundamental element also of "September" whose melody develops really slowly generating a sense of meditation and decadence until it fades under small noises at the edge of audibility that closes the track. The resonances of "November" are used to break the silence at the core of the first part of the track closed by the emergence of the notes of the second part that, like a sort of theremin, exposes a melody over a quiet drone in the background slowly ending in silence.
This is a release that could be enjoyed in a quiet mood and it's almost elusive in his evanescence. As an example of descriptive music, it captures the essence of fall and decay of the season which is dedicated. A really nice release able to change the mood of the listener.

Zoharum Records


Im einem einfach gehaltenen Ecopack erscheint das vorliegende Werk von Günter Schlienz, der bereits seit vielen Jahren musikalisch aktiv ist, wobei sich für die Gestaltung Rutger Zuydervelt von Machinefabriek verantwortlich zeigt. Um es auch gleich vorwegzunehmen: "Autumn" ist ein Album, welches meiner Meinung nach nur in gewissen Momenten fruchtet. Ich meine damit Aspekte wie Ruhe, Entspannung und Träumen. Wer meint das Werk mal so auf die Schnelle erkunden zu können, der wird sicherlich nicht viel damit anfangen können, setzt doch der Musiker auf seiner Publikation vielmehr auf Gefühl und Zeit, um da richtig eintauchen zu können. Hervor kommt dabei ein ungemein angenehmer Charakter, beruhend auf warmen Elementen, dank derer die drei Stücke aber eigentlich gar nicht mal so lang erscheinen. Allein der Opener "Oktober" geht über zwanzig Minuten, erscheint aber schon fast bündig mit dem folgenden "September", wobei ich noch anmerken möchte, hier eine Publikation vorliegen zu haben, die relativ in sich geschlossen ist. Denn auch "November" passt sich da gut in das Gefüge, wenngleich jenes Stück etwas unauffällig daherkommt.

Mit "Autumn" hat Günter Schlienz ein Werk erschaffen, das aufgrund seines ungemein ruhigen Charakters einerseits gefühlvolle Welten öffnet, anderseits aber vielleicht so manchem Rezipienten schon zu ruhig oder vielleicht sogar langatmig scheint. Da hilft es am besten, wenn man sich selbst ein Bild davon schafft, denn in mancher Hinsicht ist "Autumn" im passenden Moment schon fast wie Balsam für die Haut.

Artikelbild Copyright: Zoharum Records

Pierwsza z premier, to materiał nagrany przez Guntera Schlienz'a, postać dobrze znaną na ambientowej i eksperymentalnej scenie, również w naszym kraju. W ubiegłym roku rodzime Wounded Knife opublikowało split z Fischerle, na którym znalazła się kompozycja tego konstruktora modularnych systemów. On sam zaś, jako szef cenionej kasetowej oficyny Cosmic Winnetou, wydał opisywane tu nagrania Micromelancolie. "Autumn", materiał przygotowany dla Zoharum to analogowa suita oddająca wielobarwną melancholię trzeciej pory roku.

Trylogia jesienna Schlienz'a to trzy długie, wysmakowane kompozycje, skrojone z ciepłych, brzmień syntezatorów modularnych. Każda z nich, zadedykowana innemu miesiącowi panującej obecnie pory roku, została oparta na tym samym schemacie, przypominającym odjazd kamery filmowej. Początek to detal. Szkic melodii, skupienie na brzmieniu i jego atłasowej fakturze. Powolny, elegancki ruch rozszerza perspektywę nagrania. Pojawiają się rozłożyste analogowe plamy, a główny wątek melodii zaczyna rozsiewać pogłosy, które rezonują szerokimi pasażami współbrzmień. Arsenał instrumentalny pozostaje bez zmian, nie licząc fragmentarycznego użycia perkusji i waltorni, zatem rozwijanie się narracji jest zasługą dodawania kolejnych śladów i wypiętrzania ich za pomocą analogowych efektów. Rezultat jest niezwykle zmysłowy i kojący, bowiem Schlienz dokonuje swoich ingerencji w sposób niebywale elegancki. Brak tu zarówno gwałtownych wydarzeń, skoków dramaturgii, jak również epatowania mrokiem, szumem, czy dekonstrukcją.

"Autumn"to kwintesencja "slow music", wytwornie podana, liryczna i zmysłowa. Uwodząca brzmieniem i emanująca melancholią. Z wolna gęstniejąca i opadająca niczym jesienna mgła, której całun zaciera detale, tłumi kontrasty i wprowadza oniryczną atmosferę.


Five Leaves Left

Günter Schlienz from Stuttgart has evolved his own electronic sound over many years through his own secret hand-built devices and unique set-up, which involves modular synthesis, tape machines, and echo units. As Günter Schlienz, he’s released over 20 albums since 2010, some of them privately pressed as CDRs or as cassettes on his own Cosmic Winnetou label. As Navel – described here as an “ambient post-rock project” – he goes back even further, with a string of self-released CDRs from the late 1990s. Today’s record is called Autumn (ZOHARUM ZOHAR 133-2), and it’s a completely charming evocation of the seasons rendered in timeless and very sweet electronic music. I couldn’t help thinking of the Peter Schmidt watercolour painting that was included in Eno’s Before And After Science, the one titled Look At September, Look At October; the music seems a very good fit for that evocative image of a tree seen outside the window, the leaves about to turn brown. Schlienz’s music is not far apart from Eno’s, but it must be said his hand-crafted inventing has really reaped dividends, and he has successfully side-stepped the problem of pre-sets and factory settings that has blighted many a lesser synth keyboard player. Autumn doesn’t sound particularly “weird” though, and I suspect Schlienz doesn’t see himself as a pioneer of unusual sounds or a cosmic explorer trying to wring hidden depths from the innards of electronic machinery. Rather, he simply has his stories to tell in musical form, and wants to find his own way of saying them. An album of slow and intriguing beauty…while not quite as spiritually deep as Popol Vuh, Schlienz’s heart is in the right place, and with his benign and optimistic outlook on the world, he makes Tangerine Dream seem positively turbulent and apocalyptic in comparison. From 27th October 2016.


Veröffentlicht am 14. Oktober 2017 von admin

 Der Herbst gilt als Zeit der Einkehr und Kontemplation und hat wie alle Jahreszeiten bereits zahllose Würdigungen in der Musik erfahren. Die Facetten seiner Stimmungen und seiner Sinnlichkeit geben aber immer noch Stoff für neue, zum Teil ungewöhnliche Ideen ab, auch wenn ein Konzeptalbum zum Herbst auf den ersten Blick vielleicht etwas abgedroschen anmuten mag.

Die hier vorliegende, von Rudger Zuydervelt in dezentem Minimalismus gestaltete CD stammt von einem schon lange aktiven, aber für breite Hörerkreise wohl immer noch obskuren deutschen Klangkünstler namens Günther Schlientz, der auch als Cosmic Winnetou aktiv ist und neben seinen Soloarbeiten in der Postrock-Band Navel spielt. Schlientz arbeitet primär und auch hier mit diversen selbstgebauten analogen Synthesizern und ergänzt dieses Grundinstrumentarium durch traditionelle Instrumente wie einen Satz rauschender Becken und ein französisches Flügelhorn, deren dezenter Einsatz sich wunderbar in ddn elektronischen Rahmen einfügt.

Schlienz zeichnet den Herbst hier als ruhige, zurückgenommene Zeit der Wandels und gibt ihm (man könnte sagen dem elektronischen Schwerpunkt seiner Musik zum Trotz) ein organisches, erdig naturverbundenes Äußeres. Im eröffnenden Track “Oktober” erscheint der harmonische Klang derart organisch, dass man Gitarrenpicking und Bassdröhnen vermutend könnte, zusammen mit den Bläserklängen schafft dies eine warme, aber auch vielfarbige Welt, die durchaus so etwas wie Fülle zeigt, und doch durchdringt eine leise Melancholie das vitale Landschaftsbild, das erst durch Feebkackfiepen einen Hauch von echtem Niedergang bekommt.

Warum die Zeitdarstellung nicht der Folge der Monate entspricht, erschließt ich mir nicht, eventuell wurden auf dem Cover tatsächlich die Titel vertauscht, jedenfalls folgt auf das lange, belebte “Oktober” das wensentlich herbere “September”, durch das ein kühler, an Thereminklänge erinnernder Wind weht. Auch hier sind ein paar erdigere Klänge zu hören, doch das wellenförmige Dröhnen erscheint in erster Linie düster und fast etwas bedrohlich, lediglich eine paar leise tremolierende Hochtöner bringen auf geheimnisvolle Art etwas Licht ins Dunkel der kurzen Tage. All dem liegt ein steter Wandel der Harmonien und Klangfarben zugrunde, der langsam aber zielgerichtet ins zunächst recht disharmonische “November” überleitet, das in seiner anfänglichen Statik schon fast winterliche Züge annimmt. Doch das Stück erreicht erst mit der Zeit seine eigene Ordnung und entpuppt ich als rührendes Szenario, bei dem kühle Retro-Elektronik auf anrührende Bläsemelodien stößt.

Schlientz zeichnet ein dezentes, fast introvertiertes Bild des Herbstes, dessen intime Stimmung sich wahrscheinlich nur aufmerksamen Hörern offenbart, denn das warme Klangbild hat auch eine leicht spröde Seite, die dafür sorgt, dass sich die Musik nie aufdrängt oder gar in trübseligen Kitsch ausartet. (A. Kaudaht)

Label: Zoharum

Dieser Eintrag wurde veröffentlicht in Reviews und verschlagwortet mit Cosmic Winnetou, Günter Schlientz, Navel, Rutger Zuydervelt, Zoharum von admin. Permanenter Link zum Eintrag.


Günter Schlienz: Autumn

di Caesar - (CD - Zoharum, 2016)
17 Febbraio 2017

La Germania, in ambito musicale, è storicamente la patria della sperimentazione, dell’avanguardia e della musica elettronica: compositori come Karl Heinz Stockhausen hanno fatto scuola influenzando generazioni di musicisti successivi. L’esempio più clamoroso è stato quello della cosiddetta Musica Cosmica nei ’70 i cui esponenti principali erano Klaus Schulze e i Tangerine Dream. Nomi come quelli citati sono poi stati fondamentali per lo sviluppo di tutta la musica elettronica successiva e hanno precorso la new age, l’ambient e il dark-ambient.

Il nuovo lavoro del tedesco Günter Schlienz – pubblicato dalla Zoharum – è un altro esempio di come gli echi dei Corrieri Cosmici continuino a vivere anche ai giorni nostri. Il disco, intitolato Autumn è un esempio della sua musica pacata e profonda per sintetizzatori ed è ispirato, come si può intuire, dalle atmosfere brumose della stagione autunnale. E, in effetti, le lente evoluzioni circolari su cui si basa questa musica riescono realmente ad evocare un senso di tristezza e di malinconia senza tempo che ben si addicono all’autunno. Le ambientazioni sono crepuscolari e tendono all’immobilità generando un senso di calma assoluta: sembra realmente di trovarsi in un parco deserto circondati da alberi spogli mentre cadono foglie morte e marroni. Günter Schlienz proviene dall’underground sperimentale tedesco ed è  un musicista attivo da oltre 25 anni. In passato ha fatto parte del progetto ambient/post/rock denominato Navel oltre ad essere anche un costruttore di sintetizzatori suonati da lui stesso.

Consigliato caldamente agli amanti del dark-ambient in stile Alio Die e Vidna Obmana. Autumn esce in un’elegante versione in 3-panel ecopak strettamente limitata a 250 copie. Disponibile su Bandcamp:




microphones in the trees

Saturday, August 01, 2015

günter schlienz - live tape (branch tapes / tomentosa, 2015)

"tracks recorded live with modular synthesizer, tape loops and tapes. thanks to josh for  support and mastering. kudos to all those wonderful people who made those gigs  possible, and many thanks to all who came to listen."Günter Schlienz

"really love the new Guenter Schlienz tape. really thankful we were able to release this on tomentosa sub label Branch Tape. tomentosa

quería que la música hablase por sí sola, pero al final he caído... Günter, el ser con más luz de todo el universo calm in trees, siempre hace milagros. me da hasta apuro decir nada, pero de verdad es imposible no decir ni pío. nada ha cambiado, o sí, tal vez por ser un directo (en polonia, en alemania, o en medio de la nada), tal vez porque fueron noches mágicas, desde 'through the music to the self' no me emocionaba tanto una cinta. destacaría tantos momentos, pero: 'cara a', minuto 8:50. 'cara b', a partir del minuto 8:48. voces, retransmisiones, un escalofrío, una melodía antigua (un loop recortado de una ópera de Bernstein, el mismo que suena en 'presentation one - found sounds, modular synthesizer and tape loops', debilidad de Günter que suele utilizar en todos sus conciertos), un sónar lejano que emite vibraciones bajo el agua y acompaña a su electrónica melancólica, enlazando finalmente con 'tape studies', 'chapter IV' y 'swim trunks''...el cielo ('and voilà, some magic happened'). y los pajaritos de la portada revoloteando sobre todo el disco. del todo indescriptible. muy fuerte haber presenciado eso. tengo la sensación de que el formato cinta, o cualquier otro formato, se queda pequeño ante esto...Günter en directo lo desborda todo. sorprendente, enigmático, innovador, genio. el dicho "nada malo puede ocurrir dentro de una canción de Günter Schlienz" cobra todo el sentido: tiene una sensibilidad y una dulzura fuera de lo común y sus canciones de estructura frágil avanzan tan suavemente que parece que se vayan a romper de un momento a otro. también entiendo estas palabras de Norm Chambers: "stoked about this new live Guenter tape". además es de las poquitas cintas que ha elegido Branches Tapes para su mini catálogo ascendente, un sub sello de Tomentosa que parece creado casi para la ocasión (pocas cosas me harían más feliz que tener un sello y editar sólo cintas de Bill Doob, Josh Burke, Mia Prce y él). 

...llegar a casa y abrir el paquetito con esta preciosidad es lo más cercano a la felicidad. gracias de corazón a Günter y Josh por este regalo. con permiso de 'blaue stunde' de skomsvold & schlienz (ay, palabras mayores), dang olsen dream tape, +you, miaux, inner travels, wave temples, x.y.r., tropical rock, charles cohen, tuluum shimmering, visible cloaks, naran ratan, oliwa, les halles, head chameleon, isam: blue communion, black eagle child (pío pío) y una lista infinitamente infinita... ya tengo mi disco del año (:




Thursday, November 20, 2014

guenter schlienz - loop studies (s.i.n.k. cds, 2014)


"following a series of highly acclaimed releases on Gift Tapes, SicSic and his own Cosmic Winnetou label, among others, mood-modular maestro Guenter Schlienz presents a collection of works utilising tape loops and acoustic instruments as well as his familiar modular undulations. It is a rich combination that takes Guenter's sound off through music halls, into the clouds and then back again to the self. this is deeply focussed and reflective work that rounds off this series of 10 s.i.n.k. cds releases in perfect stye. study hard, loop soft." s.i.n.k.s. cds

"Guenter Schlienz is an ambient genius" Matt Kattman  (The Rainbow Body) veces sí.



04 июня 2014

Günter Schlienz
Treehut Visions
Sacred Phrases, 2014

For several years already Sacred Phrases are one of my favorite labels, and with every new cassette it keeps this status. Take at least the most recent releases: wonderful audio-world of Enumclaw, fascinating and unusual record by Christophe Bailleau and Venn Rain that brings right mood everytime you listen to it... A few days ago there were released two new tapes by Strom Noir (we had him here few times already) and Yamaoka - another confirmation of the fact that music has no borders, especially political. But I'd like to draw special attention of all ambient lovers to the new album by Günter Schlienz, true master (I am not afraid of loud statements in this case) of its craft. His music emerges somewhere at the boundaries of academic minimalism, right there where simple sine waves and pulsations are becoming to sound pleasant for human ear. There, where Terry Riley paved autobahns of sequences and made fractals of mutating sound loops, Günter turns out to be "even more minimalist", if I may say so, and treads only small footpaths, barely visible in the dense thickets of spring grass. Those footpaths quickly take us away from the bustle and clutter, to serene breath of meadows, swinging of field grass and bees buzzing over the flowers blooming towards the sun...

It's amazing how fast this music makes you forget about the criteria of form, composition, and the other of boredom, with which critics and music lovers are filling their heads. This album is about something personal, about childhood memories and dreams, but in the same time it doesn't oblige to anything. Generally, obligation is absolutely unwanted property in ambient music. What such music supposed to do is to inspire. This undoubtedly masterpiece album inspires not only to contemplation and creativity (it goes without saying), but also gives an opportunity to feel something really beautiful. I don't want to discuss what is beauty and how it manifested for different people with different taste, because in this case it emerges in very unobvious, intuitive way. From the perspective of physics it is only a set of sine waves and small portions of quiet white noise, augmented with imitation of bird voices and insects from analog synthesizers. But from such point everything loses its beauty and turns into columns of numbers. Anyway, everyone has a sense of beauty, and can intuitively feel the harmony there, where it comes from simplicity. There is no need in complicated formulas to understand what is dream, to realize what is soul, to feel love. It is always close, no matter how dense are cocoons of negative around us. In the memories about childhood games and fantasies , in the noise of the waves on the seashore, in the ornaments of clouds and in leaves veinlets... But, primarily - somewhere in the deep of silence.

Truly wonderful, infinitely fluid, rich with ornaments, flares and slight transitions music of Treehut Visions sounds like a creek water. Easily escaping from hands and rapidly flowing through rocks, sand and soil. Refreshing touches of beauty.

Guenter Schlienz
Treehut Visions [CS; Sacred Phrases]

By Jspicer on Jul 2 2014

What do we really know about Deutschland? Our glimpses of the post-WWII Germany have been whittled into brief textbook talking points and history as reenacted by popular Scorpions songs and conceptual Kraftwerk videos. Guenter Schlienz turns the looking glass onto America, providing more a mirror onto the impact of American culture on Germany as well as a glimpse into the nation as it stands creatively today. Treehut Visions is childhood innocence, a younger Schlienz holed up between hefty branches as he scours the beatnik prose of Kerouac. An idyllic soundtrack removed from the hectic picture of beats on the prowl to find America at its most ruthless, Treehut Visions is a soft reminder that the last 70 years of American history have been far from kind to any outsider to grace the so-called Melting Pot. None of that really matters because Schlienz retreats to the visions of Kerouac and kids as a means to tell the real story. For all the violence and stalemate of two nations sprouting in two distinct trajectories, those differences are where we can learn about each other and not fear the unknown. There are still those clinging to the words of the beats and the actions of the Merry Pranksters as a blueprint for saving our souls, as well as those who saw the future in komische and Kraftwerk. Schlienz puts them both together in a definitive and soothing statement: “It’s all going to work out in the end.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

guenter schlienz ~ treehut visions (sacred phrases, 2014)

"may the complex rhythms, supported by its troughs and troches, mend what you’re missing. It gives another half of what you need. gently, breezy, slightly elevated, languid, nonchalant, with you. for you.  

recorded Spring 2013 in Stuttgart/Germany with a DIY modular synthesizer. mastered by Niko. inspired by childhood memories and Jack Kerouac's "Visions" novels.   

"the world of raging action and folly and also of gentle sweetness seen through the keyhole of my eye." sacred phrases

ahora ya es como si nos hubiéramos acostumbrado, pero lo que hace Günter Schlienz de verdad que es de otro mundo. 'treehut visions' roza la delicadeza de 'through the music to the self' y añade algunas grabaciones de campo como en 'the norman tapes'. pero es sólo una ínfima parte de todo lo bonito que hay en él. pajaritos, mareas, sintetizador modular, unas campanas lejanas y nunca una nota más alta que la otra. la sutilidad. a veces pienso que si no hubiera surgido microphones gracias a la emoción que supuso aquella explosión de free folk ('golden apples of the sun' y Jewelled Antler siempre siempre), seguramente unos años más tarde 'tape studies' y 'through the music to the self' me hubieran inspirado para crearlo. y hoy 'treehut visions' con su preciosa mezcla de hojas verdes y marrones. se podrán recordar muchos discos, pero pocos son tan especiales y emanan tanta belleza. es como cuando ves la portada verde acuosa de 'science of the sea' de Jürgen Müller, o la portada verde musgo de 'secondary efflorescence', o el astrónomo observador de 'many moons'...o la azul cielo de 'on sea-faring isolation' de los delfines y no puedes pasar de largo. los compararías mil veces y los escucharías otras mil. te obligan a quedarte ahí, deshaciendo el ovillo de nombres que aunque sea sólo de refilón te recuerdan a ese sonido: la electrónica analógica que siempre habíamos soñado y de la que habíamos estado muy cerca. puro magnetismo.

Günter es ya una leyenda a pequeña escala, la eterna referencia del renacer de los teclados modulares. hay muchos favoritos (Panabrite, Pulse Emitter, Lieven Moana, Paul Skomsvold) pero él pone algo más, no se sabe qué. los sintes artesanos al aire libre y en contacto con la naturaleza que siempre parecerán theremines o el canto de una sirena...sonidos ululantes que parecen salidos de un sueño y que más que sonar es como si te hablaran. 'the meadow at summernights' es tan bonita, y 'games at the creek', y el 'pastel de domingo por la mañana'. pero sobre todo los treinta minutos limbo de 'treehut vision': electrónica algodonosa de cambios sutiles y esa sensación de transparencia, de intimidad, de suspensión en el tiempo. una miniatura de estructura circular, un simple apunte melódico sin principio ni final. Günter Schlienz es un estilista que todo lo que toca lo impregna de un barniz delicado, pulido, que no resta ni un ápice de emoción. al contrario. sus mágicas habilidades a la hora de construir ritmos en suspensión, frecuencias, vibraciones y nebulosas de melodía, de la belleza en general y el minimalismo en particular, han evolucionado cinta tras cinta, probablemente a la misma velocidad que los sintes modulares hechos a mano y con mimo de su casa-taller. sólo puedo hacer mías y suyas estas palabras de more felationship acerca de un disco cualquiera: "escucharlo parece una tarea para arqueólogos: es como ir descubriendo sus finísimas capas, pincel en mano, con miedo a no romper nada." devoción y amor eterno. ¿y la guinda? que la magia continuará en 'contemplation', su inminente disco en preservation. ya sólo leyendo los títulos, que parecen descifrar su personalidad o al menos lo que a mí me transmite, sé que volverá a ser un regalo.

la otra guinda: nuevo disco de x.r.y. en constellation tatsu. muy muy feliz. pero hay una tercera guinda, y es 'autumnal hum' de Bird People. ahora mismo me parece casi imposible que este año se componga algo más bonito y bucle, en el sentido mantra del término, que 'blodeuwedd's night song' y 'the looming mountain is a wide-awake body'.















Page 9 of 21


Treehut Visions
(Sacred Phrases)

The great-synth-jammer-burnout of 2011 did a great job to separate the really great stuff from all the nice-enough-but-don’t-really-need-it jams. Anyway, Guenter Schlinz definitely falls in the former category, and the hour-long Treehut Visions will likely scratch whatever nu-age synth itch one might have in 2014. His music is deceiving in that it sounds very simple on first listen, but the more one gets drawn in, the more obvious it becomes that Schlinz is truly onto something beautiful and cathartic. The 30-minute title track is one of my favorite long-form compositions I’ve heard all year. Brad Rose

Monday, October 27, 2014

günter schlienz ~ contemplation (preservation, 2014) 

"for a decade, Schlienz has created meditative works of epic reach with intimate, reflective resonance. his individual style comes from an ever-searching sense of experimentalism that stems not only from his sense of composition but his creation of his own modular synthesisers and other instruments. 'contemplation' is Schlienz’s most personal yet, acting as a compendium that ties the various strands of his musical pursuits together in a new and fresh vision. in a way, 'contemplation' is a record of how he has developed as an artist and as himself. 

while the cosmic touch is ever present, earthy and pastoral scenes are never far from Schlienz’s gaze. Norm Chambers ~ aka Panabrite and a kindred spirit ~ contributes to the swelling, soaring 'humble', 'numb' is bubbling and bucolic in feel and 'shimmer' is a soft, sweet paen to the evening. reaching further, 'lament' is a majestic drone, raga-like in its deep focus, and 'janitor' is a final hazy delight of floating tones and starry dub-like echoes. ultimately, 'contemplation' is in equal thrall to joy, melancholy, nature and space. it’s a radiant poise Schlienz holds throughout, finding a peaceful plane." preservation

sé que ya poco queda por decir de Günter Schlienz, y que demasiado a menudo me sale por la boca la palabra bonito. pero es que todas las canciones tocadas por la varita de Günter Schlienz lo son. bonitas, modulares, minimales, delicadas (y cuando crees que no puede componer nada más bonito resulta que aparece 'dust'....bajad hasta la número ocho). también sé que no fue la emoción del primer momento, ni las ganas de encontrar algo que nos enamorase y nos abriese nuevos y fascinantes horizontes como en su momento lo hicieron Jewelled Antler, Bruce Langhorne, Valerie Webb & Paul Labrecque, Cap'n Jack, la onda expansiva del snow folk, las tonadillas de golden apples of the sun, y después Dolphins into the Future y la 2010 tape-scene nostalgia, y Bill Doob, Former Selves o Floating Gardens o Panabrite y la telaraña infinita de conexiones e influencias y la etiqueta mágica library music que nos llevaba de vuelta al pasado...el disco número once de nuestro duende 'consentido' favorito en poco menos de cinco años me sigue causando el mismo impacto. Günter es siempre presente, encariñarse con un sonido, saber que todo nos dirigía hasta aquí, hasta él. de cuando tienes la certeza de que haga lo que haga, será lo más bonito que vayas a escuchar nunca. la guinda esta vez viene de la mano de Norm Chambers (Panabrite), que presta su Rhodes y su sintetizador en la indescriptiblemente indescriptible 'humble'.

Gunter Schlienz

Contemplation CD. Preservation.

Recommended by us on 30th May 2014

8/10 according to Brian (Norman Records) on Fri 30 May, 2014

Second diskette I have had the fortune to hear on Preservation this week. Must admit I've not heard anything much from them bar the Olan Mill album in the last couple of years. They're always at it though, this is their third release this year! Gunter Schlienz and his 'Contemplation' is here and I am so glad it is. I've been contemplating this release for ever and a day. No, actually I am lying - I've never heard of him - but what he did go and do was release a tape called 'The Norman Tapes' last year so perhaps we should sit the hell up and pay attention. Whatever, he's beyond mere sycophant to me.

Once again an album that defies words. Apart from "Ambient New-Age". Those words are quite welcome to snuggle in its bosom. "Cosmic" too! 'Waning' mid-way in, for example, is quietly stunning and suitably eerie in its (imagined) recollection of the brief life of Laika, the first dog in space, her life waning away but a real mission celebrated. Or it could just mean Gunter really craved a sandwich? This is actually a bloody great album. Playful, astrally-inclined, classically-tinged, twinkly, meditative music that has escaped from its sunshine playroom-pod to roll lazily around your lawn like one of those demented dogs that look like a massive stringy mop. It's pretty tripped-out and lushly tranquil and on more than one occasion recalls the likes of spiritualist brother duo Woo. 'Lament' will delight those who love Stars of The Lid. Here we also forge a strong connection in our music-flabby minds to the wonderful work of Eno/Cluster and their kosmische brethren in the 70s but also detect a defined essence all of Mr. Schlienz own devising.

'Contemplation' has definitely got that kind of warmth and wonder to its character. An hour in the company of these soothing, gracious low fidelity noisebursts from radio psychedelic hammock and you'll be inviting all those former friends who voted ukip round for tea to apologise for calling them bad words last week. Actually....that is another total lie....

RIYL Roedelis 'Selbsportrait', K Leimer, Jurgen Muller 'Science of the Sea' or Stars of t' lid Tired sounds if Jurgen M is sold out.

Günter Schlienz: Contemplation

Günter Schlienz’s Contemplation rides waves of synth like a surfer on a board. Silver fountains fizz with sweet and sour melodies, jetting out of the experimental music. Sometimes there is a burst, a quick melodic phrase, but the music can make space for a pause, too, such as a slow-burning bassline or an inquisitive, snaking line of synth. Drums are absent, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a pulse. The rhythms eventually emerge from the synth, but they start off in a deeper place. You can feel the beat gliding alongside the melody; silky synth cobwebs from an inhuman source, forming complete, perfect circles and spellbinding, symmetrical shapes, like a crop circle at first light.

Initially, Schlienz’s synths come across as eerie. They hover around, and it’s difficult to make sense of their movement, let alone their intent. For the most part, they feel like amicable visitors, very much like the little machines in the film *batteries not included – they gently explore the world around them without ever intruding. Schlienz’s music is calm, peaceable and friendly, which can’t exactly be said about Europe or its current climate. It’s hard to see just where the continent is headed after the recent elections brought back an intolerance that should have been burned long ago: hatred and mistrust, peeking through a re-opened wound. Music, though, is all about love. The German musician slowly builds up his transcendent synth temples brick by brick (or note by note) with loving care. Leisurely pitch-bends, shining, melodic gems and the gentle bass modulation that occasionally leans to one side are all pathways to a better place.

The cymbals kiss, peeling back a lush, synth-laden landscape. Rhythms emerge, laying cocooned inside the synths, rebounding off the walls and in turn producing a soft syncopation between the notes. It’s the music of freedom, the Statue of Liberty in musical form, a place where the rainbow is celebrated for all its outrageous beauty, its diverse, streaming flares that shoot out bright hues.

The synths do turn darker – we tune into some kind of static-interrupted communication on ‘Waning’. They then start to oscillate, wavering with unpredictable lines. A cello creeps in, matching the synth in its pitch, and the natural, wooden tone contrasts sharply with the electronic timbre. The presence of a piano on the track ‘Home’ is a refreshing change – the synths are cosy, but the piano is just as important, is given just as much airtime. The synth has been lowered, defying gravity with its weightless bass. The piano plays a couple of repeated notes and then reverses, taking the place of the earlier synth with its newly constructed, rhythmic chains that link one note to another. It’s an ambient track without the cliché, and it doesn’t become mushy or pretentious. The more you listen to Contemplation, the more it comes across as an ambient album. It is largely electronic, but there are silent pockets where nature has taken hold. Snaking vines hold onto the melodic lines with a tight grip. The sedate, lazy buzz of insects have time for contemplation, too, breathing in the late day oxygen.

Günter Schlienz: Contemplation

Though Contemplation is the German composer's first full-length work, Schlienz has, in fact, been creating meditations for about a decade. As the opening setting, “Immaculate” and the later “Waning” reveals, Schlienz's material situates itself comfortably next to the kind of cosmic synth-based material released by Oneohtrix Point Never and Panabrite, among others, and it therefore makes some kind of cosmic sense that fellow astral traveler Norm Chambers (aka Panabrite) would contribute synth, strings, and Rhodes to “Humble.” But, with one possible exception, the brooding, thirteen-minute dronescape “Lament,” Schlienz's tracks are neither epic in scope nor frosty in character. Instead, a representative piece such as the starry-eyed lullaby “Janitor” draws the listener into his world with warmth and pastoral serenity.

The first two or three times I listened to Contemplation I was reminded of Another Green World and an instrumental miniature such as “Little Fishes”; there's an innocence about the pieces on Schlienz's disc that charm in the same way Eno's did so many years ago (still do, for that matter), and certainly the pairing of Masako Kamikawa's piano and Schlienz's synthesizer makes “Home” sound very much like a lost track from the Eno album. But as I listened further, it began to dawn on me that Contemplation is perhaps even more reminiscent of the self-titled album Eno released with Cluster in 1977 on Sky Records. That's never more apparent than during “Humble,” where the delicate synthesizer melodies sing ever so sweetly, and “Numb,” where child-like melodies and simple drum patterns burble placidly. Regardless of whatever associations it invokes, his soothing material offers a refreshing respite from the omnipresent noise around us, and as if to drive the point home, Schlienz threads the nocturnal thrum of insects, recorded by dictaphone in Croatia, into the peaceful fabric of “Shimmer.”

July 2014




testcard #24


Ohne Gesang kommt auch GÜNTER SCHLIENZ aus. Der Stuttgarter Musiker bedient Modular-Synthesizer. Kisten, die er selbst zusammengeschraubt hat und deren Klangschönheit bezaubernd ist. Ja, in der Tat, nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Schlienz, der binnen kürzester Zeit in der internationalen Tape- Szene durch eine Vielzahl hochwertiger Releases auffiel und mit Contemplation (Preservation, CD) seine erste Veröffentlichung jenseits einer Stückzahl von 80−100 Stück aufzuweisen hat, ist ein Meister seines Fachs und in einer Reihe mit Zeitgenossen wie Norman Chambers (Panabrite) oder Daryl Groetsch (Pulse Emitter) zu nennen. Gleichzeitig atmet Schlienz’ Musik den Geist von Cluster, Harmonia und vor allem auch Tangerine Dream (von Alpha Centauri bis Phaedra). Musik, die einerseits ruhig fließend sich über einen langen Zeitraum hin entwickelt − und andererseits, im geglückten Fall, extrem spannungsgeladen ist. Tangerine Dream ist mit Zeit eines dieser Alben gelungen, und Günter Schlienz kann solche Ewigkeitsmarken erreichen, er hat das Zeug dazu. Elektronische Musik jenseits von Humbug und Daddelei. (Holger Adam)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Günter Schlienz - Organ Studies 8.1

‘Organ Studies’ sounds stuck in the past. This is in the best way possible. By using limited sounds the focus is on the emotional content. Schlienz manages to create a great deal out of the mood of the sounds. Due to the slow evolution of each piece he lets each piece feel particularly airy. Even at the loudest possible volume these pieces feel particularly airy. Each sound floats on by as if in a total haze. Rhythm is set only by the slow layering, one after the other. 

For ‘presentation one’ Schlienz lets the piece evolve gradually. Little details become great, swimming within the structure. Playing within the confines of the sound makes it particularly calming. On ‘presentation two’ things get a little more anxious. Yes it remains clear. Yet there’s a bit more tragedy involved in this piece. ‘presentation three’ and ‘presentation four’ work together to create the heart of the album. Each one feeds off of the other. They are so intertwined that it is difficult to tell the two apart. ‘presentation three’ sounds like a warm up for ‘presentation four’s epic scale. 

Without a concrete beginning or end these songs appear to go on for infinity. Here the listener only catches a glimpse of the infinite. In order to better let the listener on his methods he includes each instrument used in the construction of the song. This knowledge allows the user to see what is possible using the barest of ingredients. ‘Organ Studies’ is minimalism done right, done with heart.


Organ Studies by Günter Schlienz is a vision of a dystopian cyclical future past. This Constellation Tatsu release embodies technocratic spirituality, a theme running through label counterparts like Field Hymns & Orange Milk Records.

The night sky blossoms with beams distant, familiar-arcing between islanded hubs. Fleeting bridges form and resonate hope with memories of hope. Silence made nocturnal shuttering.

Much of the album has me flashing back to Dune with imaginings of Zardoz interspersed, notably, the opener PI. PIII & PIV are fresh dawn, weaving together some incredible landscapes and are reminiscent of early soundtracks of Werner Herzog. Both are marked for a mediatory explorations mixtape to be conjured at sometime. Grab a copy from Constellation Tatsu while they last.

New Interfaces #3: Faces of the Modern Cassette Underground

Posted by Bryon Hayes on December 5, 2013

Section: Columns,Music Tags:Constellation Tatsu, Guenter Schlienz

So far, we’ve been focusing primarily on electroacoustic music from Western European countries, created during the decades immediately after World War II. It was during this period that early electronic and magnetic tape technology began to reach a broader audience: clusters of talented individuals invested in experimenting with this technology for the purpose of crafting works of sound. We’ve only just grazed the surface of what was created during that time frame, but it feels right to jump ahead in time to see what has become of this important work.

If we fast forward to today, it’s immediately evident that a lot has changed. Technologies have turned over: vacuum tubes gave way to transistors which were then combined into integrated circuits on microchips. The computer arrived and has taken over the day-to-day lives of many of us, constantly shrinking in size. Whole electronic sound laboratories were encapsulated into modular synthesizers, which were then miniaturized to enable portability; these have since been isolated from hardware altogether, becoming pieces of software. What took a group of engineers days in a laboratory can now be done in minutes with a sampler, sequencer or laptop.

In spite of the rapid turnover in technology that has occurred in the decades following those nascent experiments with early electronics and bands of magnetic tape, some artists today choose to work with these anachronistic media for manufacturing works of sound. And, whether they all realize it or not, a great number of today’s sonic craftspeople are deeply indebted to those early engineers who built custom circuitry and spliced sections of tape. Computers, samplers, synthesizers, looping pedals – the technological basis for a broad swathe of modern experimental sound – can all trace their lineage back to the laboratories of the post-war era. The world we live in now is a technological polyglot, the old mingling with the new, and it’s fantastic!

The phenomenon I just described can be evinced within the modern cassette underground. Individuals or groups are experimenting with sound synthesis technology (whether it be modern or near-ancient), recording their sounds on a laptop or personal computer, and dubbing the results to a reel of magnetic tape encased in a plastic shell. There have been an inordinate number of cassettes that have been released this decade, on a plethora of usually artist-run micro-imprints, that can be offered up as proof. What follows is just a tiny sampling of relatively recent artifacts that I chose to demonstrate this idea.

Trained electronics technician Guenter Schlienz has been building analog synthesizers and other music-making creations for about a decade. Previously a guitarist, Schlienz became interested in synths later in his career and began building up his arsenal with the help of DIY websites such as Ray Wilson’s Music From Outer Space and Ken Stone’s Cat Girl Synth project.  He’s got a handful of releases under his belt, some of which appear to be recorded during his travels around Europe (The Dalmation Tapes, The Sardinian Tapes, etc.). His Organ Studies cassette was released by Constellation Tatsu earlier this year, and features six “presentations” of various length.  Constructed primarily using an electronic organ, one of his modular synth creations, and some effects, the music incorporates a number of modern synth tropes. The brooding spaced-out drones of “Presentation One” are backed by cosmic effects, eventually dissolving to allow the intrepid melodies of “Presentation Two” to take hold.  “Presentation Three” and “Presentation Four” are foggy clouds of meandering tonality, while “Presentation Five” plays electronic ping pong over crashing waves of static.  The tape ends as it began, the shrieking alien cries of “Presentation Six” hovering in a near-vacuum.




Sunday, March 31, 2013

günter schlienz ~ the dalmatian tapes (self-released, 2010)

"basic tracks recorded between 2003-2007 with a diy modular synthesizer on various locations in croatia. field recordings for track 4 and track 6 recorded with a dictaphone on hvar. thanks to floyd for the keyboard on track 2. thanks to matthias for the french horn on track 4. overdubs and editing at the „landebahn studio“ stuttgart, germany. mastered by niko."
the dalmatian tapes fue la primera grabación autoeditada en cd'r de Günter Schlienz. hizo muy poquitas copias y las fue regalando a quien le enviara un email para pedírselas. esta emotiva reseña que escribió cookshop de 'tape studies', que siempre había querido dejar en el blog, en realidad valdría para cualquier cinta de Günter Schlienz. su música está en cada palabra, cada punto y cada coma del segundo párrafo.

"Günter construye un sintetizador modular, conecta algunos cables y nos regala toda una variedad de sonidos, sencillas formas de ondas oscilantes entrando y saliendo. aparecen, se mantienen y decaen siempre de la misma forma. las notas se deslizan lentamente, como a la deriva, nos invitan a apreciar el cálido runrun de la cinta magnética (la música podría haber sido puramente electrónica pero sonaría más fría, menos acogedora); es, tal vez, un disco sin grandes significados, sin grandes propósitos, sólo una presencia mínima, sí, pero una presencia muy significativa, algo que está allí de forma discreta y silenciosa.

dirás: ¡pero no pasa nada!. ¿dónde está la acción?. pero mira: el Universo es enorme, probablemente demasiado grande para verlo en un fin de semana. y la mayor parte está vacío. nos concentramos en aquellos otros trocitos. los trocitos de restos cósmicos que se convirtieron en estrellas, los trocitos donde la lluvia ácida cae suave e imperceptiblemente sobre la tierra, los trocitos donde caminas por las calles con un propósito, para llegar a una cita; o despreocupadamente, para pasar el rato; o con paso vacilante, ebrio, a punto de desmayarte, lo que pasó anoche unido a otros muchos recuerdos en ese vacío existencial. así que no nos olvidemos de la nada. ¿habrá algo que nos impulse a anotar pensamientos de esa cara diluyéndose entre la multitud que nos es ajena, o a subir escaleras en la oscuridad hasta llegar a un peldaño que ya no está, o a tener esa sensación de incomodidad virtual cuando te das cuenta de que el tamaño de la letra estaba al 90%, cosas que sugieren una sutil pero evidente sensación de desconexión del mundo? ¿por qué no podemos, aunque sólo sea por un momento, sentarnos aquí, despreocuparnos y hacer espirales nebulosas e insignificantes del polvo sobre nuestro ecritorio? seguirás caminando, el mundo seguirá girando, el universo se expandirá, su nada haciéndose más grande y su algo volviéndose incluso más remoto. y esos sonidos seguirán ahí, construyendo un mapa vacío que dice: "Estás aquí". está bien ser importante pero es más importante ser."
foto: ada hamza



Saturday, June 29, 2013

guenter schlienz ~ the norman tapes (metaphysical circuits, 2013)

"this time, synth artisan, Cosmic Winnetou chief Guenter Schlienz graces Metaphysical Circuits, with his third tape of 2013. an enchanted analogue essential. recorded on the shores of Normandy (yes, outdoors!), "The Norman Tapes" flawlessly merge Schlienz's trademark minimalist synthesizer harmonization with environmental recordings (wind, waves, gulls ~ decidedly ambient in themselves.) supreme lo-fi aural driftin'. tapes dubbed at chez Guenter ~ thus, better sounding than our "in real-time, from cd-r" home-dubs... " metaphysical circuits

ay, el sonido de Günter Schlienz parece que nos acompañará hasta el fin de los días porque, es cierto, no hay cinta suya que no sienta la necesidad de recomendar. haga lo que haga, estaré ahí. Günter es la personificación del encanto y la sencillez, de la música concebida para escuchar de noche y en penumbra. la calma. sin embargo 'the norman tapes' es diurna y luminosa, está en las antípodas de las antípodas de la oscuridad y vuelve a demostrar que el hombre que susurraba a los sintetizadores necesita muy poco para convertir cualquiera de sus cintas en algo especial. si me pongo a pensar en las grandes cintas que, cada una a su manera, definen cómo ha sido la historia reciente de este formato mágico donde los haya en los últimos años, me salen, desde la total subjetividad, claro, unas cuantas (infinitos grandes pequeños sellos como Tranquility Tapes, Hooker Vision, Rotifer, Ginjoha, Jozik, Permanent Nostalgia...), pero por encima de todos ellos situaré siempre 'tape studies' y aquella portada magnética editada en SicSic Tapes. para mí, junto a 'many moons' de Former Selves, el verdadero principio de la magia, de las ganas de sumergirte y saber más.

esta vez mi debilidad se llama 'arrivées', la canción que destapa la magia en 'the norman tapes', uno de esos tesoros que hay que compartir y que, si no haces un esfuerzo titánico, te impiden seguir escuchando la cinta hasta el final. muy suave. muy muy entrañable y llena de imágenes. como toda la cinta de la pe a la pa. tan sólo con la delicadeza extrema con que se acerca a 'interlude' y 'talking to seagulls', mejor cuanto más bajito, le basta para que vuelva a caer rendida. sonidos analógicos, naturales, los diálogos melódicos que parecen seres vivos, la contención, la emoción, la brisa, los lugares más fascinantes del planeta, no son más que pequeñas muestras de la gran capacidad expresiva y artística de Günter, que se lleva sus cachivaches a las preciosísimas playas y acantilados cretáceos de Normandía, Francia, refinando hasta el extremo su ambient etéreo mediante una reivindicación de la austeridad y las grabaciones de campo. suena a mar, a arena, a rocas cubiertas de algas y caramujos, a sintetizadores modulares de madera. y es, como mínimo, tan sugerente como 'sardinian tapes' y 'dalmatian tapes'. el viento y las gaviotas de 'le vent (creux mauvais argent)' y el mar de 'the ghosts of utah beach' definen un sonido, un estado de ánimo y una idea que sólo parece posible con artesanos como él, Buchikamashi o Lieven Moana.

'the norman tapes' es una especie de comunión romántica en la que cada mínimo sonido nos demuestra que la melancolía y su plasmación musical tiene infinitos modos de manifestarse. su sintetizador, dulce y envolvente, se ve arropado por los sonidos relajantes del mar, el viento, las gaviotas y las voces lejanas de niños, yendo del minimalismo al lirismo con la misma suavidad y magia con que un susurro apagaría una vela. las notas de piano trazan atmósferas tan apaciguadas e inquietantes como las de Satie, con quien casi de forma inconsciente, cinta tras cinta, no puedo evitar relacionar. 'vindefontaine la nuit', una dulce sinfonía de pajaritos, búhos y agua seduce como 'canto arquipélago' de Dolphins into the Future, demostrando que quizás, sólo quizás, Günter es de lo más bonito que le ha pasado a nuestro micromundo musical desde Jewelled Antler y que será una referencia para siempre. de aquí a un par de años, cuando sea considerado como el mago que es, todos (que éramos muchos) presumiremos de haberlo visto cuando empezó. una frágil e inolvidable maravilla.



Theosophical Society

July 12th, 2013 at 9:30AM


Speaking of dream teams. A 4-way split packed with 120 minutes of music by some of the leading purveyors of brain-melting, brain-soothing, and/or brain-stimulating sounds today. The common theme here is water, tying together diverse sounds and approaches. Each artist’s stamp is unmistakable, yet the pieces feel connected and complementary, highlighting the strengths and individual creativity of each artist through contrast.

In the three movements of Guenter Schlienz’s “Watermarked Memories," hazy sine bubbles float through a wash of pure burbling bass tones, patterns overlapping like waves on the shoreline. As the sound of actual waves enters the frame, dark clouds begin to gather, but this storm is nothing to fear, more of a soothing shower on the beach than a threatening thunderstorm. When the clouds roll away, you realize the day is over, and dark purple wisps partially obscure a bright grinning moon in the rearview mirror. Guenter Schlienz has a gift for evoking dim memories saturated with nostalgia, here overlapping with his equally potent gift for tracing places in a way that feels both specific and universal. We all have memories that are like this in color and texture, and the genius of this music lies in how effectively the sounds unlock them without forcing more specific impressions on us.

Kyle Landstra’s “Glittering Devotions to Lake Michigan" tackles the big lake from a number of angles, concerned with memory like Guenter Schlienz, but here the images feel more personal and concrete. Movement is suggested by recurring train samples which seem to bridge evocations of different aspects of the lake and its surroundings. The grandeur and majesty of the opening tones suggest to me the immensity of Chicago, the biggest city on the lake. Slow-growing generative waves follow, making me picture a drive through the majestic Michigan north woods near Traverse City in the fall. Mist rises over the lake in thin tendrils of neon Juno tones, overlaid with chittering chirps and bubble noises. The sounds evolve to take us into the lake itself, cutting through the water with the rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. Beautiful and precise evocations of a diverse region.

Norm Chambers of Panabrite is up next to explore unknown worlds in his “Bathysphere Suite," a fantastical deep-sea dive that paints images as highly detailed as Kyle Landstra’s but more fanciful and centered in the imagination. The Bathysphere was an unpowered, spherical deep-sea submersible from the early 20th century. Lowered into the ocean with a cable, it was one of the first tools for deep ocean dives. Artist’s rendering (Yes, I had to look this up on Wikipedia.):

This image is actually a good jumping-off point for describing the feel of the music. We climb in and submerge, feeling the mystery and wonder that these early ocean explorers must have felt. Exotic new creatures investigate this invader in their waters, as puzzled by us as we are by them; as we go deeper and deeper, the cold and pressure manifests in icy synthesizer textures, glockenspiel and fingerstyle guitar. Bleeping modular tones signal our ascent, the mystery receding beneath us. 

Cliffsides finishes up with “Frozen and Dilated," a haunting astral projection filled with echoing reverberations. An imagistic travelogue somewhat like the Chambers piece, the sounds here are similar to the grand slabs of fragmented drone found on Cliffsides’ monumental “Spirit in the Mountain Temple," abstract and esoteric where Chambers’ are concrete and detailed. The piece picks up steam slowly but inexorably, like a chanted incantation, floating over shipwrecks and underwater mountains on a stream of mystical synthesizer swells. We might float past the bathysphere at one point, but in this vision we are the natives and it is the alien. Finally we crawl out of the surf, having traveled a great distance, as a seagull screeches on the rocks nearby.

Part of a massive new batch from Space Slave. 8 tapes that I’m only just starting to explore. It’s all streamable, so you can confirm the quality of the product before buying, not that you need to. Watching Space Slave evolve out of a great mp3 tape rip blog into one of the best labels in the experimental/psych/ambient scene today has been a pleasure over the last couple years. I will probably have something to say about all 8 of these, so look for a lot of Space Slave love on here over the next few weeks.



July 11, 2013

Various - Swim Trunks

A wonderful 4-way split spanning two C60 tapes. This is pretty much (and probably always will be) an ideal pairing: tape and drone. The Günter Schlienz side is particularly incredible. I mean really, seriously beautiful. If you enjoy plenty of pretty ambient, synth explorations, guitar drones, noise, hiss and all of that good stuff then you should absolutely check this out.

Available now from Space Slave (cassette) and Bandcamp (digital).




Günter Schlienz / Kyle Landstra / N Chambers / Cliffsides
Swim Trunks [2xCS; Space Slave Editions]

By Jspicer on Aug 19 2013

With just a sliver of summer remaining, you still have time to don these Swim Trunks and take one last deep sea plunge before you pack up the cats for winter. And who should be waiting for you at poolside but a formidable foursome, though they promise they just want to rub sunscreen on your back and scribble love letters in Lisa Frank notebooks about Davy Jones because he’s so dreamy. But then they serenade you with four songs so far underwater that you can’t help but blush a little at the attention. Günter has the sweetest lullaby, that it makes falling asleep on a lounge chair in the midday sun a worthy proposition. Kyle and Norm are night owls, waiting for the sun to begin its descent before feeling comfortable enough to jump in the water and go for a swim. Cliff may be the weirdest but sexiest. He avoids the water, rarely makes eye contact, and whenever I pass him the notebook for him to take his turn at M.A.S.H.; he seems bored of the idea. But I caught him last night, dipping his toes into the water and splashing about when no one was looking. I get it, he’s a little shy and plays hard to get. But what they don’t realize is that summer is fading and it’ll be time to leave poolside, to say goodbye to camp, and head back to the city for school and heartache. But at least I’ll still have their Swim Trunks as innocent mementos of our fleeting time together



Günter Schlienz ~ Swim Trunks

By postrockcafe / August 18, 2013 / Ambient / Leave a comment

Michigan-based cassette label Space Slave is enjoying a well-deserved vacation this summer, after releasing an astounding nine tapes in July.  Swim Trunks is the set’s crown jewel, a double-cassette featuring four artists, one on each side.  Any of these could have occupied a tape on their own, but here they venture out together across a sparkling lake of analogue ambience.

If you had half an hour to make an impression, what would you do?  Each of these artists chooses to record a full half-hour track, although silences and timbre shifts indicate that they are presented in movements.  Günter Schlienz starts the quartet gently with “Watermarked Memories”.  This self-taught musician is no stranger to the tape format; this is at least his tenth release, and he’s recorded for such familiar names as SicSic Tapes and Constellation Tatsu.  His love for homemade instruments translates to a homespun sound.  The opening ten minutes are especially lovely, twinkling like stars reflected from calm surfaces.  Then it starts to rain, but this doesn’t ruin his day.  Safe inside a cabin, he experiments with modulated tones and soothing frequencies, the musician’s equivalent of a rainy day board game.  In the final third, the stars return like bells. (Richard Allen)




Weed Temple

Guenter Schlienz - The Norman Tapes

Recorded on the shore of Normandy and other outdoor locations with a DIY modular synthesizer, this collection of marinistic Kosmische Musik explorations take Guenter Schlienz (and the listener) to another level of bliss. The lo-fi, gently drifting quality of the recording puts “The Norman Tapes” in about the same camp as Jurgen Muller’s “Science of the Sea”, except Schlienz is a real person. A must have for all fans of everything Kosmische and New Age!


Ein kosmischer Klang weitet den Keller

NEUE ELEKTROHIPPIES Günter Schlienz, hauptberuflich Tontechniker an der Oper Stuttgart, macht kosmische Musik, die er auf Kassetten vertreibt. Am Samstagabend spielte er in der Sucked Orange Gallery

Kindermelodien, die ins All geschickt werden. Eine sanft schwingende Musik, die subtil und nachhaltig beruhigt. Natürlich ist das Musik, zu der man sich am liebsten auf den Teppich legt, Musik für sehr lange Autofahrten, am besten durch fremde Landschaften, am besten in Mietwagen auf kanarischen Inseln.

Der Begriff dazu lautete einmal "kosmische" Musik. Das war grob gesagt eine Unterströmung des Krautrocks, also frühelektronische Musik aus den Jahren 1970 bis 1975, Soundexperimente mit frühen, zimmergroßen Synthesizern und Modulatoren, die gern auf Plattenlabeln wie "Ohr" oder "Pilz" u. Ä. erschienen - bekannteste Namen waren vielleicht Tangerine Dream oder Floh de Cologne.

Ähnlich wie der übergeordnete Krautrock, der noch stark auf Gitarren setzte, mäanderte die kosmische Musik am Rande des Hörbaren und atmete schwer an den Zeichen der Zeit. So mancher Protagonist blieb auch gern mal auf LSD hängen; und irgendwann verschwand die Szene in sich - nicht ohne wenig später von enthusiasmierten Engländern wieder entdeckt zu werden. Noch wenig später, richtige Musikologen mögen mir den groben Umriss verzeihen, wurde Techno erfunden, und viele seiner Spielarten fanden in der kosmischen Musik seine Vorbilder.

Mittlerweile hat sich aber etwas völlig Neues ergeben. Es gibt eine neue Szene für diese superchillige, fast grundsätzlich beatlose und dahin treibende Musik. Der Austausch findet natürlich im Internet statt, und wieder sind es deutsche Musiker, die mit im Zentrum stehen.

Das Medium für diese Musik ist aber witzigerweise die Musikkassette. Gerade eben erst wurde die neuste Bilanz der Musikindustrie veröffentlicht - der Markt für die CD bleibt konstant, im Wiedererstarken der Schallplatte kommt die "stattfindende Individualisierung des Musikkonsums zum Ausdruck", so jedenfalls interpretiert es BVMI-Geschäftsführer Florian Drücke. Aber die Musikkassette findet offiziell nicht mehr statt. Offizielle Verkäufe gehen gegen null. Anders eben hier, unter der Hand, fernab der Industrie: Günter Schlienz, hauptberuflich Tontechniker an der Oper Stuttgart, vertreibt seine Musik über Kassetten, für 5 Euro das Stück.

Am Samstagabend spielte er ein kleines, transzendentales Set im Keller einer kleinen Galerie im Süden Neuköllns; die Luft war zum Schneiden, die Betreiber sprechen Spanisch. Die Sucked Orange Gallery befindet sich in einer Seitenstraße knapp vorm Tempelhofer Feld in einer Gegend kurz vor der Gentrifikation. Schlienz' Instrument an diesem Abend ist ein kleiner Modulator, der freundlich vor sich hin blinkt, während schön bunte Kabel munter an ihm herumgesteckt werden; dazu gibt es Töne von einem alten Walkman - eingebaute Field Recordings, Landschaftsaufnahmen von Singvögeln. Schwingungen, Sounds, Loops, "ein reduziertes Set", sagt der Künstler, "weil mehr Geräte konnte ich nicht mit in den Zug nehmen".

Es sind formschöne Kassetten mit formschöner Musik, die ebenfalls gern das Reisen zum Thema haben. Es gibt "Sardinian Tapes", "Dalmatian Tapes" und, besonders toll, "Catalanian Tapes". An diesem Abend öffnet sich für eine knappe halbe Stunde der Raum. Ein klaustrophobisch machender Keller, der sich in unendliche Klangweiten verliert. So muss es sein.

Die Luft im Neuköllner Keller war zum Schneiden, die Betreiber sprechen Spanisch

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2013.04.20 Saturday

みかさんとこのGuenter Schlienz “The Catalanian Tapes”、そしてみかこさんな今日マチ子

でも、きょねん、なくなっちゃいました。それで、お店にゆかなくなったかといえば、Big Loveさんへ通うようになりました。まえからちょこちょことはいっていたけれど。




Guenter Schlienz “The Catalanian Tapes”
Seconds Recordsから。
Constellation TatsuからのんもすばらしかったGuenterさん。
フランス、リヨンのMika Perezさんレーベルです。
本人も、Sunny Dunesや、Sylvia Monnier名義で活動していて。
Seconds Recordsのレーベル名なとおり、古いカセットテープに上書きして、なんです。
そして、カセットテープ自体にも、真っ黒なスプレー塗装、そこにA面の “a” の字や、32本限定なうちのこのカセットの番号、そして水玉模様が手描きです。



Sunday, April 21, 2013

guenter schlienz - the catalanian tapes (seconds, 2013)

"recorded in august, 2010 with a diy modular synthesizer in barcelona/catalania. field recording for the third track recorded with a dictaphone at park güell. thanks to niko, mirella and to the unknown flute player. artwok by mika pérez."

'the catalanian tapes' es la segunda referencia de Seconds, un sello que acaba de nacer, tan minúsculo que casi ni se encuentra en el mapa. refleja ilusión por partida doble, la propia música y el cariño con que Mika (Sunny Dunes, Sylvia Monnier, Suaves Figures) las saca a la luz, cortando, pegando, diseñando, haciéndolo todo él mismo. es difícil manifestar una ilusión más desbordante, cuando las recibes en casa huelen, literalmente, a pegamento y pintura fresca. la misma ilusión y espíritu 'do it yourself' que desprende Günter Schlienz, ese duende que un buen día decidió convertir su casa en un pequeño taller de reparación y colección de vinilos, arreglando viejos equipos electrónicos estropeados que nadie quería. puede que no sea un duende de verdad, pero igual sí, porque desde aquel escalofrío llamado 'tape studies' es casi una figura totémica. parece que lleve aquí desde siempre. que siempre seguirá ahí. y en cierto modo así será gracias a cintas como 'the catalanian tapes'.

las canciones/presentaciones de Günter comienzan con una aparente calma y se van entrelazando para finalmente volver al principio. una exhibición de sutileza, contención y detallismo expresivo que nunca persigue el clímax ni el crescendo, tan sólo esa agradable sensación de síntesis y sencillez. de notas en suspensión que se deslizan siempre con delicadeza, de cambios sutiles, de ambient microscópico como sin sonar, de arquitecturas de sonido en miniatura como el propio Park Güell al que le dedica una canción. a veces, es sólo una nota, o la ausencia de notas. a veces, es la sugestión hipnótica que te lleva hacia dentro como un imán. studies y tapes, repetición y aislamiento, inercia y gravedad, serán palabras que asociaré para siempre a Günter Schlienz. es increíble cómo moldea el sonido, cómo lo depura hasta límites extraordinarios, desmenuzándolo nota a nota, como si quisiese crear una atmósfera especial y un sentimiento emocional en cada canción. atmósferas que estén conectadas a situaciones especiales, a ciudades. escuchando su primera cinta, ‘the dalmatian tapes’ y ahora 'the catalanian tapes', tengo la sensación de que ha llegado a un punto de depuración donde parece encontrarse feliz, como pez en el agua. Günter tiende hacia la desnudez, a desdibujar sus pentagramas para abrazar la esencia creando una pompa de jabón a la que nadie más tiene acceso. la esencialidad en estado puro. lo opuesto a la pompa. y de ahí su magia, su ‘duende’. parece imposible que nadie le conociera hasta hace poco, pero los signos y los azares, el revival que seguimos viviendo, se han confabulado, para mi felicidad, a su favor.


The Catalanian Tapes - Guenter Schlienz (second records)

ついに届きました!フランスからMikaさんが始めたレーベルsecond records2番目のカセットです!今回もとても丁寧で心のこもったパッケージ。ひとつひとつペイントされたカセット(まず黒に塗ってそしてかわいい模様も手書きです) どこでどんな機材を使ってレコーディングしたか記した手書きのカード。ものとして持つことの喜びを感じます。今回も32部限定で、すぐにsold outしました。

今回はGuenter Shlienzさまの作品。過去にsic sicconstellation tatsugoldtimers tapesからもリリースを重ねている、ドイツの方です。経歴を見るとかなり長いキャリアを持っていらっしゃる。




同じくげっつされたdirty dirtさんのレビューもぜひに。日本で同じカセット持ってるのって嬉しいですね。


投稿者 map_miyuki 時刻: 2:04

REVIEW: Günter Schlienz’s “The Catalanian Tapes” (EP)

Published May 4th, 2013 at 8:18 pm in Bandcamp, Music Reviews with no comments
Tagged with electronic, Günter Schlienz

Günter Schlienz has been releasing music for the last 15 years or so, initially as Gage but now under his own name. The Catalanian Tapes (Seconds) is a 3-song EP that gathers together brand new analog synth gems, each one quite good and exploratory. “Camp Nou” sounds as comforting as something you might expect to hear in a scholastic film or film strip, tastefully done as elevator music, or a casual stroll to a park. “Les Rambles” has a bit more pop to its stride but is equally meditative. “Inside The Park Güell” is an interesting track, for it is a 10-minute live recording, venue unknown but a child can be heard in the distance before Schleinz seems to have calmed him or her to silence. Or something. If you’re into the electronic path that Schlienz creates, The Catalanian Tapes will be a listen worth savoring.

NIGHT MUSIC: Guenter Schlienz - Catalanian Tapes

April 25th, 2013 | music

Delicate electronic tones in the middle of the night.  Like a 1970s science fiction computer trying to sing you to sleep from its basement home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Günter Schlienz - The Catalanian Tapes (SR - 02)





Visca Günter!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The Catalanian Tapes, by Günter Schlienz on Seconds Records, reflects on the ubiquitous beauty of Barcelona.  Recorded in August 2010 while in Barcelona, there is a symbiosis between Günter and this beautiful province of Catalunya. Günter opens his arms to the wonderful people and aesthetic of Barcelona, and, in turn, he enriches the denizens and the climate with three tracks of tranquil, ambient sound. Minimal, gentle currents - recorded on Günter's DIY modular synthesizer - pervade all three tracks.  There is a calmness or lightness instilled in each track, which reflects the natural beauty of the area - omnipresent, but especially on 'Inside The Park Güell'.

'Camp Nou', the first track on side A, refers to the majestic futbol stadium, which is home to FC Barcelona. Across a section of seats in the stadium reads the message, 'Més que un club' - more than a club.  The message corresponds perfectly to Günter's ambient paeans.  Ever since hearing the Goldtimers tape, I've thought of Günter's music as more than a pleasing succession of sounds and ideas.  Rather, the aural serenity emitted from his DIY machines becomes part of the listener and illuminates the soul.  Gentle, fluctuating tones  combine with echoing transmissions and soft, infinitesimal multi-textured rhythms in the beginning.  The calm, fluid soundscape reflects the tiki-taka (quick passing and movement) style of FC Barcelona.  As the elements  coalesce, the track comes into being.  Serene echoing tones spiral upward.  Periodic, gentle rhythms infuse the track with vitality.  Nearly imperceptible bass-like tones combine with soft, voluminous trails of notes that glide along the pitch like a Xavi-Messi give-and-go -  a track that magnifies the splendor of the stadium.  The last track on side A, 'Les Rambles', refers to a street - comprised of shorter streets - in central Barcelona.   Fluid, natural sounds pervade the tree-lined street. Peaceful tones spread over Plaça de Catalunya like the incipient sun, which warms the torso as a succession of looped tranquil tones radiates from the confluence of soft low-ends and blissful transmissions from the mod synth - an outstanding track!  However, don't think we are finished yet.  Side B contains one track, 'Inside The Park Güell', which presents a nice contrast to side A - one of Günter's finest tracks.  Regarding aesthetic, it's minimal beauty will please admirers of Josh Mason.  Designed by Antoni Gaudí, the tranquility of Park Güell informs Günter's art.  At the main terrace, the slow climb to the cosmos commences with the coming together of reverberating and ascending tones.  Field recordings and flute are interspersed throughout. The elongated tones from Günter's mod synth stretch the length of the tiled serpentine bench, which surrounds the main terrace.  A masterful track!

  Everything about this tape is excellent and it is perched on the highest of high shelves, where the trichomes glisten.  The diligence and love put into this tape by Mika Perez (Sylvia Monnier), of Seconds Records, is apparent through the sublime artwork, design, and hand-painted/hand-numbered cassettes.  Home-dubbed in an edition of 32, it is sold out at the source. However, a few copies may be floating around.  Anybody interested can send an inquiry here.

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The new batch from Goldtimers is massive: Eight tapes of great music and alluring artwork.  The discography of this label is growing.  It features an array of wonderful artists including Derek Rogers, Hobo Cubes, No Mind Meditation, Venn Rain, Greg Davis, Deep Magic, Andreas Brandal, Ophibre and many more.  

As I said, this batch is full of quality.  Yet, I often find myself returning to the beautiful modular synth sounds of Guenter Schlienz.  Guenter's biography reads like a journey through sound.  Initially, he was playing guitar and rock music.  Around 1998, however, Guenter started to experiment with other sounds.  Since 2003, he has constructed diy modular synthesizers and released a few tapes.  Urban Tapes, Guenter's most recent work on Goldtimers, is a collection of sounds that remind me of different states of being - snapshots of time. These beautiful tracks feel nostalgic, elegiac, foreboding, opaque and convalescent.  Of course, each experience is unique; and i'm not surprised that the meaning behind some of these tracks varies wildly with my interpretations.  Given these emotionally resonant tracks, I'm eagerly awaiting the next release from Guenter.

Urban Tapes is another winner, in a batch replete with awesome music.  Goldtimers has a really nice deal, which includes shipping: 8 tapes for $35.  It is one of the best deals around, from one of the burgeoning greats, Goldtimers.  Peace.

Guenter Schlienz, “Urban Tapes” tape

March 14, 2012

By Dave Miller

Guenter Schlienz recorded these tracks in his own room out in Stuttgart, Germany.  Modular synth was his medium.  And what he creates is a serene audible picture that artificially paints nature’s portrait.  I think it’s ironic that this tape is called Urban Tapes because I get anything but out of this release.  Instead I get babbling brooks, quiet animal calls, crowing ca-caws, passing clouds, and vast windblown meadows.  Perfect peace and qualitative quietude.  Some of it is almost too chill, but I see it as getting in touch with the natural world that allows us to be free of the busyness and anxiety that we have created for ourselves.  Perhaps while planted in the midst of urbania Schlienz invented these environments to drop himself off somewhere a bit calmer and more organic.  There are other eerier moments that even have samples of children playing, but I see this as human interactions with the world around them.  At most the sometimes haunting attitudes could be a reflection of solitude and reflection in the wild.  This still keeps it within the realm of the natural and not the manmade.  Overall, this is a very satisfying and chill tape that ushers you into pure tranquility without sugarcoating you with syrupy bliss.  This is a sincere and authentic listen.  Schlienz is a masterful composer that I put up there with the likes of Erik Enocksson.  This could be one of the most underrated tapes that we’ll see come out this year.  I doubt it’ll get much attention, although it deserves first-class coverage on every blog.  Honestly though, I think the cover art could’ve been better.  The inner j card design and art is so much nicer than the outer art.  It’s got beautiful pics of what I think are snapshots of Stuttgart.  Goldtimers did a nice job of dressing up the tapes themselves in clear color shells and minimal pro imprinted fonts.



Unheard #8: Goldtimers Tapes

June 25, 2012

By Michael Tau

Goldtimers Tapes

Hot damn are Goldtimers Tapes putting out some interesting schnizz these days. Their big-ass 2012 batch, a slobbering mass of impeccably designed cassettes, was a lot to digest, and I mean that it the best possible sense. With such a bulk of new output, it’s remarkable how much of it is, well, really, really good. [...]

Having been through so much Goldtimers goodness, I approached Guenter Schlienz‘s Urban Tapes almost as an afterthought. To be honest, I picked it out because it was a longer tape and I wanted something to fall asleep to. But lying in the dark, I found myself transfixed. This entire record was done using a homemade (!!) modular synth, garnished sparsely with organ and field recordings. It sounds like something that would be emitted via pirate radio over a deformed, dystopian cityscape – straight out of Repo Man. Schlienz, for his part, was a rock guitarist for many years before sidestepping into experimental sounds by way of his considerable technical knowhow – he’s also a sound engineer for the Stuttgart opera. Some of the majesty of the opera seems to have seeped through into this tape, particularly on the subtly symphonic opening piece. But what’s most striking is the manner in which he integrates multiple layers of sound on top of one another while retaining a sense of simplicity. The tones and blips float freely in the air, twisting and curtsying around each other with ethereal ease – in my para-somnolent state, it felt almost as though I was about to leave my body and drift out the window myself. This one gets my highest recommendation.


Monday, January 28, 2013

guenter schlienz - urban tapes (goldtimers, 2012)

"a frozen bird song in a serious dawn. sometimes  dark alleys, sometimes a plant emerging from the soil. the Urban Tapes by Guenter Schlienz is his latest journey from the physical state, and  latest in a series of portable DIY field synthesizer recordings."

hay música inevitable, a las que vuelvo una y otra vez como por inercia. porque la música Gunter Schlienz es inercia, podría pasar horas y horas escuchándola sin hacer nada más. además de suscribir punto por punto cada palabra de michael tau, todavía me pregunto porqué 'urban tapes' pasó tan de puntillas el año pasado y preferí no incluirlo en la lista de mis discos favoritos: es bonito hasta el infinito, tanto o incluso más que 'tape studies', 'through the music to the self' y 'furniture sounds'. como esas tres cintas, mantiene el caudal de notas ingrávidas y silencios que le caracterizan y contiene algunos de los minutos más hermosos, distinguidos y emocionantes de ese duende que saluda sonriente desde la ventana.  
Guenter Schlienz necesita pocos elementos para hacer magia, un sintetizador modular construido por él  mismo, un mínimo acompañamiento de órgano y algunos field recordings (voces de niños jugando en el patio trasero de su casa, coches transitando por carreteras mojadas). una combinación tan perfectamente suave que empiezas a ver un atisbo Clara Rockmore en 'sonnet' y de música clásica a partir del minuto dos de la cara b,... escondido, muy escondido. el que te va hundiendo entre los sintetizadores de plumas mullidas hasta dejarte inmóvil, quieta, escuchando, como si el paso del tiempo no existiese, o fuese una preocupación para los demás pero no para ti. tú ya estás en el cielo. 'urban tapes' es otro ejemplo de su facilidad para tejer composiciones que tintinean como nanas gracias a ese sonido hipnótico, frágil y minimalista tan particular. nanas para escuchar en la oscuridad, de noche, para saborearlas lentamente como una taza de colacao entre las manos y una vaporosa aureola a su alrededor cuando hace frío. él, con sus canciones íntimas y transparentes que para mí siempre serán moléculas. 



guide me little tape

writing about tapes and lps, occasional giveaways

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Günter Schlienz - Tape Studies

So things have reached the point with Sic Sic Tapes that batches just don’t last. In fact, Tape Studies, the wonderful new edition from Gunter Schlienz, is, I believe, already sold out. Four solo electronic compositions performed largely (maybe completely?) on equipment created by Schlienz himself. Despite what I’m sure are hours, weeks, months, and even years, spent perfecting his equipment, and craft, these tracks seem absolutely effortless. Deceptively simple sequenced loops of ambient shimmer. Song construction that seems more a ghostly lullaby, than the typical synthesizer space trip. Each track begins with a basic melody, and patiently layers loops until completion. Not just creating sounds, but creating the creator of sounds. I can’t even comprehend the level this stuff is on.

Each hand numbered insert in the batch of 80 comes backed with layers of actual tape. I have no idea how long that must have taken, but the effect is completely sick. Sold out at Sic Sic and Discriminate, scour the web for copies and watch for updates to the Sic Sic Bandcamp.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the music of awareness.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

BEST OF 2012

A surfeit of great music has been released in the current year.  The summer has presented many intriguing releases such as Matt Krefting on Kendra Steiner Editions, Innercity on Sloow Tapes, Tim Coster on No Kings - i could name a bunch more. 
Günter Schlienz' latest release on Sicsic - Tape Studies - is one of the most impressive of the year.  The proprietor of Cosmic Winnetou, Günter has released four outstanding tapes this year on Goldtimers, Cosmic Winnetou, Gift and Sicsic.  One of the pinnacle listening experiences of this year, Tape Studies is an exemplar of elegant ambient music.  Through four long form pieces, Günter bathes your receptors with warm ambient, cosmic and spectral tones.  The love and diligence exerted in creating his modular dream machines is conspicuous throughout.

The first track finds Günter in fine form, as playful melodies comprised of warm tones dripping with effects, gently drift through the cosmos.  The beautiful sounds recall the early stages of múm - ethereal, innocent and unadulterated.  The second track is more mysterious and introspective, as a thick tone oscillates, ascends, and then retreats to garner more energy.  Buffeting that glorious tone are chugging noises, signals and metallic transmissions.  Always breathing and morphing, this track exhibits Günter's proclivity for knowing just where and when to add elements - which is especially apparent on the final track.  The last track on side A, 'Presentation Three', is the epitome of warm ambient music.  On this track, Günter utilizes an electric organ to create peaceful and edifying paeans.  It's characterized by a confluence of warm tones that outline the contours of consciousness - healing music.  The flip is comprised of a spectral, side-long track, as treated solitary tones expand and modulate.  Tones that have the characteristic of a theremin weave a tortuous path through the architecture of the mind, buffeted by resonating and suspenseful tones - think Suspension era Ambarchi. This track demands your attention with its slowly morphing characteristics.  As the track progresses towards the final section - my favorite part of the track - the tones seem to expand softly - losing vitality, yet still hanging on the edge of consciousness.

Tape Studies is accompanied by the beautiful artwork of Johannes Schebler and an insert of actual tape - pure sicsic.  While this is sold out from the source, Discriminate and Meditations, it is still available from
S.O.L Sound. I would travel anywhere for these sounds.  While the mp3's will likely be posted to the sicsic bandcamp page, go that extra mile to locate a copy of this tape.  Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Günter's new tape on Gift, available from Discriminate.

peace and love, friends :)




Thursday, September 20, 2012

günter schlienz - tape studies (sicsic, 2012)

"Günter Schlienz is a quiet handed modular scientist, building his own instruments to create quality cosmic sounds. but we won’t spill the beans about the technical details and the specific process it took to cook up this high octane ambient music. all we are allowed to share ist that it’s all about Reel-To-Reel and Echos n’ Delay and Modular Synthesizers ~ but the exact recipe’s locked up in a secret Hobbykeller-Laboratory located somewhere unknown in Stuttgart. all you can do is: get some of Günter’s sonic narcotics, plug in your headphones and travel space without leaving the comfort zone of your couch!" sicsic

minimalismo y microscopismo, trocitos de sonidos cortados y pegados en estado de duermevela, recuerdos y sonidos familiares que no consigues ubicar... el misterioso duende günter schlienz acaba de llegar y se esconde detrás de viejos sintetizadores que a veces ('presentation four') parecen un theremin (el instrumento más fascinante del mundo de los instrumentos fascinantes): spel de kandahar, étude des têtus de miaux, archives I de bil vermette y tape studies de günter schlienz. cuatro discos favoritos de este año que por el aura añejo y especial que desprenden y que tanto me recuerdan al retrofuturismo de los años cincuenta y a las composiciones de louis y bebe barron en 'forbidden planet', no puedo evitar relacionar entre sí. poco puedo añadir a las palabras de guide me little tape y honest bag, sólo insistir en lo mucho que agradezco que sellos como taped sounds, sicsic tapes o field studies estén ahí, recordándonos que siempre habrá un nuevo tesoro por descubrir




dibujo: paul flanderky

the cookshop

«ample food for stupid thought»

Guenter Schlienz ¤ Tape Studies

 October 28, 2012 • No Comments

© SicSic

A1. Presentation One: Reel-to-Reel & Modular Synthesizer
A2. Presentation Two: Tape Echo & Modular Synthesizer
A3. Presentation Three: Four Track Cassette & Electric Organ
B. Presentation Four: Two Reel-to-Reel & Modular Synthesizer

Guenter Schlienz has built a modular synth, holds a fistful of patch cords, and will give us a handful of sounds, simple waveforms coming and going, attack sustain and decay clearly marked out, notes slowly drifting, the warm invitation of tape hiss (this music could have been made purely electronically, but it would sound harder, less welcoming); not, perhaps, an album of any great significance, only a small presence, maybe, but a definite one, something which is quietly there.

You might say: but nothing happens! Where’s the action? But look: the universe is big, probably too big to see it all in a weekend, and most of it is empty. We concentrate on those other bits, true, the bits where cosmic debris has coalesced into stars, the bits where sulphuric rain falls lightly on a world, the bits where you walk through the streets purposefully, to make an appointment; or carelessly, to kill time; or unsteadily, drunk, about to pass out, events of the previous night joining most of your other memories in that universal emptiness. So let’s not forget the nothing. Must we always be jotting down thoughts on that face in the crowd that isn’t quite his, or climbing stairs in the dark and reaching for a step that isn’t there, or feeling unease on the web and realising your font size is at 90%, things which suggest the subtle but definite sense of disconnection we feel from the world? Can we not, just for a while, sit here, and nurse our head, and make insignificant nebulae from the dust on our desktop? You will still walk, the world still turn, the universe expand, its nothing growing ever more vast and its something getting ever more remote. And these sounds will continue, making an empty map that says “You are here.” It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be. (stilton)






Guenter Schlienz

Tape Studies

(Sicsic, 2012)

For: Tim Coster, Lunar Miasma, Keith Fullerton Whitman

Byline: Beautiful and haunting experiments with electronics and synthesizers from the seasoned composer

Synths rule. Guitars... they are cool. We know this. But synths aren't going down without a fight, and not by a long shot. Um, not that it is a fight or anything, but still, we have guys like Mr. Schlienz here, folks not only performing on synthesizers but also building them, toying with circuits and electronics to expand these instruments' capabilities in exciting (however totally nerve-calming, coma-inducing) ways. And the heck of it is that Schlienz is a guitarist—over 150 gigs under his belt in various rock/folk iterations over a six year period in the 90s for starters. Since 2003, however, Schlienz discovered and fell in love with electronics, experimenting with circuitries and tape machines and immersing himself in experimental music culture. And so we at the Tome refuse to sit idly by; we simply cannot ignore what's going on here either, even though guitars happen to be destroying it in 2012. And neither can Daniel, thee good Daniel of Germany's Sicsic Tapes, who has commited this series of compositions to cassette tape for our zombified, zoned-out, post-halloween pleasures.

Yes, Schlienz has created this year's must-have catalyst for pupil-rolling stupors. A few minutes of either side feels like the equivalent to absinth plus a heavy dose of whiskey (and/or possibly cough medicine), all of it happening to you while being situated in a not-too-distant Terminator-esque future. To be fair and honest, Side A has more of an optimistic feel altogether, a starry soundscape spread across the stereo space in "Presentation One" as synths flicker to life like little beacons of hope. Side B, however, is a hangover happening in the most barren of landscapes, Schlienz's droning tones lined out into a flat and unforgiving expanse of apocalyptic lonliness. No matter the mood presented, there are hallucinations blueprinted into this music's wavery wavelengths, and in them ghosts fluttering and flying about. Each individual note might be one, with its own character and personality—coming, going, making appearances only to wane away before re-entering minutes later to reprise its contribution to the endless, spiraling musical conversation. It's a real dizzying cycle of sound that is elongated in form, often drawn out for what feels like ever... a technique that might drive some mad. Full of repitions in melody and harmonic underpinings (especially the 4th "study," found filling out the entire B-side of the tape). But to others, the patience and restraint is not only apparent, but obvious—masterfully done, Schlienz allows for each little nuance to be given its full attention and space to develop and contribute to the compositional whole, whether the presentation be more melodic-based, like the first track, or centered more in texture and dynamics, as is the case with "Presentation Two."

After years of studying and tinkering in the studio and in live spaces, Tape Studies—a work that uses reel-to-reel, modular synthesizers, organ and tape echo—may very well represent the composer's most-seasoned and developed accomplishment yet. A fascinating and diverse array of approaches to synthesized sound that presents a common, almost cliché instrument in new ways to keep us all thinking and wondering about the still-endless possibilities of electronic sound. As long as there are Frankensteins out there, no one instrument, method, genre, or form will ever be complete. Music, as it were, is always an unfinished business... that's why the hell we do this anyway, isn't it. So thanks, Guenter, for reminding me of this simple and oft-forgotten truth.


p.s. Unfortunately, this tape appears to be sold out from the source, but check with distros for a chance to nab a copy. And by the way, Sicsic has already released another batch that appears to be as stellar as the last one (which I am still wading through), and these suckers go quick, so don't sleep!



Jason E. Anderson
(Gift Tapes) about “through music to the self” demo


This recording is amazing!  My favorite I've heard so far!  Beautiful use of space throughout, really nice pacing and repetition, great combination of gentle melodic lines and ambiguous void moments that gently sift though atmosphere.  I keep imagining this softly lit dreamworld of the unconscious.  I especially appreciate the mood it evokes, equal parts ease, meditative, darkness, hypnotic... kind of internally expansive.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

günter schlienz - through music to the self c54 (gift tapes, 2012)

"cooling drift over soft terrain; smooth modular ambient for inner voyages (Inspired by the book of Peter Michael Hamel.)"

buff, qué se puede decir a estas alturas del misterioso duende güenter schlienz. sabemos que acaba de publicar dos de mis discos favoritos de este año, los intimistas "tape studies" y "furniture sounds", que desde 1987 lleva dedicado a la música, fue músico de la calle, profesor, y lo más importante, construye sus propios instrumentos, sintetizadores modulares y guitarras. en "trough music to the self", inspirado en el libro de peter michael hamel, alcanza un nivel de belleza fuera de este mundo, de verdad que si tape studies es una obra maestra, "through music to the self" es igual de detallista, igual de elegante, igual de sutil. un trocito de satie con filtro cósmico, una experiencia sensorial y física que alcanza el clímax en el hipnótico "capítulo III". así al vuelo, y sin ser ninguna experta en sonidos electrónicos, las diferencias entre las tres cassettes no parecen muy reconocibles, de hecho tengo la sensación de que para tener la fotografía completa hay que escuchar los tres discos como una misma obra. günter contacta con el más allá en el 'capítulo I', construye nanas fantasmales de extrema fragilidad, casi transparentes, a partir de un loop que una vez más me recuerda al theremin, sube y baja, las adorna, envuelve y acaricia con silencios y diversos tratamientos electrónicos de trazo elegante y pausa delicada, minimalista. si fuera una imagen, o una palabra, pienso en moléculas, como las de la portada de 'furniture sounds, en células volátiles que hacen cosquillas. llega y se aleja envuelto en brumas, como esos drones que parecen olas que despiden el disco en el "capítulo cinco" ('encuentra tu frecuencia personal a través del poder de la respiración'). 'hacia el interior a través de la música', definitivamente, el perfecto compañero de viaje de 'on sea-faring isolation' y 'the voice of the silence' de dolphins into the future.




Another Year Gone

January 28, 2013

By Eric Hardiman


Guenter Schlienz – Through Music to the Self (Gift Tapes)
Utterly gorgeous synth music – minimal, haunting repetitive electronics that truly deserve the term “masterpiece”.  Schlienz has built up a body of work that is of the highest quality, and this tape (on the fantastic Gift Tapes label) exemplifies the restraint and melodic invention that really set him apart from other synth purveyors of the day.  An addictive listen, and mandatory for those interested in minimalism and synthesizers.