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electronic music

tristan magnetique (2018)


I first heard these recordings on a damp tuesday morning, riding on an innercity train. The ususal package of passengers; most of them introverted, sorrow-stricken, staring outside while the outside stared fiercely back in. The faces you learn to ignore. Most of them were on their way to work, it was pretty early. I was one of them. Until I put on the headphones to listen for the first time to Tristan Magnetique, the recordings I received through mail one night ago. Suddenly, I was detached, maybe elevated, and yet, full of empathy, realizing for a split second we’re all in this together, while I also knew I was the first person in the world listening to Tristan except for Tristan himself. That level of intimacy I experienced that morning on public transit – it doesn’t vanish, because intimacy is a natural feature of the way Tristan builds up sound.


Tristan Magnetique is the latest solo work of german sound artist Günter Schlienz. Schlienz, as though well-known in the international cassette underground, remains at times as enigmatic as his new moniker. He is creating his own machines. He’s a thorough and careful composer, following a straight work ethic involving live sets in which the machines completely take over while Günter is witnessed to lie on his back, smoking a cigarette. Synthesizer music sometimes resembles the model-railroad-scene of the last century: men in their private hobby rooms, creating a small, clearly ordered parallel universe – a coping mechanism. In spite of that, Günter works more like a naturalist; his universe exists for itself, he himself being just the hole through which we can take a brief lurk into this dimension. In fact, Tristan might be one of the residents of that world, and just like the historical Tristan material, which takes a key role in European literature, this is a story comprised of illusion, musical mirroring, adaption, and dedication.


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. Both solemnn and charming, Tristan takes you on a ride far out while tucking you in at the same time. The power supply of the keyboard crackles in the background, while these tiny melodies unfold like a strange flower in a novel of the dark romanticism. And just like in literature, this music is not what it seems: while it might remain pure new age kitsch to some, it has in fact nothing to do with notions of an

„ambience music“ which offers the possibility of not having to listen too closely. Minimal changes require maximum attention. This is music that requires a good ear, a time to invest. One might relax

during this process, but that is a side-effect. It’s an approach for a music both purely intimate and anticapitalist; it’s music requiring an active listener.

released by otomatik muziek


1. 15:03

2. 13:22

3. 15:00

4. 14:46

5. 14:47

6. 14:04


all tracks recorded with a trusty casio cz101 and a few pedals in spring 2018. field recordings done with a cassette dictophon out of my kitchen window. many thanks to sebastian and martin.

hand-numbered edition of 50 copies.

artwork by dicey studios.