Between 1981 and 1983 Asmus Tietchens released four albums on the Sky Records label, fusing rhythmic set pieces and off-kilter sounds into gaudy escapades of saccharine artificiality. The “pseudo-pop” epithet reflected their frequently ironic air. All four records have been reissued by Bureau B in their original form.
What remained may be found on this collection.
Der fünfte Himmel (“The Fifth Sky”) retrieves those pieces which were denied a place
on the original LPs, although clearly cut from the same contextual cloth. Quality control was not behind their relegation to the archive, but rather their eccentric and, at times, outlandish character.
Futurum drei is patently a bridge to Tietchens’ debut album Nachtstücke, recorded back in 1978, whilst Soirée and Zum Tee bei Frau Hilde were originally—in a completely different guise — designed to form the basis of the Experimentelle Geselligkeit album,
ultimately shelved. The titles themselves are interesting: Aus dem Tag was initially earmarked to open up In die Nacht but was deemed too extravagant. Würgstoffe
(“Wirkstoffe”) and Niedermacher (“Liedermacher”) are further evidence of Tietchens’ penchant for wordplay, even though the composer today admits that these rather
corny jokes no longer seem quite so witty.
In addition to this promenade through the outskirts of the "Zeitzeichen phase” (or “Sky phase“), Der fünfte Himmel includes tracks which could have constituted a further album on Sky Records.
Tietchens was working ahead of himself as his contract covered just four albums and sales were in sharp decline. Moreover, his musical direction had shifted to accommodate a far less rugged sound and a broader range of musical tools. If these pieces share a link in to the strategies of previous works, it is a tenuous one.
This would probably have been enough in itself to preclude a continuation of the series,
as the material veered so far away from the Sky label line.