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JIM TETLOW / HISTORY

Jim Tetlow
experimental electronics, sonic art, ambient music


A highly original and talented multi-instrumentalist, Jim Tetlow first made contact as an inquisitive customer in the Ultima Thule shop in the mid 1990s. We then learnt of his activities as percussionist and were also surprised to see him as the keyboard player in the band Bluish. After that he also gave me a cassette of his solo synthesizer music to listen to. Becoming a Shapeshifter fan Jim was the natural choice when a replacement percussionist was needed. This meant that Jim and I gained a working rapport in Shapeshifter. This led to the cosmic stuff by Shapeshifter heard on "Easier To Feel" and "Looking Glass Ties" releases. Later in 1999 Jim joined up with Alto Stratus to form the prolific improvising trio Endgame. In parallel Jim also started to develop new ideas as a soloist. And also, let's not forget Jim the artist, a boundless talent in the world of surreal computer graphics!

Jim's prime passion when I first met him was Tangerine Dream. He'd discovered them later on and worked backwards, ever more intrigued and fascinated trekking towards what I believe is Jim's favourite "Zeit". Some of the early solo work Jim played me was very Tangerine Dream circa 1974 to 1984 inspired, melodic synth, but with an edge that was all his own. With his solo works on Auricle he'd largely dumped the melodic context in preference for ambient abstract exploration, and unique techniques involving live manipulation, feedback processing and such-like. You may also hear elements of Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Sylvian & Czukay, Coil, Cluster, Vangelis, Bayle, Parmegiani and Morphogenesis, all in varying amounts in his music. Yet Jim is not at all copyist in any of what you'll find here!

Aside from band projects like Endgame, Extremities, The Scanner Game and The Zircon Game, Jim since proliferated as a soloist and collaborator in many other projects (see links on the Jim Teltow menu page) with a vast catalogue of solo and other releases, and is also a regular at Quadelectronic events.

 

Jim's own bio...

I was raised with my father's collection of largely classical music, although he did make a couple of more progressive purchases - the first being Vangelis's "Heaven And Hell" in 1983 which indelibly captivated my eight-year-old mind to the point that it's still one of my favourite albums today, the production is outstanding. The second was Tangerine Dream's Virgin double compilation "Dream Sequence" four years later around the time of my 13th birthday - at that time this was the most amazing music I'd ever heard and I played those two cassettes incessantly. From that point I bought all the TD I could find (my favourite period becoming "Zeit" through to "Ricochet") and branched out along a predictable Jarre/Vangelis synth music path until in 1990 Pink Floyd (an introduction by a friend) formed what was for me a branch between synth music and rock. The 1990s was a time of musical discovery from all sorts of angles, from mainstream pop-rock such as U2 through to the second wave of the so-called "ambient" music and a little techno - then via "Mixing It" and then Ultima Thule I discovered all sorts of exciting music that didn't quite fit into any straitjacket of genre.

This all informed (but only rarely directly influenced) my own musical exploration which began "officially" in November 1990 with my first cassette recordings from the song memory of a simple Yamaha keyboard, in fact the same one I used as a MIDI controller throughout the first phase of Endgame. Other than some minimal organ tuition (with the basics of sight-reading) from my grandfather in the mid 1980s I'm an entirely self-taught musician and these early recordings

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Discography: see Jim's Bandcamp index page

Jim Tetlow reviews in Audion - #45/8

 

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