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Camera

Prosthuman

    With the band’s tenth anniversary in their viewfinder, CAMERA are all set to push the button on “Prosthuman”, their fifth studio album in February 2021. As befits an age in which realities can change in the blink of an eye, from one day to the next, the Berlin band never tire of changing themselves, their music or personnel.

    As Karlheinz Stockhausen noted: “New methods change the experience. New experiences change man.”

    Taking this as their lead, Michael Drummer (the drummer) and CAMERA surprise us once more on “Prosthuman” as they reinvent and reformulate their sound without sacrificing the project’s identity which has matured over the past decade. Less surprising is the fact that some record stores give CAMERA their own section, alongside Krautrock pioneers like NEU!, Can and La Düsseldorf. “Emotional Detox”, the predecessor to this album, was distinguished by the presence of two keyboard virtuosos (Steffen Kahles and CAMERA founder member Timm Brockmann). Finding replacements for “Prosthuman” was, as Michael Drummer stresses, “a difficult process.” The two keyboardists had – in different creative periods – formed the backbone of a band structure otherwise prone to fluctuations. Decisive input came from an unlikely source: Tim Schroeder, who first teamed up with CAMERA as a performance and video artist on their six-week tour of the USA in 2017.

    Over the course of various jams and recording sessions, he was able to offer ample proof of his synthesizers skills. Alex Kozmidi, a musician and composer with a flair for experimentation, completed the triumvirate on guitar, with Michael Drummer adding his own guitar riffs here and there. Change and friction can be useful allies in pursuit of creativity, something to which Drummer has grown accustomed as the only ever-present member of CAMERA. The pleasures and pain of isolation – suddenly a mass phenomenon in pandemic times – are well known to the quasi frontman of the group. Over the years, he has spent many hours alone or with a shifting cast of co-musicians in the band’s basement studio, beneath a former factory site in a less than hip southern district of Berlin. Virus-induced social distancing and quarantine measures that came into force during the recording process (June 2019 to June 2020) thus posed no great challenge.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xDinked Edition LP Info: • Orange vinyl *
    • Exclusive bonus 12” with remixes by Lloyd Cole, The Telescopes, Love-Songs, Dead Skeletons, Extnddntwrk (Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods) *
    • Neon orange print sleeve *
    • Limited pressing of 400 *
    * Exclusive to Dinked Edition

    Richard Von Der Schulenburg

    Moods And Dances 2021

      Revered Hamburg musician, synthesist and DJ RVDS joins the Bureau B ranks with the meditative and mellifluous sounds of 'Moods and Dances 2021' - a musical present from the future past. Inspired by the otherworldly exotica and imaginative electronics of library music's golden age, Richard von der Schulenberg conjures palm trees and pyramids, promenades and portals, all observed from the heart of a Holodeck. Seven Of Nine tracks are named after the equipment used to create them, offering an additional journey through the patch bay-mayhem of the RVDS home studio, and paying homage to the tonal nuance among his collection.

      Conrad Schnitzler

      Paracon (the Paragon Session Outtakes 1978-1979)

        These entirely instrumental recordings were created in the late 1970s at Peter Baumann's Paragon Studio. tTis stellar period gave rise to his finest works: the Con, Consequenz and Con 3 albums, These recently discovered pieces take the aforementioned albums a stage further. Sounds complement each other as they are reprised, whilst continuing to exist in their own cosmos. As you listen, you feel as if you have been transported back into the studio itself while the sessions are happening. Schnitzler is electronica in its purest sense. He succeeds in rendering the unconscious audible. This goes far beyond "music to listen to", it is music which works on different levels, music to move you.

        Conny Frischauf

        Die Drift

          Viennese artist Conny Frischauf's music is a whirl of Kraut, leftfield electronica and synth pop. She playfully shines a new light on on tradition to create a fresh, contemporary sound. Having released a brace of EPs - Effekt & Emotion" (International Major Label, 2018) and Affekt & Tradition" (Kame House, 2019) - Frischauf now presents her debut album, Die Drift. The sheer immediacy of the album owes much to Frischauf's aptitude for integrating experimental sound structures into the microcosm of a pop song. A work of sonic depth, the record marries free music with irresistible pop appeal. Sam Irl, musician and engineer, takes on co-production, mixing and mastering duties. "Es geht rauf, rauf, rauf" - this single line heralds the journey which is about to begin, one on which Conny Frischauf's voice functions as a GPS: a rhythmic, chirping instrument interacting with electronic drum machine grooves, using language as sound to carry words, disorienting material which enhances the overall associative impact.

          Texts which go beyond narration, opening up perspectives, locations confusions. Inside is outside is in-between, right, left, front, back, until you don't know whether you're coming or going. An endless drift, as the album title announces, the constant movement of waves generating currents on the water's surface. Frischauf deploys a wide range of instruments, adding a wealth of colour whilst balancing her playful approach with unfailing transparency, each element clearly arranged to create a particular sound. The complexity of simplicity. Sounds shimmer like kaleidoscopic reflections in a rush of echo loops, yet these are never used for mere effect, instead they represent careful brushstrokes on the broader fabric. All ten tracks on the album share an almost random, economically sketched intensity of effect, mirrored in Anna Weisser's cover art. Everything comes together on the closing track of the album, "Freundschaft" – in the end, friendship. Waves ripple outwards like a mantra, still in motion as they dissolve. All you have to do is let yourself fall in.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: Bureau B are one of the greatest labels out there for weird electronic music (some of my favourite acts of all time have been on BB), and Die Drift is every bit as exciting and groundbreaking as the rest of their roster. Hypnotic psychedelia mixed with classic krautrock and *that* German bass sound. It's a beautiful journey, and a rewarding one.

          Der Plan

          Es Ist Eine Fremde Und Seltsame Welt

          Bureau B have already re-released four classic albums by Der Plan and now they present to you reissue number five. The name of the album is simultaneously the concept. Numerous diverse pieces which illuminate the world in all its absurdity. The album title is lifted from the David Lynch movie Blue Velvet (It’s a strange world). The songs on the album were, for the most part, composed in a legendary session, improvisations really. They decided to play each piece in a different key and use irregular time signatures: Der Plan was often seen as a fun, colourful, NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) band and they wanted to counter that image by bringing their obscure roots to the fore. Ladies and gentlemen, lean back and enjoy the wonders of a strange and peculiar world.

          The final instalment (for now) in this little series of classic Der Plan album reissues. Eleven years had passed since the release of "Geri Reig", their debut album. Tiki and electronica, noise and schlager, psychedelia and industrial, Kurt Martin and jerry-rigging, Cargo Cult and Ata Tak, Wuppertal and Dusseldorf, Hans-Albers-Platz and West-Berlin, Emulator I and Emulator II, old pizzas and new masks, making the most out of the least and living in the gallery, abstraction and pop, Japan and Japlan. A lot going on in those eleven years! Good times ... they had a ball. Beautiful.

          Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge is the musical vehicle of Niklas Wandt and Joshua Gottmanns. They released a single - Ich verliebe mich nie - in 2018 and an EP entitled Leben in 2019 on the Düsseldorf label Themes For Great Cities. Now the time has come for the Berlin duo’s long-awaited debut album. The 7 tracks comprising Der große Preis distil the inimitable NB sound which blends velvety synth-pop and crystalline digi-dub, basslines like cubes of glass and whiplash snares. The album title certainly lives up to its name: The Grand Prize. This is adventure time, from wild romance to petty crime – it’s all waiting for you right here.
          It was early 2019 when, led by their very own energy coach Ali Europa, the band ensconced themselves in an offseason hotel on Lake Constance to record the album, the same procedure that spawned their afore-mentioned
          EP. Between a mothballed breakfast buffet and darkened wood furnishings, bright winter sunshine and lonely nights, Wandt and Gottmanns set about conjuring up smoke clouds. The two protagonists have always been drawn to the most contradictory scenes of local nightlife, indeed the project was born in the underground bars of Berlin. On their lakeside sojourn, they paid a quotidianal visit to the neighbourhood watering hole, where a “No Problems” playlist - parts 1 to 5 - blared out of the jukebox and semi-anonymous players lost themselves in a blur of numbers and fruit as the slot machines whirred and flashed at one end of the room. Many a Euro coin was lost here, but a valuable concentrate seeped through the ether which would allow new tracks to grow. A mixture of dark brown artificial leather upholstery and grey FRG decor and synthetics, cosiness and a railway station milieu, aching heads and excitement. The magic ultimately reached completion in the converted studio suite; a pile of analog synthesizers and rhythm machines, a Studer desk, computer, a vocal booth in the shower. Irregular working  ours, and paradoxical daily routines caused considerable friction and, at times, the two musicians worked separately from each other. When contradictions reach breaking point, how rewarding it is for everything falls into place, just like that. Crack open the champagne, pour an Averna and Arabian Mocha.
          One eventful year later, the finishing touches were applied in Vienna 1070, or to be more accurate, in Sam Irl’s home studio and the International Major Label Studio just around the corner: Gelb's Groove emerged from smokeladen nothingness in February 2020. The end product was honed with overdubs, refinements and vocals. Finally, the title track, Der große Preis, based on supercharged lyrics that had been floating aound for some time, was completed with Daniel Meuzard piloting his spaceship-like EMS synthesizer. A month later, cultural activities came to an end and Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge had their debut album in the bag, like one big promise. Sounds evoking fragrances of yesteryear, yet as young as the present day. Tales of long nights and hot mornings, a market square and leather car seats, all as fresh as the day after tomorrow, having outgrown any scene imaginable. Everything pulsating, every one breathing, the expansion of now. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: Ja ja ja! Utter gees Niklas Wandt and Joshua Gottmanns are back on an N.B. tip, treating us to a weird, wavey and wonderful LP on the rejuvenated Bureau B! Blending Deutsche boogie and wonky electronics the duo conjure up the stickiest synth funk imaginable on an LP packed with treacle dancers and junk food hallucinations.

          Bureau B continue their awesome A&R work here, delivering the debut longplayer from Hamburg's Love-Songs. Over the course of several EPs and the mini-album 'Inselbegabung', the trio have skirted the neon swamp, fusing kosmische sequences with organic percussion and improvised electronics to create their own brand of auditory hallucinations. Here they extend a hand and pull us into the shimmering water, baptising the listener in their psychedelic sound in a forty minute ritual. Over the course of seven tracks, the German group deliver their most ecstatic tracks to date, mesmeric and mind expanding commune eletronics, tribal bouncers and concentric cuts for all you techno pagans.


          Martin Rev

          See Me Ridin'

            Martin Rev's fourth solo album See Me Ridin' was released on the New York label Reachout International Records (ROIR) in 1996. Received by the critics with amazement, it proved to be a watershed moment in his career. Martin Rev's vocals are as minimal as they are sentimental, wonderfully poetic like a latter-day Chet Baker perhaps, or Jonathan Richman. This solo album not only blindsided Rev's critics and fans alike, but also painted a personal, nostalgic portrait of his home, New York; fading out the noise and contradictions of the city to channel the romantic energy of the metropolis. 

            Martin Rev

            Strangeworld

              Martin Rev's fifth solo album - Strangeworld - was released on the cusp of the new millennium. The label responsible was Puu, a Finnish imprint belonging to Tommi Grunlund and Mika Vainio's Sahko Recordings which came to fame in the 1990s on the strength of its uncompromising minimalist sound. Four years earlier, in 1996, Rev had unleashed See Me Ridin, an album which surprised its listeners with keyboard melody sketches and distilled doo-wop compositions. It was also the first solo album to feature Martin Rev on vocals. Strangeworld started where its predecessor left off. Melodic passages dissolved into a thicket of fragments and set pieces, coalescing in a celestial shimmer between rhythm loops and Rev's voice, which assumed the role of an additional instrument rather than a standard singing part. 

              Front View is the album debut of film-maker and musician Helena Ratka, alias Pose Dia. A soundtrack and theatre composer, as well as resident DJ at Hamburg's Golden Pudel Club, Ratka emerged onto the scene as one half of Shari Vari (together with Sophia Kennedy). Now all these pathways or winding roads have converged to create Pose Dia and an impressive album of many facets - a self-assured debut. The resulting album takes us on a mysterious journey through a darkish landscape. Pose Dia's tracks assume the most diverse forms - from supercooled synth-wave sounds or the weightless effortlessness of pop on the one hand, to the dsytopian urgency of contemporary club music or flashes of hip-hop on the other.

              Schlammpeitziger

              Ein Weltleck In Der Echokammer

                Schlammpeitziger is the alias of musician, illustrator and performance artist Jo Zimmermann. He has been an integral figure in the evolving sound of Cologne since 1992, releasing his surrealist lo-fi krautronica on imprints such as A-Musik, Pingipung and Sonig. The first notes of the opening title track Weltleck instantly confirm that this is no run-of-the-mill record. Jo Zimmermann confounds expectations as he wraps the art-electro sound of Schlammpeitziger in otherworldly dub echo loops -a surprising, yet perfectly coherent development.

                This is Tolouse Low Trax’s 4th solo album Jumping Dead Leafs.
                A 38 minutes exorcism, dionysac sexyness fueled with romanticism, made of mechanical incantations mixed with spectral vocals of forgotten imaginary tribes, words from a physicist (Incomprehensible Image), and mystical breathings… To remind you that music is demanding your soul and body, fully. A master irritator, disclosing this talent all the way, down to every chosen title, for the album itself and all of its components (would you put Milk in Water ?). As repetitive or minimalist music may already make some of you feel nervous, it seems more accurate to talk here about primitive music - notwithstanding a non violent anarchism. But those are only words and vain attempts to attach TLT to a region or a family. Neither the burden of classical European music legacy, which eventually lead to pop music, seemed to interfere with his wild mind, and if it is no surprising to hear Bach in German electronic music, there is here a clear statement that you are out of this sirupy prison… For D.W. is a sorcerer. He’s been empirically learning the speaking of trance with years of touring and experimenting with all kinds of audience and venues, from clubs to museums, from Mongolia to Brazil, from his performances with his bands Kreidler or Toresch to solo ones, sustained by a steady limited set up, as the one used when he’s recording : one MPC, rudimentary synths, few effects and a mixer. No sound engineer on stage as only he knows his secret language… Raw dubmaking, leaning towards
                hip hop, indubitably underlining here a significant distanciation from his previous industrial inspirations. The bewitchment of this record is operating with no warning from the very first seconds until the last epiphany of Sales Pitch. He is using his knowledge of techno, psychedelism (Inverted Sea), UK bass (Jumping Dead Leafs), only to bring you out of it. We all tend to be slaves, without even being conscious about it, and a balance must be existing between being a slave and showing off. Mr. Weinrich’s answer is unsettling because it is an utter call to this balance, in our world of black and white and political correctness. There is no morality in music… Don’t expect anything else than an unaccountable liberating immediate experience. Don’t expect any kind of music because you are already in the past or the future… From his recording technique mainly relying on one takes, his adoration of mistakes and jeopardy, to the core essence of repetitive music, it is all hereabout being in the present. No ears no glasses. 


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Dusseldorf's dance floor Derrida comes correct with his first solo album in six years, providing a little club deconstruction for the fringe DJ and haunted home listener! Frankly, no one sounds like Detlef, and as this LP blazes its hazy trail through warehouse smog, dislocated dubspace and an entirely crepuscular strand of psychedelia, it becomes increasingly clear how much we've missed him.

                Harmonious Thelonious is the solo project of the Düsseldorf musician Stefan Schwander. His works combine American-influenced minimal music with African rhythms and European melodies.

                "I was busy experimenting with noisy rhythms when Bureau B asked me if I would like to release an album on their label. I was aiming for a more industrial sound; backwards cymbals, loops generated from non-musical sources such as slamming doors, and had the feeling that this would align nicely with Bureau B’s own story." Stefan Schwander’s new album Plong is something of a hybrid in the discography of Harmonious Thelonious, drawing on his existing strengths plus a sense of adventure in a mix of all his musical predilections. Dipping into the music, Middle Eastern elements can be heard on "Original Member Of A Wedding Band" and "Mumba", whilst tracks like "Höhlenmenschenmuziek" are characterized by more pronounced bass structures. Tuned down xylophones, evocative of ritual drums, sub bass and electrifying basslines catalyse the idiosyncratic sound of Plong: hypnotic, danceable, irresistible. A powerful head of steam builds across the nine tracks, with subtle changes in harmony ("Geistertrio Booking") or unexpected cameos such as a new wave bassline on "Abu Synth" shaking things up before the album hurtles onward with renewed force. Take "Interpretation de reve" as a case in point – floating sequences and themes sweep ashore in wave after wave of melody; analogous to dreams which enter the subconscious in episodes, their apparent randomness gradually shifting into a correlative pattern. "Totentanz" closes the album in a homage to the Basle club of the same name, a place which played a decisive role in Schwander’s musical socialisation: "I was lucky enough to see bands like Liquid Liquid, Gun Club, Jonathan Richman and a very young Aztec Camera there".

                Harmonious Thelonious comes off with an exceptional work in the genre of electronic music, successfully embracing the physical power of a club night soundtrack whilst exploring the dramatic depths of sonic worlds to create an intensive listening experience in total solitude.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Durian Bro and Dusseldorf sorcerer Stefan Schwander gets industrial and middle eastern on this Bureau B LP, translating his usual sonic manipulations into a hypnotic set of trance dancers for the alternative club kids. I'm gonna buy like 5 copies of this!

                Notorische Reflexe was an experimental band, art form and a film performance group from West Berlin. Existing from 1982 to 1986, they were part of the early 80s Berlin art scene along with groups like P.D., Die Tödliche Doris, Einstürzende Neubauten or Malaria. Their only LP – originally released in 1985 – is an impressive outburst ranging from minimal electronics to more experimental takes with some jazzy/ethnic touches. Now reissued on LP featuring a bonus track, extended artwork and liner notes by Mark Reeder. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Total grail of the German underground this! Falling somewhere between NDW, tribal electronics and avant jazz, this killer LP balances ethno-industrial freakouts and noise experiments with absolute floor fillers for the weirdo dancefloor.

                Lapre

                Banzai (Elektronische Musik Aus Berlin 1985 - 87)

                  Rudolf Langer (formerly of Tyndall) and Peter Preu teamed up to create Lapre as a vehicle for their adventures in sonic experimentation. They set about capturing their nocturnal rehearsal room sessions on tape, Langer on synthesizer and Preu on guitar. With the exception of a solitary single and a few extremely limited cassette runs, Lapre released no further material during their active phase. It was not until 2018 that their works became accessible to a wider audience, when Bureau B released the Auferstehung retrospective, drawing on tracks from 1983 to 1984.? Banzai, the second collection of Lapre recordings, follows up by concentrating on their creative output from the years 1985 to 1987. A well-kept secret at the time of its inception, this music was barely audible beyond the borders of Berlin's underground scene. It thus gives us great pleasure to give these tracks the attention they ultimately deserve, more than 30 years later.

                  Butzmann / Kapielski

                  War Pur War

                    Composer, radio dramatist and performance artist Frieder Butzmann began exploring experimental music in the late 1960s. One of the pioneers of German industrial music and a member of the Geniale Dilettanten movement, Butzmann has collaborated with artists such as Genesis P-Orridge, Blixa Bargeld, and Santrra Oxyd, as well as releasing numerous solo works. Frieder Butzmann joined forces with author and artist Thomas Kapielski in the early 1980s. Most of their compositions are minimalist tracks interspersed with everyday noises and fragments of speech, as can be heard on their WAR PUR WAR album, first released on Zensor in 1987. This utterly unique work is an idiosyncratic mix of eccentric electro-pop and bizarre sonic collages and has gone on to become a sought-after collector's item. Now lovingly remastered, with refreshed artwork and two bonus tracks, WAR PUR WAR is being reissued on LP and CD on Bureau B, complete with previously unpublished photos and liner notes by Frieder Butzmann. 

                    Jimi Tenor

                    NY, HEL, BARCA

                      Finnish composer and multi-instrumentalist Jimi Tenor has joined forces with Bureau B to release "NY, Hel, Barca" - a retrospective compilation spanning the years 1994 - 2001. The double LP features early works and selected tracks from his first six albums, long since deleted. The 20 tracks on "NY, Hel, Barca" document key stages of Jimi Tenor's remarkable creative path, underlining the prolific and varied nature of his artistic output. Then as now, he shines like a satellite hovering over the European pop landscape. 

                      Originally released 1980 on Sky records, this is music for the apocalyptic eighties inna Deutschland state of mind. When Serge Blenner left his native France for Hamburg, West Germany, neither he nor anyone else could have guessed that he would inadvertently compose a soundtrack for the Cold War. But his dark, monotone synthesizer album "La Vogue" (1980) turned out to be just that.

                      You don't get to make 17 albums and stay out of the public eye unless you live and breathe music. Focus on nothing else. Commercial success may come your way, but will always be subordinated to the goal of making music on your own terms rather than music designed to sell. Listener, meet Serge Blenner.

                      Blenner was born in 1955 in Alsace, the easternmost region of France. He studied composition and harmony at the Conservatoire de Mulhouse. He loved listening to electronic music from the Berlin School: Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel/Manuel Göttsching, whom he got to know when they played in Alsatian churches and chapels. Such locations added a magical dimension to what was already extraordinary music. Blenner the proselyte had seen enough to realise: it was time to move to Germany, whence this music came.

                      The year was 1975. He soon began experimenting with electronic music himself and graduated to live performances by 1978 and finally settled in Hamburg in 1979. One of the most important electronic music labels of the period, Sky Records, was based here, releasing music by such illustrious artists as Cluster, Michael Rother, Brian Eno and Conny Plank. Within the space of six months Blenner had recorded the tracks which would become La Vogue and sent them to Sky Records. A deal was done and La Vogue was officially released before the year ended.

                      The record was a resounding success, some tracks even made it onto the radio - crucially, aired at hours of the day when significant numbers of listeners were tuning in, instead of being confined to the niche programmes or graveyard shifts more commonly associated with the genre. The longest track on La Vogue by far clocks up 8 minutes, 49 seconds, a rarity in Blenner's oeuvre, well outside his usual range of three to five minutes.

                      La Vogue is an album of two halves. Through the first four tracks, Blenner still seems to be searching for his own style, beginning with the minimalistic, rather sombre fanfare of Phrase I built around a single melodic pattern. Next up is the almost poppy, harmonically rich Phrase II, followed by the spherical Phrase III and the crystalline, chiming Phrase IV. If the first four cuts are linked only by heterogeneity, tracks five to eight are very much of a piece. Together they represent a frosty, menacing soundtrack worthy of the apocalyptic mood which hung over the early 1980s, particularly in West Germany. With Cold War angst at its peak, many people feared a Soviet nuclear attack was imminent.

                      Blenner doesn't really see the connection, "I wasn't thinking along those lines at all, I wouldn't say I have a depressive streak. Although one filmmaker did ask if he could use Phrase V on a soundtrack for a horror film. And someone has added Phrase V to a YouTube video of underground trains passing through East Berlin ghost stations in the early 1980s. I didn't consciously set out to evoke such a dark mood, but if that's what others hear - then who am I to argue?"

                      Reissue (originally released 1981 on SKY records).
                      Cold, concise analogue synthesizer instrumentals — on his second album Serge Blenner remained true to his style, albeit shifting course slightly towards pop territory. The juxtaposition of dark harmonies and pop structures is what makes this album so appealing. In places, it feels like a blueprint for early Depeche Mode.

                      Having seen his first album La Vogue snapped up by the Sky label and fast tracked for release in 1980, Blenner delivered his second LP (Magazin Frivole) the following year. Mindful of the success of its predecessor, Blenner added the name of his debut in big letters to the front cover of the new sleeve. Better to be safe than sorry.

                      Blenner remained faithful to his musical style, albeit adding more of a pop flavour. Magazin Frivole would not look out of place filed alongside Depeche Mode on the record shelf, as a certain resemblance is undeniable. Moreover, Blenner was one of the few proponents of electronic music who preferred to keep his songs concise, in contrast to the meandering odysseys of many of his electronic contemporaries. The far better known French artist Jean-Michel Jarre adhered to similar principles, yet although Blenner was often compared to his compatriot, he claims only to have heard his music long after La Vogue had appeared.

                      Blenner’s creative approach is quite remarkable. He is at pains to point out that he is a composer, not a musician. Improvisation does not play a part in his music. Minor chords dominate his harmonies, the bass performs octave leaps which mirror the zeitgeist. Unexpected key changes abound, adding a restless, almost disquieting quality. Overall, Magazin Frivole is less dark than the preceding album, but a picture of cheerfulness it is not. Nevertheless, a poppy drum computer introduces a lighter note.

                      From the very first track, chord changes pop up at unexpected junctures — they seem to come in prematurely, before harmonic sequences have run their course. Blenner doesn’t have any explanation for this curiosity, other than to note that “most of the music was played by hand, so of course it wasn’t all perfect.” Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be too catchy. “I did all I could to avoid being successful — on a subconscious level, at least. Unpredictable metrics and irregular beats were definitely part of the process” Blenner admits with an enigmatic smile.

                      As a matter of fact, Blenner prefers not to listen to his older recordings, dismissive of their adolescent air. Juxtaposed with Blenner’s more recent works, one can see what he means. His latest album Musique de Chambre (2008) comprises modern classical chamber music, built on digitally sampled real instruments. Besides, Blenner points out, handling all of those analogue devices was a convoluted and complex undertaking. Help was at hand. With an impeccable sense of timing, his friend Wolfgang Palm launched the PPG Wave, the first commercially available digital synthesizer. Blenner sings the praises of the PPG (Palm Products GmbH) today as enthusiastically as when he first got his hands on one. “Suddenly I had all the equipment I needed in one box.” He never used analogue equipment again, leaving his first two albums as the only ones of their kind. Which is a real shame.

                      Conrad Schnitzler

                      Conditions Of The Gas Giant

                        Imagine if you could listen to the nervous whirling of methane and helium, that's what this album sounds like - at least in the mind of experimentalist Conrad Schnitzler. The Berlin artist first released these recordings on a small American cassette label. An uncommonly rhythmical vortex, we would suggest.

                        Conditions of the Gas Giant reflected the atmosphere associated with the music, clouds of manifold colours, whirling nervously above a gaseous planet. A methane and helium tryst in sonic form - fireworks, pyrotechnics for the eyes, like the surface of Jupiter, just as Schnitzler's tracks are pyrotechnics for the ears.

                        Martin Rev

                        Clouds Of Glory

                          Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

                          Clouds of Glory
                          His second solo effort, was released on the French label New Rose in 1985, although the recordings on Clouds Of Glory actually dated back to the earlier part of the decade, following on from the Suicide sessions for the duo’s second album. Martin Rev remembers: “Clouds of Glory was produced from visual and musical sketches I had in mind which then coincidedwith an invitation by Marty Thau, previously Suicide’s manager, to take advantage of studio time he had accumulated from other projects. The essence of my ideas was then realized in the studio. Clouds was started in 1981 and completed in 1984 when additionalstudio time was made possible to complete it, based on the offer by New Rose Records.” In spite of Clouds Of Glory having been recorded with the sameequipment as the Alan Vega / Martin Rev Suicide album, it occupies a completely different space, evoking the solemnity of religious music through its underlying meditative tone. “I look now upon the album as part of a personal journey into the frontier of music; a process which is never ending in its revealing of possibilities to satisfy my musical aspirations.”

                          Martin Rev

                          Cheyenne

                            Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

                            Cheyenne
                            Although it was not released until 1991, Martin Rev’s third solo album features a wealth of material from the year 1980. For “Cheyenne”, Rev created instrumental versions of many of the tracks which had formed the basis of the second Suicide LP entitled “Alan Vega / Martin Rev”. The sphere of Martin Rev’s influence and the relevance of his music may well be related to the fact that he was one of the first artists who succeeded in grasping the abstraction of electronic music, infusing it with a sense of immediacy built on raw energy. Whilst the likes of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Kraftwerk were busy digging in the electronic music garden, Martin Rev found inspiration in the streets of New York. Rev’s music is informed by characteristic influences of the city, a place where doo-wop harmonies intermingle with the hiss and hum of the metropolis, dissolving into a collage of noise. So it is that dreamy, chiming melodies blur into ominous whirrs and drones emanating from rhythm machines and layers of distorted synthesizer. This polarity between convergence and alienation describes something deeply American, as reflected in the track names and the cover image of a rodeo rider: “The idea came from the way the tracks sounded as instrumentals. They took on a different visually descriptive dimension, even more so in combination. The visualization was an immediate sound- scape of the American landscape. That’s where the titles and cover came from.” Many of the pieces found on Cheyenne can be traced back to the sessions for the second Suicide album Alan Vega / Martin Rev (1980) which was produced by Ric Ocasek, singer for The Cars. Almost a decade passed before Martin Rev got around to editing and developing the material. “Most of the album was recorded in 1980, but the remaining few tracks from 1988 into the early 90’s. The 80’s tracks all went under a concerted editing process, to make them work for me even better as instrumentals. I didn’t get around to that until there was an offer to release them, which was in the early 90’s as well.” Indeed, Cheyenne plays out like a rural, yet intense road movie, crossing a landscape rich in beauty and contradictions.

                            Young Scientist

                            Results, Not Answers

                              When you think of the music to have emerged from Seattle, grunge and Sub Pop are probably the first things that come to mind. But Seattle was already home to a vibrant alternative music scene back in the 1970s. One of the most prominent synthesizer acts of the period was the trio Young Scientist. Influenced by the likes of Cluster, Harmonia and Tangerine Dream, they released their music exclusively on cassette. We are delighted to present their superb debut album from 1979, the hypnotic-meditative-cyclical "Results, Not Answers" on vinyl for the very first time!

                              Von Spar

                              Under Pressure

                                Five years after the release of the highly acclaimed ‘Streetlife’ album the Cologne based Neo-Kraut/Electro-Pop band returns with new recordings. ‘Under Pressure’ includes collaborations with Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier, with Vivien Goldmann, R. Stevie Moore and Chris A. Cummings who was the guest vocalist on their successful ‘Chain Of Command’ single.

                                Solarize

                                Nachtwerk (1991-1998)

                                  Since 1981, Wilfried Franzen and Thomas Grotz have been developing their own version of experimental pop music, which oscillates between song structures, noise, and psychedelic trance. Bass and keyboards form the instrumental substructure of the duo’s compositions, which are enriched with guitars, violin, piano, electronic percussions, and samples. After self-publishing various cassettes and cds, "Nachtwerk" is the first official release of SOLARIZE, which presents selected pieces from the years 1991 to 1998.

                                  Bernard Xolotl

                                  Last Wave

                                    French electronic music from California: "Last Wave", the fifth solo album by the artist and musician Bernard Xolotl, was originally released on cassette in 1982. He named himself after the Aztec god of lightning and death. His music is influenced by the Berlin school of electronic music. This reissue includes a previously unreleased bonus track (not on vinyl)! As a teen, Bernard Xolotl (born 1951 in France) was introduced to electronic music through the works of musique concrete composers like Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer, although he found the early recordings of Pink Floyd to be more inspirational. During the early 1970s, Xolotl began creating music of his own, working in studios across Europe and the US before settling in California in 1974, where he slowly built his own studio. Between 1978 and 1981 he recorded four solo cassette albums. On his album "Last Wave" Xolotl expanded his musical palette with many new instruments such as the Yamaha CS60 and the PPG.

                                    Bernard Xolotl on the creating process of "Last Wave": The first "Last Wave" I started early on while still living in San Francisco, as a simple and longish piece which could be used as a background for the concerts I was giving with Daniel Kobialka and Richard Horowitz, both of whom I saw almost every day at that time. However, after I moved to the residential suburb of Marin to build up my studio, I kept adding tracks to it so it just became part of my next album. This was going to have more instruments and progressively, I got to do everything myself, playing and recording one track at a time. But mixing there was still out of the question, so I had to wait for the right opportunity to use the proper San Francisco studio with the best reverbs and acoustics. This took several years in the end and was the last album I didn't mix at home.

                                    Following the vaguely poppy shapes of 1980's album East West, his fith album L'Ethique saw ex-Heldon guitarist and synth wizard Richard Pinhas return to bigger and bolder band-like methods. After the release he disappeared from the limelight for nearly a decade and returned in the 1990s.

                                    Interviewed by "Electronics & Music Maker" magazine in 1982, Richard Pinhas spoke in buoyant terms about the future of his recording career. Having just unveiled his fifth solo album, L'Ethique, he was already scheming towards its follow-up. The next record. It would see him shift from analogue-based methods to digital systems. He expected the album to arrive in 1984. Little did anybody know that the mooted record would not actually materialise.

                                    The year after that interview took place, Pinhas was plunged into a long period of depression. "I stopped everything and didn't think I would ever come back to music," he remembers. "I decided music was no longer for me. I'd said what I had to wanted to say, and it was done. It was out of my head and out of my life." Thus, he sold all his synthesisers and tried to survive on their profits along with royalties from his back catalogue. L'Ethique now looked as though it was Pinhas' final artistic statement. It was a strong collection to go out on. L'Ethique saw Pinhas return to bigger and bolder band-like methods. His collaborators included bassist Bernard Paganotti and Clément Bailly, both of whom performed stints in the prog band Magma. Moog player Patrick Gauthier made a reappearance too. The line-up brought a phat and forceful feel to the crunching jazz-rock fusion of 'Belfast' and 'Dedicated To K.C.', a vibrant space-rock stomper that lurks on some distant planet between the extraterrestrial habitats of King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind.

                                    Part 1 of 'The Western Wall' has a particularly fast tempo. Interspersing these rockers sit some mellower moments. The title of the gorgeous synth rumination 'Melodic Simple Transition' seems far too modest. Despite its dark and brooding synth chords, the second instalment of 'The Western Wall' has a strangely calming effect on the senses. Pinhas disappeared from the limelight for nearly a decade under the weight of his depression. On the strength of this record, not to mention the works that preceded it, there's little wonder that so many labels and promoters were falling over themselves to persuade Pinhas to return to music, which he eventually did in the 1990s. "The real miracle is that I reconnected with the music-making process," says Pinhas on overcoming his reclusive years. "It is easy to fall, but very difficult to come back."

                                    Carl Matthews

                                    Call For World Saviours

                                      Mesmerizing D-I-Y electronic music from Cumbria, UK. Influenced by the Berlin School but, even more, by Tim Blake. Released 1984 on cassette only. This is the first time vinyl!

                                      Carl Matthews is by no means immune to the maelstrom of geo-caching notebooks. Krautrock (tick), guerrilla D-I-Y cassette-era artist (tick), under-rated UK electronic composer (tick). Man with a beard, surrounded by synths. (tick). Best of all, he was once described as the Edgar Froese of Cumbria.

                                      Is there a suspension bridge which connects Carl Matthews to the mainland European tradition of Harmonia, Cluster and Tangerine Dream? 

                                      Fourth solo album by French spacerock mastermind Richard Pinhas. 'East West' was his first and only album to be released by a major label (CBS). Some say it is his most commercial one, Pinhas doesn't see it that way. East West contained some surprises for those who were used to Heldon’s extended jams or the sparse and moody atmosphere of the previous year’s Iceland.

                                      East West’s average track length is four minutes, indicating greater accessibility. It also has a David Bowie cover, although Pinhas naturally chose one of the thin white duke’s more avant-garde moments: the foreboding 'Sense Of Doubt' from Heroes. East West’s synth-centric tracks, resemble siblings to the groundbreaking work of Kraftwerk. Others evoke Brian Eno or Tangerine Dream but hold their own distinct flavour.

                                      Dennis Young

                                      Synthesis / Electronic Music 1984-1988

                                        Dennis Young is best known as the percussionist of the New York band LIQUID LIQUID, which is known for their piece "Cavern" from 1983, which in turn became very well known because Grandmaster Flash sampled it and used it as the basis for their hit "White Lines". But Young was more than just a member of the band, he produced plenty of his own music, much of it reflecting his passion for analog electronics. He was fascinated by the pioneers of the genre. In 2016 Bureau B released "Wave", a collection of pieces Young had issued on cassettes between 1985-1988. "Synthesis", by contrast, features tracks from 1984-1988 which have never been previously released.

                                        Schlammpeitziger

                                        Damenbartblick Auf Pregnant Hill

                                          Schlammpeitziger came through in the same 90s wave of German eclectronica as Oval, Mouse On Mars, To Rococo Rot, Mike Ink etc..

                                          Uncut - 8/10 review Feb 2018 - 'Blissed out electronic reveries'.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                          Harald Grosskopf & Eberhard Kranemann

                                          Krautwerk

                                            Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann transmit cosmic sonic visions of today, tomorrow and beyond in one of the most exciting collaborations in recent years. Harald Grosskopf played on the early Klaus Schulze albums and recorded with Ashra..  Eberhard Kranemann co-founded the electronic bands Kraftwerk, NEU!

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                            Conrad Schnitzler

                                            Filmmusik 2

                                            Part 2 of the double release - now with historically correct titles In the year 1975 Conrad Schnitzler recorded various pieces of music to accompany films which had yet to be made. Fittingly, he labelled this collection of songs "Filmmusik". Only one of the tracks - "Gute Fahrt" (Nice Journey) - would ultimately be paired with a film, now traceable on the internet for all to see. The music is included on Part 1 of our Filmmusik double release, erroneously entitled "02/1980". Why the incorrect title? The tapes which served as source material for our two Filmmusik releases were copied onto two data carriers then mislabelled. To be precise, one label was accurate - "Filmmusik 1975 A" - but the other, "Filmmusik 1980 B", was not. All the tracks had been created in the same year, so it should have read "1975 B". In the absence of actual song titles, we simply gave them numbers. Ignorant of the above mentioned film at the time, we called the track "02/1980", when we should have called it "02/1975 B" or, as we would later discover, "Gute Fahrt". Shortly after we released "Filmmusik 1", Jin Kawai, curator of the official Schnitzler website www.fancymoon.com, contacted us to set us right. In 2009, whilst sorting through reels of film (some shot by Schnitzler himself) and music to upload to the site, Kawai was particularly drawn to one piece entitled "Gute Fahrt". Were there any more tracks like this? Schnitzler told him there were and sent Kawai all of the other recordings. One half of "Filmmusik 2" comprises tracks from the 1975 series, the other half is a 23 minute piece with the title "Lichtpunkte und schwarze Zeichen". This music was actually written for a film (which can also be found on the internet, naturally) in 1978. We were delighted to find it in 2015 and enthusiastically searched the Schnitzler archives for more of the same. This led us to the (in some cases, incorrectly labelled) 1975 recordings and the rest is history.

                                            Various Artists

                                            Magnetband

                                            EXPERIMENTELLER ELEKTRONIK-UNDERGROUND DDR 1984-1989
                                            compiled by Jestram, Konden, Lippok, Papenfuß

                                            CD and LP including linernotes by Alexander Pehlemann. 

                                            Inspired by Punk and Post Punk, vibrant scenes dedicated to independent self-actualisation by means of sound circulated on self-distributed cassettes, in the 80s the cheapest and fastest medium, were developing not only in the FRG but also in the GDR (=DDR). The artefacts from that era tell of a stance of refusal in practice, and of the possibility to charge up on a high level, in spite of everything. "Magnetband" features 14 exciting experimental-electronic pieces from the GDR that originally have been released between 1984 and 1989 on cassettes only.

                                            From 1971 to 1977, Peter Baumann was a member of the legendary Berlin band TANGERINE DREAM. The group were pioneers of the so called Berliner Schule (Berlin School) which had such a profound impact on electronic music. He produced a number of momentous albums at his Paragon Studio (by the likes of Conrad Schnitzler, Cluster, Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and also enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first two solo works are now being reissued with extensive liner notes and rare photographs. The influence of Tangerine Dream can clearly be heard on "Romance 76", although the arrangements are comparatively minimalist-a state of affairs for which David Bowie can be held partially responsible (see below).

                                            With Peter Baumann on board, Tangerine Dream grew into one of the most influential bands in electronic Krautrock, sited somewhere between experimental electronica and progressive rock. Open to new ideas, Baumann's positive aura and eagerness to experiment galvanized the band's music almost instantaneously. His catchy melodies, rich in positivity, propelled Tangerine Dream into the charts.

                                            After five years of chart appearances and extensive touring through Europe and North America, punctuated by several albums-including "Atem", John Peel's nominated import album of 1973-Baumann called time on his solo career with "Romance 76". "We found some time between tours and record productions, so Edgar recorded a solo disc and helped Christoph and me to develop our own music too. 'Romance 76' resulted from the urge to create new music. I felt we had begun repeating ourselves in Tangerine Dream and I was keen to discover new things, to carry on experimenting. Improvisation had been common to us all, but on your own it isn't quite so simple. I started to work on my own pieces." This shift in focus led him to leave Tangerine Dream towards the end of 1977. He and a friend set up the Paragon Studio in Berlin, which would earn a prominent place in music production history, but that's another story.

                                            Still a member of the band in 1976, Baumann rented a hall in the ufaFabrik, Berlin to record "Romance 76". Sonic similarities to Tangerine Dream can be explained by the fact that the group used the same space for gig rehearsals, giving Baumann access to their instruments. The distinctive sound of a modular synthesizer system christened "The Big One" can be detected on "Romance 76", for example, along with a Mellotron.

                                            Some tracks on the album, such as "Romance" and "Phase By Phase", are relatively minimalist in character. This airiness lends the unusual synth sounds space to unfold in all their glory. A state of affairs for which David Bowie is partially responsible, as Baumann recalls: "We were in Berlin and met him for dinner, then he would call in while I was recording the album, listening carefully to what I was working on. I explained to him what still needed to be done, but Bowie suggested: 'Leave it as it is, there's enough there already.'" At which point Baumann decided to look at the tracks in question as finished.

                                            Adelbert Von Deyen

                                            Sternzeit

                                              Adelbert von Deyen is a protagonist of the so-called Berlin School (Berliner Schule) of electronic music. On his debut album Sternzeit, he takes his time to develop sound structures, often drifting, floating blissfully into tonal interference. The listener also requires time and patience, but will be rewarded with a Zen-like state of contemplation. Adelbert von Deyen's musical backstory follows a less than typical path.

                                              He recalls: "To make the best use of my evenings, I finally bought a second-hand synthesizer, various electronic keyboard instruments and a tape machine, plus a few bits and pieces you need to make music. If I didn't have enough money, I asked the bank. During the day I worked as a retoucher for a newspaper and in the evenings, I composed my celestial electronic sounds, invariably deep into the night. It took me around eight months to finish my first compositions. I made tape copies which I sent out to various record companies. I struck lucky straight away: Sky Records in Hamburg were interested in my music and my first record was granted a worldwide release in 1978. I called it Sternzeit and I painted the cover myself."

                                              This was indeed a stroke of luck for a newcomer like Adelbert von Deyen. Founded by Gunter Kurber in 1975, the label had already hosted acclaimed releases from electronic and Krautrock stars like Michael Rother, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and even Brian Eno. A decent level of public interest was thus guaranteed.

                                              The Sternzeit album was issued as catalogue number SKY 019, one of the early releases on the label.In principle, many elements on this first album reappear on the two which followed (to be reissued January 2017): rich analogue layers, the swirling winds of the ARP Odyssey, masterful synth effects sprinkled so delicately.

                                              The second side of the record is devoted to a single track which is based on an incessant organ tone and played with vibrato, engendering a hypnotic sense of weightlessness. Keyboarders often taped down keys on their organs or synthesizers to create such effects back in the day. Adelbert von Deyen is an unconventional musician. When he performs, he sits down with his back to the audience, focussed on his arsenal of equipment. The way he has unreservedly followed his passions for music and artistic creativity speaks volumes about his free-thinking nature. Adelbert von Deyen mixed and produced this album in his own small studio on a Revox A77 tape recorder.

                                              Lloyd Cole

                                              1D Electronics 2012-2014

                                                Lloyd Cole is mostly know for his outstanding pop music, but he certainly has a taste for electronic music. In 2013 he released an highly acclaimed album together with electronic music legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius (BB124 "Selected Studies Vol. 1") for whom he also curated a compilation of his electronic music recordings (BB187 "Kollektion 2. Roedelius - Electronic Music. Compiled by Lloyd Cole"). Finally we are happy to announce the release of a solo album with lloyd's electronic music on September 4th: "1D Electronics 2012-2014". Some pieces were originally created with overdubs by another in mind. Some were simply experiments. One or two may have had loftier ambitions…. None of the pieces involves the use of a piano keyboard or a computer, except to record it. Some modulations were executed by hand. Most were generated by programmed sequencers and logic. Each piece is a self contained electronic circuit.

                                                Harald Grosskopf is best known as drummer in the band Ashra and for Klaus Schulze and as an electronic musician. Following “Synthesist” (1980), “Oceanheart” was his second solo album. It may sound like a child of the 1980s, but in a compositional sense it is related to the Berliner Schule / Berlin School of the 70's
                                                .
                                                Tired of the rock format and excited by the freedoms promised by electronic music, Harald Grosskopf quit Wallenstein, a conventional rock band, in the mid-seventies to turn his attention to electronica. Grosskopf thus became the first drummer to specialize in the electronic music field. He played drums on Klaus Schulze’s albums “Moondawn” and “Body Love” and on YOU’s “Electric Day”. When Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra Tempel asked him if he would consider enrolling as the regular drummer in the group now rechristened Ashra, he did not need to think about it for long. Grosskopf changed course again in the eighties, this time in pursuit of commercial success: he played in the NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) group Lilli Berlin and backed Joachim Witt on his best-selling “Silberblick” LP, which featured the hit “Goldener Reiter”.

                                                Sky, the record company, were more than a little disappointed with the performance of Grosskopf’s first solo effort “Synthesist”, so there was no great sense of urgency as far as its successor was concerned. “They even halved my advance!” Grosskopf recalls. “Oceanheart” was released some six years after “Synthesist”. “The album title reflects my love of transcendental meditation, of course it might be taken for watery esoterics.” (A similar vibe was evident in the cover art, hence fresh artwork has been created for the reissue.) Musical equipment for the production was limited by the label’s ongoing thrift programme. The first “Oceanheart” recordings took place “under the roof” in the Lilli Berlin Studio, Kreuzberg. They were completed at the Spandauer Studio by former Tangerine Dream member Christoph Franke. “We mixed everything down and recorded the drums there.” Harald Grosskopf again played everything himself, except for the tablas. In keeping with its predecessor, “Oceanheart” was no bestseller, but, like “Synthesist”, it attained cult status, rediscovered in recent years through the internet by a younger generation. Harald Grosskopf himself needed time to appreciate the work: “I only really discovered the musical quality of ‘Oceanheart’ years later. I finally realized that I had created something quite special.” - Christoph Dallach

                                                Cluster

                                                Apropos Cluster

                                                  Cluster (Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius) are pioneers of electronic music and key Krautrock protagonists. In the late 1960s, together with Konrad Schnitzler as the trio Kluster, they changed the world of music for ever with their radical improvisations.Having split from Schnitzler, Moebius and Roedelius continued as Cluster, releasing eight further milestones of electronic and ambient music up until 1981, two of them with Brian Eno. A hiatus lasting almost a decade was brought to an end in 1990 when Cluster made a surprise comeback with 'Apropos Cluster'.Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens.

                                                  Kreidler / Automat

                                                  Split EP

                                                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                    2014 sees the 20th anniversary of German electronic pioneers Kreidler. There'll be a tour, a movie by Heinz Emigholz and new album release “ABC” (which has been recorded in Tbilisi, Georgia). Featured here is an unreleased outtake from the album session. Jochen Arbeit, Achim Färber and Georg Zeitblom have been collaborating under the name Automat since the end of 2011. Their debut album will be available from 4th April 2014, featured here are three unreleased outtakes from the album. The song “Berlin Wall” is a collaboration with Throbbing Gristle’s & Psychic TV’s Genesis Breyer POrridge.

                                                    Electronic duo Ulrich Schnauss (A Long Way to Fall, A Strangely Isolated Place) and Mark Peters (of the band Engineers) return with a second collaborative album titled Tomorrow is Another Day, released by Bureau B. This second project offers a sublime exploration into their signature expressionistic landscapes while exploring the potential of a collaborative model in which Schnauss's keyboards and Peters's guitar work together in juxtaposition.

                                                    Ulrich Schnauss, born in the industrial port town of Kiel in northern Germany in 1977, emerged in Berlin's drum 'n bass scene in the mid-1990s. Mark Peters was born in Liverpool in 1975 and embraced a deeply euphonic pop aesthetic that incorporated intricate formal structures. The two musicians met years ago when both were making shoegaze music and formed a close friendship. Schnauss joined Peters's band Engineers as a keyboardist in 2010. After the collapse of the second-wave shoegaze movement in the early 2000s, both musicians drifted away from the genre's dreamy, shimmering aesthetic and returned solidly to their own musical roots. Peters has subsequently explored classic, guitar-based music and Schnauss has returned to his origins as an electronica producer.

                                                    Tomorrow is Another Day represents a maturing of the pair's creative process. Following their first collaborative album titled Underrated Silence (2012), which seamlessly blends the two instrumental voices into an integrated sonic landscape that delivers surprisingly intense emotion beneath the surface of its delicate composition, Schnauss and Peters subsequently began to craft a musical exchange in which each musician's contribution was emphasized in contrast to the other's voice. The differences in Schnauss' and Peters's musical backgrounds are highlighted and embraced as their two voices emerge in dialogue. Here, the synths are drier, the guitars more discreet. The shifting tonality of the music's richly layered patterning defines its composition with punctuated gestures as melodic lines emerge in sharper relief. With neither musical style overpowering the other, the effect is that of two equally masterful voices in coherent conversation, celebrating the dynamic nature of instrumental combination and exploring a new method of creative approach - one that allows for concurrence and dissent, in turn.

                                                    Kreidler was founded in Düsseldorf in 1994 by Thomas Klein, Andreas Reihse, Detlef Weinrich and Stefan Schneider (who left to form To Rococo Rot) Kreidler have been asked to remix artists such as Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten and Faust among 20 others and cooperated with artists like Klaus Dinger (NEU!), Add (N) to X, Young Gods, Theo Altenberg, Momus, Leo Garcia, Pyrolator and Chicks on Speed

                                                    'Den' is Kreidler's eleventh regular album It could be said that 'Tank' - Kreidler's critically acclaimed previous album - is a drum album. Not in the sense of the brute force of a Ginger Baker or a John Bonham, but more in terms of the elastic muscularity of a Budgie, a Robert Görl or a Klaus Dinger. So in the case of 'Den', if attempting yet another such broad categorization, one might draw attention to the album's viscous musicality. Indeed, for recording and mixing, Kreidler chose to work at LowSwing, a studio renowned for its round sonic character, with the magnificent Guy Sternberg at the controls. The album's opening track 'Sun' displays an inspired beauty that is perhaps reminiscent of Eno during those periods in which he was interested in songwriting. Pan-Asian counter-melodies interplay around the stoic but light architecture of 'Deadwringer'. And 'Rote Wuste' is a mysterious painting, spanning a vast emotional arc between it's dark beginnings and the possibility of a conciliatory resolution. The heavily grooving 'Cascade' finds an utterly mesmerized Alex Paulick on guitar - just how many chord changes does Andreas Reihse get through? But one nice aspect of Kreidler is that those kinds of things hardly matter. Kreidler never burden the listener with strict didacticism. Everything flows naturally.

                                                    The blue album from 1974 and was Schnitzler's second solo LP. Digipak reissue with liner notes by Asmus Tietchens, rare photos and six bonus track (CD + download only) On the red album, Konrad Schnitzler laid down the direction his musical artistry would take. The blue album ("Blau") offered confirmation of his intent. Maybe the "Rot" and "Blau" tracks were recorded in the same session. Structure, sound and timbre of both LPs are so similar as to suggest that this was the case (an unverified assumption nevertheless!). Far more important than this historical pedantry is the fact that Schnitzler included two brand new compositions on "Blau" which followed on seamlessly from the previous album. Quite simply, he had found his way, a course from which he would not stray as long as he lived.

                                                    The so-called Berlin School (Berliner Schule) - with Konrad Schnitzler one of their number - had developed its own style of minimalist music. Clearly distinct from Anglo-American pop music, and no less removed from the minimalist art music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass, the focus here was on electronics and elementary rhythmics. The Berlin musicians showed no great interest in instrumental or vocal virtuosity, nor were they in thrall to exuberant interleaving of rhythm. With the aid of synthesizers and studio technology, they were bent on breaking into territory hitherto considered the province of a privileged elite, clouded in mystery and secrecy, resonating with uncharted sounds and noise. "Blau" is an archetypal example of this very phenomenon. Schnitzler's style was really too idiosyncratic ever to set a precedent, but he was, and still is, one of the most significant inspirations for pop music in more recent times. Already a figure of prominence, perhaps he will one day be elevated to the status of a legend.

                                                    D.A.F.

                                                    Ein Produkt Der Deutsch-Amerikanischen

                                                      The debut by Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft was a feat of musical pioneering. Later to find global fame as a duo, DAF's 1979 line-up of Robert Gorl, Wolfgang Spelmans, Kurt Dahlke (Pyrolator) and Michael Kemner created what was quite possibly the worlds first noise-rock album. Radical, brutish, instrumental.

                                                      Originally released in 1979 on Warning Records (later Ata Tak)

                                                      Reissue in digipak with liner notes, rare photos and memorabilia.

                                                      True DAF connoisseurs will, of course, be aware of the early phase of the Dusseldorf-Wuppertal combo. But most fans of the subsequently world famous duo may well be taken aback when confronted with their debut album: forceful synth bass sounds, snappy rhythms, Gabi Delgado and leather all conspicuously absent. In their place, pure instrumental, unstructured noise-rock, played by long-haired and moustachioed types! A band can barely have undergone a more extreme metamorphosis. Gabi Delgado joined the band before the band discarded the name of YOU and christened themselves Deutsch- Amerikanische Freundschaft. A tape machine and two microphones were set up in Wolfgang Spelmans living room and ten days of unbounded improvisation ensued. And thus it was completed, Produkt der Deutsch- Amerikanischen Freundschaft ; 22 tracks, ranging from 19 seconds to three minutes in length. The influence of Can is clearly audible. Considering the fact that other prominent noise-rock bands such as Chrome, Flipper or even Sonic Youth recorded similar music at a much later date, this 'product of Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaf¨ should certainly be recognized as a pioneering work. Possibly even the first noise-rock album.

                                                      Produced by the team at Machines With Magnets who have worked with Lightning Bolt, Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah, Fang Island and Battles

                                                      The musicians: Ulrich Schnauss, born in Kiel in 1977, now residing in London, three solo albums released to date, Engineers keyboard player and an in-demand remixer (Mojave 3, Depeche Mode, Lunz/Roedelius, to name just a few). Mark Peters, born in Liverpool in 1975, bass player, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the British band Engineers, also three album releases to their name thus far.

                                                      The music: synthesizer, piano, guitar and drum computer, a reduced, yet bacchanal instrumental combination of ambient, electronica and shoegaze sounds. Transporting the sound of shoegazer aesthetics into an electronic context, this is how Ulrich Schnauss once described his artistic goal. Influenced by bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and Chapterhouse on the one hand, yet wholly at ease with the electronica of bands like The Orb, Bionaut, Orbital, 808 State and unequivocally appreciative of veterans of the genre, Tangerine Dream or Manuel Gottsching for example. A brother in spirit of Robin Guthrie one might say, an apposite epithet for Schnauss. His collaborative partner Mark Peters might also be considered his soul brother. Through his band, Engineers, he has similarly found success in following the footsteps of his musical paragons. Engineers have released wonderful albums of dream pop, infused with the same spirit as the solo efforts of Schnauss.

                                                      Hans-Joachim Roedelius

                                                      Gift Of The Moment - Geschenk Des Augenblicks

                                                        Tenth solo album, first released in 1984. His most commercially successful album to date.

                                                        On “Gift of the Moment” Roedelius broke away unequivocally from purely electronic music. If “Lustwandel” and “Jardin au fou” had seen the process set in motion, this was the album that completed the transition. Following the “Selbstportraits”, which had at least been created through the use of electric organ and synthesizers, Roedelius focussed on the grand piano, sometimes accompanied by a cello, violin and guitar. Distant echoes of a not so distant musical past could only be detected in the occasional appearance of sparse chords played on a polyphonic synthesizer. The album wore a veil of delicate melancholy: no vibrant folk dances, no colourful carousels, no cheerful melodies. Instead, Roedelius offered a calm, almost detached form of music, openly acknowledging romantic heritage. “Gift of the Moment” eluded contemporary definitions of the “experimental” concept, as Roedelius was now experimenting in new, eclectic areas, too weighty, too grainy to be labelled “Proto New Age”. Roedelius was not striving for perfection, but for authenticity, a music stripped of disguise; and to this end he left little playing errors in the mix, fading out tracks rigorously to eliminate any bigger blunders.

                                                        Originally released in 1971 on Philips, reissued later (with a different cover and different running order) on Sky. On Bureau B for the first time with the original running order and original Philips cover.

                                                        The band: founded in 1971 by Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, both key figures in the German experimental scene for electronic and ambient music.

                                                        The music: abstract, meandering streams of sound and noise. Epochal, experimental electronics - "Cluster 71" was the duo's debut album. According to The Wire "Cluster 71" is one of the 'One Hundred Records That Set The World On Fire'. Very few albums from Germany can lay claim to this honour. "Cluster 71" is a monster: the debut work from the year 1971 (actually just called Cluster) contains a mere three tracks (untitled) and is quite an ordeal for untrained ears - back then, at least. Yet the album pointed the way forward like no other electronic opus.

                                                        1980 album from post Can project.

                                                        Phantom Band is: Jaki Liebezeit (Can etc.), Rosko Gee (Can, Traffic), Helmut Zerlett (eg Dunkelziffer, Unknown Cases), Dominik von Senger (eg Dunkelziffer, Damo Suzuki Band/Network), Olek Gelba, Sheldon Ancel.

                                                        Guest musician: Holger Czukay

                                                        The music on “Phantom Band”: Can-style monotonic polyrhythms meets afrobeat, funk, jazz, disco, reggae, dub.



                                                        Cluster

                                                        Sowiesoso

                                                        Originally released in 1976; melodic and atmospheric, the blend of electronic rhythms and quirky bubbly sounds combined with piano and a few bits of guitar here and there to create pure bliss.

                                                        'The evocative toybox melodies (usually the Roedelius compositions) on 1974's "Zuckerzeit" reached their peak with "Sowiesoso", courtesy of ambling pieces like "Dem Wanderer", the title track, and the vaguely Oriental "Halwa". The drum programs are still irresistibly simplistic (not to say simple), but even when Sowiesoso stretches out into primarily beatless terrain ("Es War Einmal", "Zum Wohl"), the album retains its power.' (All Music Guide)

                                                        "Jardin Au Fou" is the second solo album by German keyboardist Hans-Joachim Roedelius, best known for his work with Cluster, Harmonia, and Aquarello. Recorded from April through July, 1978 at Paragon Studios in Berlin, it was produced by former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann and released by the French label Egg in 1979. The original release included 10 tracks but the final short piece, "Final", was left off the tracklisting on the original album cover.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        CD Info: The CD features 6 additional tracks: three of the new tracks are remixes of material from the original recording while three others are newly released.


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