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Peter Baumann - Romance '76 CD (album) cover

ROMANCE '76

Peter Baumann

 

Progressive Electronic

3.02 | 25 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Peter Baumann's debut solo effort sounds exactly like what it is: one-third of a classic TANGERINE DREAM album from the band's mid-'70s creative peak. Working without his fellow T. Dreamers Chris Franke and Edgar Froese left the album with a curious sense of uncluttered, homemade minimalism, further reduced by the sometimes amateur simplicity of the music itself. Baumann was clearly no keyboard virtuoso, but he could accomplish wonders with very little compositional effort: a little sequencer pattern here, some easy one-fingered arpeggios there, all of it dressed up in an attractive wrap of cold, antiseptic atmospherics.

The first three tracks in particular (Side One on vinyl) should strike a chord in any fan of Tangerine Dream circa "Stratosfear" or "Sorcerer". But it's on the latter half of the album that Baumann reveals the deeper side of his musical personality, in a side-long suite recorded with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

Don't expect anything resembling symphonic rock, however. The atonal voices, spare electronics, and driving percussion all combine into an eerie neo-classical experiment more suitable for the soundtrack of an imaginary sci-fi movie (Stanley Kubrick might have loved it). This is ambitious stuff even by the high standards of the time, perhaps showing a direction toward which Baumann hoped Tangerine Dream might turn, and maybe explaining why he left the band when they didn't.

On the other hand, Baumann himself didn't pursue anything similar on his own subsequent albums. But don't blame him for the sudden de-evolution of musical culture in the latter half of the 1970s. Be thankful instead that he didn't begin his solo career a few short years later, after the market for such creative self-indulgence had all but disappeared.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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