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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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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A familiar Tang

In 1977, Peter Baumann left Tangerine Dream intent on pursuing a solo career. About a year before he did so, he released his first solo album while still a member of the band. "Romance '76" sounds very like a Tangs solo album, in that it feels like one of the multi-tracks recorded by the band for an album around this time. The structured layers of TD's albums are replaced by single synthesiser soloing, with appropriate rhythmic support.

The album has six tracks, three on each side. "Bicentenial present", "Romance" and "Phase by phase" are all stereotypical TD pieces, the slightly sparser arrangements not creating any discernible difference overall. The music is pleasantly diverting with trademark repetitious rhythms and sound which at the time were still relatively new and exciting. There is a slightly underdeveloped feel to these pieces, their brevity in TD terms perhaps implying that Baumann needed the other band members to bring out his compositions to the full.

The second side is effectively a side long suite in three movements, the two parts of "Meadow of infinity" book-ending the brief "The Glass Bridge". The first part of "Meadow of infinity" was the only part of the album not recorded in Berlin, the recordings for this section taking place in Munich. This allowed Baumann to call upon the assistance of members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by one H. Baumann. The piece has a quasi modern classical feel, predating by a couple of decades Tangerine Dream's forays into such areas on the "Dante's inferno" trilogy. While the music here is less accessible, it is bolder and more experimental. "The glass bridge" is aptly named being a delicate, flute like link between the two main sections. The closing part of "Meadow of infinity" has the most symphonic atmosphere of the album, the multi-layered synth and mellotron like strings creating fine washes of sound.

In all, a decent statement from Baumann, who simply demonstrates that he can create Tangerine Dream like music single handedly. Subsequent to this album, which understandably sees Baumann sticking to the formula which brought success to the band he was in, he started to move towards dance and pop. This therefore is the best of the bunch as far as his solo output is concerned.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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