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Various Artists (Tributes) - Hispasónicos: Berlin School CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

4.00 | 3 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Berlin School is that kosmische cousin of Krautrock that jettisoned the rock aspects of the scene and was the precursor of ambient electronic music unlike the rhythm focused Düsseldorf School scene that spawned Can, Cluster, Kratwerk and Neu! and would become the precursor to synthpop and techno. The style has remained popular throughout the decades with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching serving as veritable gods in the genre.

It was sad to lose one of the pioneering legends, Mr Klaus Schulze in 2022 but while he may have joined the great Cosmic Jokers in the sky, it's quite a honor to find a release like this one emerging in the same year as a tribute to his legacy and the music he helped bring to fruition. HISPASÓNICOS: BERLIN SCHOOL was released in September 2022 a mere few months after Schulze's passing to the great kosmische party in the afterlife. This compilation provides the perfect celebratory mood lift that honors his musical contributions although i don't think this was actually intended for that purpose.

This massive album that features 15 tracks, each done by a different artist was the result of a Berlin School music contest that was held at the website and is available on Bandcamp to be downloaded digitally and the best part about it is that it is totally free if you are too stingy to make a contribution. This collection of retro enthusiasm exceeds the 125 minute mark takes more than a few cues from the legends of the past and adds various modern interpretations of the classic Berlin School scene without losing all the magic that keeps it in its own little nook of the electronic music world.

Each track features the classic ambient elements combined with the squiggly sequenced runs of notes accompanied heavy use of mellotron and familiar tones and timbres based in spacey tripped out repetitive clusters of sound. An all instrumental album except for what sounds like synth-created angelic choir sounds projecting wordless vocalizations, HISPASÓNICOS: BERLIN SCHOOL unleashes the youthful creativity of the modern age while paying tribute to the past masters. The result is a surprisingly excellent album's worth of original Berlin School music interpreted by electronic musics from Spain.

Going into this i wasn't exactly thrilled to check out over two hours of Berlin School music but once i pushed play i actually sat through the entire thing in one go finding myself enthralled by the modern takes on a retro sound. The music on here is very much steeped in all the Berlin School elements that keep the genre well defined but liberally uses the building blocks to construct hitherto unheard musical edifices. The album's range shifts from the spaced out abstract trippiness of tracks like "Angular Momentum" and "Dark Matter" to more melodic numbers such as "Jane Apocalypse" which are more in the vein of Jean Michel-Jarre.

Overall i am blown away by the music on this one as there is not a single bad track on board and it was all done by students who were simply competing in an online contest. It is clear that the Berlin School branch of electronic music is in no way in danger of going extinct now that Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching have left this Earthly plane and the fact that Tangerine Dream's days are numbered as well. The thing most striking about this one is the perfect balancing act of keeping it all traditional while adding new elements and ways of putting it all together. No matter what the intention of this one was, it turns out to be the ultimate tribute to the entire Berlin School scene just as Klaus Schulze checked out. Well worth checking out and as a free download you will definitely get your money's worth!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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