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Bernd Kistenmacher - Head Visions CD (album) cover


Bernd Kistenmacher

Progressive Electronic

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Head Visions is the debut LP of german composer Bernd Kistenmacher. His music is in the direct conitinuation of 70's Berlin space electronic music. Each track features floating, serene, aquatic & epic ambiences based on vintage synthesizers. This first album is really achieved, reaching a high state of maturity, pre-figuring the release of a few little classics. The opening theme is a dreamy-like and melodic composition using extended synth chords, minimal spaced out patterns based on sequencers. This is very closed to Klaus Schulze's late 70's efforts, very calm and lienar, providing powerfully flowing electronic waves that create a charming trip throw the unknown. Quitting Time is a realy hallucinatory, vibrant electronic epic featuring eerie ambiences and moving, repetitive electronic rhythms & hypno loops. Once again it reveals real references to Schulze's majestic abstract soundscapes. La tendresse is my favourite track on this one, a cosmic-proto new agy piece, always bringing to the fore tranquill-spacious synth lines punctuated by conrete noises & effects. The album reissue features a live extract released in 1990 for programmed percussions and epically meditative synthscapes. A pleasant listening that can ravish every fan of 70's kosmische music.
Report this review (#191844)
Posted Thursday, December 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bernd Kistenmacher, not so known electronic musician from Germany, deserves more recognition: his music would certainly appeal to the fans of Berlin School of electronic music.

Kistenmacher offered his debut album, 'Head Visions', to a number of music labels in 1986. He was rejected because ''his music is too 'seventies oriented' and nobody will listen to it today''. At the same time he was selling copies to fans all over globe just by the word of mouth. He established his own private label, 'Musique Intemporelle'.

The 1986 was the year when The Greats of electronic music had not yet hit the rock bottom of their creative landscapes (as, say, 3 to 5 years later), but they were certainly not in their creative apex neither: Schulze was noodling with pot-pourri of electronica and pseudo classical music, Tangerine Dream were experimenting with digital equipment and electric guitars, and Kraftwerk were, of course, doing techno pop. Paradoxically, Kistenmacher debut with obsolete music came like a breeze of a fresh air.

'Head Visions' comes with three lengthy pieces (plus one bonus track that fits fine).

Fans of old Tangerine Dream will immediately recognise Kistenmacher's influences: first track, side-long 'Ruckstürz' is lovely, meditative, floating tapestry of analogue chords which blends into a pulsating sequence with additional layers of portamento melodies.

'Quitting Time', a second track, is truly fabulous piece: totally hypnotic, precise, and haunting. After twelve minutes or so, the song cools down by repeating the sequence backwards.

'La Tendresse' is keeping the quality level - this time there are no sequenced patterns, only atmospheric harmonies, resembling nature calls (fans of TD will immediately draw a parallel with opening dissonances on 'Force Majeure'). This one wraps album nicely, but there's a bonus track on a 1992 release (recorded live in 1990, I guess it's an excerpt since it starts and ends with fade in/out) that continues in the same style, and thankfully keeps the quality on the same level: the high pitched sequence that melts into counterpoint tones balancing between melodies and chords, making a waiving pad, while there's a bass guitar-resembling pattern in the background, very sparse, with some electronic percussion that resembles maracas and sound natural and logical. Despite the sound wallowing in intersected melodies, it's airy rather than dramatic, and dreamy rather than tense.

Bernd Kistenmacher, a youngster who looked like he was a member of a hair metal band in the 80's, did a tremendous work here. I'm more than willing to check the rest of his output. Highly recommended to the fans of 70's electronic music.

Report this review (#435939)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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