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ADELBERT VON DEYEN

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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Adelbert Von Deyen picture
Adelbert Von Deyen biography
ADELBERT VON DEYEN is a relatively obscure electronic artist whose style is very similar to the famed KLAUS SCHULZE, even down to the album covers! Rightfully so, he claims SCHULZE as his main influence. His career lasted from the late Seventies to the early to mid-Eighties. His first album, "Sternzeit," is perhaps his most famous SCHULZE-like release. On later albums, like "Eclipse," there was a definite spacey, Pink Floyd feeling present throughout. On this album, he even decided to incorporate vocals. Today, VON DEYEN no longer records and instead has become a painter.

Though Von Deyen is a relatively obscure electronic artist, his music will most likey appeal to fans of the genre (especially TANGERINGE DREAM and SCHULZE). His best album is probably is probably his first. Every Progressive Electronic fan should give at least the first album a listen.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
ADELBERT VON DEYEN is a Progressive Electronic artist, similar to his main influencec KLAUS SCHULZE



Discography:
Sternzeit, studio album (1978)
Nordborg, studio album (1979)
Atmosphere, studio album (1980)
Eclipse, studio album (1981)
Planetary, studio album (1982)
Inventions, studio album (1983)
Live, live album (1984)
Impressions, studio album (1985)
Dreamdancer, studio album (1987)

Adelbert Von Deyen official website

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Adelbert Von Deyen - Sternzeit - Sky Records - SKY 019, Sky Records - sky 019Adelbert Von Deyen - Sternzeit - Sky Records - SKY 019, Sky Records - sky 019
Sky Records
Vinyl$41.63 (used)
ImpressionsImpressions
Sky
Vinyl$44.99
LiveLive
Sky
Vinyl$52.99
Painted BlackPainted Black
2006
Audio CD$20.85
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ADELBERT VON DEYEN discography


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ADELBERT VON DEYEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 10 ratings
Sternzeit
1978
3.69 | 10 ratings
Nordborg
1979
3.75 | 15 ratings
Atmosphere
1980
2.36 | 9 ratings
Eclipse
1981
2.96 | 5 ratings
Planetary
1982
2.91 | 3 ratings
Inventions (with Dieter Schütz)
1983
3.00 | 3 ratings
Impressions
1985
2.00 | 2 ratings
Dreamdancer
1987
2.00 | 2 ratings
DEJA VUE: Nightflight
2004
1.50 | 2 ratings
Painted Black
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Rosegarden
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Old Fashioned (split with Dieter Schütz)
2009

ADELBERT VON DEYEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live
1984

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Sunset - The Best of Adelbert Von Deyen
1992

ADELBERT VON DEYEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ADELBERT VON DEYEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Inventions (with Dieter Schütz) by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.91 | 3 ratings

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Inventions (with Dieter Schütz)
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars "What's going on here?!" was my first reaction when I purchased the LP of Adelbert von Deyen's 1983 album `Inventions' with Dieter Schultz - the two previously collaborated on the pleasant 1982 album `Planetary'. Gone were the sci-fi/fantasy paintings depicting alien worlds that had been a trademark of the previous albums from Mr von Deyen. The man himself was depicted on the cover photo in some very sensible and normal clothes, very far removed from the Jesus-like pure white robes he donned for the `Atmosphere' sleeve back in the 70's! A quick scan of the back cover reveals a whole bunch of mostly brief tracks, some even shorter than the streamlined pieces on his previous two albums. Coming from an artist who used to compose side-long freeform drifting pieces of electronic space music, the signs were not good.

Thankfully `Inventions' sees the artist more successfully than not applying his spacey soundscapes into compact, easy to digest approachable pieces. The ten tracks are a mix of ambient drones, new age music and synth-pop, but there's still some longer pieces on both sides of the LP. Despite the titles such as `Baltic Sea', Peace on Earth' and `Jungle' perhaps suggesting a more earthbound theme, it only takes you to close your eyes, and many of those spacey qualities and cool electronic atmospheres come racing back and unwrap around your ears. Perhaps the album is nothing groundbreaking, but it's not a pitiful or desperate last gasp of zero inspiration. It's always pleasing, sometimes a little bland, occasionally captivating but mostly quietly and subtly effective. The key here was accessible, without being overtly commercial.

Dieter Schulz's acoustic guitar weaves around low-key synth breezes and an up-tempo clicking beat for opener `The Awakening'. `Speed For You' intertwines multiple synth patterns with a metallic robotic coldness, while the more joyful `Peace on Earth's organs and shimmering synths are let down by some chirping looped percussive beats that are a little too cute. `Baltic Sea' is all icy and intimidating machine coldness that wouldn't have sounded out of place on `Planetary' or even `Atmosphere' with a little reworking, so it's definitely one of the best pieces on offer here, as is the three part `Lunar Opera'. This almost 9 minute piece is more like the older von Deyen works - lots of open atmosphere, a subtle ambience and transitions between light and dark movements. There's ominous mechanical industrial tension, a variety of maddening beats and even some triumphant romantic themes. It's only let down by the fact that there's a fade-out before the third and final section that really breaks up the flow of the piece.

Side B still offers some nice compositions, starting with synth-popper `Farland', a shame that it's ethereal keys are overwhelmed by plodding beats. `Apache's Pain' is a pretty useless and uninspired electric guitar solo from Dieter with only the slightest of synths in the background, good thing it's barely two minutes long. `Jungle' is a Hammond solo over thick bass and a repeated synth refrain, forgettable but nice all the same. `Vulcano '78' is another album highlight, a gentle floating synth piece with a lovely theme that brings a nice optimistic quality and low-key skittering beats in the background to propel it softly forward. Despite a cringe-worthy title, the seven minute `Valley of the Monsters' is a respectable album closer. This more ambitious piece is a dream-like sound collage complete with ambient passages, nature sound effects and a eerie cinematic tone. Dieter's heavy brooding guitars contrast well with von Deyen's restrained synth soloing, and the piece highlights the two artists in strong unison with eachother. If only more of the album had more experimental and daring pieces like this one, or this one had even been stretched to a challenging side-long piece...

Of course `Inventions' is no match for the early trilogy of works from 1978-1980 or the real heavy hitting electronic works from defining artists like Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, but it still makes for a respectable if mostly lightweight addition to von Deyen's discography for forgiving listeners. Sedate and easy to enjoy as a background listen, it may also appeal to those who like the more melodic and gentler electronic works like Jean- Michel Jarre's `Oxygene', and even make for an easy introduction to the electronic genre for newcomers.

Three stars.

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 Planetary by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.96 | 5 ratings

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Planetary
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars `Planetary' by German electronic composer Adelbert von Deyen is a pretty safe comeback after a spectacular crash with the previous album `Eclipse'. The artist has always been special to me, releasing three of my favourite electronic albums - `Sternzeit', `Nordborg' and `Atmosphere - as well as one of my most disappointing experiences with `Eclipse' (read my review of it for more details).

This fifth album from 1982 was a swift retreat back to more familiar instrumental spacey electronic territory for von Deyen, also assisted by Dieter Schutz - the two would make a proper joint album next with `Inventions' a year later - although the 9 tracks here are in a more compact form, all shorter than his usual long-form drifting soundscapes. There's greater use of programmed beats and percussive elements, with plenty of light melodies making it very easy on enjoy. The front cover is quite attractive too!

Despite a somewhat simplistic beat that quickly enters, `Jupiter' gets things off to a reassuring start, with humming synths and organ that sounds like a cross between his earlier albums and the intro of Pink Floyd's `Shine On, You Crazy Diamond'. `Mars' is pure synth-pop with borderline dance beats over a machine-like hum. `Saturn' has a subtle clicking pulse over gentle electronic choral male voices. The dramatic and brooding `Earth' has chittering synth loops over gentle electric guitar soloing and massed crowd chants. `Mercury' has a lovely warm synth melody joined with metallic looped percussion and a deep droning electronic choir. `Uranus' could almost be an outtake from `Atmosphere', all pulsing and imposing buzzing synths and totally devoid of percussive elements. The lonely `Pluto' is full of longing, as synths rise and fall over a gentle melody, and it might be one of the most heartfelt compositions from von Deyen yet. The chilly `Neptune' has a robotic heartbeat over glacial walls of synths, and `Venus' closes the album on a darker, slightly malevolent deep drone over beckoning siren wails, not unlike Eloy's deep-space `Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes' album.

Although hardly challenging and occasionally a little bland, `Planetary' still makes for a pleasing electronic listening experience, and it's probably an album that, like Jean-Michel Jarre's `Oxygene', would make for an easy introduction to newcomers of the progressive electronic genre. Perfectly nice, but the real special stuff is on those first three albums, although I'm still a proud owner of this all the same.

Three stars.

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 Eclipse by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.36 | 9 ratings

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Eclipse
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

2 stars I pride myself on usually being the first person to spring to the defense of a progressive artist trying to do something new with their music, as opposed to repeating the same tired ideas. I would rather see that artist try and fail, than play it safe and deliver more of the same. Usually amongst those experiments there'll likely be some interesting moments and ideas. But it's really depressing when an artist you greatly admire tries something completely new and different to them, and generally fails spectacularly. Case in point - electronic artist Adelbert von Deyen's `Eclipse'.

With his first three albums being great favourites of mine, especially his previous album `Atmosphere', I've become quite used to having to defend the man against endless accusations of being nothing more than a Klaus Schulze clone with no original ideas of his own. So it's extremely galling to see him release an album that's a complete, total derivative and tired rip-off of - surprisingly not Schulze - but rather Pink Floyd! This time, there's nothing I can do to defend his music on this release. The majority of this album is made up of elements and themes badly ripped straight from any number of Pink Floyd albums. I know endless prog artists have been influenced by that great band, but to blatantly release a lazy and unimaginative album mostly based around ideas and elements (and even sound effects - check out the room of ticking clocks on one track, and radio-station chatter ala `The Wall'!) from another artist is extremely desperate.

Adelbert at least tried to break from the formula of his previous albums by making a collection of shorter pieces, half of them incorporating vocal and acoustic guitar playing, and the rest totally instrumental.

Side A's `Eclipse phase 1' is a very tired knock-off of Floyd's `Shine On...'. Even von Deyen's reliable wall of synths are mixed so far to the back to be virtually non existent, with the exception of his soloing keyboard imitating Wright's. Even the electric guitar from Uwe Johannsen comes in at the exact same point, except it's not nearly as effective as Gilmour's original version. Pleasant enough, but literally a complete remake of the first part of the Floyd epic. Nothing even remotely original about it all. Vocal tracks `They and I' and `In The Fog' both have the EXACT acoustic guitar melody and chord structure as Floyd's `Pigs On The Wing'! They also sound like exactly the same song, with a bland vocal and uninteresting lyrics that almost sounds something like protest songs. `Eclipse phase 2' is a plodding 4 and a half minute electric guitar solo, seemingly gunning to take on Gilmour's epic solo on the finale of `Comfortably Numb', and although perfectly competent, it's also thoroughly lifeless. Von Deyen's keyboards are mixed way in the back, they may as well not be there at all. Von Deyen DID play keyboards on other albums, didn't he?

Side B's `Eclipse phase 3' is the one of the only things on the album that sounds even remotely like something the man would usually compose. Electronic glacial synths, with a mournful distant keyboard melody throughout, it's eventually joined by a plodding live drumbeat from Zabba Libner. Although I quite like this track, and it's far and away the best thing on the album, it's completely devoid of anything even slightly original. It's almost like von Deyen lifted an entire 5 minute section from any of his first three albums, added a tedious drum pattern and pasted it in here. Kind of dismal. The best of the acoustic/vocal tracks is `Atomic Age', where his voice is a little more charming, although the guitar melody is more or less stolen straight off Roger Waters' `If', from the `Atom Heart Mother' Floyd album. But it's probably the track with the best lyrics on the album, with a slightly catchy chorus `Eclipse phase 4' is a proper electronic piece that sounds a little more ambient and gentle, like the warmer and mysterious parts of `Atmosphere' that I love so much. Too little, too late I'm afraid. There's some slightly livelier drums to spark it up a little, but at barely 2 and a half minutes, it doesn't quite cut it. It's also highly repetitive. It's really worrying that a track so short completely outstays it's welcome. `Day by Day' sounds just like all the other small acoustic/vocal pieces, that they might as well have all been the one song. `Eclipse phase 5' is a soft and pretty acoustic guitar instrumental, with birds chirping and nature sound effects in the background. Lovely, but totally unmemorable. Kind of a nice way to finish the album, though.

It's commendable of von Deyen to attempt lead vocals on this album, though his singing voice is thoroughly average, coming across like a pleasantly bland imitation of Camel's Andy Latimar and David Gilmour. Great, yet ANOTHER Floyd similarity!

Perhaps by cutting down on the electronic synth sounds and attempting warmer acoustic guitar/vocal tracks was an attempt to humanize von Deyen. Such a shame that it's a mostly forgettable album with few redeeming qualities. I've spoken before about how his other albums had significant emotional responses from me, but I wasn't prepared for what I'd feel after listening to this album several times to prepare for this review ? anger and frustration. Kind of left me a little demoralized too, after being so taken with his previous three albums.

There's also the fact that I paid $50 for this record when I came across it at a local record fair. I'd been searching for it for years, so I jumped at the opportunity to own this `highly sought-after treasure' (well, it was for me!).

I suppose the album does sort of have a lovely cover - simple but effective?

So there you go, one or two OK tracks at best. I really can't imagine too many listeners who liked his previous albums going for this one in a big way. I don't even think `Eclipse' would have worked any better if all of the instrumental title pieces were on one side, with the acoustic/vocal bits on the other. The album is still dangerously thin on very slight material, so there wouldn't have been enough to fill out both sides of the vinyl.

I should mention, there's a useless `spoken word' piece `Evil Ways' on the album that features the artist moaning the line `Oh please, let me out of this place, I want to go home?.'. I can't help but feel this is an unfortunate metaphor for the entire album, with the real electronic von Deyen buried deep in the subconscious, trying to claw his way back out.

Barely two stars.

Dammit, where's the Tylenol...

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 Atmosphere by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 15 ratings

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Atmosphere
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars On his third, perhaps best album, Adelbert von Deyen delivers his warmest and most varied album so far. It seems to be coming from a much happier place, as it's often far removed from the deep-space darkness of `Sternzeit' and chilly isolation of `Nordborg'. Compare even the difference in the cold covers of those previous two, with the earthy and summery painting on this one. Absolutely gorgeous.

Clearly determined not to repeat himself, this time von Deyen has added a sparingly used live drummer, utilized programmed pulses and beats more prominently, started experimenting with shorter pieces and even adding some lighter musical tones. This album is exploratory in many new directions, with von Deyen displaying endless captivating ideas. There's a distinct Pink Floyd and even fellow German's Eloy influence, which would manifest even more on the album after this, `Eclipse'.

`Timemachine's driving drumbeat sounds like a call to arms! Lots of tension, echoing and shimmering keyboard runs throughout the whole piece. Very relentless and extremely catchy, this shorter up-tempo piece is very new ground for the artist. Great way to kick off the album.

There's a distinct Pink Floyd influence all through `Silverrain', with mellow slow Gilmour-like guitar strums, plodding and restrained drum-work, all behind an ocean of dreamy and eerie synths. This track is very intoxicating and mesmerizing, with a real floating quality to it. There's an abrupt change at the end, as uplifting spectral organ enters. This part is a precursor to the segment titled `Dawn' from the second side, it's a glorious and triumphant theme.

At least on this album, von Deyen showed how easily he could make effective and atmospheric pieces of music without feeling that the shorter running time would be equal to a compromise. Ironic, then, that he would follow up these two with the longest continuous piece he ever recorded, the 34 minute epic title track. Spread over two sides of vinyl, and further split into 8 titled sections, `Atmosphere' is probably the best piece of music the man ever recorded.

`Sunrise' bridges the old von Deyen sound with the new, sounding slightly more along the lines of his previous two albums, with those shimmering glacial keys, purring synths, whirring pulses, and electronics swirling all around. Very psychedelic. About two minutes in a slightly darker tone tries to break through in `Altitude Flight', but lighter synths prevail and a gentle meditative sound carries you away. While this drifts on, a darker solo is faintly heard in the background moving closer. Bubbling liquid effects erupt during `Astralis', and an impenetrable wall of pulsing keys takes us on a comforting veil of synths that leads to our fadeout. This beautiful hypnotic and floating piece is stunning, but the best is still to come.

The second part of the title track on side B begins with a haunting keyboard melody, ghostly and spectral. Truly blissful, enveloping, even comforting, `Skyward' is one of the loveliest and most subtle themes von Deyen ever conceived. At about the 6 minute mark, a looped programmed beat enters, and we can already feel the tone shift to something a little darker, taking the piece in a much cooler direction. A longer droning and repetitive pattern, `Crystal Clouds' blurs into a maddening looped keyboard melody that will drive you to the edge, although it's somehow eerily pretty. `Voices Of Infinity' is haunting with a ghostly male choir. The album ends on a reprise of `Dawn', the blissful climax of side A's `Silverrain'. It's majestic theme wraps up the album in a joyous and grand manner.

I really can't adequately explain how much I love this album, and how much it has come to mean to me. I've listened to it at least 50 times over the years, and I still get completely lost in it's gentle beauty. This album has a very mysterious, uplifting and graceful sound to much of it. Whereas with `Sternzeit' I felt fear and depression, `Nordborg' isolation and loneliness, with this album I feel a sense of wonder, of warmth, happiness and being at peace.

Sadly this was also to be his last great album. With the next one `Eclipse', von Deyen changed so many elements of his music, leading to a complete shift in sound. Despite a few brief moments of quality over the coming years, this really was the end of the `classic' von Deyen sound.

An album full of drifting mystery and floating space, I'm so happy to have this in my collection, and it's one of my favourite albums. In an career often dismissed as a blatant Klaus Schulze clone with nothing new to offer, `Atmosphere' easily proved to be Adelbert von Deyen's most original and artistically successful album.

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 Sternzeit by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.38 | 10 ratings

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Sternzeit
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars I find Berlin school electronic artist Adelbert Von Deyen's early albums offer a huge sense of drama, tension, and shifting emotions. I've always responded to his albums as being very machine-like and empty one moment, but then filled with very human feelings and expression the next. Sometimes those places are not the happiest to be, but they do leave an impression on you.

I'm certainly not able to review this album from a production/instrument point of view, as I don't have enough of an understanding of how that works on these kind of electronic albums. Other reviewers will be able to go into better detail about Von Deyen's technical programming and recording techniques. I'm only able to relate to them from how I respond emotionally to his albums.

`Sternzeit' is made up of two side long electronic droning pieces, creating a very cosmic and mysterious sound. Side A's `Per Aspera Ad Astra' begins with a quick electronic melody repeating over and over, while the synths start whirring away. There's an alien pulse than almost leads you into a calming hypnotic trance. Other than that, there's no percussive elements in this track. This piece seems to offer an equal balance of warmer melodies and darker moments. It creates some very abstract sounds, shifting back and forth, sometimes in perfect unison at the same time. It is a fairly basic and primitive arrangement, but still very effective. There's a section that drifts in just after the fifteen minute point that I find quite terrifying and heavy. The final few minutes a little samey, not revealing anything new that the rest of the track has already offered.

The title track on the second side has less melodic moments, instead mostly built around endlessly repeating hypnotic loops that rise and fall away. Sometimes they're quite oppressive, other times mysterious. The first half is also quite abrasive. The middle of the piece seems to have a very distorted or filtered organ that is extremely unsettling. Something about this piece sounds quite menacing. The final few minutes are a little more melodic, but the synths are heavy and foreboding.

I used to think that both this album and the follow up album were more or less the same. However I now think they sound quite different, and both illicit completely different emotional responses from me. `Nordborg' is barren, icy, cold and isolating. `Sternzeit' instead has a quiet menace, causing a sense of panic and helplessness. I find this album is a more of a perfect companion piece to `Nordborg', but not quite leaving as much of a lasting affect on me.

To me these sort of records sound so far ahead of their time and beyond any perceived musical trends. They exist in a world of their own, that opens up around us while we listen to them and immerse ourselves in them. Why not give a listen to these alien soundscapes and see how you respond to them?

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 Nordborg by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.69 | 10 ratings

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Nordborg
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars ADELBERT VON DEYEN is a mostly forgotten German experimental Berlin school electronic artist whose work is constantly compared to Klaus Schulze. He is even often dismissed outright as a blatant rip-off of the man. No doubt, there are numerous similarities, and he does consider Schulze as his primary influence, but I find Von Deyen often goes in interesting directions Schulze never did. I'm certainly not an expert on the electronic/Berlin school genre, so I only hope I might be in a good position to offer a unique approach to this album without resorting to comparisons.

1979's `Nordborg' is entirely instrumental, split into two side-long pieces, and the album is made up of repetitive, hypnotic synth waves, that draw you into a calm, trance like state. Perhaps it's a little primitive and simplistic from a composition point of view, yet I find it equally monotonous and fascinating, able to become lost in the album's own deep space.

Side A `Moonrise' has no percussive elements at all, just ambient drifting synths, washing back and forth over the listener. It doesn't change much through it's 21 minutes, just ebbs and flows with cool trance-like rhythms, creating a very dark, meditative and icy atmosphere. The synths hold a very glacial and cold presence, making you feel isolated and lost.

Side B `Iceland' (how appropriate) is perhaps a little less suffocating, due to the addition of some slightly upbeat gentle percussive pulses, with an occasional repeating electric piano melody. It's not quite as floating and tranquil as the first side, but it's still very subtle and minimal. There's a cold pulsing machine-like tone to the arrangement. I especially like the rather disturbing keyboard drone that begins at the 12 minute mark, with faint distant winds adding to the drama. The final few minutes almost sound uplifting in comparison, reminding a little of the final choral section of Floyd's `A Saucerful Of Secrets'. The Pink Floyd influence would surface even more over his next few albums.

Just like on the beautiful front cover, the music perhaps conjures up images of strange alien worlds, barren deserts and overwhelming oceans. I love the feeling of solitude the album wraps you up in, if you take the time and patience to discover it.

Archives member Tom Ozric gave me his copy of this LP that he no longer wanted many years back, saying that it did nothing for him. Other than being pretty blown away by the front cover, I found the album quite characterless and tedious at first, but over the years I kept coming back to it to try and see if it worked on extended listens. I now find it hugely immersive and captivating, appreciating it more and more with each listen. It's really become quite an important album to me.

I suppose I'd like most in this review to encourage other listeners, especially Schulze fans to perhaps give it a try, or likely even a second listen. It's not exactly the most cutting edge or ground- breaking electronic album, but I find it's more than successful on its own merits. It's certainly not for every prog-rock fan, but I'd like to hope some other listeners might appreciate the album like I do. I'm really quite surprised to see that I'm the first person to review this album, so I look forward to some others hopefully adding their own thoughts!

Four stars for a special album to me.

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 Sternzeit by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.38 | 10 ratings

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Sternzeit
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars Berlin based artist Adelbert Von Deyen published most part of his musical catalogue on the legendary Sky (known for the releases of many late 70's electro-kraut albums). His music is in the direct vein of spacious textured electronic epics of Klaus Schulze but with a much more expansive explorations throw minimal impressionistic melodies. Consequently the music is less agitated, calmer, sometimes admiting the effusion of trancey dark cinematic drones. Sternzeit is more a dreamy-like, melancholic trip focused on flowing abstract, crystalline synth waves, molecular effects and punctual minimal hypno pulses. The result is really convincing. The cover reminds Klaus Schulze's majestic "Cyborg" double album. The opening theme per aspera ad astra contains some explicit references to Cyborg notably with the use of gorgeously angelic organic processes and obsessive cosmic sounds. However the musical aesthetism is rather different. Von Deyen beautifully turned Klaus Schulze's tripped out creepy ambiences into a more aquatic, new agey, intimate environment. The second piece is less melodic, entirely built on shimmering, buzzing hypno-loops and on analog synthscapes. Suspensful, dark-astral droning sequences in the genre of early Schulze. This album is highly recommended for fans of proggy "kosmische" music. Similar experiences can be heard on synthezised works from Bernd Kistenmacher or from Robert Schroeder.

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 Atmosphere by VON DEYEN, ADELBERT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 15 ratings

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Atmosphere
Adelbert Von Deyen Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So what if Adelbert Von Deyen spent much of his early career imitating the deep-space electronic drones of KLAUS SCHULZE: at least he was borrowing from a master. And by his third album he was willing to vary the formula somewhat, enlisting a real drummer (the colorfully named Zabba Lindner) to help beef up his otherwise ethereal soundscapes.

The problem with Von Deyen (real name Adelbert Kraak, and how's that for aristocratic pretense?) was that he was always one step behind the electronic trendsetters of the time. By 1980, Klaus Schulze had already retired his analog keyboards for his album "Dig It" (Dig It, as in Digital); TANGERINE DREAM had reinvented themselves in the stripped down, listener friendly "Tangram"; and rock music in general was still recovering from the convulsive aftershocks of Punk and New Wave. Faced with a brave new world like that, what's a suddenly redundant hippie supposed to do?

Well, to begin with, he can add a little rhythmic zip to his interstellar meditations. The album opener "Time Machine" does exactly that, with Von Deyen layering his usual pastel synths over a throbbing backbeat not far removed from the monochrome pulse of NEU! "Silverrain" then slows the tempo down to a one-chord waltz, but adds some unexpected washes of electric guitar, another welcome change in direction, in this case creating a sterling slice of German Space Rock with all the rich texture of a Black Forest gateau.

For many years these two tracks were the only remnants of the album still in my music library, preserved onto good old-fashioned analog cassette tape before yet another of my typically shortsighted vinyl purges. (In all fairness, both are likewise the only cuts off the album selected by Von Deyen himself for his 1992 career retrospective "Sunset" CD.) A quarter-century later I was finally able to revisit the rest of the album, about which I recalled very little except a lack of any further rhythmic interest, not unlike what I also dimly remember from the other two Von Deyen LPs that passed quickly through my record collection (hopefully that says more about my failing memory than about any shortcomings to the music itself).

As it turns out, I was right. The balance of the album, divided into the eight-part, aptly titled "Atmosphere", is built mostly around the sort of blissful, nondescript New Age noodling into which electronic music would morph during the 1980's (take a quick glance at the suitably cosmic sub-titles: "Voices of Infinity", "Crystal Clouds", and so forth).

But the album plays better today on compact disc than it did when first released on vinyl, thanks in part to its analog synth nostalgia value. It's too bad Von Deyen didn't follow through on the promise of the album's first ten exhilarating minutes, and never really forged a distinct identity for himself (he apparently also copied Klaus Schulze's stationary design, much to the amusement and/or irritation of his role model). But is that any reason to file him away as a mere footnote in music history?

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