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SOFTWARE

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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Software biography
Software formed in 1983 by German duo Peter Mergener and Michael Weisser, Software owes much to electronic pioneer Klaus Schulze.
Software's music usually builds on sequencer patterns and simple melodies, creating a lighter version of The Schulze style. Their later work is woven into concept albums, yet the music rarely lives up to their poetic aspirations. Software's earlier recordings with Peter Mergener are generally more satisfying.

(Biography courtesy of/taken from All Music.Com)

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The Third-Dimension-Live-In-ConcertThe Third-Dimension-Live-In-Concert
Innovative Commun. 1987
Audio CD$47.95
$5.87 (used)
Digital DanceDigital Dance
EMI Distribution
Audio CD$29.99
$6.68 (used)
Chip Meditation 1Chip Meditation 1
Innovative Commun. 1987
Audio CD$507.19
$13.99 (used)
Electronic Universe 2Electronic Universe 2
Innovative Commun. 1989
Audio CD$35.00
$10.74 (used)
FragranceFragrance
Innovative Commun. 1990
Audio CD$9.00
$3.68 (used)
Modesty BlazeModesty Blaze
Innovative Commun. 1992
Audio CD$29.92
$0.96 (used)
Chip Meditation 2Chip Meditation 2
Innovative Commun. 1989
Audio CD$22.99 (used)
Syn CodeSyn Code
Innovative Commun. 1988
Audio CD$59.97
$9.99 (used)
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SOFTWARE shows & tickets


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SOFTWARE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SOFTWARE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.13 | 5 ratings
Beam-Scape
1984
4.02 | 6 ratings
Phancyful Fire
1985
3.50 | 6 ratings
Electronic-Universe Part I
1985
2.91 | 9 ratings
Chip-Meditation Part I
1985
3.17 | 5 ratings
Syn-Code
1987
3.09 | 4 ratings
Electronic Universe Part II
1988
3.00 | 5 ratings
Digital-Dance
1988
4.00 | 4 ratings
Chip-Meditation Part II
1989
1.29 | 5 ratings
Fragrance
1990
3.20 | 5 ratings
Modesty Blaze
1991
4.00 | 4 ratings
Software - Visions
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Space Design: Software Soundscapes [Remix]
1993
3.25 | 4 ratings
Cave
1993
3.25 | 4 ratings
Heaven to Hell
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sky-Dive
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fire-Works
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mystic Millenium 1
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mystic Millenium 2
2000

SOFTWARE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 4 ratings
The-Third-Dimension-LIVE
1989

SOFTWARE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SOFTWARE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 4 ratings
Past-Present-Future Volume II
1987
3.50 | 2 ratings
Past-Present-Future Volume I
1987
4.25 | 4 ratings
Ocean
1990

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

SOFTWARE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Syn-Code by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.17 | 5 ratings

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Syn-Code
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars So close to heaven...

German duo Peter Mergener and Michael Weisser's 1987, live "Syn-Code-Symphony for Computer and DNA Molecules" album, certainly projects one of the most amazing and disappointing results at the same time. The album consists of three songs, the first two run 20 minutes (give n' take) each, and the third 9 and a half .

The first song "Syn-Code-Rain.." is a marvelous and original electronic trip, feeding on all kind of influences but never sounding like none. They feed on the "Pink ", as they visit the blues, as they do with close to this sub-genre contemporaries and other cats. But I insist, without sounding like rip-offs of those guys. How? Well, they always stick to their guns and this is by not moving their ensemble beyond analog-synths and their respective sounds and "noises", without trying to imitate "bass" or "electrics". This song is an easy 4.5 star, according to PA's parameters.

Next comes the slow downfall. Track 2 "Syn-Code-Ocean...", as if really trying to come up with something completely opposed to the previous track, they choose the maybe novel in those days, 80's horrendous drum-box dance methods. No, not all the track is like that. It starts in a very promising manner but eventually becomes an 80's MTV anyone's song. It then kind of recomposes itself by oblitarating the "drums" and turning into something more "opera-like". This is the 3 star minus song of the album.

The third part, the coda of the concert, "Syn-Code-Sunset...." starts from scratch a very evocative and spacy (and kind of short, in comparisson to track 2) trip that resembles more the music of Michael Cretu's ENIGMA than the "official" PA's electronic proggers. A relief considering the previous "momentary lapse of reason". This one is a 4 star song.

If I could feel comfortable rating this album 4 stars I would. But that "80's MTV" detour sets it short of the "flawless" & "essential" PA's tagging credentials needed.

Anyway, highly recommendable to aquire, but you have been forwarned!

3.9 PA stars!

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 Electronic-Universe Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.50 | 6 ratings

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Electronic-Universe Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Playful and meditative electronic music.

From Germany (again), a prog electronic duo named "Software", which besides its obvious name reference, the "soft" also serves to represent their musical tendency, in this their "ELECTRONIC UNIVERSE-Part 1", 1985, album.

More "baroque classical" inspired songwriting, than let's say experimental, moving closer to "friendly" , softspoken and intriguing musical figures, but also delivering long passages of very "electronic abstract ambients" , which contrast the mid-tempo and slow-tempo structures.

The most obvious comparisson will be with Klaus Schulze's non-pulse music, but the reference will be kept at a proper distance always, by their playful but intelligent compositions and approach.

An electronic trip that is surely enjoyable, although kind of short of becoming "essential".

3.5 PA stars.

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 Phancyful Fire  by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.02 | 6 ratings

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Phancyful Fire
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Phancyful Fire is the sophomore album by Peter Mergener and Michael Weisser before they decided to adopt the name Software for the name of their musical collaboration. The previous album, Beam-Scape, was a letdown. Fortunately, this album is far better and foreshadows their best work that would be created on Electric Universe Part I and Chip- Meditation Part I, and is much closer to the sound of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream than the new-age music that Software previously made. Gone are the cheesy echo-electro percussion beats and slow uneventful progressions. This album features spacey textures made from soaring synthesizers, sequences of percussive galactic noises, and dreamy (and occasionally darkened) drones. I could compare this music to a more tame and accessible version of Timewind by Schluze, because of the "mental space journey" effect that this album can have.

Phancyful Fire is one of the better releases by Software, and combined with Electric Universe Part I, Chip Meditation Part I, and Syn-Code make up the essential Software. But, really, I'd only recommend Software's music to people who have run out of better progressive electronic to listen to. I found this album enjoyable, but it isn't actually necessary, though it is a decent listen (especially for drifting into sleep).

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 Beam-Scape by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.13 | 5 ratings

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Beam-Scape
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Beam-Scape is the debut album by Michael Weisser and Peter Mergener, made before they officially adopted the group name Software. This album consists of Software's typical '80s influenced progressive new-age electronic. The tracks move very slowly, and progress in the same way: beginning drone, then asequence of arpeggios on keyboard, then a melody played on top with another keyboard, all in the presence of dreamy space sounds throughout. Like most of Software's later albums, this album features the new-age echo percussion, but it is only occasional (mostly present on "Timber-Wave-Reflections"). Something that I don't know of Software using on any other album is saxophone, which was a neat surprise, though it isn't really important and doesn't make the music much better ("Double-Binded-Sax"). The most energetic track on this album and the only one that follows a different progression than the other tracks, "Power-of-Independence", sounds like White Eagle- era Tangerine Dream stricken by laziness.

All in all, this isn't a great album. Though this is better than most of the music that Software would release later in their career, they've still released better material than this.

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 Fragrance by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1990
1.29 | 5 ratings

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Fragrance
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Fragrance is Software's ode to the scent of beautiful women, apparently. Maybe a good idea for March (Women's History Month) or possibly Mother's Day, but the concept doesn't seem to have any progressive electronic appeal. This is one of the albums that Software released that consists entirely of spa and massage parlor new-age music, synthetic harp and echo-effect percussion intact. The tracks on this album actually get kind of long but, still, there is no progression in these tracks. The space effect of Software's earlier music is long gone, now opting for imagery of waterfalls, flowers, perfume bottles, and beautiful women gettin' their toenails trimmed by professionals.

Unless your getting a perm and need some delightful atmosphere for the wonderful occasion, I'd skip this one.

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 Electronic Universe Part II by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.09 | 4 ratings

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Electronic Universe Part II
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Electronic Universe Part II is more of Software's '80s brand of electronic space music. Their previous albums were fine, even if a little bit uneventful, but they had a strong pre-new- age feel that brought their music to a level below most other progressive electronic musicians. Electronic Universe Part II increases both the new-age sound and the '80s cheesiness. Among the spacey synths and shallow atmospheres are synthetic female choir "ooh-ahh" effects and new-agey echoed percussive beats that give the music an annoying intergalactic hip-hop music feel. The tracks on this album are also shorter than on previous releases, which means that the tracks individually aren't given enough space to really develop in any great way. From this point-onward, Software kind of decided to make chill-out spatial ambience that best suits spas and bathrooms.

Though this isn't one of Software's best, they would soon go on to make worse music. If you're making a collection of music by Software, this should be the last album that you pick up. For an introduction to Software, try Syn-Code or Electronic Universe Part I.

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 Electronic-Universe Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.50 | 6 ratings

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Electronic-Universe Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Electronic-Universe Part I displays Software's tendency to sound like a tame Klaus Schulze at its ultimate best, and never again would their music reach this level. The cold, computerized landscape on this album isn't alone, but accompanied by flute, harp-tones, and the sound of galactic winds.

Obviously, the first track, "Fluting Electronic Universe", is where the flute is, but in addition the the flute I also hear some likeness to Yes' instrumental passages on Tales from Topographic Oceans and has very nice progressive developments in the structures of the soundscapes throughout it's 20 minute duration. "Surfing Saturn" include the sounds of galactic winds, which is something that you'd expect while surfing through the gassy atmosphere or ice-rings of Saturn, and this track also progresses nicely throughout, going to quiet and calm to slightly destructive and noisy. "Dancing Venus" is one of the most disturbingly atmospheric tracks on this album, with the first 9 minutes consisting of the screeching of spatial sirens attempting to draw the listener in, and then leading off with dissonant staccato synths that really recall the rocky and destructive landscape of Venus.

All of the tracks here are great, and there really is a good range of sonic soundscapes here to be enjoyed. Maybe not the best progressive electronic album I've ever heard, but this would be a great place to start in Software's discography.

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 Chip-Meditation Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.91 | 9 ratings

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Chip-Meditation Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Software's music is generally characterized by sounding like a more tame, new-age version of Klaus Schulze, and that is very much the case on Chip-Meditation Part I. This album is decent progressive electronic, except that it doesn't really develop very much at all. There are very few structural progressions in the tracks themselves or as a whole. All of these tracks follow the same light pulse and light synth that really makes this album seem like a cold landscape of the inside of a computer. Even though the tracks don't exactly progress in structure, every song does start quiet and gradually builds in intensity with the addition of small sounds that previously were missing. This album would be completely new-age boredom if there were synthetic sounding new-age drum beats, but those appear very rarely and are hidden behind the monotonous synths that travel the cold environment of this album.

This album is very tame compared to most progressive electronic music, and seems like pre- new-age material for the most part. Chip-Meditation Part I is fantastic listening for attempting to drift off to sleep, but don't expect any extensive or emotional mind voyages here.

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 Chip-Meditation Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.91 | 9 ratings

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Chip-Meditation Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by Ganzfeld

4 stars In the interests of fairness I agree that for the average listener, Chip Meditation part 1 is a bit intense. I never really considered this album to be progressive music but it is listed as such here.

My problem with most Electronic music is that the 3-5 minute format is not even close to what I want to listen to. If a song takes 3 minutes to express it's self thats ok. But if it takes up 78 minutes like some CDs do (Steve Roach for example) as long as the sounds are right and I enjoy the music, make it a 2 CD set!

I have owned many, many albums ranging from rock to neo-classical and the genre argument is a long one not likely to resolve easily.

Do I consider CM 1 to be prog music? Not really, but I see how some might. Do I enjoy the CD? I bought the record album new in the 1980's, still have it somewhere. (Have the CD)

The flow of sound is undiminished as are later works employing (gasp) with saxophones and stuff that I prefer in another music format entirely. As an example of sequenced synthesiser music this album is seminal and well worth owning or listening to.

The sound quality is amazing and very interesting to me as i like the repetitive nature of sequences and the dramatic changes in atmosphere as well.

I recommend this CD to anyone who likes 1980 era Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schultze or "Berlin School" music in general. I would give this 5 stars but somehow thats over the top considering the genre this is listed here as. In an Ambient/Electronic forum it would, and indeed should get 5 stars.

Ganzfeld

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 Chip-Meditation Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.91 | 9 ratings

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Chip-Meditation Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars It's four years since a SOFTWARE review here, so I'll throw in a quick one. It's a German duo of Michael Weisser & Peter Mergener, one of the main acts in the Innovative Communication label. Their branch of electronic music is rather 80's, but not in a horrible way. They can be compared to the likes of Conrad Schnitzler (and perhaps to Jean Michel Jarre, to a lesser degree): their music is plainly electronic in sound, not attempting to be anything else. Not soft soundsapes la Vangelis. And their themes are quite non-narrative, either dealing with outer space or somehow clinically scientific such as the world of computers etc. And perhaps that feature is one of the reasons for that 80's feel, the same way out-of-date or worn-out as the original film TRON (I wonder if the new Tron film is any good...). Technologically, they were very strongly on the crest of the development of computer-made sounds. But the world has come a long way since those days...

This album is one of their earlier ones, probably not among their finest efforts. Well, the title is very poignant. Chip-Meditation. Many of the tracks are quite long, I'd say overstaying their welcome quite often. There are no tracks that would feel very different or fresh among the other ones. But still, not a bad album at all if you are into this sort of music. 2,5 stars.

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