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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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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)

2.07 | 6 ratings
Beam-Scape
1984
4.02 | 6 ratings
Phancyful Fire
1985
3.34 | 7 ratings
Electronic-Universe Part I
1985
2.91 | 9 ratings
Chip-Meditation Part I
1985
2.64 | 6 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
2.64 | 6 ratings

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Syn-Code
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Syn-Code" is one of the most ambitious albums from the German duo. Consisting in two suites of more than twenty minutes and a third track of nine minutes, the music incorporates different instruments in addition of synthesizers and has a strong orientation towards new-age. However, the long pieces lacks unity and fail at keeping the interest of the listener as for example on "Electronic-Universe Part I".

"Syn-Code-A" begins with a rainy introduction, to then unveil flute and electronic passages. The middle section displays a jungle soundscape with animal sounds, while the ending part concludes the track with aerial voices. There are a few good moments but no true musical direction.

"Syn-Code-Z" is the weakest composition of the record. It features cheesy synthesizers and electronic percussions sonorities typical of the late 80's. The "thunder" section is more lively with the apparition of electric guitar, whereas the ending is just basic new-age. The problem is that the different parts seem disconnected and the overall is not very coherent.

The final track, "Syn-Code-Sunset", has strong reminiscences of what KLAUS SCHULZE was doing in the eighties. The finale is quite mystical.

"Syn-Code" is quite an uneven and strange album. The German duo wanted to experiment and emancipate from their initial TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE influences by reducing the use of electronic loops and adding novel orchestrations and sound effects. Nonetheless, the result is not convincing and difficult to follow.

The style differs from SOFTWARE's previous electronic progressive acts such as "Phancyful Fire" or "Electronic-Universe Part I". Don't choose this album if you're looking for hypnotic meditative or futuristic soundscapes. Fans of 80's new-age music may however appreciate it.

 Electronic-Universe Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.34 | 7 ratings

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Electronic-Universe Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

"Electronic-Universe Part I" is certainly one the most ambitious studio album from the German duo, as it opens with no less than three 20 minutes suites! As a consequence, the three other remaining tracks are short compositions, but as good as the long ones. Classic electronic prog lovers, get ready to take off.

"Fluting Electronic Universe" is a slow soft new-age piece, composed mostly of flute and synthesizers. It weaves cool dreamy soundscapes. The pleasant "Surfing Saturn" alternates spacey and ambient passages with strange sound effects. The ending can remind TANGERINE DREAM's "Logos Part 2" by moments, however a little less messy. The cosmic atmosphere corresponds to the track name. On the contrary, "Dancing Venus" is a rather odd title. Its first half is quite mysterious with its synthetic haunting voice calls, while the second half is smoother and contemplative. Enjoyable though.

The 2 minutes "Cosmic Calimba" is the shortest track of the record. The sound and style are very close to TANGERINE DREAM's "Undulation". "Add-Space-To-Time" is the best passage from this second half. A trippy and futuristic sequence with a nice progression. "Psychomellow-Planet" is pretty much in the vein of "Cosmic Calimba", however average.

Although not very innovative and a bit lengthy, "Electronic-Universe Part I" fulfils its promises and carries the listener for a long synthetic journey through different spatial soundscapes. The three first long suites are one the most adventurous pieces SOFTWARE ever composed. If you like 80's electronic progressive music like KLAUS SCHULZE or TANGERINE DREAM, you'll surely enjoy this album from this lesser-known band.

 Beam-Scape by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.07 | 6 ratings

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Beam-Scape
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars First official release by the Peter Mergener and Michael Weisser duo, "Beam-Scape" can be considered as a draft for the SOFTWARE albums that will follow. The ambient/electronic/new-age style of the band is already present, however the inspiration and ideas are still lacking. The compositions are mostly slow and do not feature enough changes to keep the listener's attention. The cold electronic sound is quite reminiscent of TANGERINE DREAM's "White Eagle" album.

The opener "RainBow" is rather average. Its first half is ambient with various bizarre sounds, while a small sequence appears on the second half. "SunBeam" contains nice synthetic electronic loops and similitudes with KLAUS SCHULZE's 80's material. A bit monotonous, but enjoyable. Not much to say about the 15 minutes "Shooting-Star", rather lengthy and boring, and "Small-Spark", which mainly consists in a repetitive sequence.

"Timber-Wave-Reflections" is a new age track, whereas the pulsing "Roots-In-Abeyance" is more lively and not bad, although it does not feature many variations. "Double-Binded-Sax" is a little messy. As its title suggests, it incorporates a saxophone but this instrument does not really add something to the ambiance. On the contrary, the ender, "Power-Of-Independence", truly stands apart the other tunes. Best track of the record, this good surprise is a nice punchy trippy tune. It proves that the band has an identity to develop.

This record has not been released under the SOFTWARE name, and for reason. Not very innovative, "Beam-Scape" only gives the listener a glimpse of what the German duo has to offer. There are some pleasant moments though, but unfortunately too rare. These ideas still require some maturation, that will arrive just one year later...

 Syn-Code by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.64 | 6 ratings

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Syn-Code
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

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!

 Electronic-Universe Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.34 | 7 ratings

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Electronic-Universe Part I
Software Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

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.

 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).

 Beam-Scape by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.07 | 6 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.

 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.

 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.

 Electronic-Universe Part I by SOFTWARE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.34 | 7 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.

Thanks to Progman for the artist addition. and to Philippe Blache for the last updates

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