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WOLFGANG BOCK

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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Wolfgang Bock biography
Wolfgang Bock is a German wizard of cosmic electronics in the direction of early experiments of the Berlin school. Made of analog equipments, his typically sound signature sreveals heavenly-mystical atmospheres and majestic floating-driven electro waves.

He released an ultra rare and now fundamentally cult album entitled Cycles (1980). A must have for fans of lysergic synthesized spaced out epics of Klaus Schulze, Adelbert Von Deyen, Baffo Banfi (?)

Philippe Blache

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Biscaya SunsetBiscaya Sunset
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3.80 | 3 ratings
Cycles
1980

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WOLFGANG BOCK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cycles by BOCK, WOLFGANG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.80 | 3 ratings

BUY
Cycles
Wolfgang Bock Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

3 stars Not all that glitters is gold!

By now I should have learned that every time I see an after 1975 prog/electronic project associated by reviewers with Tangerine Dream or Klaus Shulze (or even worse, the sterilized by now, "Berlin electronic" scene), that is what I should expect, some guy or band IMITATING either "Rubycon" or its evil twin "Ricochet" ( "Stratosfear's" electric guitar sections, are also easy prey for imitators). Which is amazing considering that these works are un-repeatable, even by TD themselves. Or on the other hand, pretentious imitations of TD'S honorific co-founder Klauz Schulze's self-made 70's electronic language.

Wolfgang Bock', 1980, "Cycles" , does not escape this condition. Even though a really promising start, its first song Cycles, which opens up in an instant, a myriad of musical possibilities, this guy plays it safe, and somehow forcible as it seems, he manages to sound like another of the zillion "RUBYCON"/"TIMEWIND" (both 1975) clones.

Dissapointing, taking into account, that there is recorded proof, that he could have sounded like himself, but he chose the easy way out.

Rating goes like "could have been himself, but he refused to do it" ***3 minus PA stars!

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 Cycles by BOCK, WOLFGANG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.80 | 3 ratings

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Cycles
Wolfgang Bock Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wolfgang Bock's debut album Cycles is a perfect representation of a more accessible Berlin school style electronic album. This album contains the floating analog synths and repetitive percussive loops that would be expected from music of this sort by the likes of obvious forerunners of this style, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, but Cycles has a certain energetic attractiveness that fans of even more modern electronic music would be able to easily comprehend without finding the music boring and long-winded.

The first half of this album, containing the title track and a portion of "Robsai Part 1" rely on the aforementioned repetitive percussive loop that drives on as the floating synths create and explore the soundscape given. A wonderful and attention grabbing (long) introduction to this journey.

"Robsai Part 2" is an electronic organ type of interlude that is similar in sound to the organ- enhanced music of Klaus Schulze's fantastic album Cyborg. Very brooding yet ethereal, very dark yet uplifting. A fantastically moody, though short track. This leads into "Changes" which trades out the electronic percussion of the first movements of this album for organic and almost tribal sounding percussion as nearly imperialistic or royal sounding synth melodies fly above, but at the halfway point the track takes a turn for low-register, dark, brooding rumbling that morphs into choppy and forceful synth patterns.

The last movement, "Stop the World", starts off with gloomy but energetic synth loops exacerbated by steadily driving percussion as dark cascading synth melodies and solos take the forefront that make this track sound like an epic final battle scene of a horrific sci-fi film. The track eventually dies down into somber organ noodling that sounds similar to the electronic music portion of The Mars Volta's track "Asilos Magdalena" that floats atop airy and spacey ambient droning, until finally ending with the sounds of electronically manipulated church bells that fade off into the distance.

Even though Cycles by Wolfgang Bock is one of the lesser discussed albums, by a rarely discussed artist, I would feel very comfortable recommending this album to be one of the first if not the first Berlin School electronic album that someone unfamiliar with this genre should hear (ProgArchives collaborator Guldbamsen mentioned in his review that this was one of his first progressive electronic albums). Because of its perpetual energy and overall accessibility compared to other great albums of this genre, I think that Cycles is an important and standout album of this era even if it is mostly ignored.

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 Cycles by BOCK, WOLFGANG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.80 | 3 ratings

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Cycles
Wolfgang Bock Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Berlin school electronics mimicking how ice crystals form

This is one of the first progressive electronic records I acquired. It was not entirely on purpose, meaning that I bought the album solely based on the rather beautiful cover - thinking it would be something psychedelic and fuzzy. Much to my surprise, I found a type of music that sounded completely different from what I´d tried before, and thinking about it now makes me realize just how lucky it(the music) was, that I didn´t just throw it away, or gift wrapped the bugger - turning it into one of those "funny" presents that nobody likes. It struck a chord with me however, right from the first spin, and maybe that has something to do with its persuasive nature, because unlike much of what you´ll find in these treacherous electronic waters, this album is indeed highly seductive and alluring.

Wolfgang Bock was a late comer to the Berliner School of electronics, and this his debut Cycles was released back in 1980, though luckily without any of the awful plastic traits of the time. Fans of the genre shouldn´t worry, because it certainly sounds as a sweet outing from around 76-77 - bringing with it that slick, soothing and floating texture to it. Cycles was also produced by Klaus Schulze, and this comes as little surprise when you first pop the album on. There are definite traces of Moondawn and Body Love, although Bock sounds far more melodious to these ears.

Cycles is actually a perfect description of this record, as the music within spins and revolves around itself in what seems like a small slice of eternity. What I find ingenious about it though, is that it never gets repetitive in any way. Take the title track, where everything is so simple and straightforward, that it almost hides these splish-splashes of a pseudo water based synth. Cycles is a piece that lays down the course of this album, and it does so with a firm and feminine touch, as if the tune had been nurtured and breastfed by HAL 9000´s secret lady lover. Through enormous quantities of synthesizer-laden eiderdown sculptures - the small two-stroke engine of the sequencer slowly bobs its gentle and slightly menacing rhythm, to what actually sounds as some euphoric northern winds guided into giant concrete tubes, that makes me think of a slightly skewed urban pan flute. Yep Bock could easily fool you into believing, that some of his best instruments are indeed wind based, and that his greatest, the colossal concrete pan flute, is blown by an ancient Nordic god of breezes. These are cold and desolate sounds though, but they still retain a remarkable beauty, and if sadness could speak - it would be through these chilling sweeps of wind.

I often think of the time this album was recorded in - those crazy 80s, hangover filled from the rather free nature of the preceding decade. -That plastic and yuppie like coating much of the mainstream music had taken on, and the move towards an easier listen for the audience. It suddenly became important to have videos and songs that you could dance to. Holding Cycles up against this rather colourless artefacts n´ money - sweet money culture, it suddenly takes on the form of music that both describes the yuppie madness and plastic world down to a t, but furthermore stands in opposition of what that meant. Through the coldness and darkness of this record, there´s beauty and yearning - almost screaming passion to be found, and when Bock from time to time releases his fury on either the synths or treated organs, he hits a similar vibe to that of Monsieur Wakeman on his classic organ break of Close to the Edge. The effect is somewhat different here, but it still acts as a sonic Cyclops standing up slowly and awe-inspiring in a massive crowd of people.

Now I have listened to a fair deal of electronic music in my life, and along with maybe Tangerine Dream´s Stratosfear, Cycles strikes me as a fantastic entrance to this bubbly universe. In addition to being highly melodious in its own way, either through choir mellotrons and dreamy synth soundscapes, this album also features drums. They´re sparse and to the point, but they work so well with the music they accompany. The second track, which is comprised of several parts - uses the drums in a completely different way, than what you hear on the title track, where things are streamlined and not entirely unlike those you´ll hear on a modern Zombi record, - no here on Robsai we get a wild tribal stomp-like section with deep bellowing toms all mixed up by what sounds like 2 or 3 different parts - all sown frantically together.

I´d say the only downside to this album, is a small nuisance - a petty mistake, but it still gets me a little frustrated every time I listen to it: There are some abrupt pauses during the middle section of the second track. They change the scope of the record, and those charming sonic cycles are suddenly broken - again and again, where the music fades out and into silence. It doesn´t work for me. I find this rather peculiar and close to a mind fart, because the music that follows is quite extraordinary - as we are treated to a sky-high reaching moog that swoops through the droning notes like some untamed majestic bird of prey headed for the outskirts of a sapphire blue horizon. Like I said, it is the sole negative thing about the record, but it´s still there, if only for those brief 30 seconds.

I recommend Cycles to fans of Klaus Schulze´s more melodic work, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and newcomers to the genre. This is a perfect way to start exploring what the progressive electronic world has to offer. It is breathtaking like skydiving without a parachute. 4.5 stars.

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