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Adelbert Von Deyen

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Adelbert Von Deyen Atmosphere album cover
3.60 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Time Machine (5:02)
2. Silverrain (4:32)
3. Atmosphere, Pt. 1 (11:38)
- a. sunrise
- b. altitude flight
- c. astralis
4. Atmosphere, Pt. 2 (22:09)
- a. skywards
- b. spaces of infinity
- c. crystal clouds
- d. voices of infinity
- e. dawn

Total Time: 43:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Adelbert Von Deyen / synthesizer, vocals

Releases information

LP Sky Records sky 041(1980 Germany)
CD Sky Records SKY CD 3041 (1992 Germany) (remaster)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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ADELBERT VON DEYEN Atmosphere ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ADELBERT VON DEYEN Atmosphere reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
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?

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I didn't know anything about Adelbert Von Deyen until I've read of his passing away here on Progarchives. The comments made me curious and I've managed to find at least one of his full instrumental albums: this one.

The first track follows a drum machine with a fast rhythm. It's the kind of electronic drone of which Jean Michel JARRE was a maestro, ut it's 1980 and I can see some echoes of Alan Parsons, too. The German heritage is evidenced by some KRAFTWERK like sonorities. But it's only the first track, and the rest of the album is completely different.

The minor chords and the slow tempo of the second track seem taken directly from ELOY's "Oceans". This artist probably lacked a bit of originality, but in the end, being an innovator is not a must until good music is produced. And this is a good track. Very inspired by ELOY, but good.

Now the suite. Formally divided in 7 parts is effectively divided in two, probably because of the limits actually imposed by the vinyl: 10 minutes on side A and 22 minutes on side B.

The second part is really better than the second, but its structure is very similar to that of the TANGERINE DREAM of the Virgin period: 7 different themes tied together. the central part of Atmosphere part II values the whole album while in the final it seems inspired by Mike OLDFIELD.

So not very original but well written and arranged. I think I'll dig him more. In brief, if Tangerine Dream and the German electronics is your pot, this is an album for you.

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