Boomkat Product Review:
From 1971 to 1977, Peter Baumann was a member of the legendary Berlin band Tangerine Dream. The group were pioneers of the so called Berlin School which had such a profound impact on electronic music. He also enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first two solo works are now being reissued with extensive liner notes and rare photographs.
"Trans Harmonic Nights“, Baumann’s second solo album, sees him continue to break free from the gravitational pull of Tangerine Dream. Hans-Joachim Roedelius was recording the „Jardin au Fou“ album at the same time in his Paragon Studio and some of his carefree positivity seems to have rubbed off on Baumann, judging by the music he came up with.
The production phase for “Trans Harmonic Nights” covered 16 months or thereabouts. Having built the studio and taken care of production on albums for Cluster, Asmus Tietchens, Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, many of which came out on the French label Egg, he had neither the time nor the inclination to focus on his own compositions. Numerous tracks on the album were actually created at the end of the working day, on downtime, just for fun in the unfinished studio. Peter Baumann explains: “It was a completely different time for music, everything we did was spontaneous, in the moment.
My first two records happened when I was working in the studio, simply expressing myself as a musician, sensing which emotions, timbres, rhythms and melodies were closest to me.” This approach shines through the music, underpinning its authenticity and making the album such a delight to listen to today: carefree, playful, unbelievably euphoric. Synth lines are exhiliratingly entwined with synthetic plucks, experimental sounds crystallize into sweet melodies, building into ecstatic breaks.
Majestic Mellotron choirs and added vocoder tones lend an ethereal, surreal touch. It is virtually impossible not to get caught up in this rapture, to be swayed by the infectiously upbeat nature of the music. Hans-Joachim Roedelius was producing his Jardin au Fou album at the same time and one might be forgiven for thinking that his carefree positivity rubbed off on Baumann. Not long after releasing this album, Peter Baumann relocated to the USA where he recorded two more albums by the year 1983, dominated by wave and synth pop sounds.
In 1984 he founded his own label, Private Music. In the late 1990s he withdrew from the music business altogether, only resurfacing in May 2016 with a new solo album entitled “Machines Of Desire”.