Berlin School of electronic music  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Berlin School of electronic music or Berlin School was a development of electronic music in the 1970s. An outgrowth of Krautrock, Berlin School was so named because most of its early practitioners were based in West Berlin, Germany. It was shaped by artists such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Ashra. Music from this school is sometimes considered a sub-branch of New Age or ambient although it predates the widespread usage of both terms.

The genre's identification with space music made it distinct from the more percussive and rhythm-oriented Düsseldorf School which included Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk, and Neu!. These latter bands have had a greater impact upon synth pop and techno while the Berlin School provides roots for ambient, electronica, New Age and trance.

Vintage Berlin School tracks typically ran about twenty or thirty minutes, filling one side of a vinyl LP. With the advent of the compact disc, artists were no longer limited by the need to flip over a vinyl record. Consequently, some newer works run continuously as a single track for almost 80 minutes. Sound loops of unlimited length are now possible with MP3s. The music may also be tied to visuals, as in the 2008 project Via Lucis, an integration of ambient music by Berlin School artist Kirk Monteux and the sculptor Siegfried Speckhardt.

Classic Period

The classic era of Berlin School commenced with the release of Phaedra by Tangerine Dream in 1974 on Virgin Records. In 1975 they followed up with a studio album, Rubycon, and a live album, Ricochet.

Moondawn by Klaus Schulze in 1976 is often regardedTemplate:Weasel-inline as his first real entry in this genre. Tangerine Dream delivered a studio work, Stratosfear, and the soundtrack to the film Sorcerer.

In 1977 Ashra (Manuel Göttsching) released New Age of Earth along with Michael Hoenig's Departure from the Northern Wasteland. Tangerine Dream toured the United States and released a double live album, Encore, with three sides of Berlin School and a side of proto-ambient music.

Latter-Day Berlin School

Ambient musician Steve Roach briefly experimented with the genre on his first albums.Template:Citation needed Other early 80s artists include Michael Garrison and multiple Sky Records musicians.

During the 1990s, several current mainstay groups were formed, including Radio Massacre International and Redshift (fronted by Mark Shreeve, who had worked in the genre in the early 80s as well). Many of them had a "retro" or back-to-basics approach, seen for example in Redshift's usage of vintage Moog synthesizers. An interview with Mark Shreeve by Paul Graham of Trancine in April 2004 indicated that Redshift make use of a Minimoog and 2 Moog 8*3 sequencers.* <ref>Interview by Paul Graham with Redshift (Mark Shreeve)</ref>

Klaus Schulze still continues work in and around the genre, and while Tangerine Dream have moved on, they continue to send an occasional nod in that direction, such as the album Mota Atma from 2003.

Notable latter day artists of Berlin School include:

Finland: Germany: The Netherlands: Template:Col-3 New Zealand: United Kingdom: Template:Col-3 United States: Template:Col-end

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Berlin School of electronic music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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