Exposé Online banner

Adelbert von Deyen — Sternzeit
(Bureau B BB 237, 1978/2016, CD/LP)

Adelbert von Deyen — Nordborg
(Bureau B BB 238, 1979/2016, CD/LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-04-25

Sternzeit Cover artNordborg Cover art

Adelbert van Deyen’s first two albums, 1978’s Sternzeit and 1979’s Nordborg, established him as a Berlin school electronic musician, and contain what is probably his best work. Not only did he take musical inspiration from Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, the artwork on these two albums is similar to Schulze’s artwork on Irrlicht (1972), Cyborg (1973), Picture Music (1973), Blackdance (1974), and Timewind (1975), but not near as dark or surreal, which also holds true for van Deyen’s music. Both Sternzeit and Nordborg contain two long musical excursions into analog bliss with endless harmonic interactions, sustained chords, throbbing drones, and sequencers. Sternzeit’s track one, “Per Aspero Ad Astra,” is mostly floating ambiance that after about 15 minutes picks up the tempo and adds some interesting dissonance. The title track, “Sternzeit,” is excellent with its experimental wall of electronic sounds and high frequency notes that remind me of Norwegian synthesist Rieg’s 1980 cassette Source. Nordborg was inspired by a short vacation to Nordborg on the Danish island Alsen. Track one, “Moonrise,” is van Deyen's electronic improvisation of the moon rising on Nordborg. There are long repeated chords, musical phrases, and slow chord changes. The music does not demand your attention, so it is perfect for relaxation. The other track, “Iceland,” was van Deyen’s interpretation of the blizzard he experienced on this vacation. The music is understandably cold and sterile with its swirling synthetic winds, analog synths (ARP Odyssey), and detached Farfisa organ. These two van Deyen reissues are definitely worth investigating for those fans of the Berlin School.

Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1978 recordings, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Adelbert von Deyen

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Jade Warrior - Distant Echoes – For the uninitiated, Jade Warrior's recorded history began around 1970 as a three-piece, integrating east Asian themes, introspective jazz-rock ideas, some elements of folk, and a lot more into a...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues