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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Frisell - Unspeakable – Bill Frisell’s first Grammy winning CD is a major achievement on many fronts. Frisell doesn’t blow you away like many other experienced guitarists — he is the cardinal of understatement,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues