Exposé Online banner

Peter Baumann — Romance 76
(Bureau B BB250, 1976/2017, CD)

Peter Baumann — Trans Harmonic Nights
(Bureau B BB251, 1979/2016, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-05-07

Romance 76 Cover artTrans Harmonic Nights Cover art

Peter Baumann was an integral part of Tangerine Dream from 1971 to 1977, which in my opinion was the group’s best period. So I was excited in 1976 when Peter Baumann released his first solo album Romance 76. I was amazed at the cleanness of the sound, which was partially influenced by David Bowie. The first two tracks, “Bicentennial Presentation” and “Romance,” contain typical Tangerine Dream pentatonic sequences, percussive electronics, and Peter’s catchy melodies. “Phase by Phase” then takes the listener into darker realms with analog synths, sequencers, and sepulchral chimes. The last three tracks, “Meadow of Infinity (Part 1),” “The Glass Bridge,” and “Meadow of Infinity (Part 2),” took up the second side of the LP and are basically three movements of one long abstract and dark orchestral composition.

Three years later Peter released his second solo album, Trans Harmonic Nights. Unlike the diversity of the music on Romance 76, the eight tracks on “Trans Harmonic Nights” contain catchy melodies, sequencers, Mellotron, and the occasional vocoder. The album opens with the razor-edged electronics of “This Day” followed by the heavy bass and drums of “White Bench and Black Beach.” “Chasing the Dream” contains a typical Tangerine Dream pentatonic sequence. “Biking up the Strand” is a happy, upbeat melody that would be great for cycling. Things then turn a bit minimal with “Phaseday” and its pulsating sequence, Mellotron, and vocoder. “Meridian Woodland” takes us into the dark forest with its eerie melody. “The Third Site” is a continuation of “Meridian Woodland.” The album closes with “Dance at Dawn” and its rapid percussive rhythm, synth trumpets, and pentatonic sequences.

Shortly after releasing Trans Harmonic Nights, Peter relocated to the US where he recorded two more albums that were below par: Repeat Repeat and Strangers in the Night (yes the Frank Sinatra song). What a disappointment to his fans! Romance 76 and Trans Harmonic Nights were the best of Peter’s solo career until 2016’s Machines of Desire. Thanks to Bureau B for bringing these two excellent albums of Berlin School electronics to wider audience!

Filed under: Reissues, 2017 releases, 1976 recordings, 2016 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Peter Baumann

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...

Rumblin Orchestra - Spartacus – Spartacus by Rumblin' Orchestra is led by Hungarian keyboardist and composer Ella Bela. This release is technically fine, but is somewhat a rehash of things that have been done better before. Bela is...  (1999) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues