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

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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gjallarhorn - Grimborg – Gjallarhorn’s last album, Sjofn (reviewed in #21), was one of my top CDs of 2000. The combination of thunderous drums, droning didgeridoo, and female vocals made for a unique sound that really...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues