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Peter Mergener — New Horizons
(Spheric Music SMCD 2501, 2023, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-04-15

New Horizons Cover art

Back in the mid-80s a two-man electronic project called Software began releasing records on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communications (I.C.) label, and one half of that German duo was Peter Mergener (the other half being Michael Weisser). I well recall, in the advent of the compact disc, Software’s CDs could be found for a free sampling at many a store that sold used product in the then-nascent format, and there were plenty to be heard — in their first five years Software released around ten albums. Around 1991, Mergener began releasing hiw own solo work on Joerg Strawe’s Cue label, while continuing his partnership with Weisser until around 2000. As of this writing Mergener has released close to twenty albums on Cue and also on the German independent Prudence label, although his latest recording, New Horizons, is his first release by Spheric Music, his first in several years, and a return to his classic next-generation Berlin School style. The nine tracks on the album at hand offer deep atmospherics, brisk and complex sequences that emerge from dreamlike states, harmonic plateaus that shimmer with an elegant beauty, flowing textures that offer immersive elements that a listener can get lost within. The first and final track, “Discovery” and “Mission Control” respectively, inject some recordings of spoken parts to remind the listener that the theme of New Horizons is space travel, as well as track titles like “Hycean Planet,” “Ignition,” and “Kosmonaut” might hint at, but the music speaks for itself and doesn’t seek to enforce that idea — the listener is free to go anywhere the imagination leads. Frankly, over the years this writer has become jaded by so many electronic releases that tend to track the KS/TD sound too closely, but Mergener’s approach is at once novel and refreshing, reminding all that there is still plenty of power and beauty to be found in the electronic universe.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Mergener

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