Composed, Arranged, Keyboards, Synthesizer - Adelbert Von Deyen|
- Time Machine [5:00]
- Silverrain [4:30]
- Atmosphere, Part One [11:04]
- Altitude Flight
- Atmosphere, Part Two [21:44]
- Spaces Of Infinity
- Crystal Clouds
- Voices Of Infinity
Drums - Zabba Lindner (tracks 1 and 2)
Recorded August 1979 to June 1980 at Studio Norgaard.
"Atmosphere", Adelbert Von Deyen's third release, is the first album on which he starts to show his own musical style and direction rather than sounding like a clone of Klaus Schulze. The title track still has a strong Schulze influence but there are now unique touches and differences that distinguish this as Von Deyen's work. The result is a much more satisfying release than either "Sternzeit" or "Nordborg".
The two short opening tracks are reminiscent of Ashra. "Time Machine" is bouncy, fast paced electronic music while "Silverrain" is a gentler, melodic piece which reminds me of some of the tracks on Ashra's "New Age of Earth".
"Atmosphere", Von Deyen's longest piece, is broken into two parts. This is a pure Berlin school electronics with long sections with sequencer driven bass lines that is reminiscent of mid '70s Klaus Schulze releases. Von Deyen adds effects, like a plane taking off, that Schulze wouldn't have used. The sections of the piece have distinct themes as well.
It's all artfully done and a very good listen. "Atmosphere" is certainly the best of Adelbert Von Deyen's early works.
So what if Adelbert Von Deyen spent much of his early career imitating the deep-space electronic drones of KLAUS SCHULZE: at least he was borrowing from a master. And by his third album he was willing to vary the formula somewhat, enlisting a real drummer (the colorfully named Zabba Lindner) to help beef up his otherwise ethereal soundscapes.
The problem with Von Deyen was that he was always one step behind the electronic trendsetters of the time. By 1980, Klaus Schulze had already retired his analog keyboards for his album "Dig It" (Dig It, as in Digital); TANGERINE DREAM had reinvented themselves in the stripped down, listener friendly "Tangram"; and rock music in general was still recovering from the convulsive aftershocks of Punk and New Wave. Faced with a brave new world like that, what's a suddenly redundant hippie supposed to do?
Well, to begin with, he can add a little rhythmic zip to his interstellar meditations. The album opener "Time Machine" does exactly that, with Von Deyen layering his usual pastel synths over a throbbing backbeat not far removed from the monochrome pulse of NEU! "Silverrain" then slows the tempo down to a one-chord waltz, but adds some unexpected washes of electric guitar, another welcome change in direction, in this case creating a sterling slice of German Space Rock with all the rich texture of a Black Forest gateau.
I should confess here that these two tracks are the only remnants of the album still in my music library, preserved onto good old- fashioned analog cassette tape before yet another of my typically shortsighted vinyl purges. (In all fairness, both are likewise the only cuts off the album selected by Von Deyen himself for his 1992 career retrospective "Sunset" CD.)
A quarter-century later I honestly can't recall much about the rest of the album, or the other two Von Deyen LPs that passed quickly through my record collection (which hopefully says more about the shortcomings of the music than about my failing memory), except to note its lack of any further rhythmic interest. The balance of the album, divided into the eight-part, aptly titled "Atmosphere", is (from what I can recall) built mostly around the sort of blissful, nondescript New Age noodling into which electronic music would morph during the 1980s (and here my admittedly incomplete recollections are reinforced by a quick glance at the suitably cosmic sub-titles: "Voices of Infinity", "Crystal Clouds", and so forth).
But I'm willing to bet the album plays better today on compact disc than it did when first released on vinyl, thanks in part to its now integral analog synth nostalgia value. It's too bad Von Deyen didn't follow through on the promise of the album's first ten exhilarating minutes, but is that any reason to file him away as a mere footnote in music history?
Atmosphere is een van de beste cd's van Adelbert Von Deyen. Ik heb het genoegen om alle albums (via via) van Adelbert Von Deyen op cd te hebben, maar Atmosphere springt hier wel als beste uit. De andere albums van Adelbert Von Deyen zijn zeker ook goed. Zijn laatste, RoseGarden, gaat gelukkig weer richting de muziek ala Atmosphere. Painted Black was een beetje erg eenvoudig.
2009. Jos Lieffering / Nederland