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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERND KISTENMACHER: Music from Outer Space (1985)

“I had forgotten how Music from Outer Space was a so very beautiful album where solos, sequences and effects reveal quite the wealth of EM”

1 Music from Outer Space Part I 37:45  2 Music from Outer Space Part II 41:38 Green Tree Records GTR 091 Bernd Kistenmacher Music

(CD 79:26) (V.F.) (Vintage Berlin School)

Bernd Kistenmacher was doubtless one of the most beautiful secrets of the German electronic musical scene for numerous years. Making music in the shade of the big ones, at least on this side the planet, he has created since 1984 about fifteen cassettes, albums and cd, keeping his the most hard-hitting, the most accomplished works, for the 2000 years. But previously, this enigmatic synthésiste a bit romantic proposed a music in the steams of a Berlin School as poetic as chaotic. His first works are strongly inspired by Klaus Schulze's analog universe, period Blackdance and Body Love, but with a suspicion of soft anarchy which flows as some still blank honey. At first realized in cassette format, MUSIC FROM OUTER SPACE proposes 2 long minimalist titles with suites of harmonies and ambiences which are exchanged their roles through rhythms soft and savages in an electronic universe fed of its paradoxes and these wonderful machines which are synths and sequencers. Reedited in CD with the publication of the 8 CD boxset; My Little Universe was released in 1999, this first opus of Bernd Kistenmacher was nowhere to be found and thus was a collector item for his fans and the fans of the Berlin School style EM of the 70's. And I always emitted the wish that Bernd re-releases his whole catalog because his music has widely influenced artists who saw in EM the perfect way to create a little more symphonic works. Now it's done! You will find this album, as well as all the titles of Bernd Kistenmacher in original edition on the Bandcamp page of the latter. Let's start with MUSIC FROM OUTER SPACE.

Getting rid of its resonant membrane, a shadow coming from the oblivion floats with a delicate nuance in its movement, and its tone some 300 seconds later. It looks like small hoops are dancing here, creating a strange oneiric dance on a hardly undulating movement. Slowly, Bernd Kistenmacher shapes his first part with the sound ingredients which made the charms of the70's EM. Thus, a heavy veil spreads an interstellar carpet from where escapes a little stream of sequences which dance and glitter a little after the 7minutes point. The movement of sequences amplifies a pace which flickers swiftly, hunting the ascendancy of this heavy mist which mystified the introduction of Music from Outer Space Part I. The purists will recognize here the same movement which livened up a certain very famous title of the album Encore from Tangerine Dream. But it doesn't matter! Schulze, TD and Ashra dominated the scene at that time, thus it was necessary to go out of somewhere and it was exactly what proposed Bernd Kistenmacher. The movement stays in suspension while more orchestral layers wrap it in a more lyrical atmosphere while little by little a mass of bass sequences and of percussions becomes agitated. Delicious to discover in a rather complex context, Music from Outer Space Part I gets into its rhythmic phase with more of mordant, but always with a hypnotic restraint, whereas the sequenced keys spin with fury in a tunnel where the freedom of movement is decorated by superb anesthetic layers full of Elfic voices of a synth which escapes its twisted solos. These solos spin as these pie charts which go and come in a game of Spirograph and these angelic voices which hum some shrill aaaaah which we can confuse with these complaints of a synth in mode alarm. Intense and crystallizing, Music from Outer Space Part I crashes in one finale where the flavors of Mirage and Body Love perfume our ears. A very good title which shows this vitality of the analog years but with a development more structured than these long sound Mass improvised of this time.

From its 40 minutes, Music from Outer Space Part II starts things clearly! Less poetic and more livened up, the dance of sequences begins with the foggy voice of Kistenmacher of which the echo reflects the words Music from Outer Space on a nice and very juicy, and also very Berliner, sequence. The tone is given! This sequence skips cheerfully alone before a synth wraps it with a chant all the same rather seraphic. Layers of voice get graft at this minimalist union which already introduced nuances, as much in the pace of the beat as the harmonious airs. The ear gets attached to this minimalist introduction when already the title plunges towards another direction, this time more ethereal but non less sibylline at around the 5th minute. The initial movement of the sequencer skips like at the beginning, except that this time foggier layers, a blue mist, caresses its beardless rebellion. Very beautiful synth solos float over there. Their nasal tints and their songs of snake charmers are wonderful. The crystal clear tick-tock of the sequence borrows a darker coat while a bluish cloud of mist opens the door to a rotatory solo where is nest a movement of sequences which flickers such as a hyperactive hand on a switch. Always very charmingly bewitching, the minimalist movement of Music from Outer Space Part II adorns itself with beautiful nuances while the title plunges into a velocity which slips totally in an anarchy chaos to finally slow down the pace in an ambiosonic passage around the 28th minute. But all along the title, Bernd Kistenmacher multiplies orchestral and voices layers as well as solos and effects which also feed to satisfaction this phase of confusion which will create another very beautiful passage of electronic rhythm among which the effects and the analog warmth are the instruments of one finale a little more ethereal.

I had forgotten how MUSIC FROM OUTER SPACE was a so very beautiful album of EM. Built on 2 very long titles of which the minimalist routes are presented with nuances, so much in the rhythms, harmonies and ambient effects, this 2nd opus of Bernd Kistenmacher defines marvelously the complexities of a spatial and poetic universe in a symphonic envelope more sibylline than elegiac where solos, sequences and effects reveal quite the wealth of EM.

Sylvain Lupari (April 17th, 2007) ****½*

Available at Bernd Kistenmacher Bandcamp

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