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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Brainwork Late in Berlin (2021)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Its strength is this balance between the ethereal prose and the unbridled e-rock

1 Late in Berlin 11:37

2 Roll In 19:45

3 Black Lake 25:08

4 Final Data 10:52

(CD 67:32) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Finally! After all the incalculable expectations, Brainwork gives us an album of pure Berlin School. Retro Berlin School focused on the great pioneers of the 70's, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream.

A bluish synth layer has not even reached the height of our ears that a tinkling of bells initiate the title-track. A pulsing bass-line starts to jump on the spot, attacked as it is by the strident tones of some bells. A veil of ether settles right on the sharp radiations and a few seconds later, the cymbals come to peck either the bass-pulsations or this undulating veil. There are not two minutes passed that the title rises in intensity. And the percussions that come down, some 28 seconds into the second minute, imitates a Harald Grosskopf sculpting a furious aerial rhythm like an octopus missing a tentacle. Remember Moondawn? The solos that come are inspired by it. The nervous play of the percussions supports a scintillating movement of the keyboard/synth that sculpts a fascinating melody that the very celestial synth solos caress with their passionate impulses. Late in Berlin fulfills those hopes that Uwe Saher's fans have always had, since Brainwork has too often presented us with a succulent Berlin School track on many albums. And this album is full of it with its 68 minutes. But it's not only Klaus that Uwe wants to share with us. A track like Roll In is inspired by Tangerine Dream and especially the structures of Silver Scale. Orchestrations and misty sprays occupy its opening until a shimmering movement of bouncing arpeggios sculpts the sketch of an electronic rock taken over by a furious bass line. The percussions get tied up this rising rhythm as pads and keyboard riffs pick up the base of Silver Scale. Spread over almost 20 minutes, Brainwork works on a rhythm structure, which is almost identical, inserting sudden reversals, all very rocking, while the synth goes for Arabic harmonies and a very good solo after the 11th minute. This is an awesome track if you are into TD's 81-82 tour!

LATE IN BERLIN is structured around 4 tracks, 2 of which are influenced by and or dedicated to Klaus Schulze. The other 2 are for Tangerine Dream. And after a few listens, Black Lake has become my favorite track of this brand-new Brainwork album. Its 25 minutes are blown around Schulze's more contemporary structures. Minimalist, the rhythmic structure ebbs and flows in a choreography spurred by the jolts of the sequencer and percussions. A swirling sequence makes this structure more fluid and explodes with percussions that are a bit more restrained than in the title-track. Flutes, vocal layers, orchestrations and synth solos, as well as violin quartets, follow one another on this track that flirts between the episodes of Inter*Face and Miditerranean Pads. Without any disorienting and aggressive orchestral bursts, this Black Lake is of a bewitching minimalist divinity. Final Data is a ferocious electronic rock a la Tangerine Dream with a furious synth solo that wants to trade its identity for that of a guitar under a sequencer dribbling its jumping balls in Chris Franke mode. It sounds like the fearlessness of The Soldier with the core of Horns of Doom and a scent of synth-pop, genre Visage and their hit single Fade to Grey.

LATE IN BERLIN is a fabulous Brainwork nod to the two legends of the Berlin School; Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. The great strength of this album is its balance between the ethereal prose of KS and the unbridled electronic rock of TD. There is no doubt that fans of these two legends will devour every minute of it. 5 stars? Yes! For the memories and the true Berlin School spirit inside LATE IN BERLIN.

Sylvain Lupari (September 18th, 2021) *****

Available at and at Groove nl

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