Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss were both disciples of the sadly departed Edgar Froese, and their album Synthwaves kneels at the altar of the greats, notably Tangerine Dream. Precise synth modulations and mutations aplenty then, made on pristine analog equipment. Kosmiche sounds to drift off to, masterfully imbued with emotion. Floaty LP -- or CD -- on Azure Vista.
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What a lot of people forget about me is that a used to be a right synth nut. In the early '80s I was obsessed with anything synthesizer and used to pour over my grandma's Marshall Ward catalogues looking at the pictures of the sort of keyboards I could only dream of owning. Now everyone else has caught on we have a glut of synth based albums in store that tend to leave me as cold as the atmospheres they are trying to emulate but I was quite taken with this album of compositions by Tangerine Dream affiliates Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss.
This is a series of terrific 'Bladerunner' style compositions particularly the excellent opening 'Main Theme' which is one of those insta-classic synth themes that you are sure you have heard before. Following the death of Tangerine Dream leader Edgar Froese, the pair locked themselves in a room full of vintage equipment and basically squelched until their heart was content. 'Rain on Dry Concrete' is another superb piece which uses brilliant polyrhythms bouncing from ear to ear whilst also providing the sort of melody that would do as a heartfelt melody to 1982's latest pylons. 'Slow Life' starts out a little ambient with piano type sounds but soon erupts out of it's ether with a splendidly doomy yet soothing bass-line and brilliant drifting synth notes.
If you enjoyed the decent records we have been championing by the likes of Concretism and Dalham then you are going to love this. Similarly if you can't get enough of the kosmische synth re-issues that have started popping up then this will be for you. Moreover if like me you only dabble these days, this could be the one synth record you need to pick up this year.
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- Synthwaves by Quaeschning & Schnauss
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