Trance is Jürgen Petersen, a German sound-maker who was compared to Brian Eno in his early 80’s heyday. Tapes compiles tracks from some of the extremely rare self-released tapes that Petersen produced later in his career, rescuing these works of gorgeous new-agey ambience for a new generation. 12” EP on Growing Bin Records.
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This man who goes by the name of Trance also goes under the name of Adrian Marcator who also goes under the name of Jurgen Petersen. I dunno. Pick any one, it might be his real name. But it seems like he has some level of esteem hanging around him, Germany’s answer to Eno apparently, and here we have a collection of his best things released in the mid 80s on tapes. Tapes. There you go.
There’s a long list of machines both circuit-y and strung on the back for all the gear nerds and those seeking that 80s electronic authenticity, but let’s skip that. Comparing him to Eno is a bit of a wild one really, his sound is much more komische, cyclical and led by chunky synth repetitions than the Enoman, much less subtle but with the same sense of ‘set a vibe and keep it sustained’. Take ‘Belial’ for example: it’s an edit of the original track but still clocks in at almost 13 minutes, all that time playing a krauty synth loop that hardly feels like it changes, Trance keeping the intrigue by bringing in thin, slow high notes like wisps of smoke.
On ‘Wintergarden’, the guitar takes the lead, while synths echo and twinkle in a similarly cosmic fashion, as if drawing you further into some forgotten new age painting. You can see why Petersen chose the name Trance, it’s very informative, almost like he’s letting you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. So helpful, cheers bud. By the time it gets to ‘Ambiente’ though it does feel a little by-numbers, even the track name, and the inclusion of the sitar distantly doesn’t help. Proper hippy stuff, not that that’s a bad thing inherently, but I think a bit of subtlety here and there doesn’t go amiss. Still very nice, though.
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