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The Berlin-schule (Berlin school) is a style rather than a place (although most of its early practitioners were in West Berlin). Begun in the 1970s, it encompassed a particular style of electronic music, and some of the innovative early records formed the basis of ambient music. Klaus Schultze, Tangerine Dream: you know many of the names.

Video archive

On this week’s edition of At Water’s Edge, we’ll hear from the children of the Berlin school: recent releases of ambient tracks from artists whose styles are deeply tied to this subgenre of ambient music, including some from artists who have been there all along.

We’ll feature a new work from Altocirrus, tracks from a new album by Dutch artist Phrozenlight, Berlin-school collaborations from all over the world from Borders Edge Records (including Wolf Red, Kuutana, Sequential Dreams, Johan Tronestam) and tracks from Zanov, one of the first French electronic music artists, who’s been on the scene almost since the beginning, releasing works as far back as 1976.

Images on the video broadcast are by Berlin photographer Silva Capitana (Silva Wischeropp). More of her work can be found at these links:

Altocirrus: Morphail Effect-1 (2015)
https://soundcloud.com/altocirrus

Phrozenlight: Dark Universe (2014)
“A Whale’s Journey Towards The Stars”
“You’re Not Alone”
https://phrozenlight.bandcamp.com/

Music from the Borders Edge: A Touch of Berlin, Vol. 1 (2015)
“Floh (Sequential Dreams, feat. Wolf Red)”
“Emerald Path (Kuutana, Waking Sun)”
“Astral Gates (Sequential Dreams, feat. Johan Tronestam)”
“The Caves of Steel (Sequential Dreams, Fantastic Stories)”
“Infinite Improbabilities (Sequential Dreams, Quantum Earth)”
“Nexus 6 (Sequential Dreams, Cosmic Touch)”
“Encounter at Proxima 5 (Sequential Dreams, Cosmic Touch)”
“Ion Storm on Jupiter Station (Kuutana, Undiscovered Shores)”
https://bordersedge.bandcamp.com/album/a-touch-of-berlin-vol-1

Zanov: Virtual Future (2014)
“Very Far”
“Neuronal Storm”
http://www.zanov.net/

Zanov is an early French proponent of the Berlin school, making electronic music since the late 1970s. After a long break, he has a new release, Virtual Future, which is an instant Berlin school classic.

The Prayer Capsule: Interstellar Aftertaste (unreleased)

The Prayer Capsule is the instrumental side-project of the electronic/experimental/progressive rock band Christus & The Cosmonaughts (Beta Lactam Ring Records), which is Scot Solida (synths/vocals, and writer for Computer Music Magazine), and Har (guitars/basses, and radio show host on Stillstream.com). The unreleased track “Interstellar Aftertaste” features Scot on numerous analog and digital synths and vocoder, and Har on processed and lead guitars. Beware, often what sounds like synths may be guitars, and what sounds like guitars may be synths! More info can be found at http://www.cosmonaughts.com.

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