Quaeschning & Schnauss: Synthwaves (LP, Azure Vista, June 2017)

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It’s 2017! Nobody wants to listen to a couple of middle-aged German dudes with enormous banks of synths!  This is what punk was sent to save us from, amirite? Well, sure, except that it turns out that I really like this. Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss are part of the most recent line-up of Tangerine Dream, although they were only born around the band’s classic period in the late ’70s, and Schnauss only joined just before Edgar Froese’s death in 2015. And although the sound is certainly more up-to-date — the tech has advanced, for one thing, and there are occasional modern stylistic touches, most notably the Frahm-ish close-miked piano intro to Slow Life, and you could probably make a case for an influence from ’90s IDM — it has to be said that it’s all rooted very firmly in kosmische. Certainly, compared to the likes of Caterina Barbieri’s recent record, it is pretty old hat. But it’s also really lovely, melodic, organic, warm, and uplifting stuff to salve the soul in these trying times.

I bought this from Juno. They call it Coldwave / Synth.

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