• The Best of three Worlds!

    17 oct. 2011, 12h18m

    Sat 15 Oct – E-Live 2011

    Loom offered us a great concert, with material from Jerome Froese (solo material), Johannes Schmoelling (solo material) and from Tangerine Dream. plus some new Loom tracks.
    The pure and clean sound from the 80`s was back, so it felt like
    we were back in time at some point. It was truly fantastic to hear this, and see Johannes performing again. Johannes and Jerome had a great connection on stage, and let the instruments speak.
    Johannes opened the concert with the piano track, that he opened with in 1980 (his first show with TD) Quichotte Part 1 - Pergamon Sphere.


    Loom Set 1:
    Piano intro by Johannes: Pergamon Sphere (Quichotte Part One)
    01. Palace of Dreams
    02. New untitled track by LOOM
    03. La Marche
    04. Catwalk
    05. Going West
    06. Matjora is still alive
    07. A room in the house closed to the public
    08. A long way home
    09. Abacus
    10. Crystal Red (Jerome/Johannes collaboration title for JF's third solo album)
    End Set 1
    Loom Set 2
    01. Circles
    02. Towards the evening star
    03. Rise of smooth Automaton
    04. My reality at 52 degrees of Latitude
    05. Cartoony Universe
    06. White Eagle
    07. Beach Theme
    End Set 2

    01. A Mellow Morning
    02. Time and Tide
    03. Choronzon

    Jerome Froese Johannes Schmoelling Tangerine Dream

    Musicians: Jerome Froese - Johannes Schmoelling - Robert Waters

    Robert Waters
  • Tangerine Dream Discography 1970-2014

    28 sept. 2011, 17h09m

    Tangerine Dream - Official Releases
    Since 1970 Tangerine Dream have released a large number of records, including studio, live and soundtrack records. This section features a complete list of these official releases. It is organized in seven time periods, commonly known to TD collectors. The records are listed in order of their initial release date, not in order of the date of their original recording. Plus Videos and DVD Live concerts.

    - 'The Pink Years' - 'The Virgin Years' - 'The Blue Years' - 'The Melrose Years' - 'The Seattle Years' - 'The TDI Years' - 'The Eastgate Years' -

    'The Pink Years'
    1970 - 1973
    Electronic Meditation Album Studio
    Alpha Centauri Album Studio
    Ultima Thule Single Studio
    Ossiach Live Album Sampler
    Zeit Album Studio
    Atem Album Studio

    'The Virgin Years'
    1974 - 1984

    Phaedra Album Studio
    - Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares/Phaedra Single Studio
    Rubycon Album Studio
    - Extracts From "Rubycon" Single Studio
    V Album Sampler
    Ricochet Album Live
    - Ricochet (Part I)/Ricochet (Part II) Single Live
    - Excerpt From Ricochet Single Live
    Alpha Centauri/Atem Album Set
    Stratosfear Album Studio
    - Stratosfear/The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades Single Studio
    Sorcerer Album Soundtrack
    - Betrayal/Betrayal Single Soundtrack
    - Betrayal/Grind Single Soundtrack
    - Betrayal/Search Single Soundtrack
    - Grind/Betrayal Single Soundtrack
    - Grind/Impressions Of Sorcerer Single Soundtrack
    Encore Album Live
    - Monolight/Coldwater Canyon Single Live
    - Monolight Single Live
    - Monolight/Hobo March Single Live/Studio
    - Encore/Hobo March Single Live/Studio
    Cyclone Album Studio
    - Bent Cold Sidewalk Single Studio
    - Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender Single Studio
    Force Majeure Album Studio
    - Excerpts From Force Majeure Single Studio
    Tangram Album Studio
    - Tangram Part I-IV Single Studio
    Quichotte Album Live
    '70-'80 Box Compilation/Studio
    Thief Album Soundtrack
    - Dr. Destructo/Diamond Diary Single Soundtrack
    - Beach Scene/Burning Bar Single Soundtrack
    Exit Album Studio
    - Choronzon/Network 23 Single Studio
    White Eagle Album Studio
    Das Mädchen auf der Treppe Single Soundtrack
    Logos Live Album Live
    Daydream/Moorland Single Soundtrack
    Hyperborea Album Studio
    - Cinnamon Road/Hyperborea Single Studio
    Risky Business - The Audio Movie Kit Album Soundtrack
    Risky Business Album Soundtrack
    - Love On A Real Train/Guido The Killer Pimp Single Soundtrack
    Wavelength Album Soundtrack
    Firestarter Album Soundtrack
    Flashpoint Album Soundtrack
    - Flashpoint/Going West Single Soundtrack

    'The Blue Years'
    1984 - 1988

    Poland Album Live
    - Warsaw In The Sun Single Live/Studio
    Heartbreakers Album Soundtrack
    Le Parc Album Studio
    - Streethawk Single Studio
    - Tiergarten/Streethawk Single Studio
    Dream Sequence Album Compilation
    In The Beginning Box Set
    Green Desert Album Studio
    Pergamon Album Re-release/Live
    Jubileumcassette Album Sampler
    Legend Album Soundtrack
    Underwater Sunlight Album Studio
    - Dolphin Dance Single Studio
    The Collection Album Compilation
    A Time For Heroes Single Studio
    Tyger Album Studio
    - Tyger/21st Century Common Man Single Studio
    Canyon Dreams Video Video
    Three O'Clock High Album Soundtrack
    Near Dark Album Soundtrack
    Shy People Album Soundtrack
    - Dancing On A White Moon/Shy People Single Soundtrack
    Livemiles Album Live/Studio

    'The Melrose Years'
    1988 - 1990


    Optical Race Album Studio
    - Marakesh Single Studio
    - Cat Scan/Ghazal/Optical Race Single Studio
    - Optical Race/Mothers Of Rain/Sun Gate/Ghazal Single Studio
    House Of The Rising Sun Single Live
    Miracle Mile Album Soundtrack
    The Best Of Tangerine Dream Album Compilation
    Lily On The Beach Album Studio
    Destination Berlin Album Soundtrack
    - Alexander Square Single Soundtrack
    Electronische Muziek 1989 Album Sampler
    Melrose Album Studio
    - Oranges Don't Dance Album Compilation
    - Desert Train Single Studio
    Synthetiseur Box Set

    'The Seattle Years'
    1991 - 1995


    From Dawn 'til Dusk Album Compilation
    Canyon Dreams Album Soundtrack
    Dead Solid Perfect Album Soundtrack
    The Park Is Mine Album Soundtrack
    I Just Want To Rule My Own Life Without You Single Soundtrack
    L'Affaire Wallraff Album Soundtrack
    Rockoon Album Studio
    - Rockoon Special Edition Single Studio
    - Big City Dwarves Single Studio
    Rumpelstiltskin Album Soundtrack
    Quinoa Album Studio
    The Private Music Of Tangerine Dream Album Compilation/Studio
    (3) Box Set
    Deadly Care Album Soundtrack
    Dream Music Album Compilation
    220 Volt Live Album Live/Studio
    - Dreamtime Single Live/Studio
    Three Phase Video Live/Studio
    The Story Of Tangerine Dream Album Compilation
    Turn Of The Tides Album Studio
    - Midwinter Night Single Studio
    - Turn Of The Tides CD-5 Single Studio
    Catch Me If You Can Album Soundtrack
    Tangents Box Compilation/Studio
    - Tangerine Dream Album Compilation/Studio
    Collection Box Set
    Tyranny Of Beauty Album Studio
    - Tyranny Of Beauty CD-5 Single Studio
    - Tyranny Of Beauty CD-I Multimedia Studio
    Atmospherics Album Compilation
    Rubycon/Ricochet Box Set
    The Dream Mixes Album Studio
    Dream Music 2 Album Compilation/Studio
    Book Of Dreams Album Compilation/Studio
    The Keep Album Studio

    'The TDI Years'
    1996 - 2005

    Zoning Album Soundtrack
    Tangerine Ambience Album Studio
    Goblins Club Album Studio
    - Towards The Evening Star Single Studio
    Shepherds Bush Single Studio
    Tangerine Dream Album Compilation
    The Dream Roots Collection Box Compilation/Studio
    Oasis Video Soundtrack
    Towards The Evening Star Single Studio
    The Video Dream Mixes Video Studio
    Oasis Album Soundtrack
    Limited World Tour Edition 1997 Single Studio
    Das Mädchen auf der Treppe Single Re-release/Studio
    The Grammy Nominated Albums Box Set
    Tournado Album Live
    Tangerine Ambience Vol II Album Studio
    TimeSquare Album Studio
    The Keep Album Soundtrack
    Ambient Monkeys Album Studio
    Der Meteor Album Studio
    Luminous Visions Album Compilation
    The Analogue Space Years Album Compilation
    The Pink Years Album Compilation
    Atlantic Bridges Album Compilation
    Atlantic Walls Album Compilation
    Dream Encores Album Compilation/Live
    The Hollywood Years Vol. 1 Album Studio
    The Hollywood Years Vol. 2 Album Studio
    Transsiberia Album Soundtrack
    Ça Va - Ça Marche - Ça Ira Encore Single Studio
    Dream Dice Box Set
    The Blue Years Album Compilation
    Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score Single Studio
    Three Classic Albums Box Set
    Valentine Wheels Album Live
    Tangerine Dream Album Compilation
    Sohoman Album Live/Studio
    What A Blast Album Soundtrack
    Mars Polaris - Deep Space Highway To Red Rocks Pavilion Album Studio
    Mars Polaris - Original Motion Picture Space Reality Album Studio
    Great Wall Of China Album Soundtrack
    Tang-go Album Compilation
    Soundmill Navigator Album Live/Studio
    Antique Dreams Album Compilation/Live/Studio
    The Seven Letters From Tibet Album Studio
    i-Box Box Compilation/Live/Studio
    Meng Tian Single Studio
    Stereolight Single Studio
    Astrophobia Single Studio
    The Past Hundred Moons Album Studio
    Inferno Album Live/Studio
    Journey Through A Burning Brain Box Compilation
    The Melrose Years Album Re-release/Studio
    Astoria Theatre London Single Studio
    Mota Atma Album Soundtrack
    The Bootleg Box Set Vol. 1 Box Live
    Live In America 1992 Video Re-release/Live/Studio
    DM 4 Album Studio
    - DM 4 Bonus CD Single Studio
    Rockface Album Live
    The Bootleg Box Set Vol. 2 Box Live
    High Voltage Box Set
    Lamb With Radar Eyes Album Set
    L'Inferno Video Soundtrack
    Purgatorio Album Studio
    Aachen - January 21st 1981 Album Live
    Montreal - April 9th 1977 Album Live
    Paris - February 2nd 1981 Album Live
    Sydney - February 22nd 1982 Album Live
    Ottawa - June 20th 1986 Album Live
    East Album Live
    East (Bonus Disc) Album Live
    Arizona Live Album Live
    An Introduction To.... Album Compilation
    Vault IV Box Live
    Cleveland - June 24th 1986 Album Live
    Brighton - March 25th 1986 Album Live
    Kyoto Album Studio
    Space Flight Orange Single Studio
    Jeanne d'Arc Album Studio
    Rocking Mars Album Live

    'The Eastgate Years'
    2005 - now

    Phaedra 2005 Album Studio
    The Essential Collection Album Compilation
    Blue Dawn Album Studio
    The Essential Album Compilation
    Nebulous Dawn Box Set
    40 Years Roadmap To Music Single Studio
    Paradiso Album Studio
    Detroit - March 31st 1977 Album Live
    Preston - November 5th 1980 Album Live
    Plays Tangerine Dream Album Compilation/Studio
    Metaphor Single Studio
    Dante's Inferno Video Live
    Live At The Tempodrome Berlin Video Live
    The Dante Arias Collection Album Compilation
    The Dante Song Collection Album Compilation
    Starbound Collection Album Compilation
    Silver Siren Collection Album Compilation
    Ocean Waves Collection Album Compilation
    Cyberjam Collection Album Compilation
    The Soft Dream Decade Album Compilation
    Mars Mission Counter Album Re-release
    Canyon Cazuma Album Compilation
    Hollywood Lightning Album Compilation
    Live At Coventry Cathedral 1975 Video Live/Studio
    Madcap's Flaming Promo Single Studio
    Springtime In Nagasaki Album Studio
    35th Phaedra Anniversary Concert Video Live
    Madcap's Flaming Duty Album/Video Studio
    Sleeping Watches Snoring In Silence Single Studio
    DM 2.1 Album Compilation/Studio
    Bells Of Accra Single Studio
    Summer In Nagasaki Album Studio
    London Astoria Club Concert 2007 Video Live
    Antique Dream Land Album Compilation
    Tangines Scales Album Compilation
    One Night In Space Single Studio
    Orange Odyssey Album/Video Live
    One Times One Album Studio
    Booster Album Compilation/Studio
    One Night In Space Album/Video Live
    2008 :
    Purple Diluvial Album Studio
    Views From A Red Train Album Studio
    The Anthology Decades Album Studio
    The Electronic Magic Of Tangerine Dream Album Studio/Compilation
    Tangram 2008 Album Studio
    Hyperborea 2008 Album Studio
    Das Romantische Opfer Single Studio
    Armageddon In The Rose Garden Single Compilation
    The Epsilon Journey Album/Video Live
    Fallen Angels Single Studio
    Autumn In Hiroshima Album Studio
    Choice Single Studio
    Booster II Album Compilation/Studio
    Loreley Video Live
    The London Eye Concert Album/Video Live
    Flame Album Studio
    The Independent Years Album Compilation
    Axiat Album Compilation
    Vintage Vanguard Album Compilation/Studio
    Chandra Album Studio
    Live @ Dussmann Berlin Album Live
    A Cage In Search Of A Bird Single Studio
    Winter In Hiroshima Album Studio
    Music For Sports - Cool Races Album Compilation/Studio
    Music For Sports - Power And Motion Album Compilation
    Ballads Box Compilation
    Rocking Out The Bats Album/Video Live
    Booster III Album Compilation/Studio
    Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares Album Studio/Compilation
    Izu Album/Video Live
    DM V Album Studio
    Zeitgeist Single Studio
    Run To Vegas Album Studio/Compilation
    Zeitgeist Concert Album Live
    The Electronic Journey Box Set
    Under Cover Album Studio
    The Endless Season Album Studio
    Live In Lisbon Video Live
    The Virgin Years 1974-1978 Box Set/Compilation
    Booster IV Album Compilation/Studio
    The Island Of The Fay Album Studio
    Sunrise In The Third System Album Compilation
    Ride on a Ray Album Compilation
    The Angel of the West Window Album Studio
    Gate of Saturn cd single studio
    Gate of Saturn - Live at The Lowry Manchester Album Live
    Mona Da Vinci cd single ep
    Finnegans WakeAlbumStudio
    Knights Of AshevilleAlbumLive
    Machu PicchuepStudio
    Booster VAlbumCompilation/Studio
    The Virgin Years 1977-1983BoxSet/Compilation
    Live At Budapest At Béla Bartók National Concert Hall AlbumLive
    Live At Admiralspalast BerlinAlbumLive
    2013 :
    - Cruise To Destiny Live Album 2013, Rehearsal Session
    - Starmus Festival Live in Tenerife Featuring Brian May Album Live
    - ONE NIGHT IN AFRICA (Compilation)
    - LOST IN STRINGS - Volume I (compilation)
    - BOOSTER VI (compilation with new tracks)
    - FRANZ KAFKA - THE CASTLE (New studio album)

    Buy albums here
    Eastgate Music:

    Tangerine DreamEdgar FroeseJohannes SchmoellingChristopher FrankeJerome FroesePaul HaslingerPeter Baumann
  • Totally wired with Tangerine Dream (This article originally appeared in April 1986…

    10 déc. 2009, 14h51m

    In 1985, a small milestone in electronic music occurred: Tangerine Dream became 15 years old. In that time, they've defined and expanded the parameters of electronic sound by traveling through psychedelia, space music, and the current New Age movement.

    The recent explosion of synthesizer technology can be traced in large part to the personal, highly developed music of Tangerine Dream. Their first recording, Electronic Meditation, was a Stockhausen songbook played by acid heads. Electric guitars, organs, violins, metal, whips, and cellos were distorted to the limits by founder Edgar Froese and Conrad Schnitzler, and set against Klaus Shulze's free jazz drumming (still acoustic in those days). Schulze, now a highly regarded synthesist in his own right, recalls the radio stations' reactions. "While it was playing," he laughs, "they'd give us these strange looks like there was something wrong with the turntable."

    Things got even more curious on their next three recordings, Alpha Centauri, Atem, and Zeit, with the gradual introduction of Mellotron and the VCS3 synthesizers. The personnel also stabilized around founder Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke, and Peter Baumann—probably the only element of stability in a floating world that made Pink Floyd sound like a rural blues band by comparison. Alpha Centauri bears a dedication to "all people who feel obliged to space." They experimented with subtler textures, and on the double record Zeit, used a string quartet in the manner of Ligeti.

    Tangerine Dream had a curious breakthrough in 1973 with Phaedra, a recording that remains fresh and visionary. A Moog synthesizer was added along with sequencers, a development that, until recently, would be a trademark of their music. Phaedra topped the British pop charts with its liquid textures and insistent rhythms that sounded like giant cosmic rubber bands.

    It was during this period that Tangerine Dream honed their reputation as a performing ensemble, playing odd venues like planetariums and darkened churches throughout Europe. Their concerts were almost entirely improvised, with only a few preprogrammed sequencer patterns. They were, and still remain, one of the only live performance electronic ensembles and one of the few who can pull it off with the quality and complexity of their studio recordings, as the live records Ricochet, Encore, Tangerine Dream, Logos, and Poland will attest.

    They finally came to America in 1977, by which time they'd acquired a synthesist's candy store overflowing with state-of-the-art equipment. In 1977, that meant instruments like Oberheim polyphonic synths, ARP 2600s and string machines, PPG synthesizers, digital sequencers, and a host of custom-designed devices. The LP notes to Encore list 25 instruments.

    Tangerine Dream had little impact in an apparently huge, popular sense, but they slowly insinuated themselves into the Hollywood film industry. When they scored William Friedkin's Sorcerer in 1977, it was a dynamic departure; aside from Wendy Carlos's Clockwork Orange, it may have been the first time that an all-electronic score was used for something besides eerie sound effects in science-fiction films. In fact, they have only one true science fiction film credit to date, the low-budget Wavelength.

    The 1980s find Tangerine Dream firmly ensconced in films, with over a dozen credits from taut action thrillers like Thief (directed by Miami Vice's Michael Mann) to the teen hit, Risky Business. A partial listing of their other film credits include Firestarter, Flashpoint, Heartbreakers, Kamikaze 1989 (Froese only), The Park is Mine (HBO), Red Heat, Forbidden, the Streethawk TV series, and though you'd never know it from the soundtrack recording, Vision Quest. I talked with Tangerine Dream while they were in London doing final mixes on Le Parc for their new label Jive-Electro (Relativity in the U.S.). It's a recording of shorter, highly energized tone poems that still retain the Tangerine Dream trademarks of spectacular sounds and enveloping compositions. Their early reputation as a hippie space-music band is belied by their now tightly structured music and efficiency. Roddy MacKenna, from Jive-Electro, was shocked by how fast they mixed Le Parc. "I booked a couple of days of studio time," he exclaimed, "and they only took a few hours." An engineer added, "They knew exactly what they wanted and how to get it."

    I spoke with two-thirds of Tangerine Dream. Edgar Froese is philosophically introspective when he discusses his art, while Chris Franke's humorously cynical air places Tangerine Dream in the context of the music world at large. The third member is Johannes Schmoelling, who replaced Baumann in 1980.

    When we spoke in 1982, shortly after The Soldier was released, you said you were going to stop doing soundtracks for a while and you stopped for about a year. But since then you've done quite a few.
    Edgar Froese: We had some problems with our record company; in a commercial market you sometimes have to do what you get asked to do. Also, the worldwide recession in record sales affected us. So after a year, we stepped into movie making again so that we could be independent and do what we wanted. It wouldn't work if we tried to live from just record sales and also want to buy expensive equipment.

    Chris Franke: Soundtracks are always a learning process because you get forced to design music that you wouldn't have done by yourself for a record or concert. In the end it gives you more material and routine knowledge of the instruments, which is valuable. So movie making isn't just making money or films that we like: it's a process.

    Weren't some of the things in The Keep used in your Poland live record?
    Franke: Ideas of it, right. We would never go so much into classic music or meditative music like we did on Risky Business. Film music is a playground for us where we can play a style that we like but doesn't fit into Tangerine Dream.

    That's interesting because on The Keep, Thief, and Risky Business there is music that I recognized from Tangerine Dream LPs. Did you re-record it for the film?
    Franke: Actually, we recorded all original music for Risky Business, but the director had used tracks from our other records and he wanted that music. So, they were variations of existing titles.

    Froese: That was the director's idea; we wouldn't have done it otherwise. We don't like to repeat things we've done.

    How do you select the films you do?
    Froese: It's not always the story or the way the film is done, but little points that determine whether we do it or not. For instance, two films, a Conan one and a Charles Bronson film, were offering us a lot of money but we decided not to do it. I'm not saying that they're bad films. It's nothing about the films.

    Franke: Directors must realize that we've been a performing group for many years and we have a following of people who buy our albums and they think that we have ideas about a film or identify with a story. They don't understand if we do a totally violent film or a really cheap sex film. We would lose our followers and image very soon if we did every film.

    There are not many films that we really like to do from out real heart. We always thought that 2010 would be the right kind of film for us. We could have done good things without using the usual orchestra. If the film Dune had been a great film, which it unfortunately was not, that would have been the right material. Films like Missing are more the style that we're looking for.

    On The Sorcerer, you composed one long score based on the script and then William Friedkin chopped it into the movie. Now that's not the way you usually work.
    Franke: Each film is different. Some give us all the freedom we want. Some work with us, they play instruments and we work out tunes together. (Michael Mann plays guitar on Thief.)

    Sometimes to be different we create more work than is necessary. We want to be different, break certain routines and cliches of film music that are worn out. We try to create counterpoints, do the opposite of what the film is doing or else sometimes you don't even hear the music.

    In The Keep there was a scene with a very sad feel but we did cool music to it. Or there was very fast action and we did slow motion music, In Risky Business, during a love scene, instead of doing strings we did a minimal rocky pedal music that still worked, although nobody expected it.

    Froese: By working with electronics we can be much faster than a person who works with a normal score and orchestra. Even so, the work we do in two or three weeks is hard. We're completely exhausted afterwards. We have to concentrate on four or five different levels as composers, arrangers, players, and technicians all in one. That's good, though, because we can control all the parameters. Nothing has left our studio without being exactly like we want it.

    When I hear the film music, I think it's different from Tangerine Dream music. First of all, there's less of it: there are things left out.
    Frank: We don't have the structural development like in Tangerine Dream. In films you cannot develop—the dialog disturbs it. Still, we try to keep our signature even though we must relate to the film. Also, there's less of a spectrum because of sound effects and other things so you have to express the full musical score in fewer lines. That's why it's different from the music we'd do ourselves.

    Froese: You can use one cello, and in the length of three minutes create something incredible and strong.

    Franke: That's the art, I think: to create pauses with simple acoustic events for what's required in the film. That's why directors hire us. Most are looking for the worn out big orchestra sound. I don't like to listen to classical music anymore because it's all in film scores. Many modem music styles are used for horror films and space films.

    What about working with sound effects? You don't generate them, do you?
    Froese: In Thief, when they break into the roof to get into the bank, that sound filled the whole frequency range. We measured it and worked in the same frequency range for the music and it became a marriage between effects and music.

    Franke: We don't do sound effects, but we care about them and we always ask for as many sound effects on the tape as possible. With electronics, it's easy to adjust our music to sound effects: We can record an effect from the tape and play a melody with it. In some films, we store a particular sound in the computer, modify it, and what comes out is used in the film instead of the original sound effect. We don't necessarily like to do sound effects—we want to be musicians. But if you get asked to do that and it helps the film, you do it.

    In 1982, you weren't doing much sampling. I think you had just gotten the Emulator and you had the PPG which didn't have sampling then.
    Froese: The situation has totally changed. We have the PPG 2.3 and Synclavier—very expensive units, by the way.

    How have they changed your music?
    Franke: They've made it a lot easier. We can come up with creative ideas quicker and there's a whole new dimension of electronics and acoustics which before were hard to combine. Electronic instruments were missing the subtlety of acoustic instruments. It brings not only speed but imagination. Now you can make things that you just dreamed of before. For instance, we take one second of tape with ten instruments playing a ridiculous sound which will be completely different in a different octave and length. You can make transitions where one instrument fades into another sound. Sound color is even more important than before.

    The drums have really changed too. With the Emulator II, there are many split points and you can put one event on each key. We hook up a mallet controller to it so we can play the E-II on the keys or with the mallets.

    That's one thing that's really changed in your music. The mid-period records—Phaedra, Rubycon, and Ricochet—defined sequencer rhythms for electronic music and defined drum machine rhythms. Now you don't use those sounds much at all. The music has gotten much more percussive and complex.
    Franke: We don't exchange, we add. We're still using those sounds, but we're also expanding our orchestra.

    But despite all of the records there are with Linn Drums and Fairlight sampling, when I go back to Phaedra or Rubycon, they sound fresh again.
    Froese: That's true. It's hard for us to say that but when we go back to the good old days it's still quite fresh for us. One has to be honest. Yet, one should use what's available. People who associate us with electronic music have possibly forgotten that the hardware was just a bridge to reach our musical goals. I still think that even without all that stuff, we are still able to use our imagination and follow our fantasies; if you lose your imagination, then you cannot create anything—even if you've got the most expensive computer in the world.

    Franke: Electronics were just one possible way to go. If some genius created a better Mellotron, maybe we'd just use acoustic bits and pieces. We didn't have to have the electronic synthesizer to create that style; the idea was there and then we looked for the instruments. Today kids get an instrument and see what they can do with it. Then they look around and start to copy, which is okay to start. We were in the position that we didn't have anyone to copy. We started from scratch.

    Are you aware that you've influenced a whole generation of musicians who have never played an acoustic instrument?
    Franke: I think it's even more important today that parallel to learning electronic instruments, one should play a percussive instrument and voice to get a feel for music composition and production. Playing only keyboards can be a trap because they are just triggering devices.

    Froese: I would also recommend that they learn a very conventional stupid piano and a very conventional stupid drum kit and control his voice. I don't mean learning how to sing but to understand what the vibration of the body means and that the body is an instrument itself. You can run and scream just to experience what you are in a physical sense. I would not recommend that someone take all the money they can and buy the newest equipment and wait for success—it's stupid. You have to understand what it means to create a tone.

    How has MIDI changed your live performance?
    Froese: It has made things faster. You can combine sounds that before were very complicated to construct. On the other hand, a few things didn't work the way we thought. Analog and FM synthesis don't always fit together. There are a lot of flaws in the system but its a good starting point.

    Franke: A complaint about the cheap digital synthesizers is that changing the sound requires quite a bit of time and concentration, so we use the presets during a performance. However, we also still use the old analog synthesizers where you have easier, real-time access to changing parameters.

    The industry got rid of all the knobs to make it cheap. Playing the presets is very boring, even if you have hundreds of programs. Wendy Carlos would stop the machine every second bar and change parameters, and that made the music lively. Otherwise it's just one big synthesizer with one sound and character.

    Now the industry better understands the relationship between the human being and the machine and is building programmers to speed up the process. The interaction must be there all the time. The readouts are better now and you have the old knobs back again.

    On "No Man's Land" from Hyperborea, you created a lot of acoustic, ethnic sounds.
    Froese: That was a sequencer with the PPG. It had a sitar sound in it and oriental things.

    Franke: I think we'd just come back from Japan, hadn't we?

    Froese: Yeah! What we do on tour is the concerts, but then we try and get as much inspiration as possible. Especially Asia, where so many things happen.

    Franke: What I liked about this piece was that it was played completely on digital instruments but it didn't sound electronic at all. It sounded very acoustic.

    The music is getting very acoustic sounding: it has come full circle. How much do you improvise on stage?
    Franke: It's getting less and less, but we keep our sections where we have certain techniques of rhythms and harmonies where it's easy, or at least possible, to improvise. Then we have pieces that are completely arranged and pre-programmed.

    We play more different styles now, which is good. In the early days, we'd play one piece for a whole evening that was just sound-color music, which is easily performed like a harmonic piece. We had special audiences, like playing two hours of sound-color music in a planetarium—people loved it.

    But now we sell some records and we're playing in sports halls with 6,000—7,000 people and you can't just play this kind of music that only 500 or 700 people understand or like. So you do a variety. You go through some improvised parts, then song structures where only the solos are improvised.

    Froese: The kids today, who are 12 years old, have a higher output of interest than we had when we were 25. They are more open and pickup more things than when I was that age.

    Franke: They eat faster, they dress faster, they learn faster, and they're concerned with a lot of music. A few years ago, one bought a record and listened to it for two weeks. Now they digest it faster and every week they're looking for new thrills.

    Do you feel you have to give them that thrill?
    Franke: Well, we don't necessarily have to produce more or louder music, but our music has to be more dense and have more surprises and events. It's like a story or a film. We can't play out one idea for 20 minutes.

    I don't see Tangerine Dream as a pop music phenomenon. How do you see yourselves?
    Franke: We are popular in certain areas but we don't try to do conventional and commercial music, although we do have a certain commercial value. There's a type of person who doesn't want to listen to pop music: they're looking for a new experience and music that goes more into the mind than into the body for a good mood or just dancing-music that triggers ideas and impressions even after the music is over.

    What's your current equipment setup?
    Froese: I think we've got everything that's available on the market! Remember, we started doing this 15 years ago.

    Franke: That is a bit broad, isn't it? We are selective.

    You have all the high-end stuff.
    Franke: No, not really. We don't have a Fairlight. We have Emulators, PPG, and Synclavier for sampling and digital producing. We have all the high-end analog synthesizers like the Prophet-5, Oberheim, Jupiters, Memory Moogs, and Oberheim Xpander.

    Polysynths have gone into the age of being polytimbral and multi-color. That's a big step forward. I even buy some toys because they are better than their reputation, like Casios, and the little Japanese companies doing stunning things.

    Do you still have the GDS (General Development System synthesizer)?
    Franke: Yes, it is now MIDled and part of the orchestra. This is the one that is similar to the DX7, but since the DX7 is easier to program, as is the Synclavier, we just use the GDS library now.

    What drum machines and rhythm units are you using?
    Frank: We use the Emulator II as a drum machine. But I found a way also to use the (Sequential Circuits) Drum Traks hooked up to floppy disks to change the sound easily. We use Oberheim cards and something from Roland, all synched together and we have some custom devices as well.

    Do you compose with computer terminals?
    Froese: Yes, we do. Sometimes it's faster to play in real time, but if you want to do something that's more complex or of a certain length, especially for film music, computers are easier. If you're sitting in a studio with the director beside you and you have to make a change, it's easier to do it in real time rather than sitting in front of a terminal.

    Franke: And the programs always like to crash anyway.

    You seem to have all of the equipment that you need. Is there anything you would like to see invented to remove any remaining limits. Or where do you feel the limits exist?
    Franke: Ideas!

    Froese: It's so simple. You have to develop yourself first. Then you look for the hardware that will help you create what you've developed inside yourself.

    So what ideas do you have for which the hardware does not yet exist to realize those ideas?
    Franke: Everything can be done.

    Tangerine Dream
  • The life of a Tangerine Dream Collector......

    17 sept. 2009, 12h12m

    Tangerine + Dream

    To collect music from your favourite band is a funny disease! You MUST get the latest album or single. When it comes to rare or hard to get albums, you try any cd store out there, before checking Ebay. My passion is the german Instrumental-Electronic band Tangerine Dream. It started back in 1982, when I heard the 20 min. long track "Mojave Plan" from the album White Eagle. From that moment there was no way back!

    The band released it`s first album "Electronic Meditation" back in 1970, with the members Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler. They have released about 140-145 albums to date. (including many soundtracks and compilations and re-releases etc)

    I have now seen the group 11 times around in Europe, and met the band several times backstage. It do cost a lot of money being a somewhat "mad-collector"! But it is definately a funny disease. :-) cheers.

    So here is my entire Tangerine Dream collection, with solo artists and ex-members as well.

    Tangerine Dream
    I`ve got a total of 244 Albums/Singles/Unofficials CD/CDR`s.

    So it looks like this:

    Original Albums (one title each): 132
    Separated into these categories:

    Studio Albums: 45
    Live Albums: 19
    Original Motion Picture Soundtracks: 27
    Compilations: 33
    Box-Sets: 6
    Hearplays/Fairytales: 2

    Original Singles (7,12,cds,cupdiscs): 31
    Separated into these:
    7" Vinyl: 4
    12" Vinyl: 3
    Cd singles/Cupdiscs: 23
    Picture Disc: 1

    LP: 30 plus 1 Picture Disc.

    Duplicates (re-releases, other covers etc,Definitive Editions):

    Tribute and Cover albums for TD: 1
    Unofficial Recordings (cdr,cds,cd,7,12,lp): 34
    Total: 244
    Attended Concerts: 11
    Fan stuff: Ticket stubs 10, T-shirts/Jackets 9, Posters/Postcards 8.
    Zoom-o-Graphics 1, Calligraphy 1. Autographs: EF,TQ,BB,IC,LS,JF.
    Solo Artists: Total: 64 Albums.
    Separated into these artists:

    Edgar Froese:
    12 Original albums
    1 Unofficial
    1 Digital Download
    1 Cd Single
    Jerome Froese:
    2 Original Albums
    1 Unofficial
    Johannes Schmoelling:
    5 Original Albums
    Christopher Franke:
    8 Original Albums
    Klaus Schulze:
    16 Original Albums
    1 T-Shirt
    1 Concert attended
    Thorsten Quaeschning:
    1 Original album (ppm)
    Steve Jolliffe:
    2 Original Albums
    Steve Schroyder (Augenstern,Star Sounds Orchestra):
    4 Original Albums
    Paul Haslinger:
    2 Original albums
    Peter Baumann:
    3 Original Albums
    1 Vinyl Single
    1 Maxi Single
    Michael Hoenig:
    1 Original Album
    1 Unofficial
    Conrad Schnitzler:
    1 Original Album
    Klaus Kruger:
    1 Original Album

    That`s all folks!

    Tangerine Dream

    12 août 2009, 22h05m

    Yello founder and member Dieter Meier has finally confirmed that a new album will be released, and that for the first time, Yello will be on stage, presenting their own music.

    On their official (and rarely updated) website, Yello has now confirmed their new album, as does band boss Dieter Meier in an interview with his sound technology company, Euphonix. The new album has been in the works for some time and there have been delays, but October 2, 2009 is now confirmed as the release date. The title is Touch Yello, and for the first time the band is planning to appear on stages. The show - which is also called Touch Yello and will premiere at Kino International in Berlin on October 1st - will not be a live performance, but a "presentation" of Yello's music in which "the virtual reality that is created by music is morphing into a reality on stage", according to Meier. On stage will also be singer Heidi Happy and jazz musician Till Brönner, who both contributes to the album. The exact nature of the show has not been revealed yet, but it may include a movie.

    One track from the album, You Better Hide featuring Heidi Happy, will premiere in the Swiss science fiction movie Cargo on September 24th. We here at Planet Origo is always happy to learn about such combinations. The movie is about the Earth's ecosystems having collapsed, and the greater part of humanity now lives on overcrowded space stations. To escape, they need to travel six light-years to the planet Rhea.

    Dieter Meier also owns Euphonix, the Silicon Valley sound mixer company that creates some of the best mixing consoles in the world. Euphonix will play a part in Yello's upcoming show, but Meier is also very pleased that many recent award winning movies have been mixed on the Euphonix consoles. This year the company also moves into video and film editing.

    The Swiss duo Yello has not released a new album since The Eye in 2003. Their 2007 album Progress and Perfection was a promotional record commissioned by car maker Audi. Yello;
    Yello Yello
  • Klaus Nomi: From the book "Art After Midnight: The East Village Scene"

    24 jan. 2009, 18h21m

    A book by Steven Hager; 1986 St. Martin's Press.

    The first part is from chapter two "New Wave Vaudeville"; this chapter concerns the performance scene in New York's East Village centering around a series of events known as the "New Wave Vaudeville".

    "Toward the end of the show, the lights dimmed and the room was filled with a thundering musical ovation. The curtains opened and the spotlight fell on a strange, unearthly presence wearing a black gown, clear plastic cape, and white gloves. As the orchestral refrain from Saint-Saens' 'Samson And Delila' was played, this strange Weimar version of Mickey Mouse began singing in an angelic voice. "I still get goose pimples when I think about it," remembers Joey Arias, who was in the audience that night. "Everyone became completely quite until it was over." The act was billed "Nomi by Klaus," but the man's real name was Klaus Sperber and he was McDermott's only true competion as star of the show.

    After Sperber finished the aria, smoke bombs where lighted, strobe lights began to flash, and the sound of a spaceship launching was played at an ear-shattering volume. Sperber bowed and stepped backward. The crowd stood and screamed for an encore, but Sperber just kept backing up into the cloud of smoke. "It was like he was from a different planet and his parents where calling him home," says Arias. "When the smoke cleared, he was gone."

    An only child who was raised by a single mother in the German Alps, Sperber worked as an usher at the Berlin Opera in the late sixties, where he'd entertained the maintenance crew with his Maria Callas imitations. He had a stiking puppet like face, with a high forehead and sharply pointed nose. He heightened these features by plucking his eyebrows, wearing dark lipstick, and combing his hair into a crown with three points. He moved into an apartment on St. Mark's Place in 1972 and appeared in a camp production of Das Rheingold with Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater Company.

    A self-taught chef as well as a self-taught singer, Sperber took a job as a pastry chef at the World Trade Center and later formed a freelance baking company with Katy Kattleman. "I met Klaus at an Uptown disco," says Kattleman. "He was wearing a beret and a woman's jacket from the forties. I'd never seen anyone quite like him. He was so shy and quite. We both had two different lives: a straight day job and a real nutty night life. We Started going to Max's and CBGB together."

    Magnusen lured Sperber into New Wave Vaudeville after hearing him sing on the way home from Max's one night. Sperber was friends with a young dancer named Adrian Richards, who had perfected a mimelike robot dance. Orignally scheduled to perform with Sperber, Richards backed out at the last minute, leaving only the name he'd invented for the act, an anagram of his favorite magazine, OMNI. Later on, Sperber took the name Nomi for himself.

    In two short years, Nomi went from his position as a poor pastry chef to become New York's leading New Wave performer. He created a cabaret style that is still being imitated today and assembled a group of promising young artists and performers around him, a list that at various times included Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Jean-Micheal Basquiat, John McLaughlin, and Joey Arias. (It was during a period of rampant promiscuity that Arias renamed McLaughlin "John Sex.")

    (about three paragraphs deleted about Kenny Scharf's arrival from the west coast)

    Scharf was friendly, handsome, and incredibly naive. Having recently arrived from the University of California at Santa Barbara (where he'd studied art for one year), he was studying illustration at SVA and was obsessed with television, Pop Art, and outer space. He talked insessantly about his favorite TV show, "The Jetsons." He had also invented his own religion in which he worshiped the element hydrogen as god. Nomi was impressed with Scharf's paintings, particularly with a large one of a Cadillac flying through space. "You and I are working on the same thing," he told the young artist.

    "I could tell Kenny was baffled by Klaus," recalls Arias. "We were getting really stoned and Kenny said: 'I want to be like you guys.' So we gave him a Nomi hairdo, with triangle ears and a triangle back. We took photographs of it and Kenny was so excited. He felt like a Nomi person. I put on shoulder pads under my shirt and Kenny put on a space helmet. Klaus thought it was great. He wanted us to be in his next show."

    The next scheduled performance was a Max's Kansas City, where Nomi had been invited to open for the Contortions. Arias and Scharf appeared as go-go dancers. "We painted our faces green," says Arias. "We were completely puffed up with green helmets and shoulder pads. Klaus sang, 'The Twist', 'Falling In Love Again', and his aria. I was into the robot dance, while Kenny was more into just go-going. People went completely crazy over the act."

    Arias introduced Scharf to the managers at Fiorruci, who organized an exhibit titled Fiorruci Celebrates the New Wave, which combined an art show by Scharf with a performance by Nomi. Scharf created a series of paintings detailing the misadventures of a jet-set woman of the future named estelle. The next to last painting showed estelle seated seated inside a spaceship, loking at a TV set that showed the earth exploding from a nuclear bomb. "She looked really pleased because she was the only survivor," recalls Scharf.

    "Around this time Klaus and I decided we were the future," says Arias. "We formed the Nomi family. We lived as if we were on the spac shuttle. We ate little bits of food- space food." The lifestyle added alot to the shows, which where becoming an increasingly stylized mixture of New Wave, Kabuki, and Bauhaus. Scharf's dancing no longer fit in with the style and he was booted out of the group. One night at the Mudd Club, Nomi met his idol, David Bowie. After discovering that they had mutal friends in Germany, Bowie invited Nomi and Arias to appear with him on "Saturday Night Live." Soon afterward, Nomi signed a record deal with RCA.

    "Then Klaus and I had a falling out," says Arias. "I was writing songs on my own and Klaus got pissed about that. He said,'You're starting to do your own thing and I think you should move out.'" As his self-importance increased, Nomi beganing alienating many of his former friends. He dissolved his group and hired a professional band to back him. His first album was released in 1981, and it sold poorly.

    from chapter 6, "Fun Gallery":

    Unfortunately, in 1982, another plague appeared, one even more deadly than heroin. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, had been spreading anonymously for several years, primarily through the gay population. The disease was barely identified when Klaus Nomi was diagnosed and hospitalized.

    "They made me wear a plastic bag when I visited him," recalls Arias. "I Wasn't allowed to touch him. After a few weeks, he seemed to get better. He was strong enough to walk around. So he left the hospital and went home. His manager was making him sign all these papers, Like we'll give you $500 if you sign your life away one more time. He developed kaposis [lesions associated with Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare skin cancer linked with AIDS] and started taking Interferon. That messed him up real bad. He had dots all over his body and his eyes became purple slits. It was like someone was destoying him. He used to make fun of it. He'd say 'Just call me dotty Nomi.' Then he got real weak and was rushed back to the hospital. He couldn't eat for days because he had cancer in his stomach. Herpes popped out all over his body. He turned into a monster. It hurt me so much to see him. I talked to him on the night of August fifth. He said, 'Joey, what am I going to do? They don't want me in the hospital anymore. They pulled all the plugs. I have to stop all this stuff because I'm not getting any better.' I had this dream of Klaus getting strong and singing again-only he's be a little deformed, so he'd have to stay behind a screen or something. 'You'll be the phantom of the opera,' I told him. 'We'll do shows together again.' 'Yeah, maybe,' he said. But Klaus died in his sleep that night."

    In retrospect, it's unfortunate that Nomi's career began before the rise of MTV. At the time of his death, he was just getting established in Europe and the the help of MTV videos, he certainly could have pushed into the American market. His first album contained an interesting mix of sixties pop, opera, and ethereal space music, but it fell between so many stylistic cracks that it had difficulty finding an audience. (A year after Nomi's death, however, Malcolm McLaren succcessfully released a dance rock version of an aria from Madam Butterfly.)Klaus Nomi
  • Klaus Nomi - article from Uncut Magazine 1999

    29 déc. 2008, 1h58m

    UNCUT magazine August 1999
    "STRANGE DAYS - The underbelly of showbiz: David Bowie's favourite operatic oddball, KLAUS NOMI"

    It'S December 15, 1979 and every self-respecting American Bowie fan nervously anticipates his performance on that evening's Saturday Night Live. But when at last he makes his entrance, David himself is imprisoned in an inverted plastic triangle like some human Dairy lea, carried on by two similarly spikey freaks who, having planted him centre stage,take up position as backing singers. One of them acts permanently startled - but with a bleached white face and jagged Toblerone hair-do, who wouldn't? As Bowie launches into a radical treatment of "The Man Who Sold The World", the same three-pointed clown has the audacity to drown out the main man in a piercing, crystal-cracking squawk. It seems like, this time, the lad has really gone insane.
    Well, almost. Rather, Bowie had chosen this occasion to give the world its first glimpse of the unquestionably peculiar Klaus Nomi, the man who brought 17th century opera to the discoes of early-Eighties New York........ When not parading himself at the heart of New York's disco underground, Klaus could be found posing as a human mannequin in the window of Fiorucci's - a Warhol-frequented, new wave mecca of Day-Glo plastic party wear. Here, the undiscovered Nomi's destiny was but a customer away, a chance visit by Mr Bowie resulting in an invitation to join himon that now notorious broadcast along with fellow Fiorucci fop Joey Arias -a similarly precocious eyesore of space-age clothing and garish hair dye. On the strength of this invaluable patronage if nothing else, Nomi's performance earned him a deal with Bowie's own label, RCA, who in 1981 finally found the courage to issue Klaus' self-titled debut.

    Yet, by 1983, while his celebrated mentor dived headfirst into mainstream hell with "Let's Dance", Klaus was spending what tragically proved to be his final agonised months bed-ridden in hospital. Nomi died that August aged just 39, one of the music world's first reported AIDS victims."Klaus Nomi
  • Klaus Nomi - Riding The Wave (from Roctober,Issue 19,1997)…

    29 déc. 2008, 1h49m

    by Madeline Bocchiaro

    (From Roctober #19, 1997)

    The transitional period between decades is always highly charged with the excitement of things to come, and of an era coming to an end. The 1970's had their final burst of energy with Punk rock, but by 1979, the New Wave was already upon us. Simmering beneath the deliberate crudeness, realism and rage of Punk was the slick, brightly coloured, cosmetic, futuristic fantasy world of New Wave. The movement's forerunners were fans of British Glam rock, especially of David Bowie and of American disco music. It was time for some fun. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was back in town!

    New York City had a healthy club scene in 1979. While CBGB's still hosted local bands like Blondie, the Ramones and Talking Heads, Hurrah! was the New Wave dance spot. Danceteria and the Mudd Club were also thriving, and discos like Xenon were going strong. Even Studio 54 hung on by a thread. Music was becoming more synthesized and Euro-flavored, ever since the Giorgio Moroder produced Donna Summer hit, "I Feel Love" (1977) inspired experimentation within dance music. This was usually reserved for New Age, Jazz or space-age music, but now dance music could be taken to the outer limits as well. This new sound was known in Europe as New Romantic. The dawn of MTV forced musicians to be more concerned with visual appearance, and even Heavy Metal became Hair Metal! Soon came the wrath of Madonna.

    Meanwhile, a strange, brilliant fellow from Germany had been living quietly in New York City for a few years, developing an act and a persona to compliment his extraordinary singing talents. That persona became Klaus Nomi, and his story is short, but sweet. Had he lived, the 80's surely would have been more noteworthy. The musical climate was perfect for what he had to offer. Nomi could see the future clearly in fact, he was already living in it.

    Soon our paths would cross. In 1978, I became a regular shopper at the trendy fashion spot, Fiorucci where the Day-Glo colored clothing was made of plastic and vinyl. Fiorucci was not just a store, but a whole new scene. They sold clothing by new cutting edge designers, and their own Fiorucci brand. Andy Warhol designed the window displays and frequented the store, which also sold the latest fashion magazines. The newest music was always played there; the B-52s, Blondie, Devo, Bowie, etc.

    I bought a new Fiorucci outfit each week, and my hair was eggplant purple with flaming pink streaks. A sales person named Joey admired my clothes, so we would trade off. He would loan me his Fiorucci clothes. Joey's hair was a different florescent color each week, and once it was stenciled in leopard print!

    At Christmas time in 1978 I spotted a strange looking guy on a Fiorucci postcard, which read, "Klaus Nomi." I figured it meant "Merry Christmas" in German and bought the card.

    In December of 1979, I was in the studio for Bowie's Saturday Night Live rehearsal. My dad (a VP at NBC) apologized for not getting me a seat inside the studio, but in the control room instead. This was even better, since I was right outside the dressing rooms!

    The studio was buzzing with excitement. Jane Curtin and Larraine Newman were jumping around yelling, "Bowie is in the building!!!" I suddenly recognized Joey from Fiorucci in the hallway. He excitedly explained that Bowie had asked him to sing back-up on the show! Bowie stood with a weird little guy dressed in black, and introduced him to me as "Klaus Nomi!" (Joey Arias turned out to be a member of Klaus Nomi's band.) I was actually more excited to see my postcard photo come to life than to actually meet the legendary Bowie!

    I was enraptured by this elfin creature in exquisite makeup, bizarre hair style and costume with a German accent. Klaus smiled sweetly and kissed my hand. He wore the softest leather elbow-length gloves -- quite glamorous!

    I asked who did their fabulous makeup (the meticulous details were not visible on TV). They boasted that they'd done each other's makeup, "Joey did mine and I did his, and we did David's!" Boys will be girls.

    First they performed "The Man Who Sold The World." Joey and Klaus carried Bowie on-stage because his plastic Dadaist costume (resembling something from Klaus' unique wardrobe) encased his legs, confirming Nomi's influence on Bowie. Klaus and Joey sang backing vocals and you could hear Nomi's authentic, immaculate soprano quite clearly. It was a wondrous gift that could evoke emotion and astonishment in any listener. Back to the dressing room

    Bowie emerged for his second song -- in a dress! It was refreshing to see him back to his old glam/drag tricks. The trio performed "TVC-15," then rehearsed their "macho" dance moves for "Boys Keep Swinging."

    I accepted Klaus' invitation to see his next concert, and saw him perform many times. Anyone could appreciate his pop/opera music. It's quite keyboard-laden with melodic guitar work, and Nomi's flawless vocals! The classical operatic arias are captivating, especially with the freaky visual juxtaposition. I was never an opera fan, but this was something else! It's rare to find a Nomi fan in the states. His following was mainly German and Japanese.

    Klaus came to New York from Germany. He yearned to use his gifted operatic voice in the pop/rock arena. He would pose in the window of Fiorucci as a mannequin for hours, never blinking his eyes once. Klaus was an excellent mime and a rare talent. His range from baritone to soprano was beyond belief, coupled with his bizarre, spiked blue-black hair and matching lipstick, white painted face and his unblinking eyes. In his shiny monochrome plastic space suit, pointy elf booties, and leotards Klaus looked like a real life toy -- across between Mickey Mouse and the Tin Man. He was a really sweet guy. He would kiss my cheek and leave a black lipstick print every time! I'd see him walking down New York's St. Mark's place in his fuzzy electric blue coat and makeup in broad daylight.

    Live shows were his strength; a sort of Kabuki-Cabaret, opening with Klaus emerging fresh from outer space in a cloud of smoke (dry ice actually, which would shower the audience with a cool heavenly mist). His band was hidden behind a curtain while Klaus and his mime troupe -- Joey and a couple of exquisitely made-up Martian girls - performed alien theatrics, churning out ditties like "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead", "I Feel Love" (yes, the Donna Summer hit), Lou Christie's "Lightning Strikes" and "The Twist." Klaus' original songs were melodic Euro-pop tunes with other-worldly lyrics about outer space, death and the distant future. The Nomi character and his evocative vocals gave warmth to the otherwise cold synthetic sound. Nomi's music was like Kraftwerk with personality. Klaus closed each show with the operatic aria from Samson and Delilah -- astonishing the crowd every time. The phrase, "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" lingered on everyone's mind.

    Nomi's performance at Xenon on February 25, 1980 was fabulous. The oblivious dancing crowd was unaware there would be a show at all, and when their precious disco music suddenly stopped and a curtain rose on-stage, they hissed and booed. Klaus immediately entranced them with his genuine vocal abilities and self-created character -- and at the end of the forty-minute performance, disappeared into the vaporous stratosphere from which he came. Everyone screamed for an encore! First there was the dead silence of disbelief, then a cry of, "What was that?!" then a loud burst of applause.

    Nomi performed a stunning two-night engagement at Hurrah! on March 18th and 19th, 1980. Even the audience was quite glamourous! We all had the distinctive feeling that we had witnessed the beginning of something big.

    I last saw Klaus at the Mudd Club in 1982, performing out of costume but still in full make-up. Then he suddenly disappeared from the scene, and my worst fears came true. Klaus died of AIDS in 1983. He is sincerely missed. It's tragic that it all started and ended so quickly. I always think of his sincere smile, of how much he loved parties, the sparkle in his eyes, and how happy he was to finally be on the road to success. His golden voice lives on.Klaus Nomi
  • Klaus Nomi (article from Attitude Magazine)…

    12 déc. 2008, 1h32m

    from ATTITUDE, vol 1 Number 3, July 1994, London, England
    Klaus Nomi
    Like a shooting star, he exploded into the world then fell from the heavens after a glittering, all-too-brief career. Now largely forgotten, Nomi remains rock music's queerest exponent, who outshone the many acts following in his wake.
    text - RUPERT SMITH
    ONE NIGHT IN 1980, during an otherwise routine episode of BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test, a strange vision was beamed into British living rooms. A stark, angular figure -- heavily made up, his hair teased into three points and wearing a high-fashion Blake's 7-style outfit - was dancing robotically in front of a nondescript band. Then he opened his mouth, singing in a heavy German accent about nuclear mutants. When the chorus came, he lifted his arms to heaven and soared into an ear-splitting operatic soprano. The song was called Total Eclipse, and the singer was Klaus Nomi.
    Nomi was even more exciting than that first glimpse suggested. German by birth, he had moved to New York to become a star of the burgeoning new-wave performance scene of the late Seventies. There he'd also worked with David Bowie and secured a recording contract with RCA Records who put out his first, self-titled album in 1981.
    It was extraordinary: light-weight pop ditties were followed by droning ambient tracks, outrageous cover versions (Lou Christie's Lightning Strikes, Chubby Checker's The Twist), the melodramatic Total Eclipse and, as the climax, a wildly histrionic rendition of a Saint-Saens aria. Nomi's soprano swooped through each song, his precise German enunciation jarring in the rock setting. The outstanding track, Cold Song, lifted from Purcell's King Arthur, brought opera and pomp-rock into bizarre collision, beautiful and hilarious.
    Nomi's whole stage act was built around the idea that he was an alien dropped down from a more glamorous galaxy to do earth-pop. In fact, his real life story was only marginally less peculiar. As young Klaus Sperber, he had worked front-of-house at the Berlin Opera in the late Sixties, and would entertain colleagues with his renditions of the great arias as they swept up after performances. (Later, Nomi would tell the press that he had "worked at the Berlin Opera".) He moved to New York in 1972 and became a fixture in the East Village, where he got a job as a pastry chef and pondered his artistic future.
    In 1976, Sperber went to visit voice coach Ira Siff, now better known as Vera Galupe-Borszch, prima donna of drag divas La Gran Scena Opera Company. "I'd seen him around opera events in New York that only die-hard opera queens would go to," recalls Siff. "He came to me for advice on what to do with his voice, because he had a beautiful lyric tenor but could also sing falsetto. At that time, there was no interest in men singing in high voices; the countertenor revival hadn't begun, and it was long before La Gran Scena. So I advised him to concentrate on his tenor and forget the soprano, because no one would take him seriously. Fortunately, he didn't listen to my advice!"
    The East Village was overrun with talented eccentrics about to break out into punk stardom, and Sperber fitted in perfectly. Gravitating towards like-minded souls, he played a Rhine maiden in Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company production Der Ring Gott Farblonjef (1977), a comic reworking of Wagner's Ring cycle that he would perform after shifts at the restaurant. Stalking the streets with his hair slicked back to accentuate his angular features, wearing a woman's tailored grey jacket and slacks, he made a profound impression on performance artist Joey Arias, then working as a publicist for the Fiorucci boutique.
    "He was introduced to me by the designer Katy K," says Arias. "She became Klaus' friend, collaborator and eventually executor. She told me she'd met this chef opera singer who had a great look and had been in shows, and when we finally met we hit it off and hung out together."
    By 1978, Sperber was plotting his own debut on the New York art scene. With his dancer friend Boy Adrian, he had been devouring science magazines like OMNI, reading cyber-punk sci-fi and pushing his already striking look to more garish extremes. When they saw an ad in the press calling for acts to appear in a 'new wave vaudeville show', they decided this was their chance. Under the name 'NOMI', an anagram of their favourite magazine title, Klaus and Adrian prepared their number.
    New Wave Vaudeville ran for four nights at Irving Plaza, a disused club on l5th Street. Organised by the artist David McDermott, the show featured over thirty acts including Man Parrish, Lance Loud, a stripper and a singing dog. Towards the end of the evening, McDermott announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, what you are about to hear is not a recording! This is real!" The lights went down, thunderous music began and Klaus stepped onto the stage wearing a space suit, his hair sculpted into a point. While Adrian performed his robot dance, Klaus sang Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix from Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila. The performance finished with bombs and strobes as Klaus backed off the stage, disappearing into the smoke.
    NOMI was a smash, and Klaus was immediately invited to perform the act at clubs all over town, including the hyper-hip Mudd Club. He asked Joey Arias to join the act, and together they recruited another member to the Nomi family, painter Kenny Scharf, who was already painting his science-fiction canvases. "We went over to Kenny's house and did a photo session with space helmets and shoulder pads, pretending we were the space police," says Arias. "Kenny was completely turned on by Klaus' image, and he was eager to become part of what we were doing."
    When Nomi was booked to play at rock club and Warhol watering-hole Max's Kansas City, he included Arias and Scharf in the chorus line.
    "Klaus had a lot more confidence by now," says Arias, "and the act became much bigger. He did eight songs. He had me and Kenny with our faces painted blue and huge shoulder pads, looking like football players from outer space, and he had taken his own appearance even further. It made quite an impact."
    Nomi became a focus for other new-wave hopefuls: at various times the 'family' of dancers and backing singers included Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and even Madonna.
    Nomi was a star in New York. After a performance at the Mudd Club, he discovered that David Bowie had been in the audience, and managed to bypass Bowie's security staff to effect an introduction. Bowie had just released the Lodger album, was emerging from his Berlin phase and was attracted by Nomi's Bauhaus appearance. The two got talking about mutual acquaintances in Berlin, and Bowie asked Nomi to appear with him on Saturday Night Live in December 1979. Nomi and Arias performed as Bowie's backing singers/dancers for three songs (The Man Who Sold the World, TVC15 and Boys Keep Swinging), while Bowie himself whisked through costume changes including a Chinese airline stewardess' outfit.
    Such was Bowie's influence at the time that Nomi soon found himself in the studios recording his first album for RCA. In 1980 and 1981 he was whisked round the world on a tour, made videos and promptly returned to the studio for his second album, Simple Man (1982). European audiences took Nomi to their bosoms, and RCA France began to plough a lot of money into their new star. The original Nomi family had split up: Arias and Scharf and the rest of the New York crowd were now kept at a distance while Nomi worked with session musicians and hired dancers.
    But if he was moving away from his roots, his music remained truly eccentric. Simple Man pushed the Nomi style even further, managing to segue the Sorceress' song from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas into Ding Dong (the Witch is Dead) from The Wizard of Oz. The final track, Dido's death aria from Dido and Aeneas, is Nomi's finest moment. Straining heroically to reach the high notes, he sings the Iyric 'Remember me, but ah forget my fate' in a way that defies belief.
    That song, the last track on his last album, was soon to take on a sad, ironic immediacy. Returning to New York at the beginning of 1983, Nomi shocked old friends with his appearance. "He was always thin," says Arias. "But I remember him walking into a party looking like a skeleton. He was complaining of flu and exhaustion, and the doctors couldn't diagnose what was wrong with him. Later he had breathing difficulties and collapsed, and he was taken into hospital."
    The doctors discovered that Nomi's immune system had collapsed, and also found a rare form of skin cancer, Kaposi's Sarcoma, breaking out on his body. The condition was not yet known as AIDS.
    Throughout 1983, Nomi's health declined. "He'd sit in his apartment watching videos and photos of himself, saying 'Look at this, this is what I did - now it's all gone' ," says Arias. "He went on a macrobiotic diet. He went on Interferon, which puffed him up like a rat, but nothing helped."
    In the summer he went back to hospital and faced the fact that the doctors were powerless to help him.
    "He began to look like a monster: his eyes were just purple slits, he was covered in spots and his body was totally wasted," says Arias. "I had a dream that he'd recover his strength and go back on stage, but that he'd have to veil himself like the Phantom of the Opera. He laughed, he liked that idea, and he actually seemed to be getting better for a while. That was on a Friday night. I was going to go and see him again on the Saturday morning, but they called me and told me that Klaus had passed away in the night."
    Nomi was one of the first public figures to die from AIDS, and his death brought the health crisis to a wider public. His career was terminated with much of the promise unfulfilled; now he is barely remembered. The albums are available on CD, there are three promotional videos, some paintings by admirers, and a few clips of Nomi's hilarious appearances on cable TV demonstrating his skill as a pastry chef.
    The funeral arrangements went off in bizarre style. At the memorial service, an unknown woman in a black cape ran screaming down the aisle and mrew herself on Klaus' casket. During the eulogy, a storm broke out and contributed loud claps of thunder in suitably Wagnerian manner. At a retrospective exhibition that followed soon after, rabid fans from Paris stole everything that wasn't nailed down.
    Klaus Nomi may now be little more than a footnote in the rock history books, but during his brief, glorious career he realised a vision of fabulous comic absurdity that still managed to be deeply moving. The manner of his death may have eclipsed his achievements (RCA's London press office could provide no more information than that "he was one of the first people to die of AIDS"). But for those with a taste for the ridiculous, Klaus Nomi outshines the hordes of over-made-up Eighties acts who followed in his wake. Track down the albums and marvel at the queerest thing ever to step onto the rock stage.
    "He was a very sweet man, very sincere and shy," says Ira Siff. "He's the only person who ever made sense out of crossing opera with pop, who understood both styles and made them work together. He took his voice to places and people who had never heard that sound before."

    Nomi on Nomi
  • Klaus Nomi - (Interview from 1982) (

    9 déc. 2008, 1h22m

    This Interview was made by French Television in 1982, the year before Nomi died.
    Interviewer : When you arrived to NY, how did you earn a living?

    Klaus : Hum... like Rudolph Valentino*. Hehe, kidding. Well, I did everything, even dirty jobs, like dishwashing or delivery boy for a grocer, delivering flowers, cooking, peeling vegetables... it was a curious story, up to a point it became unbearable. The urge to sing was stronger, so one day I performed in a club and it was very successful ; then I could give up all those dreadful jobs, and devote my time to music.

    Interviewer : Why did you choose that name, "Nomi"?

    Klaus : It was on inspiration. I think the name sounds good, it doesn't really have a certain national taste, you know, it could be any nation, because I see myself as universal, not as German, American, French ot whatever you want, cause we are all on this planet, we're all living on the earth.

    Interviewer : It's not enough for you to be Nomi, you must also wear the Nomi symbol?

    Klaus : well you know now I'm in the business, I like to promote myself, ans I think this is a very nice badge, this is my own design.

    Interviewer : It was said about you that you were either the 8th wonder of the world, or a tragic accident of the nature. What do you think of this definition?

    Klaus : oh it's wonderful, it's extraordinary. I hope it's true.

    Interviewer : Who has drawn your costume?

    Klaus : I have.**

    Interviewer : What does it mean ? (seeing Klaus' hesitation) Nothing?

    Klaus : I don't know. I hope it means something, people talk about it a lot.

    Interviewer : Why this clown-like, cold make-up?

    Klaus : I don't think it's clown-like, I don't think it's cold. It's very theatrical, very intense. It's an unnatural make-up, made for stage. It's like a doll or a cartoon. You see it once and never forget it.

    Interviewer : Why are you hiding behind this make-up?

    Klaus : I'm not really hiding, I'm showing out, because the way I am it's hard to look like a normal person. You know, in the streets, when I was a kid, people always said I looked strange, and it made me feel very unhappy. And all of a sudden I go on stage, and people like me for that ; but as soon as I'm outside, I feel like I have to hide, because people laugh at me, because of the way I look. Now I'm using this look, it works for me, I even exagerate it. I used to hide my large forehead, but now I'm selling it.

    Interviewer : How do you.. work your voice?

    Klaus : I think I do have my own technique, because I've been disappointed by teachers, maybe because i didn't meet the good one. I don't like to depend on teachers anyway. So I'm walking on my own way, and I try to be as natural as I can. I think it's the only way to be yourself.

    Interviewer : What kind of music do you listen to?

    Klaus : Oh... honestly, all of them. You know, I like to try things, to experience, especially with electronic music.

    Interviewer : Are tou touched by modern life issues, or do you live in your own world, in your own character?

    Klaus : I feel threatened, and sometimes it makes me angry because I can't do anything about that, there's just too many issues. But in a way I think my work is meant to get people out of that.

    Interviewer : I read that you wanted to be a magical character..

    Klaus : Well I think it's a nice to be a little magical. Today we need this. All that we can read in fairy tales or books, I think somewhere it's all around us. But nowadays we can think that this magic has been killed, and I try to make it survive as long as possible.

    Interviewer : Do you want to become a star?

    Klaus : I don't know what that really means... I want to accomplish my work and fulfil my dreams, and do something with my life, and I hope I'll be able to accomplish it. It's very much work, but I like it.

    See the Interview here: