Baumann / Koek - s/t. 1978 Germany
CD reissue: 2016 Bureau B
LP reissue: 2016 Bureau B
Though the natural reaction would be to assume that Peter Baumann was involved here, it turns out that this Baumann was a gentleman named Walter. Along with his friend and cohort, Ata Koek, originally hailing from Turkey. The duo had a fascination with synthesizers and, even though they were from faraway Bavaria, they made the journey to visit the premier synthesizer store in Bonn and purchased a used ARP 2600. After that, they were hooked and added a few more analog toys, recorded an album at home, and mixed it at Conny Plank's studio. Then self-released the album in a run of 1000. I'm guessing these guys had a bit more coin than the usual pauper musicians...
Given the time and place, and the hardware of the era, it is difficult to escape the shadow of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. And when you name one of your tracks 'TD-Mem', you're just begging for comparison. But there's more than style-copy here, and given Koek's background, one will pick up some Middle Eastern themes along the way. And honestly who can complain about those fat analog sequencers blaring away? Music like this is timeless, and there seems to be endless doors to open within the big house it occupies. 'Sequencer-Roll' is a throwaway track in a Hooked-on-Classics sort of way, but the rest is great listening for fans of Berlin Electronic music.
Historically speaking, while countless artists did mimic the almighty Schulze and TD, Baumann/Koek were one of the pioneers to do just that. Outside of the "inner circle" (Michael Hoenig, Manuel Gottsching, Peter Baumann, etc..) there wasn't as much electronic music in the Berlin style as one might think when first hearing it in 2016. Other artists would soon follow (Wolfgang Bock, Cultural Noise, etc...). And of course in the 2000 era, there was an entire movement that recreated the genre in their own image (Redshift, AirSculpture, et al...). These guys were ahead of that curve.
Don't overlook this one.
The original album was initially a private press and later they appended "Well Known Records" to the jackets. An ironic label name if you think about it. The Bureau B CD comes in a fine digi-pak with an historical essay in English and German. No bonus tracks, but excellent sound.