Peter Baumann - Machines Of Desire Album Review

Tangs man Peter Baumann returns with an urgent yet thoughtful new work.

Peter Baumann Machines Of Desire album artwork

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From 1971 to 1977, Peter Baumann was part of what many consider to be Tangerine Dream’s definitive line-up, contributing to classics such as Phaedra, Rubycon and Ricochet.

Although he continued to record for several years thereafter, much of his subsequent activity has revolved around socio-political realms and the world of think tanks and foundations. In fact, Machines Of Desire is his first full album since 1983’s Strangers In The Night. The decision to return to music seems to have hit Baumann like the proverbial lightning bolt, a suddenness reflected in the album’s dual sense of urgency and homogeneity.

Reprising the clean, clipped and concise sound of early solo albums such as Romance ’76 and Trans Harmonic Nights, the new work consists of eight tightly self-contained sonic sketches – no sprawling epics here – with moods ranging from the reflective to the downright ominous.

At turns strident and sinister, minimalist and moody, lush and darkly romantic, it’s an arty yet understated blend of pulsing basslines, skittering sequencers, and exotic melodies that fans will be well familiar with. A punchy but pensive return from one of the elder statesmen of old school electronica.