The Philosophy Of Berlin School Synthesizer Music

In the last few weeks, we’ve featured a few videos from Ralph Baumgartl‘s vlog, featuring his discussions with the German synth group Thau.

In this video, Baumgartl talks with Thau (Bernd-Miachel Land and Frank Tischer) about why they play the music they do, their inspirations, and their take on what Berlin School synth music is.

Land & Tischer also do some in-studio improvisation, sharing their take on Berlin School. 

For those unfamiliar with the genre, Berlin School is music in the tradition of the 70’s music by bands like Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream that explored the creative potential of synthesizers.

You can view more in Baumgartl’s series of synth vlogs at his Youtube channel.

13 thoughts on “The Philosophy Of Berlin School Synthesizer Music

  1. I think it is a very misused term and very pretentious. I tend to cringe when I hear it used these days as it seems everyone wants to box music in under lame genres.
    I find the whole genre thing a big turn off and it seems to get used by people who do not have a long background in listening or making music . I am often amused by people who discuss genres etc when a ‘hip genre’ goes off the boil and is no longer in fashion, they then seem to stop mentioning their ‘area of expertise’

    1. Dismissing music based on its genre seems like the ultimate in pretentiousness.

      It’s like racism or sexism, but applied to music and with a veneer of intellectualism.

      Get over yourself – listen to the music and determine if it’s good or not, and then offer a critique of the music, not just knee jerk reactions about a genre name!

  2. Look at all that amazing equipment!
    What is puzzling me is why they can’t patch an audio cable in to a camera.
    Sorry, but the poor audio quality ruins a very interesting and entertaining look in to the subject.

    1. Hello and thank you very much for watching my Vlog and writing this comment. It’s my aim to keep the Vlogs spontaneous and entertaining. I do not want to let the setup of the equipment to spoil the creative process. Of course there is the option to cable everybody up with wireless Lav Mics, or let everybody hold an XLR Mic which are plugged into a Mixer, or bring in more people who are holding a boom to capture the vocals. In my opinion that would just inhibit the spontaneity, fun and creativity. BUT for the next Synth Vlogs, I will definitely consider to also record the music sessions (when there a no vocals and just music) directly from the mixer in order to get a clean music soundtrack. Please bear in mind that I am still experimenting with this Vlog and I learn as I go. That’s why I really appreciate your feedback and everybody who’s writing a comment. Thanks again for watching. Greetings, Ralph

    2. Hello Jeff, thank you very much for watching my Vlog and writing this comment. It’s my aim to keep the Vlogs spontaneous and entertaining. I do not want to let the setup of the equipment to spoil the creative process. Of course there is the option to cable everybody up with wireless Lav Mics, or let everybody hold an XLR Mic which are plugged into a Mixer, or bring in more people who are holding a boom to capture the vocals. In my opinion that would just inhibit the spontaneity, fun and creativity. BUT for the next Synth Vlogs, I will definitely consider to also record the music sessions (when there a no vocals and just music) directly from the mixer in order to get a clean music soundtrack. Please bear in mind that I am still experimenting with this Vlog and I learn as I go. That’s why I really appreciate your feedback and everybody who’s writing a comment. Thanks again for watching. Greetings, Ralph

    3. I’d second the request for direct out audio for the music.

      I understand the desire to keep your blog production simple and fast. But with electronic music performances, the sound of the notes is as important as the notes, so it seems like a disservice to the music to not capture it in its full glory.

  3. I would also like to vote for a line-out audio recording for the music portions, if possible… a simple zoom recorder on the main outs, hit record an voila – of course it requires a bit more editing, but I really think you need to do that in order to show some proper respect to the majesty of all that gear

    1. Hello Jert, Hello Abdul Alhazred, thank you very much for replying to my reply.
      Ok, i will do that in the future, recording the audio directly from the mixer for music-only tracks.
      Thanks again for your feedback. Greetings, Ralph

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