Live Berlin School Style Synth Improvisation

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a live Berlin School style synth improvisation by Dutch synthesist Martin Peters.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

No preparations. The Cirklon has a blank song, no sequences are pre-programmed.

The first sequence is on the Rob Hordijk’s OSC HRM, combined with a Krisp1 TZ VCO running through VCF/VCA/EG’s.

he second sequence is on the Tom Oberheim SEM.

The third sequence (bass) is all except for the MOSLAB 904-A LPF.

The fourth sequence is on the DSI Mopho.

The strings are from the E-MU Vintage Keys and the Roland JD800.

10 thoughts on “Live Berlin School Style Synth Improvisation

  1. Can someone elaborate on the term “Berlin school and give examples of the term?
    It seems very pretentious and to people I know in Berlin it seems to mean zero?
    Correct me if I am wrong.
    In England we have guitar bands that have been classed as acid house…..when they have no connection to Chicago or Detroit’s electronic musical forms.

    1. How can a term be ‘pretentious’? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

      The term has been in use for decades among electronic musicians and just refers to music that’s in the tradition of 70’s German artists like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

      The music they were doing sounds completely different than the stuff other early synth artist, like Carlos, Jarre or Vangelis, were doing st the time.

      1. Probably Happy Mondays.

        For the record, living in Berlin doesn’t mean they automatically have knowledge of all things Berlin. This is true for anything, as is the reverse. In any city you’ll meet people that have been there all their lives that haven’t experienced/visited some highly notable event/place. You’ll also meet your standard “Oh, you’re (x) so you don’t know about (y)” without any sense of doubt.

        On the other hand, most of these terms like “Berlin school”, “kosmische”, and “krautrock” were only used by outsiders and journalist and were usually rejected by those they were applied to. “Berlin school” is more understandable than the others I listed but it’s ultimately just another way for listeners to describe a group of musicians from one general region that seemed to share a similar approach with apparent tropes. There’s nothing more to it than that.

  2. Nice to hear a new piece of work, Martin. Evocative and pleasing, as always! FTR, so-called “Berlin school” music partially defines a group of musicians who arose before that $#@! wall finally fell.

    A friend and I are huge Cluster fans, as well as loving early “pre-trance” like Klaus Schulze, Michael Hoenig et al.

    They were laboring under a certain form of stress involving isolation and political worries we lucky Americans can only imagine. It colored their creative explorations and led to the manner in which they pushed on musical borders. “Berlin” is a special form of lasting electronic folk music, born of its time no less that 30s jazz or punk.

    Take in new music as a sprinkle of salt over older things you enjoy. Its all teaching you something subtle & worthwhile.

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