Berlin School Synth Jam, Inspired By Tangerine Dream’s 1977 Live Performances

Jean Luc Briançon, aka Kurtz Mindfields, shared this video for Coldriver Ravin, an original synth composition that he describes as an homage to Tangerine Dream’s “live style 1977” concerts.

Here’s what Briançon shared about the technical details:

“1 LEFT : Kurtz “E” Mindfields : Moog sub37 (overdrive & delay MXR), SynthR3 Mono (ARP 2600 filter), OB3 Oberheim Organ, Arturia “Synclavier & Solina VST on KX88.

2 CENTER : Kurtz “C” Mindfields : NRSynth Moog Modular big Ancestor (+ Steiner Parker filter) & ARP Ancestor, SynthR4 master sequencer (960 type sequencer mode), SynthR3 Arpeggiator, Hansy Mellotron.

3 RIGHT : Kurtz “P” Mindfields : NRSynth Moog Modular, ARP Pro-Soloist, Hansy Mister M (Mellotron Brass), Rhodes on A90 Ex.

Recorded & Mixed on Sequoia 15 / M32 Midas.”

9 thoughts on “Berlin School Synth Jam, Inspired By Tangerine Dream’s 1977 Live Performances

  1. TD’s best period[1975-77)]they really came into their own as a live act during this time, what they were doin’ (btw with the actual gear not auh bunch of vst stuff?!) was beyond amazing & way ahead of it’s time (can ya imagine if they had all those plug-ins back then sheesh?! they as stated had the real deal kids. Without them this whole darn synth thing wouldn’t (be) much less this forum folks

    1. TD has been my favorite band for 40 years- but to me the mid to late 70s stuff is not interesting – too prog rock- yet this is their most popular period- I don’t get it- TD became peerless masters of emotional electronic music in the 80s with Johannes Schmoelling – and their early 70s kosmische work is amazing- but the late 70s albums are mostly mediocre imo-

  2. That was beautiful, evocative, dreamy. It put me into a whole other head space. It really stirred my soul. I absolutely loved it.

    Btw, I really do get sick and tired of you “hardware only” guys denigrating those of us who use VSTs. There are a whole lot of us out there who just can’t afford all of those thousands of dollars for a lot of hardware synths, software is all we can afford. There are also tremendous conveniences that come with VSTs such as patch libraries and being able to store a patch along with an instance of the VST synth. Finally, computers have become fast and powerful enough to allow VST synths to have very high quality audio and very sophisticated synthesis that often outdoes what hardware synths can do. What they don’t do is make it any easier to make good music, it’s still entirely up to you to do the hard work of being a musician and being creative.

      1. You two might be over reacting a bit – nobody ‘denigrated’ people who use VTs.

        Trey just said what TD was doing with hardware in the 70s was ahead of its time.

        His comment even gave me the impression that he thought they might have done even more interesting stuff if software synths had been around (“can ya imagine if they had all those plug-ins back then?”).

        1. You are correct. I should have clarified what I was referring to. I am referring to the general tenor I see here and elsewhere; there’s just this assumption that making good music is harder on hardware than it is in software. In the earliest days of those monster modular systems, I certainly agree but now, it makes no real practical difference other than the skill sets it takes to do tape-based multi-track recording vs. multi-tracking in a DAW, the machine operating skills are different, but the mindset and puzzle-solving skills are for all intents and purposes, the same. Beyond that, it still comes down to the hard work of using your musical skills to create good music and that hasn’t changed since music existed. I can only imagine what a Bach or a Beethoven would have done if they had synthesizers back then.

  3. TD’s “best period” is whenever you first heard them and got on the bandwagon. You can go back & forth through anyone’s discography and find both higher and lower points, but that’s almost totally subjective.

    I like most of the group’s output over time and Jean Luc taps one of the earlier periods nicely. It takes one set of tools to dance around a hardware rig and another to do it in a DAW. He commands the first set well.

    Two things make TD’s first few LPs memorable: the newness/novelty of the technology and Peter Baumann saying they’d often just light a joint and noodle. My girlfriend called it “music by stoners, for stoners.” I’ve always enjoyed their varied talents, but several things had to happen at once to make the magical Berlin period develop. Weed has “noodling” written all over it. 😀

  4. Even though by 1974 I was already in possession of an EML-101, a Synthi-AKS, and a Univox Stringman and playing in a prog rock band, it was a Rolling Stone review of Phaedra that year that was my introduction to Tangerine Dream. I remember the review’s description of the music as something like “what you would expect if a couple German kids received synthesizers as presents from their rich daddies”. Actually, I remember that the review was favorable, in all, and it did pique my interest in the “:band”. Nearly 50 years later, I still consider Tangerine Dream, and the Berlin School of electronic music that they pioneered, as being one of my greatest influences as far as musical direction. As my physical studio continues to grow, I occasionally think about what my musical life would have been like if I had all of this modern technology available to me “back in the day”. I’m not too sure it would have made a big difference. Recently I found an old “wish list” that dates back to, probably, 1975-1976, right after I acquired a Roland RE-201 Space Echo, a MiniMoog, and Oberheim DS-2 and Sequential Modfel-800 sequencers. There were no “named” synths or instruments on that list, just a tally of the number of oscillators, filters, EVs, LFOs, etc. that I thought I would need to produce the music that was then in my head. After all, it wasn’t until a few years later that a real polyphonic synthesizer would be available (and I already had a couple EML PolyBox paraphonic signal generators), so I had a system that many EM producers would have killed for at the time. It’s hard for me to believe that I actually gigged with all of that stuff, often coaxing my band mates to join me in extended improvisational excursions that were very highly TD derived. Recently, I have begun to reacquire a fondness for monophonic synthesizers, and I continually await Behringer’s latest knock-offs of the classics of my youth. Currently I am working on a project using only monosynths (albeit with computer based effects) and shunning any of my DAWs and working exclusively with a 1010 Music BlueBox as a multi-track recording device in order to simulate the Tascam 80-8 (with DX-8) that I was using in the late 70s. So far, it’s been a real “trip”. I can honestly say that I haven’t had this much fun making music for decades, although the products, thus far, sound like inferior Tangerine Dream productions

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