Saturday, 29 March 2014

The ultra-amazing German band Trance's Dystopia from 1979

This is a beautiful album.  I strongly recommend it to everyone, whether or not they are electronic fans, because the variety of the music takes it far beyond any meditative-soporific Tangerine Dream-style one-chord marathon.  Particularly ethereally gorgeous is track B2, "Romeo and Juliet" (sampled below), which most recalls to me the French Didier Bonin albums ripped by the famed French ripper pollux and shared on prognotfrog long, long ago gone now... [actually, only three years ago!  but doubtful the links are still active.]

Here you will find the same softly warm and tender electric guitar twining around the soothing synthesizer work, never boring, always crafted into gorgeous little songs, the same deep and mournful 12-string acoustic guitars that you might remember from the marvelous Bonin, or from French band Fondation which is also quite similar (and whose albums I also strongly recommend, most appeared on mutantsounds I think).

After this they created another great album called "Here and Now" which I will also share shortly.  The lineup changed, however, as you will see if you take a look at the band info.  At first,Trance are Jurgen Petersen (aka Adrian Marcator) and Armin Wischnewski.  This second guy disappeared by the time of the next release with a corresponding diminution in quality, well, perhaps not corresponding, as the whole really stands up quite well despite his disappearance.  But by the time of the third album, perversely called "Entrance - The Pond, A Musical Excursion" the quality really plummeted and in fact in my view almost hit rock bottom, in new agey simplicity or perhaps commercial electronic chirpiness.  Well, I am being harsh, it's true that the album has its moments-- just as perhaps one could say a visit to Scranton, Pennsylvania would have its highlights.  Please no insult to those who might live there, if they are actually reading this, which would shock me somewhat as I had thought there was no internet in jails.  But please, no offence taken, I hope, and if so, please put away the guns, don't forget your three strikes and you're out law there.

Note that the two musicians collaborate on the compositions for the most part and they use a lot of other instruments, as listed on the back (or if I were to be truthful, on discogs):
Gitarren: LP Custom, Fender Stratocaster, Hoyer Telecaster, Ovation Balladeer, Yamaha 12 string, Hagström Bass.
Synthesizer: 2 x Roland System 100, Micro-Moog, Arp Solina, Arp Odyssey, Hohner Strings.
Fender Rhodes, Rhythmus-Gerät, Violine.
Bose, MM"
Although this is mostly electronic, I find it very interesting and highly entertaining unlike most albums in this genre which seem more suited to the hypnotherapy of senior citizens.  Again, perhaps I must apologize in advance to those who are fans of the genre (as well as fans of Scranton).  It's particularly wonderful to hear an electric guitar solo break through the somniferous synthesizer work-- perhaps like having a drink of whiskey after attending your young daughter's birthday party full of pink flowers and bows.  But we sure know what style we're dealing with, given titles like "hypnopaedia," "soma," and "park lane hospital" (a visit occasioned by an anaesthetic overdose without a doubt-- or heart medicine?)

And the dystopia of which the title spoke, some 35 years ago, are we in such a condition now?
Well, I think it really depends on whom you ask.  Because if I were able to talk things over with a citizen of North Korea, of which there are millions, they would without a doubt tell me that the worst nightmares of Orwell have come to pass.  As well, if I picked up the phone and called the area code for Somalia, there would be no doubt in the inhabitant's voice (of which there are millions as well of course) as he told me the worst forecasts of state collapse and Hobbesian "nasty, brutish and short" life had come about, with a daily struggle for survival, for food, and a life expectancy of less than 45, with very little hope for his country in the future, and since the UN and the US abandoned them in 1991-- 23 years ago.  And I think the people who live in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other places we rarely hear about any more such as Egypt and Syria would speak in the same terms, of which there are approaching 50 million maybe in total.  And the majority of Africans who are actually able to take the time to think about our question, not having known anything better, would tell us things are as bad as they ever were, but perhaps no worse-- that is, depending on the country, and there, we are in the hundreds of millions.  According to reliable sources, in the Central African Republic there is already the beginnings of another genocide, perhaps surprisingly this time, Christians on Muslims.  And maybe the fundamentalist Christians in the United States should stop focusing on the little-heard-from Joseph Kony and instead think about what their fellow Christians are doing in terms of crusades over there, in the middle of Africa.
So yes, I think it depends a lot on who you ask, if the world is in a dystopia.  Certainly we North Americans and Europeans will vehemently deny it at this time.  But for sure things will be getting a whole lot worse the way things are continuing with regards to the laissez-faire attitude the world has towards our two biggest problems of climate change and fossil fuel depletion.  Let's hope things can change by the time the world comes together for the next round in Paris next year, but don't be too hopeful-- past experience has been a little disappointing.


  1. Another rare gem.....Stunning music!!!

  2. Thanks Julian-great items these Trance LPs!

  3. Thanks, this is killer! The Freeman brothers totally got it wrong in writing this off in Crack In The Cosmic Egg.

  4. yeah I totally agree with that!

  5. new upload, the netkups was so bad: