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Johannes Schmoelling

Early Beginnings

Anthology 1979 - 1985

- Studio, released June 2008 -


CD release Germany 2008
Artwork: Andreas Hedler
Photos: Monique Froese


1.The Blue Door 2:44
2.The Blue Window 2:29
3.Nevermind 6:27
4.Perpetual Motion 3:48
5.The Avatar 3:58
6.Walking On Sunset Blvd. 4:03
7.It Better End Soon 2:54
8.Violence In The Street 5:49
9.Echo Village 4:18
10.The Soldier Theme 2:25
11.Riding The Bike [Alternate version]3:58
12.Tracks In The Snow 6:31
13.Metamorphic Forest 2:50
14.Circles 4:00
Total running time56:14


Recording date1979 - 1985
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling
Musician(s)Johannes Schmoelling
Producer(s)Johannes Schmoelling


While Johannes Schmoelling had revisited his music released in the past 20 years with the album Images And Memory in 2007, he went a step further back with Early Beginnings in 2008: This album compiles music recorded during the period he was member of Tangerine Dream, that is between 1979 and 1985.


In the liner notes, Johannes Schmoelling tells: "What you will hear on Early Beginnings are rough drafts and demo recordings, which were not originally meant for the public. Good friends encouraged me and helped me to publish this material. Except for tracks 4 and 5, the authentic original mastertapes can be heard, chronologically and digitally remastered." In fact, it was a very good decision to release this album, as fans of early- and mid-eighties Tangerine Dream will be delighted to listen to some great analogue music from that era.


While on Images And Memory information about the individual tracks were rather sparse, Early Beginnings comes with some extensive liner notes in German and English, describing the origin of the compositions. Futhermore the booklet features a number of portrait photos and snapshots of Johannes Schmoelling, taken by Monique Froese.


Johannes Schmoelling: "In summer 1979, Edgar Froese invited me to his studio to play something on his Steinway Grand piano. So I imprivised something very spontaneously for perhaps 20 minutes. After the session, Edgar disappeared and returned with a Korg synthesizer in his hands which he passed to me and said: 'Come back in one month and let me hear what you have composed by then!'" The Blue Door, The Blue Window and Nevermind are exactly the pieces of music Johannes Schmoelling composed in 1979 with that Korg PS 3100, plus his own Minimoog.


The master tapes of Perpetual Motion and The Avatar (originally recorded in 1980/1981 using the Polymoog, Roland Jupiter 8 and Minimoog) were so badly damaged that Johannes Schmoelling had to re-record both tracks using his Apple G5 and the MIDI recording software Logic 7, "as close to the originals as possible". Thus these two tracks are the only non-original versions on this album.


Walking On Sunset Blvd. was composed in December 1980, immediately after TD's gigs in California (see Tangerine Leaves Volume 61: Santa Monica 1980 for a recording of the Santa Monica concert). At that time Tangerine Dream had just finished work on the Thief soundtrack at the Burbanks Studios in Hollywood. Used instruments were Roland Jupiter 8 and Minimoog, as well as the Roland TR 808.


Given the composition title Violence In The Street, one could assume that this composition would be a leftover from Thief (aka Violent Streets), but according to the liner notes, this track and It Better End Soon were composed in 1981/82 for the German movie Ente oder Trente and performed on the Elka Rhapsodie, Roland Jupiter 8, Roland TR 808 and Minimoog.


Echo Village from 1982 comes from the production period of The Keep. It was composed together with Edgar Froese and Chris Franke and was later revised and newly arranged by Johannes Schmoelling.


The Soldier Theme was originally composed by Tangerine Dream for the movie The Soldier. The soundtrack has not been officially released so far, but the theme was later developed further and became Logos Velvet.


Riding The Bike is based on the theme for the Streethawk TV series. While the full soundtrack of that series was never released unfortunately, a somewhat reworked version of the main theme was released as Le Parc (L.A. - Streethawk) in 1985. The version on this album was arranged by Johannes Schmoelling in a pop-jazz orientated style. But, according to the liner notes, "nobody liked it!"


Tracks In The Snow (1984/85) comes from the production phase of the movie Legend, the last score Johannes Schmoelling did with Tangerine Dream.


Metamorphic Forest originates from 1985 and is dominated by digital sampling technology: Akai S 612, PPG Wave 2.3 System and Akai S 900 were used to process samples of cymbals played backwards and sound from a Grand Piano, which were then transmogrified.


The final track, Circles, may sound similar to the improvised piece which Johannes Schmoelling performed on Edgar Froese's Steinway in summer 1979, but this recording was made in 1985 as an extract from a 30-minute session. Johannes Schmoelling: "Because this improvisation sounds like a piece from the beginning of my work with Tangerine Dream, I would like to dedicate it to Edgar Froese and Chris Franke in thanks for the time we spent together."


2008: Viktoriapark
CD: VP 18 073
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