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Cool E-Links - Michael Hoenig - Rare Tracks on Sandpiper Records

BruecknerAmbient - Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:24 pm
Post subject: Michael Hoenig - Rare Tracks on Sandpiper Records

dronescape - Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:57 pm
Post subject:
If it's that poppy stuff, it's the same that was already mentioned here some years ago. Not exactly spectacular -- and most definitely not up to Hoenig's standards. Sounds more like an exercise at "How to please everyone in the record industry in order not to be scrapped from the artist roster."

The Departure stuff could be a bit more interesting -- didn't know there ever was a live performance of said album.

Will give it a spin or two.

Stephen
BruecknerAmbient - Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:17 pm
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« dronescape » wrote:
If it's that poppy stuff, it's the same that was already mentioned here some years ago. Not exactly spectacular -- and most definitely not up to Hoenig's standards. Sounds more like an exercise at "How to please everyone in the record industry in order not to be scrapped from the artist roster."


No idea if that's the same music as that which You refer too, but the description might be accurate...

Wink

« dronescape » wrote:
The Departure stuff could be a bit more interesting -- didn't know there ever was a live performance of said album.

Will give it a spin or two.


It definitely is!

The recording is of Bootleg quality only, of course, which means it sounds a bit muffled and has an audible amount of tape warble.

Still - as a document very interesting, and nice enough to listen to for a fan, I guess...

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BruecknerAmbient - Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:12 pm
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Over at FB, Bernd Kistenmacher shared his knowledge with us and set the matter straight:

"Wrong! It was never a live recording. It was recorded in the studio before "Departure...".

Same melodies and structures and themes were used for Michael's LP recordings but never in such emotional depth as you can find them on this recording.

The only true thing is, that this piece of music was broadcasted at RIAS Berlin but it was around 1974-75, when Michael still was the wizzard on Moog sequencers.

And yes believe it or not. This is the only existing recording and it was recorded from radio with a cheap cassette recorder by...me!

After that I provided it to friends and over the decades it was copied and copied again. I remember , that I played it to Michel Hönig, when we worked together on the Early Water album. He did not recognize this track first but later he agreed, that it was recorded before "Departure..".

Of course I asked him for the original tapes, but they were gone. Nobody knows, what happened with them because a lot of stuff was thrown away, when he changed to L.A.

So..this is the one and only recording and I have still the original cassette in my archive Wink
Believe it or not.

This music was and is a mindfucking trip to me. And so much better, than everything TD and Schulze have ever done. It is the essence of the essence....THE art of sequencing
.


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GrahamH - Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:12 pm
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This is very good.

Incredible if he actually recorded this as early as 1974/75..... Shocked

Just a shame the sound quality isn't all that great,
but it's certainly a superb document from the era....

Being somewhat (very) naive in the mastering department,
I wonder if it could in any way be improved in terms of sound quality?

Thanks for posting Michael Very Happy
Syn - Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:12 pm
Post subject:
Definitely not 1974.

Sounds more like 1975, after Hoenig played with TD at the RAH. The Sequencer patterns are very similar to what he did with TD at the RAH.

Therefore this is an early Demo recording, before he would go onto refine it on the Departure album.

However a rare find, but i'm not a big fan of this album tbh.
dronescape - Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:09 am
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After having listened to the concert recording, I am once again amazed at Hoenig's skills -- even though this might not be as perfect and as elaborate as Departure, it goes to show he is a masterful performer and knows very well how to operate his sequencers (particularly when bearing in mind how primitive and crude those devices were).

I can't quite understand why people seem to be so overly appreciative of the wonky sequencer stuff and sloppy playing that is mostly passed off as Berlin School these days -- listen to this recording and despair.

This definitely is more proof to the fact that I consider Hoenig as my main source of inspiration when it comes to sequencing.

« GrahamH » wrote:
[...] Being somewhat (very) naive in the mastering department, I wonder if it could in any way be improved in terms of sound quality? [...]


(Re-)mastering can only bring out what is already there and make it shine -- if the substance as such is poor, you can make it louder or brighter or more bass-heavy but you can't get rid of the imperfections (or mask them in some way or other), like drop-outs, excessive tape hiss, bad tracking etc., without creating audible artefacts -- which, in their own right, will sound dreadful again.

In other words, shit in equals shit out...

Now I'm waiting to hear some excerpts from the Timewind collaboration between Hoenig and Schulze.

Stephen
GrahamH - Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:42 am
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« dronescape » wrote:


Now I'm waiting to hear some excerpts from the Timewind collaboration between Hoenig and Schulze.

Stephen


Now there's a mouth watering prospect... Shocked

I read years ago about their brief collaboration in the 70s.

I'm surprised it didn't appear in some shape or form
in the Ultimate Edition / La Vie Electronique sets....
VCO1 - Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:50 am
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« dronescape » wrote:
I can't quite understand why people seem to be so overly appreciative of the wonky sequencer stuff and sloppy playing that is mostly passed off as Berlin School these days -- listen to this recording and despair.

Me neither. Berlin School seems to be too often an excuse for lame musical skills.
Syn - Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:32 am
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« VCO1 » wrote:
Me neither. Berlin School seems to be too often an excuse for lame musical skills.

well i guess that's everyone well and truly f****d then.
BruecknerAmbient - Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:32 am
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« dronescape » wrote:
Now I'm waiting to hear some excerpts from the Timewind collaboration between Hoenig and Schulze.


« GrahamH » wrote:
I'm surprised it didn't appear in some shape or form
in the Ultimate Edition / La Vie Electronique sets....


I would love to hear that too, one day - but I doubt that any recordings have survived, otherwise they would have surfaced already long ago...

Given they played their three or four shows in late 1974, I wonder if they used any sequencers at that time at all; if I'm not mistaken, Klaus got his first sequencers in 1975...?

Did any veteran in this forum happen to attend one of those concerts, btw? After all, one was in the Netherlands...

1974-11-20 Bruxelles, Belgium (no audience! Shocked )

1974-11-29 Zevenaar, Netherlands

1974-12-06 Paris, France


« VCO1 » wrote:
« dronescape » wrote:
I can't quite understand why people seem to be so overly appreciative of the wonky sequencer stuff and sloppy playing that is mostly passed off as Berlin School these days -- listen to this recording and despair.

Me neither. Berlin School seems to be too often an excuse for lame musical skills.


I am, for one, quite happy that such a tolerant genre exists... Wink

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GrahamH - Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:46 am
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For once Michael, being 1 year old at the time,
I'm actually quite happy to be able to say...
that I'm far too young to have attended any of these concerts.... Laughing

That said,
I do envy anyone who was there and hearing this Berlin School
for the very first time, when it was new, innovative and way ahead of it's time.... Wink
dronescape - Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:03 pm
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According to kdm, there was another concert in June 1975.

In early 1972, Agitation Free were playing a concert in Moers (!!!, of all places) when my mum was pregnant with me. For some reason I am quite sure she didn't attend the concert, though...

Schulze and Hoenig played at the Forum in Enger back then, just about 25 kilometres from where I live now.

In 1978/79, I used to spend some time in Berlin, just around the corner from Thomas Kessler's Beat Studio... and wasn't aware of it.

Lots of missed opportunities.

Stephen
BruecknerAmbient - Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:28 pm
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« dronescape » wrote:
According to kdm, there was another concert in June 1975.

Schulze and Hoenig played at the Forum in Enger back then, just about 25 kilometres from where I live now.


Hm, interesting: there is an entry for this concert in KDM's list of concerts (on the official KS page), but without mentioning Hoenig's participation...

https://www.klaus-schulze.com/concerts/welcome.htm


Didn't Michael Hoenig use EMS synthesizer with Agitation Free already as early as 1969...? I seem to remember some video where he's performing on three or four EMS simultaneously.

I think there was one EMS model (AKS...?) that had a built-in sequencer?

I wonder if he already used it (...if he had one) for BS style sequences early on, then (I have to confess that I'm not familiar enough with Agitation Free yet to be able to tell...).


P.S. I just read that Hoenig joined Agitation Free in 1971, so either he wasn't on the video I seem to rember, or the video wasn't from 1969.


"Man weiß so wenig..."

- KDM -

Wink

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dronescape - Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:06 pm
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As for the Enger concert, I think it was mentioned in some liner notes, accompanying one of those mega CD boxes.

I have my doubts as to when the Hoenig recording was actually made -- most definitely not in 1974 as TD and Popl Vuh were the only ones to use sequencers at that time. Mind you, these devices were a novelty back then which Franke was still trying to come to grips with -- there was an interview with Edgar Froese in the German Tastenwelt magazine in 2013 or 2014 where he detailed the rather haphazard way Phaedra was recorded.

In around 1974, Hoenig was using the EMS Synthi A and Synthi AKS in the first place, plus a GEM organ (maybe he already had the Yamaha YC-45D) and maybe a Mini Moog -- I am convinced the Moog 960 Sequencer Complement he is pictured with was borrowed from Chris Franke. Certainly, the live recording was performed after Hoenig's stint with TD, i. e. early 1976 perhaps. You can clearly hear references to the later album recording -- sounds a bit like a finger exercise to get the tone and the Setting right.

For more comprehensive info on Agitation Free, I recommend reading Lutz Ulbrich's autobiography Und ich folge meiner Spur... which is very nicely written.

Stephen
dronescape - Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:10 pm
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Oh, btw, the built-in touch keyboard sequencer of the Synthi AKS was a pain in the arse to use. It's a digital sequencer which records pitch and timing in real time, there is no way to skip single notes or reduce pattern length by just de-activating single steps within a sequence -- which is a trademark TD, Schulze, and Hoenig used in their work.

Amazing work Pink Floyd did on On the Run which is all Synthi AKS... great showcase for the timbral character of a rev. 2 EMS Synthi, too.

Stephen
BruecknerAmbient - Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:25 pm
Post subject:
Thanks for the further insights, Stephen! Smile

« dronescape » wrote:
Certainly, the live recording was performed after Hoenig's stint with TD, i. e. early 1976 perhaps. You can clearly hear references to the later album recording -- sounds a bit like a finger exercise to get the tone and the Setting right.


Hm. Seems to make sense, but did You see my quote of Bernd Kistenmacher a few comments back (saying it was a studio recording from around 1974 / 75) ...?

« dronescape » wrote:
Oh, btw, the built-in touch keyboard sequencer of the Synthi AKS was a pain in the arse to use. It's a digital sequencer which records pitch and timing in real time, there is no way to skip single notes or reduce pattern length by just de-activating single steps within a sequence -- which is a trademark TD, Schulze, and Hoenig used in their work.



Shocked

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softroom - Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:30 pm
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The AKS definitely has a weird sequencer, but in this case weird is in character. I don't find it a PITA personally, but organic and quirky - those typical EMS qualities.
dronescape - Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:57 pm
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Well, perhaps Bernd could ask Michael himself, he ought to know.

1974/75 definitely sounds too early to my ears.

The nicest bit when using the KS sequencer was recording glissando notes sliding across the touch keyboard and speeding them up for extremely fast arpeggios -- Controlling a percussive or noise-based patch creates those lovely effects heard on Rubycon and Phaedra.

"We later added a keyboard as an aferthought for those barbarians who wanted to play melodies." (David Cockerell).

Mr. Cockerell explained that the abbreviation VCS-3 stood for Very Crappy Synthesiser, third attempt...

Stephen

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