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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Dance

Rudiger Lorenz

Southland

Rudiger Lorenz Southland
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Just when you thought you had heard everything that German electronic music of the 1980s had to offer, up pops an artist who has resolutely stayed off the radar all these years, in spite of having a discography which lists no less than 18 albums. (Hobby) musician RĂ¼diger Lorenz, a pharmacist by trade, completed an album almost every year beginning in the early 1980s, first as limited runs of two to three hundred on cassette, then switching to vinyl in 1983, and CD in 1990. His last album was released in 1998. Two years later Lorenz died -- unexpectedly and far too soon. In his youth, Lorenz became familiar with bands like Kraftwerk, NEU!, Can, and Cluster. These bands had a lasting influence on his relationship with music, guiding him toward electronica. Electronic music carried a huge practical advantage for Lorenz in pursuing his craft: he was by nature more of a loner, rather than someone who fed off the group dynamic of playing in a band. Soon after purchasing his first synthesizer set-up he quit his band and installed a studio of sorts in his living room. In 1981 he released his first cassette album. Initially intended merely as something to be handed out to friends, the music was surprisingly well received, encouraging Lorenz to persevere. Year in, year out. After work and on weekends. Most copies were sold in the USA. His synthesizer collection grew larger, containing kit pieces, home-made elements, and newly purchased units. One of his own creations, the Loran Modular synthesizer, even found its way into various synthesizer lexica. Lorenz, however, was by no means a classic electronics tinkerer. His technical skills were limited to soldering, as he admitted in a radio interview for HR3, the only interview he ever gave. Southland was created in 1984 and perfectly encapsulates the two facets that dominated German electronic music at that time: on the one hand, poppy, at times absurd tracks, informed by such pre-NDW (German new wave) musicians as Pyrolator; on the other hand more plangent, spherical music echoing Tangerine Dream and the like. His son Tim, thirteen then (now a member of Andreas Dorau's live ensemble), can be heard speaking a few lines into a vocoder on "Strange Feelings," and later, as a graphic design student, Tim prepared artwork for his father's releases. CD presented in digipak.
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