Peter Baumann

An early member of Tangerine Dream.

It's always a little tricky to parse out who's doing what with groups like T.D., but Peter Baumann was one of the keyboardists and organists, so a lot of those toplines you're hearing from the classic 70s LPs are probably his.

I write "early" as he was by no means a founder. Key player for a while, sure, but MVP? Debatable. He joined in '71, right after Alpha Centauri, just in time to record Zeit, and bounced in '73 during the Green Desert sessions, but came back just in time for the Phaedra ones. By '78's Cyclone, he was gone for good, but he was involved in everything that preceded it, like Ricochet, which may be my favorite T.D. LP. It's certainly the one that made me a believer and absolutely blew my mind.

In any case, in '76, during the twilight of his Tangerine tenure, he released Romance '76, a solo full-length that can best be described as sounding like mid-70s T.D. if two-thirds of the lineup was shed. Clearly, distinctly from the Sorcerer OST era. Don't read that as a disparaging remark—it's a sweet album defined first and foremost by its melodies, hooks, licks, which is kind of cool. It doesn't even break thirty-five minutes, so it doesn't overstay its welcome or get grating, which is certainly could've if it were lengthier. Then again, rarely was a T.D. LP more than forty minutes, so this isn't exactly a notable characteristic of the record.

Later, Baumann went on to make Private Music, a straight-up new age imprint I'm going to skip walking you through into here, but if you want a little taste of the gamut he ran with that, check Nona Hendryx's Skin Diver (the good) and Lucia Hwong's House of Sleeping Beauties (the... other).

Can you spot P.B.?