Johannes Schmoelling 6 album [electronic/ambient/chillout]
Johannes Schmoelling, member of Tangerine Dream during 1980-85, has a classical piano training. So if you love Tangerine Dream because of the sequencers, the rhythms, the moog-sound, the guitars... look for Froese, Franke or Baumann solo. But if you love clever melodies and a wonderful atmosphere I urge you to listen to Schmoelling. If you like one of his albums, or even one of his songs, you will probably like all of them.
1986 Wuivend Riet
1. Matjora Is Still Alive 4.56
2. Zeit (for Stephan) 6.34
3. Kneeplay No. 9 (3.58)
4. Walking on Wooden Legs 3.52
5. Wuivend Riet Part I 6.18
6. Wuivend Riet Part II 12.48 (CD: Erdenklang 971.160)
The title is Dutch for "Windblown Reeds". 5-6 originally composed as theatre music for the play "Opus ESP" by Hans Bosch, premiered 1985 in Amsterdam. This album is his most Tangerine Dream-like, but it has its very own amazing qualities.
1988 The Zoo Of Tranquillity
1. The Anteater 2.54
2. The Woodpecker 5.11
3. The Wedding Cake 7.01
4. The Rise of the Smooth Automaton 4.32
5. The Zoo of Tranquillity 9.08 (Dedicated To Antje)
6. The Lawnmower 5.46
7. The Zoo and Jonas 7.02 (deleted CD: Theta 834 109-2)
This record was inspired by Paul Spooner's Illustrated Book of Automata 'Spooner's Moving Animals' or 'The Zoo of Tranquillity', produced by Bellew Publishing Co. Ltd. 1986, published by Virgin Books. Everyone who buys a copy of the book should go and see the Cabaret mechanical Theatre, Covent Garden, London.". The CD is impossible to find, but it has been re-recorded and re-released in 1998 (see later entry).
1990 White Out
1. White Out 12.01
2. Navigator's Chatter 5.45
3. Native Eye, Native Ear 6.50
4. Ice Walk 6.09
5. The Big Nail 4.38
6. A Great Continent 8.17
7. Anian path 5.14 (deleted CD: Polydor 843 395-2)
WHITE OUT - An optical illusion: the merging of heaven and earth, the absence of shadows, space without depth, without horizon.". "This film (Axel Engstfeld's documentary film 'Antarctica Project') and Martin Burckhardt's radio play 'Bis ans Ende der Welt' [Until the End of the World] have given me inspiration and musical ideas." (Quotes by Johanes Schmoelling.) These quotes give you a good idea of what this excellent album sounds like.
1998 The Zoo Of Tranquillity - re-recorded CD
1. The Lawnmower 6.46
2. The Woodpecker 5.08
3. The Rise of the Smooth Automaton 5.14
4. Contemplating Mortality 6.04
5. The Anteater 3.20
6. The Zoo and Jonas 5.46
7. The Wedding Cake 4.51
8. The Zoo of Tranquillity 10.07
9. Fluid memories (For Flo) 5.04 (CD: Erdenklang, 81042)
The original LP was produced in 1987. This actual version had been re-recorded and remixed in 1996 [sic!] with two additional new pieces at Riet Studio Berlin by Johannes Schmoelling.
2000 White Out - re-recorded CD
1. White Out 10.26
2. Navigator's Chatter 5.48
3. Icewalk 6.11
4. The Big Nail 4.08
5. Rain Echoes 6.39
6. Native Eye, Native Ear 4.58
7. A Great Continent 8.14
8. A Long Way Home 5.44
9. Anian Path 5.48
10. Icewalk (Mix 2000) 6.25 [remixed by Robert Wässer & Ulrich Schnauss]
(Viktoriapark VP 00-1)
Re-recorded and re-mixed in 2000 by Johannes Schmoelling (with two additional new tracks) at the Riet Studio in Berlin. Even if the two new tracks don't really fit amongst the rest of the album, they are fine songs: 'Rain Echoes' is dark and moody, while 'A Long Way Home' is a true piano masterpiece and shows Schmoelling at his very best - but of course it will remain a criminally underrated gem.
1995 Lieder Ohne Worte (Songs No Words)
Note: A couple of tracks are missing. Please do not ask, as I don't have them. The bitrates vary from 128 to 160.
Johannes Schmoelling (born in 1950 in Germany) started playing the piano at the age of eight. Later, when he was twelve or thirteen he changed the instrument from the piano to the church organ, because each Sunday he could listen to its sound at the local church. Johannes was fascinated by its richness and variety of sound colors, as well as the ambience and acoustic inside the huge cathedral. When he was sixteen, he became a member of a rock band at school. In 1972 he joined the University of Music and Technology in Berlin, where he graduated in 1977 with a degree in sound engineering. His first electronic instrument was a mini moog, which he played in a band before TD. He still owns and uses it in his studio.
Johannes Schmoelling began doing work for live theatrical performances at Berlin's famous 'Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer', allowing him to combine his technical and musical interests. At the end of 1979, Edgar Froese met the theatre director Robert Wilson. His play "Death, Destruction and Detroit" was being presented at the Berlin Schaubühne, and Edgar Froese was allowed to observe. So he met Johannes Schmoelling, who was then responsible for the entire sound and stage music in the theatre. Johannes Schmoelling remembers: "In the summer of 1979, Edgar Froese invited me for an audition in his studio. Someone must have told him about my musical and technical background, and so he thought that I might become a good substitute for Peter Baumann. In the audition I played an improvised piece of music on his Steinway Grand for nearly twenty minutes. I think he was impressed with the way I played, and I was offered a part in the band."
Three months later, Tangerine Dream (Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Johannes Schmoelling) played the first live concert behind the former Iron Curtain in East Berlin. This collaboration lasted five years and involved numerous live performances, film music for large Hollywood productions and studio, live and soundtrack albums, including Tangram, Quichotte (both 1980), Thief, Exit (both 1981), White Eagle, Logos Live (both 1982), Hyperborea (1983), Risky Business, Wavelength, Firestarter, Flashpoint, Poland (all 1984), Heartbreakers, Le Parc (both 1985), Pergamon (recorded 1980, released 1986), Legend (recorded 1985, released 1986), The Park Is Mine (recorded 1985), The Keep (recorded 1983), and Sohoman (recorded 1982). Even though the band was working 16 hours a day, composing and recording without a break, and were often pushed to the limit of their capacities, this proved to be one of the most fruitful eras in the history of TD.
Near the close of 1985 Johannes Schmoelling was bored by the album-tour-album routine. He wanted to start a solo career and left TD amiably in October 1985. According to Edgar Froese, Johannes Schmoelling was one of the most talented people in the long list of names in the history of TD. He is emotionally very gifted and the most serious worker Edgar Froese met in years. He has still frequent meetings with Johannes Schmoelling when in Berlin. Johannes Schmoelling has since released several solo albums, produced at his private Berlin Riet Studio, including Wuivend Riet (1986/87), The Zoo Of Tranquillity (1988, re-recorded 1996/98), White Out (1989/90, re-recorded 2000), and Songs No Words (1992/95). There is an official web site of Johannes Schmoelling: