BB 217LP BB 217LP

LP version. Baumann/Koek is another hitherto undiscovered treasure of German electronic music, the only album by the electronic music pairing of Wolfgang Baumann and Ata Koek, both from Kempten, Bavaria, Germany. It was mixed in Conny Plank's studio and distributed, without a label, by the duo themselves in 1978. The music owes much to the Berlin School; layered sequencer patterns, swirling chord tapestries, a computer beat here and there. Eastern elements or hints thereof add a particular charm to Baumann/Koek, reissued here for the first time. Rumors persist that Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream is behind the Baumann/Koek project. But in actual fact, Baumann/Koek can unequivocally be identified as Wolfgang Baumann (no, not the MPS Records cover artist), born in Kempten in 1950, and his friend Ata Koek (Köktürk, to be precise), born in Istanbul in 1956. In their mid-20s, the pair made the trip from Kempten to Bonn with the singular aim of visiting the legendary Synthesizerstudio Bonn, the very same store where Kraftwerk and countless other electronic icons went shopping for their equipment. They purchased a secondhand ARP 2600, began experimenting, and realized that they needed more gear. Before long they had added an ARP sequencer, a Solina String keyboard, and an EKO Compurhythm drum computer to their arsenal. Last but not least, they acquired a four-track recorder and were ready to commit their music to tape, before going to the expense of booking Conny Plank's studio for the mix. They pressed up 1000 LPs and paid the production costs themselves. The album was well-received and the Swabian wholesaler Jaguar Records stepped in for worldwide distribution, but unfortunately went bankrupt shortly afterward. Baumann and Koek were disinclined to take on any further financial risk and decided against a follow-up record. The music clearly references the Berlin School, with a hypnotic maelstrom of sequencer patterns and swirling tapestries of mostly minor chords, underpinned at times by a computer beat. What really sets the music apart from comparable productions is the subtle influence of Arabian tonality, which saw Koek consciously introduce just a hint of Eastern flavor. If Baumann and Koek considered their "modest" equipment to be a hindrance, their music sounded all the better for it. There is a raw, unpolished quality to the tracks, a clarity that draws the listener closer, far more so than the bombastic productions of contemporaries like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, et al.