• CD
  • Date : 28.07.2023
  • Package : CD Jewel Case
  • Running Time CD : 56:00

Johannes Schmoelling – Recycle Or Die

Johannes Schmoelling’s 7th solo album since leaving Tangerine Dream in 1986 is primarily a collection of tracks composed during the last 10 years for theatre and film productions.

Furthermore “Recycle Or Die” is a hommage to people, who affected Schmoellings musical life lastingly (here in particular its two former colleagues Christoph Franke & Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream and the very much appreciated Johann Sebastian Bach).

The CD is introduced by the rather minimalistic piece “L’Atelier”, which has its origin in the theatre production “Das Atelier” from Jean Claude Grumberg, which had premiere on 20 October 2000 at the Renaissance-Theater in Berlin. From the music accompanying the play now a stand-alone composition was created.

“Explosive Game” shows Schmoelling from a completely different side: originated from music for the German crime television serial “Ein Starkes Team” (A Strong Team), this piece has a pressureful, aggressively mentionable, dramatic character. One hears and experiences the tension of the story also without seeing the pictures.

Also “Recycle Or Die” originally came from the TV series already mentioned, shows up however from a completely different side. Here one hears Schmoelling, how fans and friends of electronic music know and love him! To spherical sounds he arranges an economically used drum loop, in addition sensitive, romantic melody leads, whereby this piece gets already nearly a catchy tune (tip for playing!).

As track No. 4 follows the probably most unexpected piece of that CD: “Stratosphere”, an adaptation of the well-known and popular title track from the 1976s albums “Stratosfear” by Tangerine Dream. “Stratosphere” developed as musical hommage to his band colleagues Christoph Franke & Edgar Froese. Based on the original melody of the ’76 recording Schmoelling leads up to his arrangement, consisting of newly composed, typical Schmoelling elements.

The following tracks “Broken Heart Of A Broken Hero” “Midnight in Tula” “Buda-Pest” and “Dominion” follow similar, above described intentions.

“Italian Scratches (1st, 2nd & 3rd Scratch)” should have served as musical sketches for a film over Italy, unfortunately never carried out. The different character of the tracks reflects Schmoellings impressions and memories of journeys through Italy in the 80’s and 90’s.

The energy-loaded guitar-solo on “3rd Scratch” is played by Hans Fahling, a well-known rock- and jazz-guitarist living in America and – since 2001 – in Berlin. He lends strong self-dynamics to the “3rd Scratch”, as one gets to hear rarely in electronic music.

As last track Schmoelling consciously sets “The Electrified J.S.”, an improvised, electronic version of the “Concert for piano and orchestra No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055″ by J.S. Bach, his favorite composer since his youth days as organist at the large church organ. After that approximately authentic interpreted introduction the piece develops away from the original to a typical Schmoelling-composition, which uses the original only as stand for the independent development, in order to return at the end of the improvisation to Bach, again.

Andreas Hedler, September 2003



  1. L'Atelier 02:20
  2. Explosive Game 03:22
  3. Recycle Or Die 05:41
  4. Stratosphere 06:14
  5. Broken Heart Of A Broken Hero 08:19
  6. Midnight In Tula 03:40
  7. Buda·Pest 06:47
  8. Dominion 05:06
  9. Italian Scratches 04:40
  10. Italian Scratches 01:24
  11. Italian Scratches 03:06
  12. The Electrified J.S. 05:21

Total: 56:00 min.