The Evolution of 'THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOOG' is the latest release on Ambient World and spotlights some of the best moments from the collaborations in remastered sound quality. It can also be viewed as a new CD which stands on its own as it evolves from track to track into an outstanding continuous 78'+ mix.

  1/  Intro                                                                    0.12
  2/  I - Wish You Were There (excerpt)          (Namlook,Schulze)             3.32
  3/  II - A Saucerful Of Ambience (excerpt)     (Namlook,Schulze)             15.01
  4/  III/3 - Phantom Heart Brother              (Namlook,Schulze)             5.25
  5/  III/4 - Phantom Heart Brother              (Namlook,Schulze)             6.17
  6/  IV/7 - Three Pipers At The Gates of Dawn   (Namlook,Schulze)             2.39
  7/  IV/8 - Three Pipers At The Gates of Dawn   (Namlook,Schulze,Laswell)     8.45
  8/  V/8 - Psychedelic Brunch                   (Namlook,Schulze)             8.03
  9/  VI/6 - The Final DAT                       (Namlook,Schulze)             10.28
  10/ VII/6 - Obscured By Klaus                  (Namlook,Schulze)             7.57
  11/ VII/2 - Careful With The AKS, Peter        (Namlook,Schulze)             1.09
  12/ VII/6 - Careful With The AKS, Peter        (Namlook,Schulze)             8.42

          Recorded at Klanglabor, Frankfurt, Germany, Traben-Trarbach/Mosel, Moldau
            Music Studio and Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Engineer at Greenpoint: Robert Musso
          Produced by Peter Kuhlman
Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze: sounds, treatments; Bill Laswell (7): bass, sounds; Robert Moog (1): voice.

          2002 - Ambient World (Germany), AW 023 (CD)
          2016 - Made In Germany (Germany), MIG 01382 (5CD)
Note: The Made in Germany release also includes the first 4 discs in The Dark Side of the Moog seriew.


Now this is a rather strange one. Did I enjoy it - sure did - but is it an essential release? Not really sure. I'll let you make up your mind. All the tracks are taken from the first eight volumes of the 'Dark Side...' series which are carefully and skilfully combined together to form one 78 minute piece of music!

I haven't had time to go back to the originals to see how close the tracks here are to them but at a guess I would say any remixing that might have taken place was minimal. The CD is introduced by Robert Moog himself, leading straight into a very Sculzian section of 'Wish you were There'. A rather meandering and 'live' sounding lead line takes centre stage over lovely thick pads.

As we move into 'A Saucer full of Ambience' the tempo is upped, the rhythms becoming more of the dance variety- good body moving stuff. That is until a break in the fifth minute where gentle float takes over. A lovely lonesome lead line, I would guess from Klaus, weaves its magic. A sequence emerges with four minutes to go and a heavy rhythm joins it. We then descend into another atmospheric section merging with the first of two separate edits from 'Phantom Heart Brother'. Rapid deep pulsations work the speakers then disappear to make way for half heard vocal samples, shuffling rhythmic loop, bleeps and bloops. The second edit gets into fast sequence territory then another energetic dance beat joins in. Its full of excitement, just let yourself go with it.

The first of two selections from 'Three Pipers at the Gates of Dawn' consists of wonderful large stabs of sound before the second part takes us back to intense fast dance territory. They really give it some oomph which initially continues through on to 'Psychedelic Brunch'. This high energy stuff gives way to a slower but meaner looped rhythm full of attitude. Its a fantastic track with many a twist and turn, kicking ass one moment then caressing the soul with some lovely melodic lead lines the next.

'The Final DAT' begins with vast cosmic pads. A bright percussive line starts up then a slow sequence bubbles forth creating the structure round which a lovely menacing rhythm forms then disappears. The combination of all the wonderful pulsations go together so well. Its like looking at a pool of boiling water, there's constant movement though also some sort of complex pattern and a feeling of power which just manages to avoid boiling over. ' Obscured by Klaus' combines beautiful thick pads with faint unintelligible vocal samples and the sound of a storm. A piano lead then comes in. Actually its all rather emotional stuff and a nice contrast to much of the rest of the CD.

We finish we two sections of 'Careful with the AKS, Peter'. The first is very short mainly consisting of bleeps and other electronic effects merging with the second sequencer driven section. In every department this sounds pure Klaus. The lead lines just have to be him in most intense mood as they literally flash from the speakers having his sound signature all over them. Its an exciting way to finish an album which certainly shows all that is great about the 'Dark Side' series and as such would make a good sampler for it- that is if it wasn't for the fact that all but one of the CDs from which the tracks are taken are out of print both in their original or in some cases re-issued format. I suppose it would be too much to hope that this will herald their re-release?

Dave Law (courtesy of the Synth Music Direct website)


The prospect of these two Germans working together is enough to make some electronic boffins weep with joy. Klaus Schulze: pioneer of old-school ambient and author of trippy sci-fi tinged album epics from the 1970s. Pete Namlook: godfather of new-school ambient trance and techno. Their 'Dark Side Of The Moog' series of albums kicked off in 1994 and this CD compiles the highlights so far. It’s an interesting meeting to be sure and a rare example of someone of Schulze’s vintage collaborating with the next generation of electronic musicians. The classic Moog synth sounds are fabulous and all the track names are sly puns on Pink Floyd titles, eg. 'Wish You Were There'. There are few moments when Namlook gets in a banging four-to-the floor mood and its here that the album usually falters with a dated early-90’s dancefloor trance sound that even Schulze’s presence doesn’t seem to improve. Far better are the tracks where the beats are less insistent or not there at all. 'The Final Dat' is a stunning exercises in sequencer-driven, layered ambient trance music that’s exceptionally rich in harmony yet without any cheesy overstatement.

Mikey G (courtesy of the Chill Out website)


"My name is Robert Moog..."

These legendary words are the start of the latest addition to the DSOTM-series.

As we already know from the "A view to a chill"-compilation, this one is another fine mix of well-selected parts, this time from the whole DSOTM-series. It's a very good compilation for all who missed a few (or even all) DSOTM-discs so far, but, as the "A view to a chill"-mix-up, if you already got the "original moogs", this disc cannot add anything new. Regarding the Namlook-Compilation, this one could have been a good follow-up on the main label, perhaps as "PK08/09". All in all, 78 mins (yes! MORE than 50 minutes!) of classic sounds.

Sven Kössler (courtesy of the website)