Celebrating the evocative sound of ’80s Tangerine Dream:
Jurgen & Germain, first, could you both be so kind to reveal something of your background?
Next to rock music, electronic music is another genre I’ve enjoyed playing since the age of 16. I’ve been a big Tangerine Dream fan since a young age along with other great artists such as Vangelis, Jarre, Yanni, Gandalf, Kitaro, Mike Oldfield, and Klaus Schulze. They have certainly influenced and boosted my current music style.
Germain: I got into electronic music in 1981 when I was about 17 years old together with a school friend. We both very much liked the Berlin school style. When I was 20, I stopped playing music but my interest in all kinds of music remained. Later on, I met Ron Boots, visited many of the E-Day and E-Live festivals he organized, and kept contact with him through the years. When my children started taking piano lessons around 2005, this triggered me to make music myself again as well as my interest in all-new technology for it that was available then. I started buying second-hand synths, repairing, and modifying equipment, and made some home recordings. Meanwhile, I also got in touch with and met a lot of people in Belgium who were doing the same, like BySenses, Owann, Kinet, and The Roswell Incident. As such, I discovered there was a whole scene of Belgium electronic music and musicians out there.
How did you meet, what made you decide to start Wave Walkers? I found out you both also compose music solo…
The amount of music became bigger and bigger, and it became obvious it was quite heavily influenced by Tangerine Dream 80’s style without copying it. Eventually, we decided to release it on cd as we knew there are quite some electronic music aficionados out there who absolutely love this style. On my own, I’ve recorded a lot of music and released some of it on the digital download album “Resonanzboden” in September 2020 under the moniker QTonik. More is on the shelf due for release.
Jurgen: Well, it took some time to make the album as I was mainly busy mixing the songs for the third Frozen Rain album. The little spare time that was left was for the “Kronos21” project. Germain: The reactions to the final version are very positive. The intention that has gradually grown to make this a real TD-inspired work has succeeded very well I think. Someone told me that when he listened to it, he doubted that it was not the real ‘TD’ that he heard. The trick was to fit the elements that made TD of this period (‘80’s) so specific into this work. And that intention is more than successful from the comments.
Was the choice for two long tracks a conscious one? Also, judging by the result, it seems like a lot more work than shorter pieces…
Jurgen: Well, the mini themes followed each other in smooth succession and the story did not seem to want to stop immediately. One emotion triggers the next and this is actually a nod to the atmosphere of those nostalgic TD albums “Logos” and “Tangram”, each time two long sets with a lot going on. Such long tracks take the listener completely into a long rollercoaster of emotions.
Germain: Here are some photos of the current set-up of my studio, ‘Attic 52’.
The Waldorf Quantum and the Prophet X are my favorites when it comes to pads and layers. Polybrute, Hydrasynth, UDO 6, Summit, Wavestate, and Nord Wave 1 and 2 are so versatile that they are used for many sounds.
Everything is connected through an ethernet-based midi backbone from Asylum. It’s fantastic hardware, but unfortunately no longer available.
From top to bottom: Virus Indigo, UDO super 6, Korg OPSIX, Nord lead 4, Nord Wave 2, Novation Summit, Kurzweil PC
Roland System 8, M Audio midi kb, Sequential Take 5, Korg Radias, Virus Snow, Waldorf Quantum
Sequential OB-6, Behringer DeepMind12, Manikin Memotron, Nord Wave 1, Behringer Odyssey, Hydrasynth, Polybrute, Korg Wavestate, Sequential Prophet
In addition, I use Cubase for recordings and have 2 X32 mixing panels for the audio part. In addition, an assortment of effects in pedal or rack forms.
How do you perceive & experience the electronic music scene past and present?
The contemporary movements in the domain of trance, techno, or ambient artists are also really interesting things to pick up sometimes. I listen to just about everything. Only with some things, I have my reservations, it must remain somewhat musical. Making just noise is not music, and I have heard that sometimes too. Art for art’s sake, I can’t understand.