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Departure From the Northern Wasteland

Michael HoenigAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $13.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 4 Songs, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1992 $13.93  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Departure from the Northern Wasteland20:55Album Only
listen  2. Hanging Garden Transfer10:59Album Only
listen  3. Voices of Where 6:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sun and Moon 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kuckuck Schallplatten
  • ASIN: B0000018X3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,178 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

About the Artist

Synthesist, Michael Hoenig, is an innovative composer at the forefront of new music. A former member of Agitation Free and Tangerine Dream, he was in the vanguard of Europe's electronic music scene since its earliest days in Berlin.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Hoenig moved to Berlin when he was three. His early interests were in photography and painting and he began his exploration into music in the late 1960s. Hoenig strived to discover new sounds and new forms of music. Bypassing a classical music education, he first approached the synthesizer without preconceived notions of how it should be played or what it should sound like, and maintained a strong commitment to exploiting all of its possibilities for sound and tone color.

Product Description

Departure from the Northern Wasteland was first released in 1977. It represents Michael Hoenig's return to a more compositional approach to music after working solely with improvisational music for five years. Each piece is developed largely from a mood, and though the music begins here, it is music that is finished in the mind of each listener. On this album, Hoenig works with the compositional concepts of a single tonal center and a basic rhythmic pulse. The rhythmic element is very important to him and he utilizes various pulse units as well as drifting downbeats. Musically complex and an electronic classic, this CD consistently provides the listener with new experiences each time it is heard.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Though comparisons with Tangerine Dream's work of the mid to late 1970's are inevitable when approaching this recording, Michael Hoenig's Departure from the Northern Wasteland in many respects represents the absolute pentacle of the electronic music scene then flourishing in Germany. Released in 1977, "Departure" took the burbling, sequence-driven, analog soundscapes of Tangerine Dream to new heights, introducing a fresh sense of purpose and a tighter rhythmic/compositional control to what was by then well trodden territory.
It is possible that this compositional control was helped along by newly available digital sequencing technology which made possible the storage and instant retrieval of musical phrases. (I'm not sure when Hoenig gained access to this equipment, I can find no list of equipment used on this release. However, the Oberheim DS-2 sequencer was available in 1975 and was used by the likes of Synergy, aka Larry Fast.) Whatever the case, digital sequencing was soon to play a major role in changing the electronic music scene forever. As with most technological advances, this change brought both boon and bane. Freed from the limits of sequencers offering no more than 8 to 32 notes, composers of sequence-driven music could now create musical phrases of seemingly endless length, simultaneously allowing them to make quick compositional shifts heretofore unthinkable. No longer were composers burdened with having to manually change every note by knob or slider, a physical limitation which had led to the lengthy, static compositions and repetitive bass percolation so typical of this music. Yet it was just that, the cumbersome user interface of analog sequencers, which had helped define the style. When the interface changed, so did the music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary For Any Tangerine Dream Fan July 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Even though Michael Hoenig was only briefly a member of Tangerine Dream (and they never recorded a studio album with him), this album is an absolute necessary addition to the Tangerine Dream catalogue.
Released in 1977, this album is completely in line with TD releases like "Ricochet" and "Encore". The sequencers are all over this album, and create a throbbing atmosphere. The key track is the opener title track, a 20 min. journey that ranks among the top Tangerine Dream output of the 1975-1978 era.
For those looking to nowadays Tangerine Dream-like sounds, check out Spacecraft, which has issued some great albums in the late 90s like "Hummel" (see my review there).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring back the Balloons! May 14, 2004
Format:Audio CD
An essential purchase for lovers of mid-70s period Tangerine Dream. The 20 minute title track and the 10 minute 'Hanging Garden Transfer' are sequencer masterpieces. The music is excellently crafted and the sequencer work is very cleverly structured with influences of some of the best minimalist composers. Hoenig's skill is that he takes a fairly basic sequencer rhythm, but constantly changes note accents to sustain interest. There is a sublime section towards the end of the title track where the multi-sequencer lines split apart and then gradually rejoin. Although on first listen, the music may appear improvised, it is very cleverly composed, showing a structure and maturity that was well in advance of what TD were doing at the time ('Cyclone' had just been released). Hoenig shows a very nifty jazz influence with his soloing at the climax of the superb 'Hanging Garden Transfer'.
Hoenig's all too brief stay in Tangerine Dream is at last documented with the release of the 'Bootleg Box Set Vol 1', which contains a superb BBC recording of the classic London Royal Albert Hall concert of 1975. Unforgivingly, Hoenig receives no credit nor mention on the box set, but listen carefully and you'll hear snatches of 'Departure From the Northern Wasteland'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure synth from the 70's... July 27, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Michael Hoenig learnt his craft touring with Tangerine Dream while Peter Baumann took a break... and doesn't it show! That period of TD's work is my favourite; "Phaedra" and "Rubycon" I believe to be the finest ambient albums... period.
Certainly TD never really came close to duplicating these efforts and why should they? TD continued to change and evolve and become the bland monstrosity, from 1991 onwards, that we know so well today.
Hoenig took what he learnt about sequencing and applied it to this fine solo work. Not as flawless as the aforementioned TD albums, but pretty damn good nonetheless. Think of it as a mix of "Phaedra", "Encore", "Ricochet" and "Rubycon" but take away some of the majestic eeriness and you'll be pretty close to the mark!
I only recently listened to this and it was wonderful to listen to music so old that sounded so fresh! I particularly enjoy the point when the analogue sequencers, being run in tandem, quite clearly go out of time with each other... but it doesn't matter; the instruments had character, unlike the cold digital sampling of some modern-era synth music.
Well worth purchasing if, like me, you get tired of waiting for TD to put out more of their old un-released work from that period.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent example of electronic/new age music. May 2, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I remember buying a promotional ep, back when this was called "electronic" music, before the term "new age" was coined. I bought the cassette, and eventually, the cd; though it was hard to track down. Excellent compositions and musicianship. Makes me wish I'd gotten hold of the other work Xcept One; which he did for Capitol Records, and which I would like to see rereleased. He is probably now known for composing the theme to the CBS drama, "The District", but this was before then. Also, I would recommend anything by Mike Oldfield, composer of the theme to the movie "The Exorcist". Nice tonal range and interesting interplay of sound.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I originally had a cassette of this that eventually wore out. I was excited to find a replacement on CD. It arrived promptly and in excellent condition.
Published 10 months ago by Pam
4.0 out of 5 stars Astral Navigations
In the wake left by Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and the other celestial navigators of the 70's Berlin School, Michael Hoenig's Departure from the Northern Wasteland, at least at... Read more
Published on March 27, 2012 by Hawklord
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL.
One of my absolute favorites from my vinyl daze. Thankfully, years later I ran across it in some weird catalog. Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by OLD GUY.
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely an electronic 70s analog classic
As good as any Tangerine Dream album after Rubycon- better than Jarre's trilogy and almost on par with Klaus Schulze in the 70s analog school of electronic music though Klaus is... Read more
Published on October 25, 2010 by Elan Bodwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Calligraphy of patterns
1976 Eno/bowie put together their ambient "Low" tracks and Alan Parsons broke from Floyd to do his 1st project; in berlin Michael Hoenig was setting the sequences for this... Read more
Published on December 18, 2006 by dream factory
4.0 out of 5 stars An incredible Journey
It is almost incredible what happened in Germany decades ago, this kind of music opens a whole dimenssion, deep emotional atmospheres, a must have for everybody who is in this kind... Read more
Published on March 24, 2006 by E. G. Cruz
5.0 out of 5 stars just as good as klaus schulze and neptune towers
If you like klaus schulze, neptune towers, etc. then this cd is a must have, When I put this cd in I have to listen to the whole thing. Read more
Published on September 3, 2005 by J. Thornton
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent TD-like electronic music
Here's the scoop about Michael Hoenig: In the early 1970s, he was with a group called Agitation Free. Their 1972 debut, Malesch is said to be their best album. Read more
Published on May 20, 2002 by BENJAMIN MILER
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC 70'S SYNTH MASTERPIECE
Published on July 18, 2001 by dphilips2002
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