close window

CD 1
1) Raughi - Prelude 02:51
Composed & performed by Olivier Raughi Ebert 2012.
2) Fanger & Schönwälder - Snap Shot 08:04
Composed & performed by Thomas Fanger & Mario Schönwälder 2012.
Recorded at Flower Fields & SouthEnd Berlin.
3) PicturePalace music - Saint Paul´s Cathedral Chorus Girl 03:41
Composed & performed by Thorsten Quaeschning 2012.
4) W.A.dePHUL - Sun Gate 05:24
Composed by Wadephul, Haslinger & Froese. Recorded live by Ralf Wadephul & friends 2011.
5) Kagermann & Keller - DE 7208 12:14
Composed 2011 on flight DE 7208 from Düsseldorf to La Palma by Thomas Kagermann & Detlef Keller.
6) Thomas Fanger - Schöne Landschaft 06:55
Composed & performed by Thomas Fanger 2012. Recorded at Flower Fields.
7) Rainbow Serpent - Improvised Music 10:08
Composed & performed by Gerd Wienekamp & Frank Specht 2012.
8) Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder - Vienna Calling 09:02
Composed & performed by Bas Broekhuis, Detlef Keller & Mario Schönwälder 2006. No drum computers were used!
9) Cosmic Hoffmann - Guitarmoon 05:08
Composed & performed by Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. 2012 published by Manuscript.
10) Filterkaffee - Zeitmaschine 05:57
Composed & performed by Frank Rothe & Mario Schönwälder 2012. Recorded live at SouthEnd Berlin.
Total Time: 69:27

CD 2
1) Bas Broekhuis feat. Kagermann - Nazareth, PA 08:45
Composed & performed by Bas Broekhuis 2012. Violin played by Thomas Kagermann.
2) ['ramp] - Track for Michael Hoenig (Excerpt) 08:58
Composed, performed & produced by Stephen Parsick, using Mini Moog & ARP Sequencer. No MIDI, no computers. Courtesy of 2012.
3) Keller & Wienekamp - Forgotten Places 05:25
Composed & performed by Detlef Keller & Gerd Wienekamp 2011.
4) Lutz Graf-Ulbrich - Moab-Jam 06:15
Composed & performed by Lutz Graf-Ulbrich 2001. Published by Tyfoo Musikverlag.
5) Broekhuis & Schönwälder - Philadelphia 13:11
Composed & performed by Bas Broekhuis & Mario Schönwälder 2012.
6) Rainbow Serpent & Isgaard & Kagermann - Elements 18 05:08
Composed & performed by Gerd Wienekamp & Frank Specht 2010. Words by Jens Lück & Isgaard. Violin played by Thomas Kagermann.
7) Keller & Schönwälder - Metropolis Part 2 05:26
Composed & performed by Detlef Keller & Mario Schönwälder @ Cinema Casablanca Berlin in 2004.
8) Spyra - A Rainy Day 12:55
Composed & performed by Wolfram Spyra 1993. Analogue Sequence made with PPG Modular.
9) Mario Schönwälder - Winterland 07:13
Composed & performed by Mario Schönwälder 2011/12 at SouthEnd Berlin.
Dedicated to the folks who have left us too early.
Total Time: 73:19


This double album celebrates the 20th anniversary and second decade of Berlin-based Manikin label with 2x 70 minutes of brandnew and unreleased electronic music. Of course, the usual suspects Broekhuis, Keller, Schönwälder are featured in various formations, next to affliated musicians such as Raughi Ebert, Thomas Kagermann, Thomas Fanger and Rainbow Serpent.
And what a joy it is to listen to this versatile and well-tempered collection of 19 instrumental tracks, tapping into the heritage of the Berliner School and beyond. There are also some surprises, such as a completely re-recorded and alterered live version of the TD-track "Sungate" on the first disc, performed by Ralph Wadephul and friends in 2011.
When you’re looking for more groove stuff, the Kagermann & Keller contribution will suit you well, although I even more liked the minimalist, hypnotizing effort by Thomas Fanger and the excellent improvised piece by the Rainbow Serpent duo (despite its chaotic, experimental ending) following after that. "Guitarmoon" by Cosmic Hoffmann makes a nice and authentic sounding piece in his Asian-oriented. The final track is an evocative vintage improv by Filterkaffee.
The nice ride continues on second disc with another nine vibrant tracks. Stand-out pieces here e.g. are [‘ramp], who’s firing some lovely analogue gear on "Track for Michael Hoenig". When you’re looking for some more tasty tracks with a nice swung, "Forgotten Places" by Keller & Wienekamp do the job here, as does Rainbow Serpent with Isgaard and Kagermann (although I’ve heard enough of his violin playing for now).
With "A Rainy Day", Spyra delivers a fine 13-minute composition that merges the vintage with the contemporary in an uptempo (almost Kraftwerkian) style. Label boss Mario Schönwälder puts an end to it all by means of "Winterland", a reflective and well-done piece dedicated to all who left this earth too early.
All in all, any serious electronic music fan should get his hands on a copy of this limited edition compilation before they are gone. Bravo Mario!
© Bert Strolenberg

Deine neue Doppel-CD läuft bei mir rauf und runter. Sie ist für mich mit das Beste, was bei Manikin erschienen ist. Das Album beweist, daß elektronische Musik nicht immer aus langen Stücken bestehen muß. Um so mehr ist Second Decade sehr abwechslungreich geworden. Es klingt nie langweilig.
Gefallen hat mir unter anderem "Schöne Landschaft" von Thomas Fanger. Rainbow Serpent bzw. Gerd Wienekamp zeigen, wie vielfätig Musik klingen kann. Doch auch bei Dir mit Deinem Keller-Broekhuis-Gespann spürt man eine Veränderung in der Musik. Total super finde ich "Philadelphia" von Dir mit Bas zusammen.
Ingo Nitschke

This release from 2012 features 143 minutes of diverse contemporary electronic music.Featured are previously unreleased tracks by a wide variety of electronic musicians who've contributed to Manikin's roster.
On disc 1:
"Prelude" by Raughi (aka Olivier Raughi Ebert). A short piece consisting of delicate acoustic guitar accompanied by rhythms handled with a reverent flair.
"Snap Shot" by Fanger and Schönwälder. A bouncy tune of airy electronics tempered by pulsing tempos and versatile keyboards, whose engaging melody progresses into a delightful stratospheric journey.
"Saint Paul's Cathedral Chorus Girl" by Picture Palace Music (aka Thorsten Quaeschning, from Tangerine Dream). Sparkling electronics, spiraling guitar, and temperate percussion create a song rich with playful dramaÉand delightfully shuddering peripheral keyboard effects.
"Sun Gate" by W.A. dePHUL (aka Ralf Wadephul, who has played with Tangerine Dream). A somber beginning explodes into a familiar Tangerine Dream song, with snarling (and nimble-fingered) guitar and dreamy keyboards.
"DE 7208" by Kagermann & Fanger. A fascinating excursion of electronics, rhythms, and spry violin, crafting a tune of endearing quality.
"Schöne Landschaft" by Thomas Fanger. An aquatic tune of shifting electronic pulsations, propelled by steadfast tempos.
"Improvised Music" by Rainbow Serpent (Gerd Wienekamp & Frank Specht). A rather fluid piece whose coexistent electronic threads interweave and evolve to achieve a mesmerizing pinnacle.
"Vienna Calling" by Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder. A fine example of the standard material found on Manikin releases, in which long-form compositions gradually evolve through a series of inventive variations, often (like here) seasoned by different elements (in this case, tender piano riffs that give way to supremely agile rhythms).
"Guitarmoon" by Cosmic Hoffmann. An astral mood is accomplished with layers of guitar chords, some semi-natural, others processed into shimmering fogs of radiance. They blend to generate a lavish tune of heartfelt beauty.
"Zeitmaschine" by Filterkaffee (Frank Rothe & Mario Schönwälder). Here, a bevy of electronics conspire to create an air of eerie mystery.
On disc 2:
"Nazareth, PA" by Broekhuis (with Kagermann). Intricate rhythms churn a pool of electronic patterns, while violin embellishes the piece with exotic strains.
"Track for Michael Hoenig (Excerpt)" by 'Ramp. A darker dose of electronics--melodic and pulsating with non-percussive rhythms, building with each passing moment to a majestic climax.
"Forgotten Places" by Keller & Wienekamp. A wistful electronic collaboration featuring ascending oscillations, snappy e-perc, and bubbling diodes.
"Moab-Jam" by Lutz Graf-Ulbricht. Undulant electronics provide a backdrop for spacey guitar melodies, while sultry rhythms pitter away.
"Philadelphia" by Broekhuis & Schönwälder. A lovely piece comprised of lilting textures and sweeping electronics and pensive keyboard sequencesÉall generating an inspirational ascent to glorious sonic heights.
"Elements 18" by Rainbow Serpent, Isgaard, & Kagermann. Again, chugging electronics and winsome violin are combined, this time augmented by female vocals.
"Metropolis Part 2" by Keller & Schönwälder. The music appropriately adopts a mechanical edge for this piece, countered by heavenly airs of a beatific nature.
"A Rainy Day" by Spyra. Stately keyboards punctuate a cerebral electronic flow, while snappy e-perc establishes appealing rhythms, as the piece mounts in understated drama.
"Winterland" by Mario Schönwälder. A melancholic construction of sighing textures and blooping notes and noble piano.
An excellent selection of electronic music indigenous to the Manikin label.
Matt Howarth /

Mario Schonwalder is an icon of contemporary EM. This supporter of long and slow minimalist movements has knocked about the world for more than 25 years, bearing on his shoulders the vestiges of a Berlin School EM creates and abandoned by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. It’s in April 92 that Mario Schonwalder launched the Manikin Records label with the release of Closed by my Distance. Without knowing it, the German musician created an institution. Beyond the quality of the label works, Mario Schonwalder and his music companions got constantly involved in the research and development of EM instruments, of which famous Memotron, giving to EM new breaths and horizons that were going to enhance the mesmerizing structure of the Berlin School style. Twenty years and a hundred of albums later, Manikin celebrates the event with Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012; a wonderful double album which depicts marvellously the universes without borders of the artists who contributed to the development of the German label. Raughi Ebert starts things up with "Prelude", a very poetic title where an acoustic guitar rolls its melancholy of a fluid air and with a chirping synth that some pulsations/percussions are harpooning of an ephemeral embrace. "Snap Shot" plunges us into the disturbing universe of Fanger & Schonwalder with a slightly technoïd tempo. It’s a minimalist and hypnotic beat wrapped of a fascinating electronic aura where mysterious voices, ochred breezes and ethereal mists cradle a very mesmerizing Berlin School procession fed by pulsatory percussions and twirling sequences. Picture Palace Music's "Saint Paul Cathedral Chorus Girl" is a superb title, weighty and slow where the synths are roaring with a somber passion. It’s as blacker as it’s theatrical and it’s very Thosrsten Quaeschning. W.A.dePHUL offers a stunning and more romantic version of "Sun Gate" whom he had written in 1989 together with Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger. Kagermann & Keller's "DE 7208" is another captivating title à la sauce Berlin School. Based on a strong bass line, the rhythm is heavy and swirls on sequences which alternate vigorously, braiding a heavy hypnotic and harmonious movement that synth layers and sighs of violins wrap of a mesmerizing melody which zigzags such as a harmonious spectre. Simply delicious! Intriguing, "Schöne Landschaft" evolves with the magnetism of its bewitchment. This title from Thomas Fanger is without a precise rhythm and progresses in the circles of its massif whirlwind, dropping some frail notes which spin in the furrow of winds to forge some scattered melodic fragments which dance for a strange spherical ballet. After an intro stuffed with silvered breezes the rhythm of Rainbow Serpent's "Improvised Music" dives in an enthralling Berlin School structure. Cymbals with nervous jingles surround some circular chords which have difficulty in climbing an ascending rhythm. Other chords are added. Their limpidities, as well as their supplenesses, clear up a rhythm which waves of its wide oscillatory loops under piercing solos. "Vienna Calling", from Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, lays on a morphic rhythm which quivers slightly under sober knocks of sequences and percussions, while the synths sing some spectral airs. The title plunges delicately into ambient corridors before bouncing furiously with percussions whose unchained strikings support the abundance of sequences which mould a furious rhythm beneath synth solos to twisted lamentations. Cosmic Hoffmann lugs us around in his secret territories with "Guitarmoon"; a strange cosmic ballad fed in the metalicity of the sitar strings from which the notes resound with aromas more psychedelic than electronic. Filterkaffee's "Zeitmaschine" ends this first CD with a dark and ambient title eaten away by reverberating and caustic breezes which cling to pulsations, as much muffled as discreet, which emerge and disappear in a cerebral cosmos eroded by bipolar musical poetries.
Bas Broekhuis' "Nazareth, PA" is in the same lineage as the Repelen series with a fine hypnotic tribal rhythm wrapped by Thomas Kagermann's violin. Faithful to his trademark, ['ramp] offers a heavy title filled with resonant pulsations. Crystal clear sequences flutter around the black rhythm of "Track for Michael Hoenig", among which each of the pulsations make vibrate our spinal. Heavy and powerful, this Stephen Parsick's title displays all the magic of the EM analog universe where all the nuances and perceptions weave a mesmerizing parallel between the heavy rhythm which moves with hesitation and the limpid harmonies forged in crystalline sequences. "Forgotten Places" is this kind of melody which weaves an earworm. It's all a universe that Keller & Wienekamp draws in not even 6 minutes of music with some sequences which swirl in the breaths of an absent synth, moulding an innocent melody which strolls around sequences/percussions to tones of anvils. A line of sequence comes to harpoon the hesitation, entailing "Forgotten Places" in a delicate gallop which rides the plains of mists and harmonious solos while the rhythm eventually espouses a technoid tangent. That’s very melodious. With "Moab-Jam", Lutz Graf-Ulbrich transports us towards the borders of the vintage years psychedelic improvisations from the Krautrock movement with a well chiselled guitar which frees its harmonies on Tablas percussions. "Philadelphia" brings us back in EM territories with very Vangelis synths which blow vigorously on twinkling sequences and sober pulsations. Abstracted, the rhythm offered by Broekhuis & Schönwälder soon turns into a lascivious groovy which sways hips smoothly under synths with harmonious breezes as much spectral as sensual. Rainbow Serpent's  "Elements 18" is a sweet melody which sits on a kind of morphic techno where the voice of Isgaard and the violin of Kagermann float with a delicious mixture of tribal and cosmic. Those who liked Stranger are going to adore. "Metropolis Part 2", from Keller & Schonwalder, is a pure ambient and floating delight while Spyra's "Rainy Day" stigmatizes our waits with a furious tempo of which the wide oscillatory zigzags remind me the evasive rhythm from Tangerine Dream on Cool Breeze of Brighton. These sequences wind around cymbals jingles which embrace the tempo with cold bites, awakening our senses when some typing keys discourse in a strange solo, as to escape the dense layers of a synth which also frees luxurious solos. Floating and vampiric, these solos roam such of as predators' wings, waiting for the fragility of the piano notes which subdivide the impressive rhythmic course of "Rainy Day". Absolutely brilliant! Credit where credit's due! Mario Schonwalder concludes this splendid compilation with "Winterland"; a rather ambient title where synth layers with scents of fuzzy violins hatch a dark and secret atmosphere filled with wandering choirs and chords.
Like a safe that we open to all decades, Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012 contains beautiful small jewels. Musical pearls which depict marvellously the universe of Manikin. It’s the door of a musical world that has as only borders the immense curiosity and avant-gardism of its pioneers who transcend the Berlin School style to give always it this second breath.
Sylvain Lupari, Rating: 5/6

Mario Schonwalder est une icône de la MÉ contemporaine. Cet adepte des lents et longs mouvements minimalistes roule sa bosse depuis plus de 25 ans, portant sur ses épaules les vestiges d’une MÉ de style Berlin School crée et abandonnée par Tangerine Dream et Klaus Schulze. C’est en Avril 1992 que Mario Schonwalder lançait le label Manikin Records avec la parution de Close by my Distance. Sans le savoir, le musicien Allemand créait une institution. Au-delà de la qualité des œuvres de son label, Mario Schonwalder et ses compagnons de musique s’impliquaient constamment dans la recherche et développement d’instruments de MÉ, dont le fameux Memotron, donnant à la MÉ des nouveaux souffles et horizons qui allaient rehausser les envoûtantes structures de la Berlin School. Vingt ans et une centaine d’albums plus tard, Manikin souligne l’évènement avec Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012; un magnifique album double qui dépeint à merveille les univers sans frontières des artistes qui ont contribué à l’essor du label Allemand. Raughi Ebert part le bal avec "Prelude", un titre très poétique où une guitare acoustique roule sa mélancolie d’un air fluide et avec un synthé siffleur que des pulsations/percussions harponnent d’une étreinte éphémère. "Snap Shot" nous plonge dans l’univers troublant de Fanger & Schonwalder avec un tempo légèrement technoïde. C’est un tempo minimaliste et hypnotique, enveloppé d’une fascinante aura électronique où voix mystérieuses, brises ocrées et brumes éthérées bordent une captivante procession très Berlin School alimenté par des percussions pulsatrices et des séquences tournoyantes. "Saint Paul´s Cathedral Chorus Girl" de Picture Palace Music est un superbe titre lourd et lent où les synthés hurlent d’une sombre passion. C’est aussi noir que théâtrale et c’est très Thosrsten Quaeschning. W.A.dePHUL offre une surprenante version plus romantique de "Sun Gate" qu’il avait écrit en 1989 en compagnie d’Edgar Froese et Paul Haslinger. "DE 7208" de Kagermann & Keller est un autre fascinant titre à la sauce Berlin School. Basé sur une forte ligne de basse, le rythme est lourd et tournoie sur des séquences qui alternent avec vigueur, tressant un lourd mouvement hypnotique et harmonique que des couches de synthé et des soupirs de violons enveloppent d’une envoûtante mélodie qui zigzague tel un spectre harmonique. Simplement délicieux! Intrigant "Schöne Landschaft" évolue avec le magnétisme de son envoûtement. Ce titre sans rythme précis de Thomas Fanger progresse dans les cercles de son massif tourbillon, échappant de frêles notes qui virevoltent dans le sillage des vents pour forger d’éparses bribes mélodiques qui dansent pour un étrange ballet sphéroïdal. Après une intro truffée de brises argentées le rythme de "Improvised Music", de Rainbow Serpent, plonge dans une enivrante structure de Berlin School. Des cymbales aux cliquetis nerveux encerclent des accords circulaires qui peinent à gravir un rythme ascendant. D’autres accords s’ajoutent. Leurs limpidités, de même que leurs agilités, éclaircissent un rythme qui ondule de ses larges boucles oscillatrices sous des solos perçants. "Vienna Calling", de Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder, planche sur un rythme morphique qui tressaille légèrement sous les sobres coups des séquences et percussions alors que les synthés dessinent des airs spectraux. Le titre plonge délicatement dans des couloirs ambiants avant de rebondir furieusement avec des percussions tablas dont les frappes déchaînées accotent l’abondance des séquences qui moulent un rythme frénétique sous des solos de synthé aux complaintes torsadés. Cosmic Hoffmann nous trimbale dans ses territoires secrets avec "Guitarmoon", une étrange ballade cosmique nourrie dans la métalicité des cordes d’un sitar dont les accords résonnent dans des arômes plus psychédéliques qu’électroniques. "Zeitmaschine" de Filterkaffee clôture ce premier CD avec un titre sombre et ambiant, rongé par des souffles réverbérants et caustiques qui s’agrippent à des pulsations aussi sourdes que discrètes qui émergent et disparaissent dans un cosmos cérébral trituré de poésies musicales bipolaires. "Nazareth, PA" de Bas Broekhuis s’inscrit dans la même lignée que la série des Repelen avec un fin rythme tribal hypnotique enveloppé du violon de Thomas Kagermann. Fidèle a sa marque de commerce, ['ramp] offre un titre lourd bourré de pulsations résonnantes. Des séquences limpides voltigent autour du rythme noir de "Track for Michael Hoenig", dont chacune des pulsations nous fait vibre la colonne. Lourd et puissant, ce titre de Stephen Parsick étale toute la magie de l’univers d’une MÉ analogue où toutes les nuances et perceptions tissent un envoûtant parallèle entre le rythme lourd qui avance à tâtons et les harmonies limpides forgées dans des séquences cristallines. "Forgotten Places" est ce genre de mélodie qui tisse un ver d’oreille. C’est tout un univers que Keller & Wienekamp dessine en même pas 6 minutes avec des séquences qui tournoient dans les souffles d’un synthé absent, moulant une mélodie innocente qui se flâne autour de séquences/percussions aux sonorités d’enclumes. Une ligne de séquence vient harponner l’hésitation, entraînant "Forgotten Places" dans un délicat galop qui chevauche des plaines aux brumes et aux solos harmoniques alors que le rythme finit par épouser une tangente technoïde. C’est très mélodieux. Avec "Moab-Jam", Lutz Graf-Ulbrich nous transporte aux frontières des improvisations psychédéliques des années vintage du mouvement Krautrock avec une guitare bien ciselée qui échappe ses harmonies sur des percussions tablas. "Philadelphia" nous ramène dans les territoires de la MÉ avec des synthés très Vangelisques qui soufflent avec vigueur sur des séquences scintillantes et des pulsations sobres. Abstrait, le rythme offert par Broekhuis & Schönwälder épouse bientôt un lascif groovy qui se déhanche suavement sous des synthés aux souffles harmoniques autant spectraux que sensuels. "Elements 18" de Rainbow Serpent est une belle mélodie qui siège sur un genre de techno morphique où la voix d’Isgaard et le violon de Kagermann planent avec un savoureux mélange tribal/cosmique. Ceux qui ont aimé Stranger vont adorer. "Metropolis Part 2" de Keller & Schonwalder est un pur délice ambiant et flottant alors que "Rainy Day" de Spyra stigmatise nos attentes avec un furieux tempo dont les larges zigzags oscillatoires me rappellent le rythme fuyant de Tangerine Dream sur Cool Breeze of Brighton. Ces séquences serpentent parmi les cliquetis de cymbales qui embrassent le tempo de morsures froides, éveillant nos sens lorsque des frappes de dactylo discourent en un étrange solo, comme pour échapper aux denses couches d’un synthé qui libèrent aussi de somptueux solos. Des solos flottants et vampiriques qui errent tels des ailes de prédateurs, attendant la fragilité des accords de piano qui subdivisent l’impressionnant parcours rythmique de "Rainy Day". Absolument génial! À tout Seigneur tout honneur! Mario Schonwalder conclût cette superbe compilation avec "Winterland", un titre plutôt ambiant où des couches de synthé aux arômes de violons flous hachurent une atmosphère sombre et secrète rempli de chœurs et d’accords errants. Comme un coffret de sécurité que l’on ouvre à toutes les décennies, Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012 recèle de beaux petits bijoux. Des perles musicales qui dépeignent à merveille l’univers de Manikin. C’est la porte d’un monde musical qui n’a de frontières que l’immense curiosité et l’avant-gardisme de ses pionniers qui transcendent la Berlin School afin de toujours lui donner ce second souffle. (vendredi 6 juillet 2012)
Sylvain Lupari, Rating: 5/6