The music of Germany's Stefan Erbe strives to bridge the field of contemporary electronic music with the lure of outer space. His results are always invigorating, with spacey tones and bewitching melodies defining the mysterious void, while his compositional acumen empowers these otherworldly airs to touch the human soul, communicating more than an overwhelming sense of awe.
STEFAN ERBE: The Cosmic Dreamland (CD on Erbe Music)
This 1994 release features 58 minutes of energetic electronic music.
Fanciful keyboards lock onto invigorating melodies as percussion and electronics expand those riffs into compact tunes of startling crispness and maximum appeal. Although these tracks exhibit dreamy aspects as they commence, the pace and tempos swiftly give way to more dynamic structure. Determined drumming bestows peppy beats, transforming languid passages into jungles of rhythmic glory. Nimble-fingered keyboards propel the melodies into vibrant territory with engaging riffs that bounce and cavort with distinct mirth. Once these keyboard threads merge, powerful songs are born that stir the mind as effortlessly as they motivate the audience's dancing feet.
Erbe is creating electronic music that does not easily fall into any school or genre. He is not following in the Berlin School path, for his tunes are not overlong and rarely employ slowbuild techniques. Erbe strikes directly with driving compositions, focusing his intentions with immediate delivery and robust execution.
With such track titles as "Opening the Hatch", "Sulphur Moon over Seaside", and "Gliding Home", it is easy to detect Erbe's fascination with the universe beyond our sky. Meanwhile, pieces like "Droids Don't Dance" and "My Mechanical Companion" reveal his interest in the future and the achievements in store for mankind.
STEFAN ERBE: Digital Entrance (CD on Erbe Music)
This 1995 release features 63 minutes of Erbe's dynamic electronic tuneage.
Utilizing E-perc and a versatile palette of keyboard-triggered electronics, Erbe generates fabulously energetic music. All the pieces on this release are less than five minutes long, forcing each song to develop quickly, establishing and pursuing the melody without undue distraction.
While the backbone of this music is comprised of keyboards, the manners in which those keys manifest are diverse and flexible. Conventional keyboard strains float in tandem with clearly unnatural sounds, all conspiring to achieve alluring melodies adorned with snappy rhythms. Whether chiming, twanging, bonging, booping or simply twinkling, the keyboards fill the air with vivacious tuneage.
Erbe's compositional talents seem inexhaustible as every song unleashes fresh riffs and harmonies, each time producing results that are wholly unique and wonderfully so. Despite the tunes' relentless nature, there are softer qualities lurking in the frenetic mix, drifting elements that temper the frenzy with a friendly edge.
While maintaining an instrumental electronic motif, the music on this release seems to focus more on earthly concerns than on matters beyond our atmosphere.
STEFAN ERBE: Kunststoff (CD on Erbe Music)
This 1997 release features 73 minutes of bewitching electronic music.
Although spaciness is a dominant factor here, these instrumental tracks delve into reflections of human nature. These mortal observations are given meter and form, transmuted through a variety of keyboard-triggered electronics, producing music that resounds with emotional content.
Stately keyboard notes flitter across a panorama of twinkling tonalities that hangs like a rich cloudbank over an icy landscape. Sweeps and mercurial sequencing cavort in this aerial mix, delineating the compelling melodies with lush propulsion. Sinuous E-perc applies thrilling rhythms, urging the music to ever livelier altitudes. Astral qualities merge with these dynamic elements, producing uptempo music of a cosmic nature.
There is a notable cleverness going on in Erbe's focused compositions, delivering tunes that sparkle with congeniality and siren-tempos. This listener-friendly music not only stimulates the mind, it reaches all the way into the toes with its appealing rhythms.
STEFAN ERBE: Intermediate (CD on Erbe Music)
This 64 minute CD from 1998 features some highly engaging contemporary electronics by Erbe.
Lively synthesizers wind along pleasant paths accompanied by relaxed E-perc and buzzing effects. Erbe achieves a fanciful and entertaining sound with a versatile sonic palette combined with a clever sense of composition. His harmonic excursions are lush without being dense or hyper. This music excels at bestowing character on a futurist template.
Cyclic sequencing is decently enhanced by an ample presence of interesting keyboard riffs. A distinct sense of humanity lives in this music as Erbe conveys subtle whimsy that softens the emotional content without defusing the passion. In some pieces, synthesized strings add a pastoral flair, while other tracks exhibit a deeply classical mood. Overall, this serious music is tickled with personality, flavoring its cerebral roots with sprightly sensibilities.
While these melodies are soothing, they possess a degree of enjoyable vitality: invigorating and mesmerizing. Enticing diversions flourish among the music, as riffs swarm around their core themes, embellishing the tunes with gorgeous aspects. The result is a thoroughly captivating dose of contemporary electronic music, blending old school influences with a modern approach and gentle style.
A single brief track with vocals displays a predominant dance factor that is a charming deviation from the otherwise introspective instrumental music.
STEFAN ERBE: Spaceworks (CDR on Erbe Music)
This 2001 release features over an hour of cosmic music, the perfect soundtrack for man's excursions into outer space. This description is not allegorical, since this music was originally composed to accompany presentations at the Hagen Observatory.
Erbe's sense of outer space is highly rhythmic and energized by dynamic keyboards and clever electronic passages. Atmospheric tones are literally drowned in hyperactive pulses and melodic hooks. Classical roots periodically show through the astral beats, reminding the audience of their organic heritage amid the cosmic territory under examination.
Nimble-fingered keyboards share the sonic stage with electronic percussion, generating music that is dreamy as well as urgent. Whether the tempo is sedate or high-energy, the tuneage is always emotionally charged, conveying an aura of connectivity between humanity and the remote void. As spatial anomalies are encountered, the tone of the music grows moody and mysterious, evoking celestial awe with grand talent.
STEFAN ERBE: Worlds Away (CDR on Erbe Music)
This 2002 release features 70 minutes of live electronic music recorded at the EM-Breakfast in Germany in 2001.
Erbe's live performance differs very little from his studio recordings. The music is excruciatingly slick, capably blending dynamic E-perc with complex electronics and keyboard driven riffs. The synthetic tones are sparkling, like crystal stars descended to earth. Sometimes the temperament is serious, steeped in a deep respect for the unknown, yet rooted in mankind's insatiable curiosity. Sometimes the mood is celebratory, generating whirling melodies that lift the spirit with these energetic riffs.
Erbe is driven to explore the universe with the same passion of a scientist wrestling the laws of existence from obstinate particle decay. His ability to evoke these distant stars and alien worlds is enhanced by his extremely talented compositions.
Six of these thirteen tracks represent previously unreleased songs, while the remaining seven are live versions of material sourced from Erbe's numerous CD releases.
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