I present to you a nice interview with my friend the master Bernd Kistenmacher.
How were your beginnings in music and talk about the groups that influenced you or what type of music ?
At the age of 9, I began intensively listening to pop and rock music. That was in 1969. I discovered
very early, that I liked more and more “unusual” sounds as well as long tracks exceeding the usual hit
format. For example I liked delays, which were very popular in those days. “Papa was a rolling stone”
is a good example or Iron Butterfly’s In a gadda da vida. All this long tracks with spacy sounds etc. My
Cousin introduced me to Silver Apples and Pink Floyd shortly after. So my taste became more and
more “electronic”. As a person, which was born and living in West-Berlin – surround by The Wall – it
was more than only a symbolic act to raise my eyes and to look to the stars. It was like a therapy and
like a mental escape. Then came Tangerine Dream and much more influential to me …Klaus Schulze.
Also Vangelis and Aphrodite’s Child. They all defined my musical universe until the end of the
seventies. I was totally captured by the Berlin school of electronic music style. And this brought me
finally to the decision to follow this style and to produce own music and no longer just to listen to it.
What studies did you make in music, what instruments did you like. .?
At the age of 8 my father tried to give me some piano lessons. He was a good player in those day but
a bad teacher. Too impatient. And honestly I must admit, that I was also no good scholar. Training
was not so much my thing. So he stopped teaching me. What left was the love for keys and when
synthesizers became more known and popular, I felt totally in love with this mysterious machines,
where you was able to create unheard, new sounds. In 1980 I tried to build my own modular system
based on circuits, which were created by Robert Schroeder (later a known musical colleague). This
project killed me. It was too expensive and time robbing. I wanted to do something! So in 1984 I
bought my first synthesizer. It was a KORG Mono/Poly. Of course it was not the last synthesizer in my
What were the directions on your style of music . Always psychedelic progressive rock or avant-garde ?
I explained that before. In the beginning, I didn’t want to make nothing else but sequencer based
electronic music. I always had the feeling to be able to add something to this, since Klaus Schulze and
many others decided to go into other musical directions. That is what I did for many years. The
problem is, that this inclination became more and more a trap, which I was captured in. To free
myself from that, was a hard process.
With whom you participated in musical projects Music albums and which instruments did you often play and how you produce your music
Since I would describe myself as a “lonely wolf”, I do not participate so often with other artists. I did
this in the nineties with Harald Großkopf and later with Guenther Schickert just to follow the Berlin
School trail again. I did this some years ago for the Utopia album with Thorsten Quaeschning
(Tangerine Dream) and with singer Vana Verouti. The result was more prog-rock based. As I said, this
are more punctual and no regular activities. I would like to add, that the name of my studio is “Ivory
Tower”. I guess this says a lot…
What are your short-term goals or your current projects..?
Actually I am working on a new solo-album. Maybe two with different musical directions. I also
prepare my next concerts, which will happen in Paris and in England this summer. Also some
activities in Berlin will happen in the next time. After that? I don’t know. It goes on and on…
What do you think of the movement of German rock music .. and what do you think of the type of music that you started in the 70´s ?
What I think? I think electronic music from the past is more than only nostalgia. It is our musical
heritage and part of our culture. It is always worth to listen to it. I don’t know, if german rock music
has such the same important status in nowadays music business.
Ultramusic - Stratosphera