Navigating Pete Namlook’s Sprawling Musical Universe

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

It was on the banks of the River Main in Frankfurt, Germany that one of the most powerful visions of electronic ambient music was born. An employee at the city center bank, a 30-year-old named Peter Kulhmann was walking along the Main with his gig bag in hand—Kuhlmann played guitar in his free time. At the time, he was a skilled jazz fusion player, but the scene had left him feeling disenchanted. He decided to stop for a moment, take out his guitar, and look out on the lapping waters of the city river. He began to strum the instrument, aligning his playing to the natural sound of the water. As he played, he could feel himself opening up fully to nature—and to the present moment—finally hearing the natural music that existed all around him.

It was a creative breakthrough that would reverberate for the rest of his life. Now reborn as Pete Namlook, he’d spend the next two decades expanding the parameters of what electronic music could mean. “He came to see music and nature as directly related to each other,” his frequent collaborator Bill Laswell once said.