English language information about Software is scarce, save for Wikipedia, a brief AllMusic bio, and scattered fan websites (including one that hasn’t been updated since May 1998). Still, principal members Michael Weisser and Peter Mergener have detailed personal websites in German—and the former is more than willing to answer questions about Software, which is considered to be a project rather than a band, and is predicated on possibilities rather than limitations.
“We created brand-new sounds, spheric sound-scapes and surprising sequences, always with brand-new equipment in wide hierarchised stereo-space,” Weisser says. “We tried to create new sound-galaxies, and only our friend Klaus Schulze has been a musician going that way.”
Software originally formed after Mergener contacted Weisser upon reading the latter’s science fiction book, SYN-CODE-7. “In that novel, I described the future of music created by computer-based laser-stimulation of protozoans,” he explains. The pair joined forces and released several records under their own names, starting with 1984’s Beam-Scape, before adopting the Software moniker, starting with 1985’s Chip-Meditation.
Software’s immense catalog likely has something any electronic music fan can appreciate; its records incorporates elements from diaphanous vaporwave, marbled electropop, and fantastical new age. Among the album highlights: the eerie, sci-fi alienation of 1985’s Electronic Universe; the sharper-edged robotic synthpop of 1989’s Chip-Meditation Part 2; and the gothic-medieval, hymn-like tint of 1995’s Heaven-To-Hell (Requiem für analoge Seelen).
Software dissolved in 1998. During its career, performing live wasn’t the duo’s “priority,” Weisser says—”We were satisfied with the unexpected great success of our music-albums, and we did not really need the applause of a live audience”—although Software did present concerts at planetariums in Bochum and Stuttgart and in art museums. A university performance was even broadcast live by the Cologne-headquartered public radio network WDR.
From an artistic standpoint, Mergener and Weisser were on the same wavelength, and had a symbiotic relationship. “Our basis is the same—[we’re] willing to combine the counterparts of emotion and ratio, of high-tech and soft touch,” Weisser says. Software, he says, is a “mixture of ideas: curiosity, high technology and feeling.” The project’s division of labor was also equitable. Mergener and other collaborators handled the musical side of things, while Weisser contributed artwork, futuristic concepts and a hunger for cutting-edge creative statements.
However, Software “has always been more than music,” Weisser stresses. “It was [fortunate] that Peter was the musician and I was the artist [experimenting] with new media, on the border between analogue and digital worlds. We combined computer-music with computer-graphic, videos, holograms, and high-tech-poetry. That is the way I work [even now]. Software is a work of art, always taking a step forward.”
Weisser continues to embrace a multi-disciplinary approach to digital media in his work. His YouTube channel features, “a selection of aesthetic proposals,” as he terms them, including intricate clips focused on combining QR codes, a favorite subject of artistic experimentation, with music, video, and poetry. This expansive worldview is very much aligned with Software’s approach and execution.
“‘Free your visions!’ has always been our message,” Weisser says. “While listening to Software’s [music], be inspired creating your own identity.”
Annie Zaleski - Bandcamp
Michael Weisser Discography Tracks
- 2 Vocals
- 14 Instruments & Performance
- 56 Writing & Arrangement
- 73 Production
- 5 Technical
- 172 Visual
- 10 Acting, Literary & Spoken
|IC 87 6012-2||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E.||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E. - Polynesia Percussion (CD, Smplr)||Innovative Communication||IC 87 6012-2||Germany||1997||Sell This Version|
|IC 87 6013-2||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E.||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E. - Geheimnisvolles Afrika / African Voices (CD, Smplr)||Innovative Communication||IC 87 6013-2||Germany||1997||Sell This Version|
|IC 87 6011-2, IC 6011-2||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E.||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E. - Urwald / Deep Forest (CD, Smplr)||Innovative Communication, Innovative Communication||IC 87 6011-2, IC 6011-2||Germany||1997||Sell This Version|
|IC 87 6014-2, 87 6014-2||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E.||Michael Weisser For G.E.N.E. - Seychelles Paradise (CD, Smplr)||Innovative Communication, Innovative Communication||IC 87 6014-2, 87 6014-2||Germany||1998||Sell This Version|