Reinhard Lakomy & Rainer Oleak - Zeiten (1985)
The first two tracks, Gleichzeit and Raumzeit, are the most abstract and atmospheric, gradually becoming more sequencer-based. Ruhzeit is a more mellow interlude; Klangzeit follows the ambient to uptempo pattern of the opening pair, and Hochzeit is an anthemic closer. As might be expected, the influence of Tangerine Dream is very much apparent, but Zeiten is in no way a ripoff - it's a very strong album in its own right.
Servi - Rückkehr Aus Ithaka (1986)
Again, the influence of Tangerine Dream is unmistakable, but the overall sound is unique enough to produce a fascinating and enjoyable album that stands up to repeated listens. By this point in the 80s of course, TD were fast losing the subtle atmospherics that Servi conjure up, especially on the slower tracks like Laistrygonen. And what really makes for Servi's USP is the use of accordion on the track Sirenen, integrating folk melodies from the Germany/Poland-straddling Lusatia region that they hailed from.
Jürgen Ecke - Sound-Synthese (1986)
Key - Key (1988)
This album though... I've probably listened to it more than any other in the box set since acquiring it. Honestly, this music could be prescribed as an antidepressant. Sure, it's mostly instrumental synth pop, including covers of Crockett's Theme and Axel F, but it's just So. Much. Fun. Like Ecke above, Frank Fehse and Andreas Fregin of Key did seem to know their way around a bit of rhythm programming and sampling, with the best uptempo tracks ageing strangely well because of this. Kein Anschluss (No connection) suggests an awareness of Kraftwerk's Electric Cafe, and album highlights Mikado and Abaca wouldn't have been entirely out of place on a compilation of rare European electro. Or am I way off with that? Don't care, got too much love for this album.
Hans-Hasso Stamer - Digital Life (1989)
this wonderful article, which reveals that Stamer subsequently became a poet and pianist.
Digital Life is pretty much exactly the album that you might imagine a windsurfing computer boffin making in 1989, with some blaring, MIDI-tastic keyboard tones. There could've been scope to enjoy this along the lines of Jürgen Ecke's album above, and the first few tracks would make pretty good video game music, but you get the idea that Stamer had a higher-minded serious album in his sights. Tackling Ravel's Bolero definitely suggests classical training, but the result doesn't match up to the warmth of the attempts of others that I've heard from the 70s, much less Isao Tomita's benchmark (interestingly, Ecke's LP also used the rhythm of the Bolero on one track). Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy Digital Life on its own terms, and it is cheesy fun to listen to today, if only somewhat amusing as opposed to the outright hilarity of the Key album.
As a bonus, here's a couple of pics of Key in all their glory. Andreas Fregin, eh? That is clearly Jeremy Beadle (that's one for UK TV viewers of my age and above) in the second picture. Bonus points for any eagle eyed tech-spotters that can work out what all their gear is in the first pic.