Die Welt ist Klang: A Tribute to Pete Namlook (Revisited)

Recently I revisited a lossless archive I’d picked up of the 8CD box set, Die Welt ist Klang: A Tribute to Pete Namlook. (Readers may recall my introducing the set when I discovered it in January of 2015). The re-visitation was an effort to remedy my terrible neglect of the many large collections I’d acquired but never given the proper, dedicated listen that they each deserved.  

As I surveyed the list of artists who’d contributed to the project, It quickly became evident that I had done a particular disservice both to the collection and to my own ears for having passed over something so significant.


Die Welt ist Klang is a tribute to Peter Kuhlmann, aka Pete Namlook. Namlook was a prominent ambient and electronic-music producer and composer, and the founder of the German record label FAX +49-69/450464. During the span of his career, Namlook and his label release 135 wonderful albums. Namlook also famously collaborated with Klaus Schulze for the monumental 11-volume series, The Dark Side of the Moog.

After Namlook’s passing in 2012, artists from his label and his fans banded together to produce a tribute album in his memory. This included artists like Bill Laswell, Dr. Atmo (of Silence), and F.U.S.E. (an alias of Richie Hawtin), as well as ambient veterans like Spacetime Continuum, Higher Intelligence Agency, Biosphere, and Oliver Lieb.


Die Welt ist Klang is the result of their efforts.  The set comprises four discs of 47 tracks contributed by FAX +49-69/450464 alumni, and four additional CDs of 44 tracks from their fans.  About half of the tracks were never before released and several were composed specifically for the set.  Die Welt ist Klang is handsomely packaged in a custom wooden box and includes a 24-page booklet.  

The set was released by Carpe Sonum Records and distributed by EAR/Rational Music. EAR/Rational was the official North American distributor for the FAX label and Carpe Sonum was created to keep the ambient spirit alive, beginning with this wonderful tribute collection.


From their official website:

Carpe Sonum’s goal in the coming years is to make the CD (and hopefully vinyl) a cherished and valuable commodity for you in this digital age and have the way we handle music dubbed “the Carpe Sonum treatment”. In everything we do, in every detail, we think about Pete and if he would be proud of what we do as well.

There have been three runs of the tribute set produced to date.  There was an initial run of 500 copies sold via bandcamp.com followed by two smaller runs of 100 copies each. Proceeds from the sale of the release go to Namlook’s family.


I wasted not another moment’s hesitation and secured one of the remaining copies from the label for my own. Some might call it an irrational purchase, as I don’t even own a device with which to play these CDs.  But sometimes music is more than the physical object. This collection is an objet d’art – a symbol of the celebration of a lifetime of music – and a collaborative triumph between artists and their fans.  It’s precisely the sort of album I want in my library.


As of the writing of this article, EAR/Rational Music is offering the unsold copies from the third run for auction on eBay.  It is a wonderful piece of ambient history and a fitting tribute to a man who did so much for the genre.  I’m proud to have added it to my collection.

RIP, Peter Kuhlmann 25.11.1960 – 08.11.2012


NOTE: All of the images above are official photos from the Pete Namlook Tribute Bandcamp page.  Support great music and order your own copy of this box set while they’re still available!

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