Echo Location: Vic Hennegan, Tangerine Dream’s Space Child

Artists like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze  did have musical children and among them is a musician named Vic Hennegan. He makes a music born of technology and reveling in spacious rhythms and layered timbres.

(You can hear an audio version of this blog, with music.)

Vic Hennegan in Echoes LRC 2006

Vic Hennegan in Echoes LRC 2006

Vic Hennegan is an imposing figure, tall, athletically built with a dark brown complexion and a shaved head covered by a bandana.  He grew up in a black community in Philadelphia, but even as a child, his mother took him to psychedelic ballrooms like the Electric Factory and his very first concert was the Beatles in 1966 at JFK Stadium.

That might explain why Vic Hennegan had a problem connecting with black culture. He tried getting into the soul sounds that his sister and friends enjoyed.

Vic Hennegan at Echoes Living Room 2008

Vic Hennegan at Echoes Living Room 2008

Vic Hennegan: I decided, I guess I was about 12 years old, I was going to be into black music. Because you know I’m black, I should be into black music, you know, so I was watching Soul Train, I was learning how to do the Soul Train dances and I was listening to the O’Jays and everybody, because that’s where I should be right? And it just didn’t work for me.

He realized the Beatles turned him on more than the O’Jays and he started playing guitar. But his musical direction was launched when he heard the space music put out by Philadelphia radio station WXPN. He actually listened to me spinning records there in the 1970s and 80s.

Vic Hennegan: I’ve always loved electronic music, it’s, just been a part of me since I discovered in like the mid to late 70s, thanks to you. You and the shows you produced were my biggest influences. I listened to Star’s End and Diaspar and it changed my life.

You can hear that influence on his latest album, Aqua Vista. Although it’s composed on computer with virtual synthesizers, the sound is vintage space music, but updated. You can hear homages to his music roots on songs like “Seascapes.”

Vic Hennegan - Aqua Vista

Vic Hennegan - Aqua Vista

Vic Hennegan: You can definitely hear my Berlin influence coming in on that one and that was done on purpose, sort of my way of going back to my roots, you know, like Eric Clapton going back and doing a blues album, sort of like me going back to my roots and saying “Thank you guys.”

Vic Hennegan’s latest space music opus is called Aqua Vista. It’s named for the street he lives on in LA, but it takes a trip into oceanic space. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Musicaudio version

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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