Tangerine Dream, keyboardist and composer Peter Baumann was born in Berlin on January 29, 1953. A classically trained performer, he formed his first rock band at age 14, appearing in a series of short-lived groups before joining Tangerine Dream in 1971. With only a few temporary breaks, Baumann remained with the project for seven years, during that time greatly expanding the parameters of electronic music through his contributions to landmark records including Zeit, Atem, and Phaedra. Although he left Tangerine Dream in 1977, Baumann mounted a solo career a year earlier with the release of Romance '76, which heralded a move toward electronic pop structures. Baumann produced Cluster's 1979 album Grosses Wasser, as well as solo work by the duo's Hans-Joachim Roedelius.
Trans-Harmonic Nights, Baumann relocated from Germany to New York City and began work on 1981's Repeat Repeat, his most club-oriented effort to date. In 1982, Baumann collaborated with Conrad Schnitzler and his son Gregor Schnitzler for a new wave side project called Berlin Express, who released a single titled "The Russians Are Coming." Upon completing 1983's more pop-focused Strangers in the Night, Baumann formed his own label, Private Music, which later emerged as a major new age outlet thanks to signings including Yanni, John Tesh, and Shadowfax. The label consumed much of his energy for the remainder of the decade, but in 1990 Baumann appeared poised to return to performing as a member of Blue Room alongside Paul Haslinger and John Baxter. However, the group's planned debut was scrapped two years later. A disheartened Baumann eventually sold his interests in Private Music and retired from the music business. He later moved to San Francisco, and in 2009 he established the Baumann Foundation, an organization that focuses on the nature of awareness in relation to human health and well-being.
Baumann got the urge to began creating music again. He set up a recording studio in his basement in order to work on new music, and he flew to Austria to meet up with his former bandmate, Tangerine Dream founder Edgar Froese, with the intention of a renewed collaboration. Unfortunately, Froese passed away shortly afterwards, but Baumann worked with the remaining lineup of Tangerine Dream during the year. Baumann made his return to the music world with his first solo album since 1983, Machines of Desire, which was issued by Bureau B in 2016.