Dieter Feichtner's instrumentarium was subjected to technological change, as is everything within the sphere of musical electronics.
When I first met Dieter at the beginning of the '70s, his equipment consisted of a MINIMOOG, an old FARFISA organ, a MARSHALL box with some kind of guitar amplifier, a few marginal effect devices, as well as two echo devices with audiotape loops.
He soon added a small, compact EMS Synthi AKS (with a monophonic sequencer), which he got to know from John Surman and Stu Martin.
The FARFISA was eventually replaced by a POLYMOOG, which couldn't keep pace with the quality and performance of the legendary MINIMOOG.(Dieter also constantly messed around with the cheap consumer model of the instrument).
In this configuration, his musical evolvement had reached a natural limit: he had to "race" against the self-created sequences; as a musician he had to play to machine-generated repetitions that didn't react at all to his playing. He could do that like no other (and the numerous live recordings are astounding proof of this) – yet he wasn't satisfied with it in the long run.
The significant turnabout came when the then-young technician Georg Danczul, nicknamed "The Engineer", built an analogue network out of the cheapest components, which allowed Dieter to connect all of his instruments together. Now it was possible for him to control the other synthesizer through the sequences, and what he played would, in turn, affect the progression of the sequences. His instrumentarium rose from being a collection of disparate instruments to the rank of an organum: his "spaceship," as he had sometimes called it.
Around this time he purchased a big Mercedes bus to use as a caravan and Mario Rechtern (a musician, painter and trained stage designer) fitted Dieter's complete instrumentarium so skillfully into the bus that he could quickly set everything up and begin playing anywhere his bus could drive to. The speakers were integrated into the rear door panel, the pre-cabled synthesizer could be pulled out on tracks, and an own generator provided the electrical power supply. After a guest performance at the Paris Opera (together with John Surman, Barre Phillips and Stu Martin), he spent a year in the French Alps playing for himself, for God, and for the animals of the forest.
Serving him as speakers were a MARSHALL and an ORANGE box (two rock music legends). He temporarily used two big TANNOYs, which were fashionable among musicians at that time. At the beginning of the '90s, someone in Salzburg finally built him a PA that met his expectations and he used it everywhere from then on.
Dieter was never really satisfied with the POLYMOOG, the only polyphonic keyboard in his ensemble, so he was always looking for a replacement. For a short time he used a YAMAHA DX7, a ROLAND D50, and, finally, a NORD LEAD, as well as an e-piano.
All of these instruments, however, couldn't fit into the network concept of his "spaceship," and the fully digital NORD, his "Swedish Girl," forcibly brought him back to where he had begun. He once again had to race against his own sequences.
The final, unreleased direct recordings from 1997 are a perpetual search; a tragic document of failure caused by the involuntary return to old structures which his musical spirit had long grown out of. (He didn't have his POLYMOOG anymore at this point. It fell into the wrong hands while being "serviced" and has been missing ever since).
Dieter hardly played synthesizer at all anymore, but he did play even more piano (which had always been his great love) - alone, with friends and in a group with young musicians, the "Laszlo Steinbutt Quartet," which was named after his idiosyncratic pseudonym.