I know I just posted about the Knife, but I was inspired to post about them again, this time talking about them along with Mr. Stardust.
Now, I am pretty surprised that David Bowie hasn't been mentioned on this site before. I love the guy, especially the Berlin stuff. One of the great parts about the Berlin era of Bowie were the fantastic instrumentals that he and sometimes (but not always) Brian Eno would make.
Warszawa - David Bowie
Appearing on the album Low, this is one of my favorite instrumentals ever. I guess it's not entirely instrumental since Bowie chants some gibberish (to GREAT effect) towards the end of the song. This song was the only song on the album that is credited to both Bowie and Eno, and it has Eno's touch all over it. The song reveals itself slowly, building to as good a climax as music can offer. Also, for a song made almost primarily from synthesizers that came out in the '70s, it hasn't aged a bit.
Sense of Doubt - David Bowie
The album "Heroes" was released after Low and contains this song. I have always taken "Heroes" to be the better album. The reason for this is that both albums second side's are all instrumentals, and I think "Heroes" instrumentals form a better whole than do Low's. "Sense of Doubt" is scarce, barely there if you think about it. But no instrumental song has ever given me a better picture in my head based on nothing but the atmosphere of the song. The song is based around bright, almost uplifting synth chords that get higher as the song goes on, that are answered right away by the ominous, descending piano line. The song is a struggle between the two instruments. I really could write another 3 pages about this song, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions from it, since that is probably the intention anyways.
Behind the Bushes - The Knife
The reason I was thinking about Bowie instrumentals was this song by the Knife. The song clearly has influences in the Berlin era Bowie and Eno stuff (as I easily could have compared it to half of the stuff of Eno's album Another Green World). The beat is minimal and industrial sounding, and I wonder if this song wouldn't be even better without it. But the synths sound ALOT like the synths in "Warszawa". This song on it's own is fantastic. As the last full track on the album Deep Cuts, it truly leaves the album with the correct feel to it (actual last track on the album, minute-long throwaway "Hangin' Out", really could have been left off).