harald grosskopf – re-synthesist (rvng intl 2011)

Just fresh off the press emerges this re-issue (originally from 1980) of an album that i have never heard of. Same applies to the artist himself . although i dig synths a lot, i am pretty ignorant about who are the masters and commanders in the field. only jean michel-jarre pops up. pure mainstream although not that bad. i think it is an excellent record as it is very different to anything i have been listening lately, and I always find interesting to discover new musicians who if there would have not been re-edited/re-issued, I would never come across with.

i have no affiliation with rvng intl. they just happen to release excellent records most of the time. so do not be surprised if you find out that Public Release (former post) are championed over this shores and are closely related to them.

I will let you digest their own review of this magnificent album that encompasses touches of cosmic, synths, and,… well… new age.

Get it here while it last, and in doing so you support one of the almost extinct form of capitalist trading: the local record shop.

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Synthesist is the debut album by Harald Grosskopf, the enigmatic percussionist behind Ash Ra TempelKlaus Schulze, and Cosmic Jokers. Originally released by Sky Records in 1980, RVNG Intl. celebrates the 30th year anniversary with this newly mastered and packaged reissue.

Berlin, Germany, summer of 1979, Harald Grosskopf, then 30 years old, was at a personal and creative crossroads. His girlfriend just left him, and Ashra (Manuel Göttsching’s “solo” project) was on temporary hiatus. Harald always considered himself a rhythmic accomplice to his numerous collaborators’ lead, until prompted by some fellow musician friends to pursue a singular creative vision.

Armed with a MiniMoog and Revox reel-to-reel, Grosskopf set off for the West German countryside that fall and isolated himself in a home studio for almost two months to record Synthesist. The temperamental analog synthesizer and sequencing technology created a long learning curve eventually resulting in a harmonious union of man and machine.

The human response undeniably colors the eight songs of Synthesist and aligns the album with some of the more melodic output of the Berlin School of Electronic Music. The title track and “Transcendental Overdrive” almost take on pop qualities. Harald’s live percussion opens up tracks like “So Weit, So Gut” and “Emphasis” for jammed out exploration. Where the album veers into the ambient space clusters of “B. Aldrian” or “Trauma”, it’s hard not to consider Synthesist the nexus of Krautrock, Kosmische, and New Age.

Re-Synthesist, the companion compilation to Synthesist, is an assemblage of reinterpretations of Grosskopf’s work by a new vanguard of electronic and experimental artists including Oneohtrix Point NeverBlondesArpStellar Om SourceCFCF,James Ferraro, and many others.

Although Synthesist has been unavailable on vinyl for almost three decades, it doesn’t fetch unfathomable collector fees. Selecting Synthesist as our first reissue is more about the connectivity to a new audience than the scarcity fetish for a select few. It’s about sharing Harald’s story and celebrating an album musically accomplished and compelling from start to end.

The Synthesist LP comes as a deluxe package on post-consumer recycled goods, including a unique reverse bound record jacket and full color liner notes by Harald Grosskopf in English and German. The Re-Synthesist compilation is only available with vinyl purchase, both available digitally through our usual storefront suspects.

Harald Grosskopf – Synthesist LP
01. So Weit, So Gut
02. B. Aldrian
03. Emphasis
04. Synthesist
05. 1847- Earth
06. Trauma
07. Transcendental Overdrive
08. Tai Ki

V/A – Re-Synthesist CD
01. Bronze – So Weit, So Gut
02. CFCF – B. Aldrian
03. Jar Moff – B. Aldrian
04. Arp – Emphasis
05. JD Twitch – Emphasize
06. Blondes – Synthesist
07. Snoretex – Synthesist
08. Stellar Om Source – 1847 – Earth
09. Oneohtrix Point Never – Trauma 2010
10. Keyhole Voyeur (aka James Ferraro) – WISHMASTER (Transcendental Overdrive Zone)
11. Pink Skull – Tai Ki

woolfy vs projections – absynth (permanent vacation, 2007)

here you have the perfect soundtrack for a visit around mars and other unknown desolate planets. maybe even ours. woolfy and projections created this gem in 2007. resting on a medium paced rhythm, it combines delicate synths a la jean michel jarre, heartbreaking guitar chords, a superb distortion effect reminiscent of the best border community output, and an overall moodiness enhanced by the brief lyrics used along the track. i tend to play out the other side, but this is my secret love on this truly essential piece of totally underrated black wax. it was released on permanent vacation, a solid german label with great artists on its rota.