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

blackjoy – the jekyll ep (public release, 2011)

Public Release, that low key record label quite close to RVNG INTL. reaches its third installment, and as usual without warning. The first one was some Tim Sweeney’s edits; the second by Jacques Renault, was spotted on and a secret weapon of many djs. Both with great disco reworks, especially the latter one. But it is all about Blackjoy now. You would expect some serious disco here. The answer is no. Blackjoy delivers a real scorcher on A side. ‘Secret’ is a fast paced melodic techno with soft touches of acid that easily reminds me of the best moments of Chateau Flight or I:Cube’s epic ‘Cosmic Race’. Only difference being that Blackjoy injects more punch to the beat. It is a perfect secret weapon for a late hours dancefloor.

On B side, we go slow with ‘Games’, as it has been the norm over the last three years thanks to The Revenge or Mark E flooding the market with some excellent re-edits, and many mediocre ones which are better to avoid. However, this not being an edit, it becomes a bit more original. Not as technoid as ‘Secret’, still has some beautiful synths and emotive dubbed guitar riffs that makes it a good ‘balearic’ tune. Somehow, the guitar riffs and the speed of the track bring some memories of Police’s ‘Bed’s Too Big Without You’. Maybe it is just me.

This will surely be, an unsung classic. As with any other Public Release, it is a gorgeous thick 180g picture disc vinyl with impressive artwork. They do fly these ones as they are very limited and they do not get repressed.

I will take you to the link, both for listening, and buying while they last,  just here.