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Synthesist is the debut album by Harald Grosskopf, the enigmatic percussionist behind Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, and Cosmic Jokers.
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.
Originally released by Sky Records in 1980, RVNG Intl.
Synthesist Harald Grosskopf
celebrates the 30th year anniversary with this newly mastered and packaged reissue.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 Mini Moog 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.So instead, RVNG presents the original album along with Re-Synthesist, a tribute paid by artists drawn primarily from the RVNG and Olde English Spelling Bee rosters, acts like Oneohtrix Point Never, James Ferraro, Optimo's JD Twitch, Stellar Om Source, ARP and Blondes.Soaring opener "So Weit So Gut" has bubbling jetstreams arc across the stereo field as the melodic line slowly takes form and the cymbals resound. Aldrian" follows and would slot in alongside side two of Bowie's Low, its evocative landscape changing its contours from Saharan sands to oasis, with chirps, calls and gurgling sounds emerging.Recorded in a friend's flat in Krefeld, Germany in the summer of 1979 with a Minimoog and a few other components, the drummer made a curious keyboard album that presaged many musical directions not only in the nascent new decade, but somehow thirty years on.The ambitious and oddball RVNG imprint originally tracked down Grosskopf to have him participate as part of their FRKWYS series (which to date has paired mutant musicmakers like Excepter to Foetus's JG Thirwell and Psychic Ills to Juan Atkins), only to have there not be an exact fit.Curious New Yorkers can catch Grosskopf performing Edwin Eugene Aldrin, a.k.a.Buzz, the second astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission to sink his feet in moon soil on July 19, 1969.LP is actually haunted by the ghost of Grosskopf’s estranged girlfriend and driven by the drummer’s newfound love of electronic music.That love had a price, however: learning to deal with temperamental equipment and a rudimentary sequencer while in the self-imposed isolation of a friend’s apartment in Krefeld, a German city just a few miles west of the River Rhine.