Sunday, March 8, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part III: Synthesist

By the late 70s, many in our circle of friends actually believed Harald Grosskopf was an android. At that juncture, this Krautrock veteran had been a member of Ash Ra Tempel, The Cosmic Jokers and Wallenstein. He'd also played with Klaus Schulze, and some say their late night sessions making music machines led them to attempt mechanizing themselves.

Either way, by 1979, Harald's skin had taken on a metallic hue, his eyes sparkled like glittery diamonds, and his voice sounded like something out of an 8-bit Sega game. He'd also shifted from being mainly a drummer, to playing the synthesizer. Indeed, rumors abounded that he'd programmed himself to be a walking, talking, synthesist. 

During this transmigration of Harald Grosskopf, he/it also created one of the most stellar albums in the galaxy: fittingly titled Synthesist. Released on Sky Records, this LP is full of the warmest robot sounds around. Indeed, Vangelis took notice and used many of Grosskopf's themes for his Blade Runner soundtrack. Track 2, "B.Aldrian" sounds as if it had a significant influence on Vangelis' score.

But my favorite track on the album would have to be the 3rd, "Emphasis." Check it out by clicking on the title of this post. 

As for The Synthesist, he's still out there making music. Word has it he's just returned from his offworld colony to tour Japan with a reformed Ash Ra Tempel. Like many of his colleagues, Harald is big in Japan.

Hagel aus der welt kolonie!

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