Friday, June 19, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XIV: The Ivory Tower

Then there were those days when we jumped on our Luck Dragons, departed the glimmerlight, and headed south to the Ivory Tower, the home of Giorgio Moroder. 

Giorgio lived at the pinnacle of the tower, his epic Moustache dripping sweat as pounded away on his Oberheim Four-Voice. We'd sit at his feet, basking in the glow of his other-worldly sounds, while the Luck Dragons would hunt for squirrels in the forest below. He'd give us cassettes of his newest compositions so we could listen to them on our Walkmans during the long flight home.

One Giorgio's best tracks was an ode to his mystic palace, "The Ivory Tower." Click on the title of this post, and hear what we heard in our headphones, as we flew, via The Southern Oracle, back to the glimmerlight.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XIII: The Durutti Column

Vini Reilly also had a thing for the glimmerlight. As a teenager he ran away from Manchester for a time to dwell among the androids. While he could never be one of us (not German), he spent the rest of his life building a monument to Schulze, Grosskopf, Rother & Roedelius. He called it-- The Durutti Column. 

Vini has spent the last 30 years trying to perfect this memorial to the glimmerlight, and those who dwelled in its blue cadences. The Durutti Column, this monument to machines, has been ignored far too long. I feel the need to give a shout out to its latest development, a sonic masterpiece called Love in the Time of Recession; just released. Why these sounds aren't garnering massive media coverage (other than mine) borders on criminal neglect.

I feel duty bound to hold up he who has held me and my cybernetic brethren up for so long!

Praise The Durutti Column! Praise thy hat!

Check out one of Recession's sickest tracks by clicking on the title of this post. And support Vini and his creation by checking out the rest of the Column's oeuvre.

Droids in the Glimmerlight

Occasionally foreigners would join us in the glimmerlight, Bowie, Eno & Iggy being some of our more well known guests. They would plug in, and we would take it from there. What many boxers may not know is that we had some French guests in the heyday as well; a sweet group of guys who loved chocolate and wanted to be machines. They called themselves Droids, and in '78, on Riechmann's offworld colony, they made an album called Star Peace

The album has some sick Oberheim, and consistently wunderbar songs. It really brings it all back home. Check out my favorite track, "(Do You Have) The Force -- Part I"  by clicking on the title of this post.

Do you have the force?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XII: The Unicorn's Prophecy

... And then there were those rare weekends when we left the glimmerlights and headed for the country, the Black Forest to be specific. Roedelius and Rother would head off to Forst with Moebius, but the rest of us would journey deep into the forest's dark heart.

One weekend, late in the Spring of '76, Peter Baumann decided to stay behind with the Elves. He had fallen in love with one in particular, Silvara. While she knew he was an android, and that his servosytem would corrode long before she entered the Halls of Mandos, she fell in love with him as well. Indeed, the Unicorn's prophecy had told of the union of an Elven woman and synthetic man. So, Peter lived out his days in the trees with his Elven bride and his Oberheim Matrix-12. We sadly left him behind, but he would bring us joy every couple of years or so by releasing his synthesist sounds. 

Romance '76 is the soundtrack to his love affair. More "earthy" than some of the sounds abounding in the glimmerlight, but no less enchanting. Click on the title of this post to hear one of my favorite tracks.

We visited Peter late in '76 and were shocked by his transformation. His severe, cybernetic appearance had softened, his metallic appearance had taken on a more golden, less silvery, hue. His once sharply styled euro-hair had become flowing locks, that flew behind him as he ran though the forest with his loyal Brownies. He runs in the Black Forest still, our android cousin amongst the Elves, singing in the Elven tongue -- "Cormamin lindua ele lle!"

On a side note, in the early-80s Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman would loosely base the Dragonlance character Gilthanas on Peter Baumann.