Monday, August 24, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XXIII: How New Age Killed the Glimmerlight

The onslaught of New Age caught us all by surprise. Imagine, The Nothing which destroyed fantasia despite Atreyu's best efforts. Well, they had told us this had all happened before, and that it would all happen again, but we didn't believe them. We lounged by the deep blue pools in the glimmerlight, or drove our Light Cycles around on lazy Sunday afternoons, never knowing the darkness that was coming.

When, in the mid-80s, Sky Records began to advertise our musik as New Age, we knew this was the beginning of the end. Android synthesists were actually passing the Voight-Kampff test, leaving the glimmerlight, and touring with Yanni! Former replicants such as Ralf Tohde, Bernd Scholl and, to our great dismay, Dieter Schütz, were leaving us. The musik was still ghostly, mechanized, and blue, but it was packaged in a manner that we knew would dry up all the electric streams within the decade.

No one grieved the destruction more than Roedelius. He brought his synth down to the river and wrote the great lament of the glimmerlight, "Schöner Abend." This track reflected on the evening of the glimmerlight; the beautiful evening.

Soon, we would all depart for Silberland, where we would recreate the glimmerlight with the aid of Wolfgang's ghost. But Roedelius' melody is a testament to those Düsseldorf nights. Check it out by clicking on the title of this post.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XXII: Schulze Scores a Porno!

Klaus was always trying to get into film musik. He got his chance in '74 when he was approached to create the soundtrack for the android film, Blackdance. Known throughout the glimmerlight as the first porn-film made by robots.

Check out one of the LPs highlights, "Some Velvet Phasing", by clicking on the title of this post.

Klaus would go on to score many more films, and make many more albums, but this one has a special place in our memory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eberhard und Die Polizei

As you can see from this photo I took back in the glimmerlight, Eberhard Schoener was one of the more serious synthetic synthesists. As such, he adored the dour melodies of British rockers, The Police. Indeed, Eberhard thought of himself as a kind of German King of Pain. He often sent coded messages in bottles across the neon blue pools of our ancestral homeland. Furthermore, Eberhard immersed himself in Jungian concepts such a synchronicity.

Little did Eberhard know that, Andy Summers, Stuart Copeland and Sting were also influenced by his early recording Meditation. Hence, it was to Eberhard's great surprise and delight when the three lads showed up in the glimmerlight in '77 to petition Eberhard to make a record. They ended up making a few, including '77's Trance-Formation and '81's Video Magic. The glimmerlight had never rocked so hard, and many of us were quite disturbed by all the commotion. Was Eberhard drifting too far toward the Progbarian way of life? Would he have to be expelled from from the blue crystal spires deep in the heart of Düsseldorf?

But Eberhard was out brother, and ultimately the council voted to allow him to remain amongst his android brethren despite his dalliances with those who pass the Voight-Kampff beyond the blue event horizon. Check out some "Video-MAgic" by clicking on the title of this post.

Talk 'hard!

The Adventures of Moebius -- Part II: The Hopeless Love of Moebius and Birgit

Moebius soon grew weary of the Rasta lifestyle, and was soon searching for new avenues to express himself. So Moebius was very pleased when German film director Karsten Wichniarz asked him to score the soundtrack to his 1986 film Blue Moon.

Moebius was also secretly happy because Blue Moon starred Birgit Anders, whom he had adored from afar for quite some time. Sadly, Birgit did not like "Toasters", as she derogatively referred to those of us who dwelt in the glimmerlight.

Although he was crushed by her rejection, Moebius completed the Blue Moon soundtrack. It was a skronk masterpiece, and we all loved it. Check out one of the skronkiest tunes by clicking on the title of this post.

As a sad epilogue, Birgit took the Voight-Kampff test many years later and it was determined that she herself was an android. Once she learned this, she always regretted rejecting Moebius. But, by that time he had moved on to an off-world colony to make sonic magic with his synths and crystals.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Adventures of Moebius -- Part I: Rasta Android

As the 70s wore down, Moebius tired of the glimmerlight. As a member of both Cluster and Harmonia, he had helped vanquish the evil hippie progbarian hordes who tried to conquer the glimmerlight again and again in the 70s.

However, as the 70s turned to the 80s, Moebius longed for a more sedate lifestyle. He was tired of being a super-hero. So he called up Roedelius, quit Cluster, and went for a trip to Jamaica. There, he smoked some bomb ganj' and met a bunch of reggae musicians. Moebius immersed himself in Rasta culture and music. 

When he returned to the glimmerlight, Moebius called up fellow android Conny Plank and asked him if he wanted to make a reggae record. Conny agreed, and thus was born android reggae, and a new dynamic duo that would protect us from the long-hairs; they called it Rastakraut Pasta. As for the musik, the rest of us in the glimmerlight didn't know what to think. Where was the motorik beat? How could we dance to these skronky rhythms? Eventually we accessed some of Moebius' sub-protocols and learned how to dance to this strange new music, and we were happier for it in the long run. Check out some sweet android Rasta magic by clicking on the title of this post. Also, stay tuned for more Moebius adventures!

Rauf und runter!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XXI: Zabba Lindner

Rother and (especially) Dinger were always making fun of Adelbert because he couldn't capture that motorik beat. As a disciple of Schulze, Adelbert favored, long, drawn out drones with assorted bleeps, created by his Arp Odyssey and Farfisa Organ VIP 233. 

However, as time wore on, Adelbert grew weary of Rother and Dinger's cruel barbs. He built a timemaschine to go back into Germany's Teutonic past where he recruited Wolfgang Zabba Lindner, a military drummer, from the Prussian regime.

Adelbert brought Zabba back to the glimmerlight and they made 1980's Atmosphere LP. Finally, on the track "Timemachine", Adelbert, with Zabba's aid, was able to capture that elusive motorik sound. Hear it by clicking on the title of this post. In triumph, Adelbert brought a test pressing of "Timemachine" over to Rother and Dinger's crystal spire. They were impressed, but they didn't let Adelbert know this. To this day, Rother and Dinger tell Adelbert he's got no sense of rhythm. And Adelbert, sadly, has abandoned the motorik sound. But, for that brief, glorious moment in time, Adelbert and Zabba rocked the glimmerlight.

Immer wieder!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XX: Studium an Der Ash Ra Tempel

When Bernd arrived amongst us, he told tales of the mystic Ash Ra Tempel, far in the recesses of the glimmerlight, near its mystic core. There, he studied under the tutelage of Manuel Göttsching, another character from our makers' bedtime fairy-tales. 

Supposedly the original Ash Ra Tempel was on the colony of Kobol, built by the Centurions at the dawn of the glimmerlight. Göttsching travelled to Earth from Kobol as an emissary, to found a cybernetic race of synthesists here on our planet. He brought the crystals from distant Kobol, through the Sunrain to Earth, to the area now known as Germany. There, he constructed a replica of the Ash Ra Tempel at the glimmerlight's heart, and the first factories that churned out krautrock's greatest heroes.

When Bernd emerged from the crystal core, he came equipped with 8-Tracks that bore sonic messages from our distant forefather. One track I remember clearly, was an ode to his journey through the Sunrain. You can hear it by clicking on the title of this post. 

Rauf und runter!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XIX: Das Tief Mysterien von Bernd Scholl

Perhaps no synthesist dwelt deeper in the glimmerlight than Bernd Scholl, where he weaved tales of fantasy amongst the ancient crystals of our makers.

For quite a while, we all thought Bernd was just a myth. His was the tale told to young androids before they went to sleep; the benevolent cyborg who would protect us as we dreamt of electric sheep.

Of course, Schulze claimed he'd actually met Bernd. But, by that time, we'd grown weary of his tall tales of mystic orgies in the crystal fields. 

Turns out we were mistaken. I still remember the first time I heard Bernd Scholl's Tales of Fantasy beaming from the deep recesses of the glimmerlight. We sat in awed silence by the blue pools. Check out the title track by clicking on the title of this post.

Also sagen wir alle!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part XVIII: Tyndall

In the late 70s, West Berlin had a major transit problem. The city enlisted my synthesist brethren to construct a modern transit system that could transport the people to and fro. 

The first passenger car to emerge from the glimmerlight was called the Tyndall. It rode through the Berlin skies like a flaming light. Like all of us, it was a thinking maschine. Like the cars and automobiles of PKD, it could converse with its passengers, sometimes reprimanding them if they did not pay their fares.

This train could also make some sweet music. My favorite Tyndall record was Reflexionen. Chock full of amazing songs, including an ode to the West Berlin transit system of which it was an integral part, called "Transit West Berlin." Check it out by clicking on the title of this post.

Immer wieder! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Die Klapper-Schlange

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, we had many guests in the glimmerlight; non-android life forms who'd visit us to glean our ways. They hoped that some of the magic would wear off on them, as if they were bathing in a Cylon resurrection bath.

One such guest was American movie-maker/composer John Carpenter. In '76, he visited with his bodyguard Die Klapper-Schlange. We all thought Klapper-Schlange was the toughest thing to hit the glimmerlight since Moebius. He'd lost an eye battling the Hydrogen Breathers in the outer-colonies, carried a big gun, and said vaguely Amerikansk things like, "Who's the Duke?"

We were all very sad when John and Klapper-Schlange left. However, they had to save the president. They did send us some sweet synthesist sounds that we enjoyed deep in the glimmerlight. Check out "The Duke Arrives/Barricade" by clicking on the title of this post.

Rauf und runter!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dynamotron: Android Pain Medicine, or The Missing Defender of The Universe?

As the 80s wore on, Rother visited us in the glimmerlight less and less. He spent more time on Glitzerglanz with his maschines. He began to abandon his analog synths, becoming more digital in the process. This gave his old android synthesist creations from the glimmerlight great pain, so Rother attempted to create a kind of android pain medicine. He called it "Dynamotron" (from the album Lust), and you can hear it by clicking on the title of this post.

We heard "Dynamotron" beamed down  to us via Rother's bröselmaschine. We never knew if it was some new cybernetic creation that would defend our universe from the hydrogen breathing races, or if it was, indeed, simply a pain medication for Rother's army of mechanized synthesists, depressed over his digital excursions.

Either way, these were some of the last sweet sounds he created, before we lost all contact.