Friday, October 30, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXXI: Last Glimmers of the Glimmerlight

No empire ever lasts in perpetuity, and it was the same for the glimmerlight. The next couple posts will focus on the final days of the glimmerlight, and the synthesists of the time. While I remember the musik of the later years fondly, I can't help but shed a few tears for the passing of that deep blue era, when we rode on our light cycles, the wind blowing in our hair, and jogged between the jagged crystals beneath Düsseldorf, near the Ash Ra Temple.

As the glimmerlight drew to a close, new androids were still being constructed. One such, was the musical group Intence. Like many of our young synthesists of the time, they were insantly signed to Hamburg's Sky Records: The Official Label of the glimmerlight.

Intence was comprised of brothers Rüdiger and Clemens Glaser, and Helmut Brunner. Little did we know at the time that these three, along with synthesists who came after them, portended the end of the glimmerlight. Why, you ask? Because they were powered by the yellow crystals, rather than the blue, like Harald, Klaus, Flammende Herzen, and the rest of us.

Click of the title of this post to hear Intence's ode to the yellow crystals, "Yellow Below." It's from their album Triade. To my ears, it is reminiscent of Kraftwerk's "Computer Liebe," but you be the judge.

Also, to my knowledge, neither this song nor any other song by Intence has EVER been posted to the internets in Mp3 form. If there is enough demand, I may post the whole album (my bröselmaschine is working again). I'm curious as to why these three fellows don't get mentioned in the same breath as such heavyweights as Deutsche Wertarbeit and Wolfgang Riechmann! Their music is just as cold and robotic. Maybe it's because they heralded the end of an era, or the beginning of a new one.

This has all happened before, will it happen again?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXX: The First Synth Duo

While the true origin of the Moon Birds is unknown, everyone in the glimmerlight considered them to be the original, first synth duo; the progenitors of such acts as Yaz, OMD, and Soft Cell. 

As a matter of fact, there was a time in the early-80s when young synthesists could not even become a synth duo unless they passed the Moon Bird "test." The test involved walking under the stern gaze of the Moon Birds. If you were zapped by their Five Mega-Watt laser eyes, you were incinerated and failed the test. However, if you made it through without feeling the lasers' scorching glare, you passed the test and received your Official Synth Duo Certificate, signed by each of the Moon Birds.

Just ask Erasure or The Pet Shop Boys and they'll tell you about their harrowing journey deep into the glimmerlight to face the Moon Birds' test. They all hail the Moon Birds as the Godfathers of Synth-Duoism, and hang their certificates on their bedroom walls with pride. 

Check out some of that Moon Bird five mega-watt magic by clicking on the title of this post. 

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXIX: Klaus Dinger und Richard Simmons

At the end of the '70s, Klaus Dinger tired of making music in groups. He longed to go solo, and try new things. He decided to take a trip out of the glimmerlight and see the world beyond our pale blue borders.

Klaus travelled the world for 6 months, from Finland to Hollywood and back again. Upon his return he was all amped up. Inspired by a television program he had seen, The Richard Simmons Show, Klaus wanted to bring personal fitness to all the androids in the glimmerlight. He took himself into his workroom, modified many of his subroutines and personal apparatus, and emerged as Néondian, the glimmerlight's own fitness guru. Néondian led us in all sorts of movements and exercises that we all found quite foreign. We would rather have been drinking the blue liquid from our frisbees, taking a resurrection bath, or riding around in our light cycles.

However, the music he made for his exercise sessions was quite profound, and many of us showed up to do the crunches just so we could hear his new tunes. Click on the title of this post to hear "Mon Amour" -- one of my favorite Dinger tracks, it played during the opening credits of The Néondian Exercise Hour. 

Remember to do your stretches before listening to this track, because it will make you move.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXVIII: Ralf und Florian's Secret Sister

Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider were constructed in a factory deep within La Düsseldorf's glimmerlight one frigid February evening. They went on to form one of the most well known musical organizations in android history: Kraftwerk.

The secret that many do not know is that the same fateful evening, another synthesist was constructed. She was manufactured to roam the glimmerlight with her brothers Ralf und Florian. But, before she could actualize her destiny, she was kidnapped by Klaus Schulze who had his own designs for her. 

Her name was Ami Marie, and had she remained with Ralf und Florian, her name would be well known to all of you. However, that was not in her cards. Luckily for us, she did utilize her musical subroutines, creating one of the classic LPs of the glimmerlight era: Verrückt Nach Glück. On this LP, you can hear her common heritage with Ralf und Florian, and one can only imagine what sort of magic all three would have created together. Check out one of the LP's highlights by clicking on the title of this post.

Ami, if you're out there, Ralf und Florian are still looking for you, and we all hope you reunite one day as the crystals intended.

Rauf und runter!

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXVII: Frédéric Mercier is Coming!

As we have noted in the past, there were not too many "real" droids living beyond the pale of the glimmerlight, just wannabes who painted their skin in metallic shade and moved like old men of yore (i.e. Gary Numan). However, there were a few synthesists beyond the German borders who had achieved true synthesis with their mechanized parts; one such was Frédéric Mercier. 

For the first couple of weeks we actually thought this Frenchman was German, manufactured deep within the glimmerlight's crystals, close to Bernd Scholl's mechanical womb at the Ash Ra Temple. But no, he was basically our Alsatian cousin. and we loved him. Just listen to any of his LPs to find out why. No non-German got us moving like Mercier. 

As some of you may know, there will be a reunion in the glimmerlight soon, and Mercier will be there. He penned an anthem for the festivities (to get everyone in the "Spirit") which you can hear by clicking on the title of this post.

Immer wieder!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXVI: Das Geheime Leben

This week we are examining the secret lives of the glimmerlight. I'm hesitant to jump on the whole "secret life of" bandwagon because I think it's such bullsh•t; the secret life of bees, the secret life of lobster, give me a break. But really though, I'm just translating the title of my brother Reinhard Lakomy's LP. Reinhard was one of the hardest androids in the glimmerlight. Made out of pure Titanium alloy, he could stop a Tyndall moving at full speed. He also made glittering musik that moved us all as we sipped blue water by the deep blue pools.

Check out his track "Begierde Und Hoffnung" by clicking on the title of this post.

So say we all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXV: More Robotic Gender Bending

As we have seen so far in our examination of the glimmerlight and all who dwelled there, many of my cybernetic brethren liked to bend the rules of physics and nature. Von Deyen & Schütz melded their subroutines to become one, Rother created the Dynamotron, and who can forget Baumann's transformation into an Elvish warlord.

However, the synthesists liked nothing better than playing with gender roles. You may recall Klaus' brother Thomas! Anyway, another such gender bender was Clara Mondshine (aka Walter Bachauer). He spent his days as Walter, zooming around the glimmerlight in his Lightcycle, afterwards transforming into Clara at night, composing sweet synthesist sounds and bathing in all sorts of fragrant oils in her Cylon resurrection bath.

Check out his/her track "Memorymetropolis" by clicking on the title of this post.

Rauf und runter!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXIV: Highway to Heaven

The Von Deyen & Schütz juggernaut was something to behold! Once they fully melded they soared away from the glimmerlight and wreaked havoc on the universe; conquering offworld-colonies right and left with their David Hasselhoff-ian good looks and Oberheim magic. 

Indeed, many wonder why David Hasselhoff is so popular in Germany, they need look no further than the glimmerlight's totalitarian regime of the Von Deyen/Schütz synthesis/synthesists. They were a strange combination of Michael Landon Highway to Heaven otherworldliness traveling at the speed of a Baywatch lifeguard to the rescue through the universe. And all the droids loved their every move. Check out their track "Speed For You" by clicking on the title of this post. Another one of their masterful sonic concoctions.