Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part LV: The Glimmerlight's Fletch

Michael Bundt was another of my Glimmerlicht brethren who liked to roam the streets of Düsseldorf by night, undercover.  Bundt was one of the Glimerlight's greatest investigative reporters and he was assigned to report on the humanoids who lived above our glittering crystal paradise.  He modeled his career on the famous humanoid reporter, Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher and one would often not even recognize him if one happened upon him on some rainy Düsseldorf night.

When the blue crystals began to fade, Rother and Dinger called Bundt home to the Glimmerlight and asked to take up the fight to save our electronic home.  He took on the moniker "Cosmic Kid" and created the Galaxy Maschine - the Glimmerlight's last defense - a giant escape pod to take us to the Offworld Colony when the last blue crystal faded into the night.  He documented these dramatic times on his classic 1977 album Just Landed Cosmic Kid.  Check out his ode to the Galaxy Maschine ("Galaxy Machine") here.

Rauf und runter!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part LIV: Claude Larson

Like any good synthesist from the Glimmerlight, Klaus Netzle had an alias.  Tired of his fellow androids making fun of his name, calling him all sorts of names related to chocolate bars, Klaus adopted the rather mundane moniker Claude Larson.

You see, Claude's subroutines had been programmed to make him a very sensitive Cylon - easily affected by things like verbal taunts and such.  He became something like the Glimmerlight's black sheep.  Where most of my brethren preferred to lounge around the pools in the light of the blue crystals by day, and danse in the discos by night, Claude preferred to go hiking in the mountains and the meadows above ground, amongst the humanoids - the Caucasoids and the Leprechauns who preferred an alpine trail to a synthesizer or a Light Cycle.

However, Claude, like all of my cybernetic brethren, always needed to recharge by the blue crystals.  When he returned to our synthetic paradise, he would create impressions of his travelings on his preferred synthesizer - the Farfisa Soundmaker.  In 1979, he returned and created his masterpiece long-player, Surroundings.  Click here to check out my favorite track on the LP, "Mountains & Meadows"- a soundtrack Claude composed to commemorate a hike he took one day in '79 with some Leprechauns in the Wetterstein range in Bavaria.

Immer wierder!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part LIII: Stern Combo Meißen

As the blue crystals began to fail, Klaus and the others decided it was time to leave the Glimmerlight to construct the Offworld Colony.  To do so, Klaus and Rother created Stern Combo Meißen - a group of three male and three female androids which were sent into outerspace to construct our brave new world.  We also sent along the cybernetic filmmaker Marcel Ophüls to capture this massive endeavor.  Above you can see a clip from Marcel's final documentary, In den Kosmos.  Watch in awe as Stern Combo Meißen sets forth to begin the second age of the Glimmerlight on the Offworld Colony.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part LII: Highways of the Glimmerlight

No one celebrated the Glimmerlight's road culture and the Light Cycle like the group of synthesists that styled themselves Space Art. The Glimmerlight's subterranean autobahn was called Schnellstraße (or the "Speedway" in English). and the synthetic synthesists would cruise over its grid with reckless abandon.

Space Art penned the greatest ode to the Glimmerlight's greatest road on their 1978 LP Trip in the Center Head - aptly titled "Speedway" - click on the title of this post to hear it.

Immer wieder.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part LI: The Glimmerlight's National Anthem

Word recently reached us that our brethren Kraftwerk would be teleporting down from the Offworld Colony to play "all" eight of their albums at New York's Museum of Modern Kunst (for some reason they continue to ignore their first two records and their brilliant third LP Ralf und Florian). Tickets went on sale at Wednesday at noon. Humans yelled "action stations!" and hit their laptops and other portable electronic devices. The primitive human electronic system could not handle it and crashed. Some humans even took to the antiquated device of the telephone. "What was this!?" I asked myself. "An ELO concert?"

The true synthesists, the mensche maschines who once dwelled in the Glimmerlight, simply had to download the tickets through our subroutines. Sadly, MoMA's two ticket policy also applied to those of us powered by the blue crystals. So I'll see you on Man Machine night, the magnum opus of Kraftwerk. The album that provided the Glimmerlight with its national anthem. To hear the icy national anthem of the Glimmerlight - "Die Mensche Maschine" - click on the title of this post.

I must say that I find it highly ironic that the ticket buying experience for Kraftwerk, those great paragons of technology, could result in such technical difficulties - computers freezing up from Manhattan to Berlin - humans throwing up their pocket calculators in despair, frantically reaching for their telephones - disappointed hipsters taking to the human blog Brooklyn Vegan to vent their angst. And all the while, I glided through the night on my light cycle, holding my Man Machine tickets in the air, laughing.

Rauf und runter!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part L: Beyond The Wall... Pond

Me and my brothers would often journey to Berlin, to the Wall, to look beyond the edge of the world. In the Glimmerlight, we often heard rumors of the denizens beyond the Wall. However, due to the folly of human politics, East German androids were forbidden to journey to their ancestral homeland among the blue crystals under Düsseldorf. Despite these restrictions, one time in the early-80s, we decided to go beyond the Wall to check out the greatest of the East German synthesists, the synth duo Pond.

Pond was founded by Wolfgang Fuchs and Manfred Henning in 1979 in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik. They journeyed from the hinterlands to East Berlin and soon started creating beautiful synth textures for the other cybernetic synthesists exiled beyond the Wall. When we finally found them in a cellar in East Berlin and heard them play, it was one of the highlights of my early sub-routines. We purchased a couple of their LPs and tried to smuggle them back to the Glimmerlight, but the border patrol found them in the trunk of our light cycle and confiscated them. But they couldn't take our memory chips.

By the time the Wall finally fell, the the blue crystals had dimmed and we had all departed the Glimmerlight for the Offworld Colony. These days, Manfred and Wolfgang do what most of the androids that remain among the humans do, they make music for Planetariums.

Check out one of Pond's synth masterpieces "Cassiopeia" by clicking on the title of this post. It's from their album Planetenwind. . . my copy is probably still spinning in the apartment of that former East German border guard.

Rauf und runter!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut--Part XXXXIX: The Glimmerlight's Indie Scene

No synthesist more personified the Glimmerlight's indie scene than Rüdiger Lorenz. He always wore the tightest jeans, seldom smiled, and had the DIY attitude that every droid aspired to, but never really grasped.

While his fellow synthesists were busy selling-out, signing with Sky and Brain - Rüdiger stayed in the bedroom, perfecting the synth art form as only he could. No synthesist stayed truer to the blue crystals longer than Rüdiger, and he valiantly fought the Humanoid Invasion longer than any of his brethren (i.e. well into the 80s). While the rest of us retired to our blue pools in the Offworld Colonies to start the New Age, Rüdiger remained in his bunker down below Düseldorf, cranking out his lo-fi tunes. I do believe the sickest tune in the whole Glimmerlight canon is Rüdiger's "Francis and Friends" (click on the title of this post to hear it). It tells the tale (in Glimmerlichtish so use Google Translate) of what I can only describe as a Glimmerlight "punk house" where we all lived in the summer of '79 - dancing all night and sleeping all day.

Rauf und runter!