Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist

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SynthesiståÊis the debut album byåÊHarald Grosskopf, the enigmatic percussionist behindåÊAsh Ra Tempel,åÊKlaus Schulze, andåÊCosmic Jokers. Originally released byåÊSky RecordsåÊin 1980, RVNG Intl. celebrates the 30th year anniversary with this newly mastered and packaged reissue.

Berlin, Germany, summer of 1979, Harald Grosskopf, then 30 years old, was at a personal and creative crossroads. His girlfriend just left him, andåÊAshraåÊ(Manuel G̦ttsching‰۪så?ÛÏsolo‰۝ project) was on temporary hiatus. Harald always considered himself a rhythmic accomplice to his numerous collaborators‰۪ lead, until prompted by some fellow musician friends to pursue a singular creative vision.

Armed with a MiniMoog and Revox reel-to-reel, Grosskopf set off for the West German countryside that fall and isolated himself in a home studio for almost two months to recordåÊSynthesist. The temperamental analog synthesizer and sequencing technology created a long learning curve eventually resulting in a harmonious union of man and machine.

The human response undeniably colors the eight songs ofåÊSynthesiståÊand aligns the album with some of the more melodic output of theåÊBerlin School of Electronic Music. The title track and ‰ÛÏTranscendental Overdrive‰۝ almost take on pop qualities. Harald‰۪s live percussion opens up tracks like ‰ÛÏSo Weit, So Gut‰۝ and ‰ÛÏEmphasis‰۝ for jammed out exploration. Where the album veers into the ambient space clusters of ‰ÛÏB. Aldrian‰۝ or ‰ÛÏTrauma‰۝, it‰۪s hard not to consider Synthesist the nexus of Krautrock, Kosmische, and New Age.

Re-Synthesist, the companion compilation toåÊSynthesist, is an assemblage of reinterpretations of Grosskopf‰۪s work by a new vanguard of electronic and experimental artists includingåÊOneohtrix Point Never,åÊBlondes,åÊArp,åÊStellar Om Source,åÊCFCF,James Ferraro, and many others.

AlthoughåÊSynthesiståÊhas been unavailable on vinyl for almost three decades, it doesn‰۪t fetch unfathomable collector fees. SelectingåÊSynthesiståÊas our first reissue is more about the connectivity to a new audience than the scarcity fetish for a select few. It‰۪s about sharing Harald‰۪s story and celebrating an album musically accomplished and compelling from start to end.