Already an obscure record when it was initially released in 1980, Harald Grosskopf's Synthesist has become something of a cult item, the kind of album that inspires devotion in aficionados of early electronica and German music. Grosskopf himself has kept steadily busy as a solo musician and session drummer since the late '60s, being associated with early lineups of the Scorpions and Wallenstein and working with Lilli Berlin and Cosmic Jokers, among many others. But despite his long underground career, his debut solo Synthesist may ultimately stand as his defining work and as a key representation of the path of electronic music.
A superb combination at this live event, held 1991 in Cologne. The two musicians joined their forces to create an outstanding work of Berlin School / rhythm and drum music. 3 long pieces show a good expresion of the evening. Overall, a synth album with plenty of live atmosphere, an attractive and unusual emphasis on live drums, and involving variations from abstract to highly integrated sounds.
Harald Grosskopf was the first drummer and percussionist in the world of electronic music to perform with sequencers. First with Manuel Goettsching's cult space rock band Ashra in the seventies, also drumming for the speed symphonic band Wallenstein and also on Klaus Schulze's classic analog synth albums. He then released seven solo albums. Published on legendary Sky records, "Synthesist" (1980) and "Oceanheart" (1985) figure at the top. In the 90s he started the project Sunya Beat with Axel Heilhecker. He also collaborated with Steve Baltes (computer, keys) for numerous works (N-Tribe …)
This is Roland Grapow's first solo album outside the ranks of his band Helloween. For this album he is joined by fellow Helloween band members Uli Kusch and Markus Grosskopf as well as keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg from Axel Rudi Pell fame. The album while not dissimilar to Helloween's work is in more of a traditional neo-classical vein, and carries a strong Malmsteen vibe with it.
Essential: A masterpiece of progressive rock music.
One of Germany's longer lasting bands had first started as Blitzkrieg (until they found out a British band used the name as well) and changed their name to Wallenstein and kept their former name for the album, gracing it with a war-themed gatefold cover. Produced by the unavoidable Dieter Dierks and released on the ultra collectible Pilz label in early 72, this debut album is stunning effort that transformed the 200 MPH speed notion into music. Keyboardist Jurgen Dollasse's very international group comprised of a Dutch bassist Berkers, an American guitarist Barone and fellow German drummer Grosskopf (big head), but clearly jurgen is the star of the show with his battery of keys, mainly piano, but harpsichord and mellotron, but surprisingly no organ.
Bernd Kistenmacher is a German producer and musician specialised in spherical "kosmische" synthscapes. He started his career in the 80's with a handful of sonic, epic synthesized electronic efforts taking inspiration from Klaus Schulze and the Berlin electronic school. His musical releases deliver complex, achieved floating dreamy-like melodies floating throw deep cerebral spaces. Published in 1987, "Wake up in the sun" can be considered among his classic albums. He also collaborated with the drummer and synthesist Harald Grosskopf (Wallenstein, Klaus Schulze, The Cosmic Jockers…) for the long piece "Stadtgarten Live". In 1988 Bernd created "Musique Intemporelle" - a label, which, although didn't last long, managed to gain a cult status among EM connoisseurs.
In 2010 I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps for the first time and filmed the visit. I knew many of my relatives had been killed there. Incredibly, that year I also found over 250 documents from Poland and Leipzig, documenting the fate of seven Morawski family members. In 2012, I revisited the camps again with my friend Harald Grosskopf, with whom I had made the documentary German Sons. The two visits triggered an ongoing personal investigation into the matrix of Holocaust Restitution, with the Morawskis, my murdered family, as a portal into the shocking world of Nazi barbarism and looting.
Mora is the son of a German Jewish man who joined the French Resistance. Grosskopf is the son of a Nazi Party member who joined the Wehrmacht. They become good friends and reconcile their opposite family histories.
Sunya Beat (1998). Axel Manrico Heilhecker meets Harald Grosskopf, who is searchin for a producer, to set up a Solo-drum recording with him. Axel just finished recordings with Samson Gassama, a Djembe player from Gambia, and encourages Harald in developing such a recording based on acoustic ethno drums. During the production Harald asks Axel to put some of his Guitar playing to his drums, and even two already existing tracks of Axel, "Sky Unlimited" and "Travolta Drive", actually planned for his "Fishmoon" - album are added and overdubbed with Harald's percussion…