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Electronics: Cosmic Hoffmann, Manuel Göttsching, Sunya Beat

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COSMIC HOFFMANN: Outerspace Gems (CD on Manikin Records)

This CD from 2008 offers 61 minutes of spacey electronic music. The tracks consist of vintage rarities from 1978 through 1985.

Cosmic Hoffmann is Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Joining him on this release are: Horst Theis (on ARP) and Peter Joergens (on Ovation 12 string).

In keeping with the CD’s overall theme, the majority of the electronics display a distinctly celestial flair. The foundational texturals are extremely astral, while the main electronics embody a cosmic sensibility. Everything is superbly harnessed and applied to engaging melodies that celebrate astrological phenomenon. Expanding nebulas are given billowing voices through expansive tonalities; naked singularities resound with introverted harmonics that collapse in a glorious fashion.

Keyboards are utilized to goad the raw electronics into sweeping melodies, crafting atmospheric tones into looping chords of alluring character. Pulsations of a lower sort serve to ground the songs, providing the listener with familiar vantages while the tunes soar far beyond our own solar system.

While tantalizingly adept with synthesizers, Hoffmann is also a master of space guitar. Cosmic riffs spill from his strings to reverberate with visceral strength, their wails lending a gutsy edge to the otherwise dreamy music. In one piece, pleasant strumming accompanies heavenly chorales to achieve a transcendental state.

Percussion is present in one track, but the rest of the music flourishes without rhythmic support, flowing like powerful streams of ethereal sound through the vacuum of the interstellar void. Do not expect passive gentility, though, for the electronics supply more than enough oomph to elevate the songs into gripping sonic experiences.

These compositions fulfill a promise of electronic vigor. While possessing ambient elements, the music is rich with grand scope and emotional stamina.

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MANUEL GÖTTSCHING: New Age of Earth (CD on MG.ART, marketed by Imperial Teutonic)

This 48 minute classic electronic music album from 1976 has finally been reissued on CD in 2008.

A lively blend of pleasant electronics and nimble guitar produces a dose of softly upbeat tuneage possessing a cheery disposition that is quite infectious.

The general character of the music is glistening and very fluid. The electronics sparkle with vibrant optimism. Airy textures are enhanced by sprightly loops that weave mesmerizing tapestries of sound full of bubbling diodes and dreamy sweeps. Keyboards generate chords that are set into perpetual motion, functioning as a foundation for other tender electronic delineations.

Some of the guitarwork here is heavily processed and ends up disguised as auxiliary electronics. Göttsching’s style of looping notes into sequential echoes has inspired a generation of musicians to mimic this process, but in this recording you hear the master at play. The flow is seamless and quite slick, generating ambrosial passages that soar with a gentle majesty. But fear not, the guitar remains pure and crisp in other instances, manifesting as lilting notes that cascade with delightful stimulation, embellishing the flowing electronics with their tranquil punctuation.

These compositions epitomize serenity with a touch of vivid animation. The melodies drift and cavort, intertwining and transforming minimal structures into complexities that are dazzling to behold. The “Nightdust” track (being the album’s longest piece at 22 minutes) achieves a remarkable level of intensity with its application of these soothing elements, attaining a sonic richness that stands as a milestone of classic electronic music.

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SUNYA BEAT: The Jelenia Gora Sessions (CD on Ricochet Dream)

This release from 2005 offers 73 minutes of energized electronic tuneage recorded live at the Ricochet Gathering in Poland on September 10, 2004.

Sunya Beat is: Steve Baltes, Harold Grosskopf and Axel Manrico Heilhecker.

Sultry electronics, agile percussion, and searing guitar combine to create luscious music that is as capable of transfixing as it is of energizing the listener.

A sense of liquidity is prominent in the electronics, imbuing the music with a slithery character that in highly engaging. Utilizing versatile sounds, the electronics provide a steadfast degree of charm with bewitching textures and more demonstrative riffs.

The percussion is topnotch; no surprise considering Grosskopf’s legendary status earned from his work with Klaus Schulze and Manuel Göttsching’s band Ashra during the heyday of German electronic recordings. The rhythms here are snappy and intricate, generating tempos of hypnotic quality that are rich with vivacious animation. At the same time, many of the beats are strong and commanding, conveying brisk energy with relentless delivery.

Blazing with cosmic fury, the guitar contributes riffs that embody passion with every sustained chord. Those riffs soar with unbridled enthusiasm, communicating fervor through nimble-fingered agility coupled with devout performance. Even when functioning in a subdued role, the guitar possesses a severe demeanor which refuses to be ignored. And when let loose, the puissance generated is astounding.

These musicians have been playing together for many years, and as a result have achieved a remarkable cohesion that shows in their live sets. While each instrument stands alone in their excellence, when they combine, absolute wonderment is realized with rewarding scale.

These compositions exquisitely exhibit this perfect meshing, producing highly galvanized tunes of sheer ecstasy with a high degree of appeal.

Certain similarities exist between the songs on this album and on the band’s previous Comin’ Soon release. While the set lists may be similar, though, the performances display startling differences as the band explores lustrous variations. To see a review of Sunya Beat’s Comin’ Soon release, go here.

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