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Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist CD (album) cover


Harald Grosskopf


Progressive Electronic

3.84 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A lot of times, mixing acoustic percussion with electronic music can sound very unnatural or very forced. Sometimes the ethereality of the music doesn't sound good with the heavy-handed beats of a typical rock drummer. Harald Grosskopf apparently had realized this.

Acoustic percussion is featured on nearly every track on Synthesist, and it never reaches the artificial emotionless playing style like on Schulze's Moondawn or Tangerine Dream's Cyclone, but is instead played lightly and comfortably throughout. Instead of pulling away from the music as an individual instrument, it is integrated into the experience to create a cohesive whole. He knows exactly how to hit the drums as to not overpower the dreaminess of the music, and he never seems to feel the need to show off.

Grosskopf previously played with Manuel Gottsching and Cosmic Jokers, among others, and their style of music has rubbed off on him in a very obvious way. Much like Gottsching's Ashra album New Age of Earth, this album has a dreamy and warm atmosphere that rides everywhere between complete ambience and explosive density. The cosmic dreaminess and relatively fast-paced synth sequencing is unmistakably Ashra-inspired, but in a much broader scope, Synthesist sounds like a somewhat stronger Berlin school + percussion album (better than most), but also the compositions are much more compact than the usual nearly twenty minute standard. Ranging between three and eight minutes, this album is very digestible and rather accessible, and the pace that the album follows is a very comfortable racy tempo with three nearly-ambient slow movements to maintain diversity.

Synthesist is a direct precursor to the sound that Zombi explore now in the 21st century, and fans of that band will most likely greatly enjoy this solo debut statement by Grosskopf. Anyone who enjoys Ashra should find this album to sound very familiar.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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