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Harald Grosskopf - Oceanheart CD (album) cover

OCEANHEART

Harald Grosskopf

 

Progressive Electronic

3.50 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Oceanheart is a dramatic shift in sound compared to Harald Grosskopf's previous album. Where as his debut was rooted firmly in the electronic sounds of the '70s, this album is entirely rooted in the electronic sounds of the '80s. While this sometimes is a bad thing, Grosskopft pulls off this sound very well because of his ability to maintain his established composition skill, only with an updated sound.

The percussion is still prominent throughout, blending seamlessly into the electronic forefront, but as with most percussion in music of the '80s, they seem artificial with echo effect. Fortunately, this doesn't subtract anything from this album considering that it actually works very well with the overall tone of the album. If compared to the often dark Synthesist, this album is much more optimistic. Because of the upbeat optimism and intense pop attitude of this album, it's all very commercially accessible and sounds somewhat similar to a lot of other '80s pop acts with the absence of vocals, and even now artists can gain popularity utilizing this exact sound such as Com Truise.

Some of the tracks stand out more than others, such as the title track which really does give off an oceanic type of drowning atmosphere that borders on thickly layered ambient drones. "Pondicherry Dream" is much more similar in sound to the powerful and racy Berlin school music of his previous album except with only a small amount more of '80s pop production echo and tabla percussion. "Minimal Boogie" has a compositional form very much like something Steve Reich would write - very repetitive with subtle alterations that keep the track both predictable and interesting - while creating enough variety within itself to please the ears throughout its 11 minute duration.

Anyone expecting an album that is very close to the sound of Harald Grosskopf's previous album will be very dissapointed, but Oceanheart is definitely not a bad album. Some people scoff at the sounds of the '80s (which I usually do), but Grosskopf's compositional skills have not dropped off at all and are displayed quite proudly on this album that also shows his willingness and comfort in working with the then modern sounds that defined that decade. In comparison to Grosskopf's contemporaries, I'd personally rate this much higher than the '80s era albums released by his more well-known contemporaries.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |

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