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BERNARD XOLOTL

Progressive Electronic • France


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Bernard Xolotl biography
Painter, writer and musician, Bernard Xolotl figures among the pioneers of cosmic synth music next to Klaus Schulze and others. He was first deeply influenced by early standards in electro-acoustic researches. Step by step he considered the Berlin progressive electronic scene as a major influence on his work. Since 1976, with the launch of his solo career, he has explored the capacity of technologies in visual / textural analog essays. During the 80s he went to the United States in order to create his own studio. His knowledges on Buddhism, Tibetan mysticism and on geometric, dynamic mandala systems also have a big impact on his sense of composition. He worked with many musicians as Cyrille Verdeaux (Clearlight), Bernard Largounez...Two of his most internationally recognised albums (Procession / Last Wave) are good example of celestial, crystalline, almost melodic electronic releases.

Bernard Xolotl official website

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Journey to an OracleJourney to an Oracle
Bernard Xolotl 1981
Audio CD$17.98
TristanyTristany
Bernard Xolotl 2009
Audio CD$19.98
ProcessionProcession
Audio CD$16.73
$37.16 (used)
Return of the Golden MeanReturn of the Golden Mean
Bernard Xolotl 2009
Audio CD$19.98
Last WaveLast Wave
Bernard Xolotl 2011
Audio CD$19.98
AftershocksAftershocks
Bernard Xolotl 2011
Audio CD$19.98
Last WaveLast Wave
Spalax
Audio CD$12.13
$43.56 (used)
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BERNARD XOLOTL discography


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BERNARD XOLOTL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 4 ratings
Journey To An Oracle
1977
2.92 | 5 ratings
Prophecy
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Return of the Golden Mean
1981
3.33 | 3 ratings
Last Wave
1983
3.94 | 5 ratings
Procession
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Mexecho
1991

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BERNARD XOLOTL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Procession by XOLOTL, BERNARD album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.94 | 5 ratings

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Procession
Bernard Xolotl Progressive Electronic

Review by Thandrus

5 stars There you go. If you'd like to search for the sheer beauty in Berlin School style, here it is. Bernard Xolotl has always been very obscure and unique figure in the electronic music field - only half of his many albums are available to listen (even including bootlegs!); his music, while sometimes hugely atmospheric, always presented melodic / harmonic motives of sheer beauty. Kosmische Musik has always had its relations with painters (Sergius Golowin, Walter Wegmuller, Adelbert Von Deyen); Xolotl is also a painter (or should I say, also a musician?) and his painting emotions stand very close to his musical ones.

On "Procession", his lush electronic sound is augmented by Daniel Kobialka's virtuoso violin play, which gives the album its apocalyptic grandness. Sure, electronics / violin combination has done a couple of times before, but here it is not a mere embellishment - violin drives the dynamics very often.

Anyways, this incredible release is one of the lost gems of 80's progressive electronic music. Go for it, and let it be your entrance to the beautiful sonic world of Bernard Xolotl.

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 Procession by XOLOTL, BERNARD album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.94 | 5 ratings

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Procession
Bernard Xolotl Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

4 stars Underrated without reason!

Unexplicably, "Procession" 1983, a collaboration between Bernard Xolotl & Daniel Kobialka, is not only quiet unknown but undervalued with absurd comparisons with its contemporary Prog/Electronic counterparts.

Why? First things first. Xolotl's musical language may not be that "popular", but it is unique. It is one of the few acts, that could stand aside Schulze's or TD's best moments, (which ironically, declined in the 80s) and still be distinguishable among them. Yes! Of course there are "atmospherics" but that is an inherent part of Prog/Electronics and as far as I know nobody but the 1927 pioneers could claim to own this "style". (Of course they did not!)

Now, to where it matters. An extraordinary musical experience which has the rare quality of having perfectly blended Xolotl's synths with Kobialka's electro/acoustic violin. Never getting close to no one's musical language but its own. To put it simply, no "fusion" or "jazz" or "pseudo-classical" music approximations. Neither the compulsive obsession to make a big fuzz about this unusual combination in this kind of electronic music project. So to speak, both musicians are to involved in the evolution of the project, as to be worried about being the main character each 8 seconds. On the contrary the parallel work is sublime, in the primary use of the word.

Bold and subtle the same way, symphonic yet completely electronic and best of all the song writing is uncomparable and close to flawless, even its more "simplistic" moments. Meaning great sense of composition, as to minimize the structural differences of both ways of expression into a single idiom, which by itself highlights what needs to be highlighted and makes no room for useless or protagonic impossitions.

An extremely intense trip in a world full of surprises.

Easy ****4 PA stars + my review, recommendation.

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 Journey To An Oracle by XOLOTL, BERNARD album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 4 ratings

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Journey To An Oracle
Bernard Xolotl Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

4 stars A psychedelic electronic trip, from the "Golden Decade" of Progressive/electronic music.

Low profile Bernard Xolotl, could be claimed among the co-founders of "Prog/Cosmic Synth Music" in accordance that electronic music has been with us since the late 1920, early 30's (more or less). And that this kind of "celestial" music, has always been in the mind of 1000s of electronic music composers, then and now, in any field of music, electronic and not.

This psychedelic "Journey to an Oracle", 1977, is so unique, rich in instrumental arrangements and an austounding direction in composition and performance, I have a hard time thinking, why we 3 people who have rated it, differ so much?

Been that it has no other reviews, you will have to trust me, on this one. Here are my findings:

It does not sound, not even a bit, like Schulze nor Tangerine Dream's same decade projects, that for starters, rips it away, from the zillion clones, happening at the time, then and now (as always).

The tone in general is non-stop dynamic, yet introspective. How? By the compositional structure of each melodic line, in a sonic universe of several melodic lines in each composition. I mean several, baroque like music several. Therefore it is also close to early fast paced,"classic" minimalism, well in tune with this era's, "new" musical discoveries. Because of the same, it offers an unexpected amount of sonic proposals, not contemplated by his fellow 70's prog-electronic/composers.

By psychedelic I do not mean far fetched "fake-drug induced music experimentations". I mean, multi-colored musical structures, constructing themselves progressively and simultaneously with clear thought songwriting, extraordinary arrangements and a flawless production, which no progressive electronic counterpart at the time, came close to releasing. Really its production alone, is ground-breaking (competing tightlly with YMO's in this regard). But its compositions and directions are close to genial (as opposed to YMO's).

So for me it has been a pleasure, to aquire such a great Progressive/Electronic album, from a rather obscure and unknown artist. I will share the news.

****4 plus something, PA stars. Enjoy!

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 Procession by XOLOTL, BERNARD album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.94 | 5 ratings

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Procession
Bernard Xolotl Progressive Electronic

Review by Paul Stump

3 stars Dig that crazy cover, man. This chap was a bit unlucky - he hit just a year or so before New Age took off and in the UK this could be found quite easily in high street record stores, mostly cos nobody knew who he was and nobody bought it. A shame, because it's not bad at all. Very solemn and a bit portentuous, with lots of bass-end reverb mirrored by Daniel Kobialka's keening electric and acoustic violins. Suitably ethereal, if somewhat below the first rank of European synthesis. And blessedly free - for the most part - of that boring chuga-chug sequencing that brought Schulze and his ilk so low.

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 Prophecy by XOLOTL, BERNARD album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.92 | 5 ratings

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Prophecy
Bernard Xolotl Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

3 stars In this Sci-fi "cosmic" synth affair, Xolotl is accompanied by the keyboardist and front man of the French Clearlight. Written at the beginning of the eighties, this album stresses the return or the continuation of Klaus Schulze's music (during his analog synth period in "Mirage", "Moondawn"...). Consequently, "Prophecy" is a hybrid of diverse "kosmische" electronics mixed into rather calm, flowing, mysterious realms. Nothing very inventive and creative if we remember what have been done previously in the genre. Moreover the sound is very "artificial", "soft" and "commercial"; fare from the avant-garde / visceral edges of Berlin first "weird" musical excursions. If you like the most "new agey" & "ambient" parts of experimental electronic music (late Cluster, Harold Budd, Robert Rich...) you will be seduced by the "ethereal" textures provided by the modern electronic inventions of "Prophecy".

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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