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PETER FROHMADER

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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Peter Frohmader biography
The multi instrumentalist Peter Frohmader is the founder and leader of Nekropolis (heavy, primitive & dark electronic rock group launched in the late 70's). Three major albums have been published under the name (Nekropolis, Nekropolis 2 & "le Culte des goules" in 1985). More in the vein of krautrock dark experimentations (with tape manipulations and doom bass sequences), "musik aus dem schattenreich Nekropolis" was released under the same name (1978-79). Nekropolis and Peter Frohmader solo projects are considered as leading experiences in the appreciation of complex modern electronica. Their synthetic, electronic textures and obvious tastes for free jazz, avant garde improvisations are linked to Heldon, Richard Pinhas, Magma.Frohmader was first deeply influenced by the "cosmic" electronic wave of 70's Berlin underground (Klaus Schulze and Ashra Tempel at the top). Found of paintings and drawings, his music also reproduces his mental, subconscious pictures and obsessions. He created his own laboratory "Nekropolis studio" in Munich. His first soloing extended electronic manifestations were "Orakel/Tiefe" (1983) "Ritual" (1987). Published in 1990, "Macrocosm" '3rd Millennium's Choice Vol. 1' is considered as a little classic with its deep ambient and almost gothic synth ambiences. He is accompanied by Stephan Manu (on violin) who is also a guest musician in "Ritual" and "Orakel/Tiefe". Released around the same period, "Eismeer" carries on Sci-Fi, menacing and creepy atmospheric synthesisers' explorations. "Cycle of Eternity" (1992) is a contemplative, spiritual journey throw electronic realms. Frohmader collaborated with Richard Pinhas (Heldon) in the massive and hypnotic "Fossile Culture" (1999). In his last works, Frohmader experiments accessible and floating ambient soundscapes closed to Brian Eno and late Cluster (Space Icon. 2002 : Transfiguration).

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MacrocosmMacrocosm
Cuneiform Records/E1 2003
Audio CD$7.99
$4.36 (used)
Cycle of EternityCycle of Eternity
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$4.49
$7.90 (used)
EismeerEismeer
Import
Gazul/Musea 2003
Audio CD$17.39
$28.81 (used)
Kanaan Live 1975Kanaan Live 1975
Green Tree Records
Audio CD$19.99
$17.99 (used)
Nekropolis 2Nekropolis 2
Import
Spalax 2001
Audio CD$14.55
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PETER FROHMADER discography


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PETER FROHMADER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 11 ratings
Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich
1981
3.20 | 6 ratings
Nekropolis 2
1982
4.33 | 3 ratings
Nekropolis - Cultes des Goules Ballett of Death
1985
2.00 | 2 ratings
Miniatures
1989
3.00 | 3 ratings
Macrocosm
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
Armorika
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Advanced Alchemy of Music
1994
1.17 | 4 ratings
Cycle Of Eternity
1998
2.69 | 4 ratings
Fossil Culture
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
2001
2001
5.00 | 1 ratings
Eismeer
2003

PETER FROHMADER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Live 1983
1983
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Awakening - Nekropolis Live '79
1997

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PETER FROHMADER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Road to hell

To better understand the music of Peter Frohmader, I think it best to start with his paintings that circle around the esoterically challenging - the cosmic and unfathomable. Experiencing the German art world of the 70s, Peter played in several avant bands - founding most of them, and thereby also developing a taste for the exact same thing that fuelled his paintings. Another world hiding in the shadows of life. As many of young people probably can attest to, sometimes we are much easier persuaded into the dangerous facets of our world, and I still think that is why so many people swear to metal and the life thrilling ventilating effect it has. With Peter it resulted in a deep fascination of the occult and brooding, and when he finally decided to make this debut album of his in 1979, all of this beautiful darkness suddenly came to fruition.

Nekropolis is like an electronic soundtrack to Dante's Divine Comedy. Divided into two acts, this instrumental opera of death guides the listener into the black scrublands of the human psyche. We start out in the dusky beginnings of night - the blackness slowly emerging with the simmering sways of synthesizers and understated hazy bass mumblings. Peter uses the whole spectrum of the instruments - meaning that he fully understands the counter-pointing effect of reverberating noises, and actually puts them centre stage. At first it seems odd and slightly out of place, because it feels as if they're recorded at the wrong volume. So the pounding drums become these tiny muffled matchbox rumbles - while the dark sinister breaths of electronics weave right up front in the mix alongside an incessant bass.

Then we enter the second stage of our journey, the one that fulfils the divine cycle as relegated by Dante himself - leading the way into the fiery realm of hell. Adding to the booming smouldering atmosphere, you get references to the expressive devils from old Tibetan paintings, and the music now takes a turn for the more aggressive. It feels like a vortex of gloom - a black inescapable hole that draws you in with long threads of ceremonial black mass music. It's like the music grows long hairy tentacles that reach far beyond the confines of your speakers.

Both of these chapters contain strung elements of what I'd personally call Gothic ambient. It swirls around you like an unpredictable dark cloud, and still it is what brings both atmosphere and meat to the proceedings. Like an invisible thin red line going through all of Nekropolis, it's there and then not really... Then you have something quite extraordinary filling up most of the remaining room here. Zeuhl. Maybe not in the strictest sense of the musical boundaries and invented stickers, but in the same way that a man like Igor Wakhevitch leaned on the shamanistic simple - the ritualistic in music, going back to a structure that seeks to hypnotise you by sheer rhythmic force - a secret chant, - Nekropolis does so too. It's more of a subtle vibe emanating from the background, but it's there. It becomes clearer and more tangible as you go along - finally culminating in the ending crescendos of hell, where the drums come to the fore and everything suddenly sounds more in tune with French bands such as Magma and Weidorje, than the electronic oozings of the Berlin School kids.

In many ways, all of this album leads up to this final eruption of sound - this mighty lava explosion, and when it finally happens, it's like a cathartic musical cleansing. You have finally reached the source of the fire, and effectively the end of your journey through the night.

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 The Awakening - Nekropolis Live '79 by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Live, 1997
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Awakening - Nekropolis Live '79
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars For eclectic tastes only...

The Awakening - Nekropolis live '79 has been recorded in Munich, Germany 1979. According to the official release dates of PETER FROHMADER's albums, this live has been recorded before the subsequent NEKROPOLIS studio albums. Also, the track titles in this album do not match with any of the track titles that appear in the studio releases, so I will assume that these are compositions recorded for the first time (?).

I can not recall how this album came to my collection but I have not paid attention to it for years. I am also not familiar with PETER FROHMADER's career but he seems to be a very interesting case of composer. Personally, I feel the tag progressive electronic does not entirely represent the music in this live (?) recording. I have to assume (again) that by LIVE, the composer means ''played live in studio'', as there is no sign of the existence of an audience throughout the 75 mins that this albums lasts.

The music in the album matches perfectly with the title NEKROPOLIS. In The Awakening, FROHMAEDER's band presents a dark, eclectic set of compositions. Contrary to the electronic and krautrock elements, the main influences in the album's sound come from different areas of progressive music (in general): strong jazz and fusion passages, eclectic use of instruments and rhythms and even elements from zeuhl. The band's rhythm section is the one that stands out and generally provides a solid background for the fair amounts of jamming and improvisation taking place in almost all compositions. Its other function is to create interesting tribal rhythms in several moments in the album.

Friends of progressive electronic will realise the krautrock background in tracks like Escape from Hell. Special mention needs to go to the bizarre instruments used in this album, which bring a strong touch of oriental and African music. Flutes, clarinets and gongs are used in a way to reflect the album's cover (i.e. Egypt, pyramids, pharaohs). As mentioned, jazz/fusion is dominant (Kadu, Jazz-trap) but the main thing that come in my mind when hearing this album is KING CRIMSON. I am not sure if FROHMADER is a fan of the band, but this whole dark and obscure musical approach heavily resembles to the eclectic prog created by KC.

Some compositions are quite long and include lots of improvisation that might bore the listener in certain moments. The overall length of the album is also an issue, with the music being almost constantly complex and ''difficult to comprehend''. However, this feature makes ''The Awakening'' a highly challenging piece of music that will find its admirers in progressive music. Although it is not exactly ''my cup of tea'', I think that jazz/fusion, krautrock and eclectic prog fans will find lots of interesting elements here...

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 Live 1983 by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Live, 1983
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Live 1983
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Released in 1983, this Live by Peter Frohmader (under Nekropolis) is already something that makes you a connoisseur of the project itself - not to mention, it also names you a rarity-hunter, even if it's not a challenge of the impossible kind. If so,, it's fairly expected to know something about the ground out of which this live has surfaced. It's not a special kind of a live recording to talk about, but as 1983 still proves a mature year for Nekropolis, with roots in classic styles, it's no simple stuff either. With highly significant debuts such as Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich(1979) and Nekropolis 2 (1980), is Live 1983 close, transitional or leap-forwarded from those essential marks? It's damn close (making Frohmader somewhat of a very serious composer during the usually lopsided/downsided 80s) or even better.

Musicianship could be hastly look over, if it would't show something unusual, as it is less common for a Nekropolis creation to be expanded beyond Frohmader's multi-instrumental (or multi-electronic) affair or beyond certain collaborations - a regular rock quartet automatically expands the nature of the performance itself. Even Frohmader is somewhat cold in applying authentic electronic pastes, focusing rather on bass and stick, plus on a fully syncopate work of effects, samples, sound denaturations - in a word or two, on rough experimenting. But alongside him, Rudi Haunreiter plays drums, Till Obermaier plays guitar and horns and Jürgen Jung comes with vocals in three or so pieces, all three acting out their role as if Nekropolis is a rock-electronic ensemble, jamming strange music throughout an insistent and fully-loaded concert.

The style closes to an even more nebulous appraise, as the generated rock fairly contains a complicated gene. Said more precisely, Live 1983 is an authentic session of kraut-rock, avant-garde and expressionism (on the level of dissonances and disarticulations). Of a dark, ravenous chemistry, the bold art conceived by the quartet (bold enough to be jammed on stage) differs from the same terrifying, black-mural, haunting and mind-tripping electro-sonic debut albums. Frohmader's passion for pure kraut-rock, that preceded Nekropolis' phase, could have very well lead to a less electronic moment such as this one, and while a certain amount of times the quartet picks up the intense rhythm of rock-structured or gravely avant-garde toppings, the acid, gloomy, incantational or sound-experimental parts sink it into kraut-rock "conventional" pressings, regardless of the fact that it may not sound alike the classic 70s gems. Stylistically, it's therefore a spin-wheel of a recital, the arrow always stopping on one of the major mentioned styles, if not in between. Frohmader masters his granite development in the sound section, but that's actually a more one-dimension technique. If his 1979-1980 "dark sonic experiments" are to remain the essential stuff, a surprise such as this Live remains, as said, a proof of Nekropolis's solid thrust into the larger 80s, with a maelstrom of hard (read: difficult) rock, snappy avant and unrefined experimentalism, that could satisfy, in this way, more than fans of one shared inclination.

At last, musically, even with the risk of putting it too much in a historical frame, Live 1983 can be placed, thanks to its different slides, in relation with psych/dark rock from late 60s onwards, with "sonic concerts" of the prior decade or with jam-based rock experiments of a difficult, raw, provocative or downright perplex level of expression. A typical rock rather than electro-related moment is the first piece, Hölle Im Angesicht, where unfortunately the electronic system is not warmed up yet, but generates anyway enough samples noises, in an upbeat with the guitar's loud, unstable pitch. The dark fusion in Tekeli-Li is one of two moments in which Jung recites in German, with a solid voice inspiring an open, awake sense, and one of several moments that, despite not due to style but to mood, reflects Frohmader's sadism and dark heart; or at least so it sounds. The vocals make me think of Dieter Klemm (or Gerd Wollschon?) from Floh de Cologne. Neutronen-Symphonie indicates an electronic affection, and than proves the connection right through a first set of real sequences, yet the guitar-bass combination is primary, burning down your neurons with some macabre-ironed hallucinating scratches. The synths grow metallic themselves in Knockenmark I, but with some extra avant-beats and weird fusion, the twist into Knockenmark II is again of a huffing, crazy rock span. Kleine Aster is a mark of space ambiance, climaxed by loud riffs; quite a good piece. Now, if you'd come across the idea that the whole mélange could actually have its progressive rock aroma as well, Psychofarm is the answer, despite simplistic, repeated impulses. The jam continues with a more noticeable drum line and with the constantly pushy schizoid guitar in Senchenschatz. An insane pleasure is finally listening to an epic such as Vorstadt Im Fohn, complex, bit industrial-like, back with the parlando-oriented text, shrouded in a black emulation; it turns more psych-rock towards the end, nevertheless having a lasting impact. Tote Stadt is close to the same maneuver, using more noise and atmospheric swarming, arching over to a reasonably well intense strumming, then vibrating out gravely. A kraut-electro intrinsic breath, no doubt.

Serious stuff from Peter Frohmader and his friends, in all, and a far from random dark music that makes me search deeper, to see if there's more alike or even better. While not 100% progressive and even less concerned with electronic processing - and, of course, it's not for anyone, it's still a work with the Nekropolis carved signature. I'd dare push it close to Frohmader's (Nekropolis') highlights.

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 2001 by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.00 | 1 ratings

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2001
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Weidorje

— First review of this album —
4 stars Really, in spite of the time flux, which doesn't do any good to many musicians, this album is a good one. Very energetic electronic music played on many instruments (some of them acoustic? - unfortunately there is no detail on it on the cover). It may be more accesive than Peter's earlier works, but we can easily consider it an advantage. Well deserved 4 stars.

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 Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Starting off with the same idea another reviewer of this album used to express the strangest and most influential feelings this music has installed for any one bestowing to listen to it, I'll say that, indeed, a cover so horrific and unpleasant plus an entire concrete set of cryptic and sharp names for each composition (though certainly, in both cases, this is not the most creepy "view" in musical concept ever), in such a linguine and freely expressed way, lead to the music of this classic debut by Peter Frohmader to be of that particular novelty nuance, one impregnated very deep, sardonic and dementia, alluding much of the heartless and "dunkelheit" operatic music impressions. The best such artists usually express it as a meaning of life (and of death), plus an expression of authentic blossom and powerful industry. It is a habit of eloquent diversity and stunning receptiveness, true, if you comprise well the flawless orientation of a music that burns and shrivels you inside, nonconformist and nondeterministic.

As powerful, indecisive and macabre as this experiment will sound, it also reflects, however, not a flagellation of music and emotions, but a deep trance of systematic experimentalism and over-mechanized techniques, having in mind a blow of proportions, by which music to stun, some kind of visual transmissions (like lugubrous sounds leading to cryptic images, or so) to be achieved, plus a good rhythm of artistic provocation to be fulfilled, since the entire composition leaves little time for sensibility. In conclusion, you could do an entire monologue and fearful description towards Music Aus Dem Schattenreich, calling it the music of totems, the emblem of devilish concepts and the radical substance of inconsequential dark and formidable punching character - but the album is also a very good and connecting study of electronic devices and sound-fractions, space-fears and reverted environmentalism, under envious qualities of rock, electronic tension, sound and ambient, noise and acid culture, dark and deep breaks of flairs - a very impressive study as well.

Peter Frohmader cuts off from his projects of cold counter-fashion composition, cubism rock, unshapely jazz or rock vibrations (though the 70s full work could be a collector's avid pleasure as much as collecting the sessions of Nekropolis and collaborating compositions, within the official register, turns out to be) and comprises a sum of art, weird ethic and stabilized avant-torrential influences within mechanics and comforts of electronic, synthetic and psych-epileptic improvisations. The strength of the Nekropolis projects is equal to the strength of collaborations with big artists like Pinhas or Artemiev and to the strength of Frohmader playing solo. So is the balance between him being an electronist, a sound-machinist, an avant-garde sketcher or a personality of diffuse rock. Such a debut like Music Aus Dem Schattenreich becomes suggestive to a lot of Frohmader's visions and introverted terrific dreams of music, sharing only a unique strong message of its own, mostly condensed between music and the liable impression.

With a low-extended instrumentality, but a perfect eclectic precision, Frohmader makes out of this album a heart beating (expected to have said flesh-ripping?) caliber and a paradox of minimal music sounding so massive. The Nekropolis project, associated a lot with this kind of impact art, seeks out the same kind of illusion, under different, more powerful or more forgotten essential musical gestures. Outside the atmosphere of Nekropolis and of Frohmader's sting art, you can't find a conclusive association with the grandest and most known contemporary styles of electronic. It is even a thought of beatitude that, in the beginning of the 80s, when pressure made a lot of electronic art collapse or become the expression of harmony, Peter Frohmader comes, heartless as it is, with a music of fear, complex language and powerful exploration. In a weaker eulogy, these early experiments, this one included, fully reflect a personal and conceptual force of expression and clatter, within a chosen dark, deep, frantic and exhausting modality.

Music Aus Dem Schattenreich is an hour long impressive album, with lots of suggestive strange and hollow sound-movements. Going just one more time back to the cover and the concept of "hecatomb music", the music might be a suggestion for some visual art or some cuts of music, though nothing is specific - many Nekropolis experiments, including Nekropolis 2, are actually "soundtrack" compositions. Inside its shell, the album becomes an electronic furnace of instrumentality and arranged technique, with a spiritual aggression that mostly chills you down hard enough as to experience this powerful and incisive music. Frohmader, through 12 pieces, tries combinations of noises and sounds (no mechanical particular achievement), new ambiances and sorrow/minor harmonies, a background or a frontal experiment of electronic tonalities, plus some spacey, rhythm-rocked, shock-sequential or synth-minimalistic pasts of effective and well-sustained calibers. The general (and critical) style is, therefore, cold electronic music, spontaneous rock or avant-garde, wall-sound environmentalism and cosmic-fracture.

Four stars, it's Frohmader's classic and a, literally, work of treacherous emotions.

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 Nekropolis 2 by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.20 | 6 ratings

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Nekropolis 2
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Peter Frohmader is bound to his "Nekropolis" visions, by being both the ultimate artist, even when rich names and artists help around with composition ideas and groans or settle or diverse the mood of those vision, and the first in line to be absorbed by "Nekropolis"'s brand of imagination, impulse and histrionic character, launching and spiraling around the project for a lot of his rich and contentious desire and impact of music. The sense of "Nekropolis", coming from the physical choice and adventure of the bare project, helped him and disguised him as the artist very marked by avant-garde and experimental music, doing also a bit of jazz and hard rock, plus taking the progressive steps of complex music movingly literal - but, essentially, once he settled in electronic "mashterings" (the 80s's sunrise, most lately), it gives him the mask of a soundoholic artist, with lots of hard and hypnotic, technical and disturbed spirit in the genre. It is even an alluded thought that, among some clear and unmovable essential albums, the Nekropolis projects reflects a dynamic, endless and astounding part of Frohmader's artistic concentration and abscond psych-vision, throughout full sessions that may, at most, seem too undifferentiated (and without a complaisant feeling in them), nevertheless obtain a powerful music in a dark lock of genuine or dissimilar orientation.

Nekropolis 2 is the first-rated and best to recommended from the early Nekropolis project and emphasis, one that included a first volume in 1981, plus four mini-sessions Frohmader made even before his classic debut. If the size of the Nekropolis project ambition becomes needless to describe, each album, and Nekropolis 2 most precisely, has an independent layer and focus - even if the tendency is to called Frohmader the dark sage or the sound-rash visceral artist in most of everything that makes sense in his music.

The part extravagant part aleatory indite of Nekropolis 2 makes it an album of "soundtracks" and sound-forms, produced under a collaboration and a visual-motivation with H.R. Giger, who paintings celebrate (or must celebrate) the same dark affinity and rhetorical art as Frohmader's engines of electronic and improvised music. Similar to the whole idea of electronic nekro-vision and codification, we can relate how the grave artist Lustmord will combine the visual with the soundscape, the brutal flesh of a particular idea with the difficult sound of that idea's interpreted essence. Robert Rich and other ambientists try something in this particular movement too, but not so amazingly. As music, what I can't link is the classic scorches of artists like Kluster or Amon Duul, because it is simply of a different quality and a new homegrown effort. At least not by Nekropolis 2's chaotic and phantasmal installment.

Nine pieces are squeezed in two sides of an LP (I don't know for sure how limited has this album become, but a second year of release, 2001, made a benefical treat), all nine treating, psychologically and exasperatingly, sound experiments, screeches of impulses and blind movements, independent tastes and difficult to compel umbers and embers of electronic poly-morphic expressions. This album becomes strong, even terrifying, to much of the valorous impressions, even considering those that experience the clash of kraut rock and noise amphitheatric constructions. The style oscillates madly between electronic, dark ambient, rock and even goth-impelled music personality, since a lot of instrument power is used, Frohmader adopting a multi-instrumental implosion: from Rhodes to guitars, from waves to machinist impulses, from vibrations to an actually absent but credited vocal-infliction. It's a sort of humongous contracting and contrasting work-load, creating the 'simple' arrangements of experimental and avant-demonic electronic moves.

You can hardly associate the drastic music with anything but Frohmader's own neoplastic explosion of atonality and micro-experimentalism, under the heavy preach of electronic use and abuse. A few moments try some rhythm or some dubbed ambiance, but such thoughts are quickly forgotten, and the style returns to the blend of musical dark forces and electronic technical virtues. The best sounds are obtained not by finding the simplest experimental mix, but by actually building up a sinister monolith of musical flux and interference. The dark and impossible shrieks become a side of evil art Frohmader mostly resumes as electronic stability. Beyond the sugestive names (Hardcorps,Neutronen Symphonie), there is a continuous avalanche of rough and systematically incinerating sound systems, forcing the deepest mind to gasp an exclamation - or to collapse under the pressure.

Nekropolis 2 is not one of the most essential and perfect Frohmader compositions, but it tends to dangerously play with the biggest details of his grandest styles, in a way that it actually is simply one project of dark-experimental electronic impeach from many others. Tonic and technically valorous, this, much like anything by the artist, goes for those lovers of unconventional and harsh art. It is, however,a good example of the electronic 80s not being flask, but having their own kind of absurdity and gloat-impressionable art.

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 Fossil Culture by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Fossil Culture
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Arsillus

2 stars This collaboration between the two great musicians Peter Frohmader and Richard Pinhas leaves much to be desired. "Fossil Culture" is a 72-minute electronic prog venture with some interesting ideas and maybe a good vision, but things don't always work out as they seem. The basis of the album focuses on layers of guitars and many electronic devices forging dark and heavy compositions. They are often accompanied by many different sound samples, like jungle noises, bells, water, etc. Occasionally things will speed up and get quite heavy (for electronic music) with pulsating techno beats and heavy guitars. But even in the most frenzied moments, there's always restraint which keeps the album's status quo.

While Frohmader and Pinhas create some really great textural electronic music, the biggest problem is that the songs don't have any direction (or it at least feels that way). The type of music on here definitely feels like it's supposed to, but everything just kind of drones on and on. Also, the album really loses steam by about "Fossil Culture 4", and even then the album is not even halfway done yet. "Fossil Culture" is really a rather bloated work and listening to the whole thing is quite an arduous task.

The best moments of the album lie early in the album and are definitely the most enjoyable. "Fossil Culture 1" is a slow climax and culminates in some great axework back by some rather foreboding electronics. The drum beats actually sound quite scary. The sound samples at the beginning of "Fossil Culture 2" kind of break the flow of the album, but it's not really that bad. Repeated keyboard lines comprise the basis of the song into a kind of prehistoric drone. "Fossil Culture 3" is primarily a percussion-techno-electronic based piece, which is a welcome relief from the previous guitar-led pieces. At around this point in the album it takes a more atmospheric and less driven approach and everything just kind of meanders around until it ends.

Its really quite a shame because there are some pretty cool ideas and approaches to electronic music on this album, but they just aren't presented in a really constructive approach. In the end, "Fossil Culture" is much to busy to be reduced to background music as there is a lot going on. But when you start to pay attention to it more, it's turns to a lot of nothing. Such a cruel fate.

Standout songs: "Fossil Culture 3"

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 Fossil Culture by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Fossil Culture
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars What can be expected in the meeting of such giants as Peter Frohmader and Richard Pinhas, especially knowing that they've been around for over 20 years at the time of release of this album? The attempt was definitely risqué, but it was worth a shot and the recording happened over two years. And to top it all of, the album was released on the excellent Cuneiform label, even if the general packaging/artwork (from Frohmader himself) is not the best they've done.

In some ways, this album could almost serve as a techno album, if there was not some almost-unnoticeable progression in some tracks, but it is all but too slow to capture the imagination or even tickle the listener's curiosity. Whether the album is closer to Frohmader or Pinhas is difficult to say, since I am not too familiar with both musician's late 90's careers, but you can see/hear some Heldon AND some Nekropolis. The seven pieces of Fossil Culture (just numbered differently) range from the lugubrious (the fourth part) to the sinister/gloomy (the fifth part) to the almost happy. This writer's best moment is the third movement with the recurring percussions.

Had these two geniuses met in the late 70's, I'm sure this meeting would've given something memorable, but unfortunately Fossil Culture might just go down as an all-too- prophetically-titled album, the fossils being those of two dinosaurs that might have retired a few years before. Not too bad an album, but certainly disappointing, partly due to the expectations one can have of such a meeting.

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 Cycle Of Eternity by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1998
1.17 | 4 ratings

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Cycle Of Eternity
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars The doom, cavernous sound of Nekropolis' krautrocking pieces have gone in order to let the place to very light "cosmic" synth orchestrations. I highly regret the new musical path followed by Frohmader after his three first essays with Nekropolis. In this recent effort, all compositions are written and played for analog instruments and computer. All titles combine minimal electronic patterns to theatrical-weird-symphonic melodies. The sound is a disaster and melodies reveal totally non inspired motifs. Some curious, eccentric harmonies for xylophone or synth arpeggios are mixed to the "trip". "Laughable" programmed beats are also included to make it punchy (In the "heroic fantasist" Inexorability.) . To sum up things: a really poor, childish synthesised environnement with commercial electronic sequences and dark pop melodies. A poor progression into more melodic territories with a great dose of "indulgence" in the way instruments and electronics are used.

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 Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich by FROHMADER, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Musik Aus Dem Schattenreich
Peter Frohmader Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars What would you expect from a band called "Nekropolis"? With a very eloquent cover art describing the final ending and the disappearance of humanity throw creepy bones of dead bodies, you can imagine that the sound is everything dark, resonant, cavernous, haunting and ghostly. This infernal electronic manifest is a musical intrusion throw pain and agony, scary but so sublime in term of intensity and expression...the two first compositions are written for (very gloomy) double bass lines, menacing electronic effects and drum attacks. This marvellous, creepy and moody album by Peter Frohmader is one of the strangest things I've heard in popular music. Surely his most experimental if we remember the much more conventional "ambient" efforts of his last productions. "Unendliche Qual" is a hyper cavernous track, always with massive doom bass lines, agonised "almost heaven choir" ambient sounds and hammering drum parts. A proof that we can make a pretty dark and ass kicking album only with tremendous atmospheres. My favourite tracks on this one are the almost jazzy macabre "Mitternachtsmesse II" and the floating, repetitive and spacey like "Mitternachtsmesse I". A supreme and unique contribution, featuring discreet weird kraut experimentations.

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