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HARALD GROSSKOPF

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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Harald Grosskopf biography
Harald Grosskopf was the first drummer and percussionist in the world of electronic music to perform with sequencers. First with Manuel Goettsching's cult space rock band Ashra from the seventieth, also drumming for the speed symphonic rock Wallenstein and also for Klaus Schule's classic analog synth albums. He aslo released seven albums in solo. Published for the legendary sky records, "synthesist" (1980) and "Oceanheart" (1985) figure at the top. In the 90's he started with Axel Heilhecker the band project Sunya Beat. He also collaborated with Steve Baltes (computer, key) for numerous works (N-Tribe...)

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SynthesistSynthesist
Bureau B 2014
Audio CD$11.98
$11.99 (used)
OceanheartOceanheart
Bureau B 2014
Audio CD$15.00
$16.08 (used)
Sanya BeatSanya Beat
Import
Captain Trip
Audio CD$33.90 (used)
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  • Harald Grosskopf + Pye Corner Audio + Glottalstop on 2 Nov 2014

HARALD GROSSKOPF discography


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HARALD GROSSKOPF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 11 ratings
Synthesist
1980
3.50 | 2 ratings
Oceanheart
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
World Of Quetzal
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Digital Nomad
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
Yeti Society
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Synthesist 2010
2010

HARALD GROSSKOPF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of Harald Grosskopf
1989

HARALD GROSSKOPF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HARALD GROSSKOPF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oceanheart by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Oceanheart
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

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

3 stars Beach soundtrack

Although this album is largely built up around the sounds that made the 80s, there is just something here. For whatever reason, the falseness and rather plastic sounding synths do actually by some miraculous feat come to life - and in a way that I hadn't imagined, when I first popped this album on.

I am a huge fan of Grosskopf's first outing Synthesist, and it may well be the perfect entrance into the world of prog electronic for the uninitiated - those who need umphh and drums in their music... Now while Oceanheart throws around 80s synthesizer loops, sequencers, long deep breaths of effervescent keys - holding hands with the 'new age' outlook, this album does have quite a lot in common with its predecessor. What made the debut such a riveting and seductive piece of electronic music, was its breezy melodies, and how dear Harald went about creating some of the most friendly atmospheres known to mankind - all through the usage of robotic instruments.

Of course, all of this highly skilled sorcery came from his extensive insight into the gurus of the electronic lands - those that practically started it all. Starting out as a drummer in Agitation Free, the synths of Michael Hoenig were never far away, and when he then later on encountered Klaus Schulze, he practically begged to be on one of his albums. -And so he was, actually both the second part of Body Love, a 70s artsy erotic flick that worked so incredibly well with the ghost sounds of Schulze's futuresque electronics, and the now legendary Moondawn. Harald studied to be a Jedi, and it wasn't long hereafter that he picked up a lightsaber of his own, and started waving it about - now commencing to explore the wonderful vastness of space and beyond, all through the powers of the magical and esoteric world of electronic music. Still, it's certainly no secret that Grosskopf's work is highly influenced by both, even if he successfully manages to smooth over the abstract and floating Schulze trademarks. Making them seem incredibly melodic and welcoming.

Oceanheart is like a warm sunny day with beautiful long legged women cycling by you down at the beach. It's melodic stuttering segments of sound, that apart from being backed up by some rather lethargic drum work, doesn't at all seem to stem from a once famous drummer. There is much more ambience and invisible room in this album - like a window to blue skies overhead. The music is open, if you will - and it just swirls around in these tiny docile sculptures, creating a breezy and gentle ride. Nothing here is abrasive. You almost feel like you're receiving a sonic massage.

Honestly though, if I reach for a Grosskopf release, I reach for Synthesist. The two have so much in common, that I mostly just go for the warmth and original vibe of the first. Oceanheart still sports that exact same breezy feel - recalling entire summer holidays spent on the beach watching females and seagulls flapping about.

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 Synthesist 2010 by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Synthesist 2010
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars Though the title of Synthesist 2010 sort of implies a return to the sound of Harald Grosskopf's classic debut album, that is not what is to be found here.

Like Grosskopf's previous album, the production on Synthesist 2010 is very well polished in the same way as most modern new age electronic recordings. Though the music itself is also strongly influenced by the new age electronic sound as found on Yeti Society, it seems to also be equally influenced by Grosskopf's classic propelling short- form Berlin school sound. Unfortunately, these two eras of Grosskopf's career do not mend together very well at all, and what results is a slightly more upbeat and percussive form of out of touch new age trance with pseudo-funky basslines, though much less trance-oriented while retaining the dance elements.

Also, like Yeti Society, no individual track stands out among the others. Every track works together to create an overly long yoga session soundtrack that seems to drag on forever. Any form of reasonable progression or individuality anywhere on this album is nowhere to be found.

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 Yeti Society by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Yeti Society
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars Into the mid 2000's, the once fantastic Harald Grosskopf releases a subpar trance album with strong traces of new age music.

Grosskopf did well transitioning from the '70s into the '80s, but his transition into the modern sounds of the new millennium sound very out of touch. The sound of the synths on Yeti Society are very thin and give off a somewhat smokey psychedelic vibe similar to what you'd expect from the more recent albums by Ozric Tentacles mixed with the cheesy new age drifting sounds of Enigma. For Grosskopf, this new sound is very depressing considering his past achievements.

No individual track on Yeti Society stands out on its own; each track is essentially the same dance-inspired out of touch new age trance with no elements that make any track seem significant in any way.

This album would maybe be a good soundtrack for a yoga or road biking session, but as an actual musical experience by itself it is very disappointing and not at all as compositionally excellent as Grosskopf's earlier work.

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 Oceanheart by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Oceanheart
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

Review by 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.

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 Synthesist by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.92 | 11 ratings

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Synthesist
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
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.

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 Synthesist by GROSSKOPF, HARALD album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.92 | 11 ratings

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Synthesist
Harald Grosskopf Progressive Electronic

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Thanks to one thing he's best at and two artists he collaborated with in a major way, Harald Grosskopf is one of the fine percussionists in the classic length and impact of electronic music - and the first to ever combine dubs between rhythms and synthesizers, as a soloist drummer and in his solo music, from what the bio here points out with precision. His spirit would effortlessly be the mask of a musician that's representative to the German electro-rock movement, if only we wouldn't cautiously prefer not to rise him up such subjective scales. In the same way, we would name him very easily one of the fantastic drummers and percussionists of the classic decade, if only the entire vast period of kraut, electro-kraut then finally electro rock wouldn't be absolutely rich in icons and excellent musicians, including drummers and rhythmicists (plus, Grosskopf didn't impressively appear in many bands of the early years). So let's just mention his prime work with Ashra, after Gottsching changed quite consistently his solo band sounds (meaning Blackouts onwards), plus with Klaus Schulze/Wahnfried, friend, fine collaborator and (this time) grand master in the electronic music course. On a personal note, but also by some of his solo music, Grosskopf seems and in the end is an enjoyable and crafted musician, open-minded at least to when drumming and the fusion of electronic dynamics can have their idle succulence.

Starting his solo small achievements up in 1980, somewhat synchronized with Ashra's final days of continuity but not with Schulze's new ideas of electronic digital music - with percussions mit dabei -, Grosskopf solves rather simplistically the problem of electronic/keyboard music-playing. Simple become the albums as well, meanwhile a dose of playfulness and an acing in sequencing/synthesizing the right stuff (the right buttons) make up the real qualities in his music. Grosskopf does make music as an individual artist, at least in albums such as this Synthesist, but also follows the strict principles that, mostly, were handled by Ashra to a point. Synthesist's narrow edge is that it lacks originality, yet it finds an almost natural freshness, sticking to light-synth music and even dowsing the drum-bomb that could easily make up a heat, nonetheless creating a gentle, successful, admirably essential and recommended work; mainly for altruists listeners, but eventually for soft-boiled critics and great fans of this sort of fusion as well.

Synthesist also rhymes with sequential here on, where Grosskopf's powerful pleasure goes deep into dynamic, fizzing electronic compositions, the combination of fairy melodies, cycling keyboard sounds and (last but not least) the percussion infusion being probably dubbed over several rehearsals and synchronized recordings. The taste of these tracks flows exactly like Ashra's un-sensational, but intense and cheerful glimpses (a la Correlations or a bit of un-fluesy Belle Alliance). The soil for this style is nowhere near rich, but it's no pop or grease either, Grosskopf preferring at any time an ambitious and curios dance over fine art or complex looping. On some moment, the drumming is convincingly superior, alternating upwards to some Nietzsche fast taps, or downwards to a split end of lite-disco. The contrast is set by focusing entirely on keyboards and organs (B. Adrian, Trauma), the result being nothing but ambient, lofty and un-smashing, but yet again enjoyable and un-superficial. There's a weak spot in the album, down precisely the last two tracks, which slip deeply and unforgettably into pop-electric/new-age simple hopping music (a la Baumann and other 80s minor soloists).

For how nice it sounds and how ideal it's worked, Synthesist is probably Grosskopf's finest and is a real treat above a normal session of synth-sequence music. With drums (and a small post-prog feeling).

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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