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Amazings.com - Harald Grosskopf makes a thorough display of musical power in this album.

With a global approach that mostly moves through pure Techno, Ambient and Atmospheric Pop, the music includes traits of ethnic music, yet not in the ususal way (as mere adornments), as they appear in many albums by an infinity of apparently innovating artists. Here, Grosskopf is skillfully opening a door towards a genre that could be defined as "cyber-ethnic music".

Edgar Kogler, www.amazings.com/reviews2003.html

Electrogarden - First a little history lesson; Harald Grosskopf is a bona fide Krautrock legend, having drummed with the legendary bands Ash Ra Tempel (& Ashra as they later became known), Wallenstein & on many Klaus Schulze albums (including the classic "Moondawn") as well as participating in the legendary, drug soaked Cosmic Jokers sessions & producing the classic solo album "Synthesist" in 1976 (1980! ...mv). Since then he has proved himself something of the nomad that the title refers to, working on a number of varied projects before releasing this album on the British AMP Records label in September 2002.

The 7 tracks here are a potent mix of techno, electronica, trance & ethnic musics & throughout Grosskopf (& Steve Baltes, whose help was invaluable in the making of this album) proves his mastery of producing truly progressive & innovative music that doesn't rely on self indulgant noise mongering or deadly dull ambient minimalism. This music has purpose, drive & while it is outwardly accessable it's always likely to surpise the listener as you never truly know what is coming next. This is evident during the opening "Gamma Knife" where an easily enjoyable piano lead interacts with ethnic voices & deep bass drums or the slowly unfolding spacey ambience of the following "Sea Of Tranquility", both of which prove that they know how to lay on the atmosphere nice & thick. The touching majesty of "Cryonic Suspension" seems to be going the same way until the muscular second half announces itself & carries on the established theme. The overall effect is like taking a magical ride on a flying carpet.

Grosskopf's drumming proves invaluable in contributing towards the very complicated rhythms that are used throughout including the racey & infectious "Diving At The Reichstag" or "Alien Inspectors" where a melange of electronica & tribal rhythms slowly mutate into another driving climax. The chunky "Urban Glamour Zone" & "Come Pass The Gate" where a host of varying rhythms interlock pefectly again prove the musicians' worth.

Any album like this needs a few listens before it shows it's true potential & rather than relying on any commercial whimsicality the intriguing & sometimes intoxicating mix takes it's influences from the world as we know it & beyond.

Released: 2002 Label: AMP Records Cat No: AMP-CD 044
Contact: ampmusic.demon.co.uk
Rating: 8

Carl Jenkinson

Krautrock Towers - Having played a part in many of the seminal moments of Kosmische/Krautrock (Moondawn, X, Correlations), Harald Grosskopf is not a man to rely on the past for his own musical future.

Digital Nomad is an infectious brew of techno, tribal, electronic and ambient music - some light and some quite dark. Written, produced and recorded by Harald and mastered by Steve Baltes at Mission Control studio (another member of Sunya Beat), Digital Nomad is firmly rooted in the tradition of contempary electronica/dance music , I suspect all the percussion is of an electronic nature, quite fitting for a man who was the first to experiment with merging sequencers and live drumming at a serious level.

Gamma Knife, the first of seven tracks, kicks in like a darker version of Banco De Gaia, followed by an exquisite piano melody over some lively techno rhythms, perhaps comparable with mid nineties Orb.

Sea of Tranquillity starts with some cosmic ambience soon to be overtaken by some chunky pads and a sample of an astronaut's voice, presumably flying over the Sea of Tranquillity!

Cryonic Suspension continues the spacey vibe followed by a funky electronic rhythm with a female wordless voice floating above the beat.

Come Pass The Gate is a techno-world music hybrid - lots of ethnic voices and samples used as beats - dare I say reminding me of 808 State.

Driving at the Reichstag and Urban Glamour Zone are both ethno-electro-funk excursions with some vocodered vocals and bouncing synth pads thrown in for good measure. The finale, the 13 minute Alien Invaders drifts back into the ambience of outer space before being treated to drum and bass inspired rhythms that will appeal to fans of Eat Static.

Krautrock Towers (website doesn’t exist anymore)

Wind & Wire - Digital Nomad is one of the more exciting albums to have come my way recently. All music has its place in your heart and mind, and what album makes it to the CD player and gets an airing often depends on one's mood at the time. Music can also influence mood; this album falls into the enlivening category of music - especially if it's played at a "not to be ignored without difficulty" volume level.

The album gets off to a cracking start in "Gamma Knife." A weird processed voice has a brief airing before the main theme gets underway. A clever and engaging melody is created by piano (or maybe an electronic piano effect) as percussion, drums, subtle choral sounds, and other electronica are added to make a lively first impression.

More melodic pieces are delivered later, such as in the rhythmic "Cryonic Suspension" which includes wordless female vocals complementing the synths and pounding rhythms. Some spacemusic elements are present on this album too. In "Sea of Tranquility" majestic synths combine with spacey and underground style sound effects in this reference to a part of our moon. The latter half of the track includes (slightly distorted?) audio footage from a moon mission.

The last piece, called "Alien Inspectors," is a great piece with superb rhythms and good use of synths. It's also the longest piece, edging towards being hypnotic it nevertheless has enough going on to not be too mesmerising.

In a sense Digital Nomad nearly assaults the listener in its demand to be heard. Spanning several themes, but having a leaning to ideas of space, the music is predominantly upbeat and melodic; it has good voice effects too. This album is not likely to be a stranger to my CD player. Don't make it a stranger to yours!

Dene Bebbington, Wind & Wire

C&DS, UK - Brand new studio album, and, thank goodness, something very refreshing on the stale Euro-mainland synth music scene these days. This is quality stuff - varied, incredibly well played, composed and produced, accessible but not absolutely instant and, above all, varied.

The opening track is a sort of synth-classical-techno-tribal hybrid that takes a couple of listens to get into but you'll be glad you stuck with it as it finds a deserved place in your head, synths, piano, drums and samples all coming together to magical effect. Thereon in, every track takes on something different, so that you'll find cosmic, sequencer, Berlin School, hard techno, melodic and poppy, lurching rhythmic monsters full of synths, drums, samples and layers, and much much more on one of the most varied yet consistent albums of synth music that will come out of the Euro-mainland this year. Superb.

Andy G., C&DS

Eurock - It has been a while since the last album proper from Harald. On DIGITAL NOMAD, aided by his Ashra colleague Steve Baltes, he takes electronic soundscapes to their extreme limits, fusing world music, dark ambient textures and driving percussion into a striking audio experience, creating a soundtrack for a limitless imagination.

Archie Patterson, Eurock, September 2002

Synth Music Direct (UK) - The last track on the compilation album 'Music for the 3rd Millennium Vol. 3' is 'Digital Nomad' by Harald Grosskopf.
Sounds of dripping water and chiming bells create a great eerie beginning. A fantastic sequence emerges out of the atmospherics building in power as a good drum line adds extra umph. The drums become even more insistent setting into a great body-moving pattern. A crystalline sounding sequence now comes in replacing everything else transforming the mood to one of delicate calmness. A different rhythmic pattern then starts up, not as energetic as before but still causing the feet to tap in time to it. Another powerful whirling sequence starts up and we move to a further blistering section. This is a fantastic track - the best on an excellent compilation.

David Law, 2001

Sequences (UK) - Another famous name, Harald Grosskopf, closes the compilation album 'Music for the 3rd Millennium Vol. 3' with a 10 minute piece called 'Digital Nomad' (there's a story behind that title, I'm sure!) which shows that, as well as having his very own percussive style he's not lacking when it comes to composing on synths either as this is another superb piece, a step on or several from his 'Synthesist' album but retaining several elements of that style.

Carl Jenkinson, March 2001

Syngate - He was sure! There´s a whole CD behind that title. 10 years after his last solo album Harald Grosskopf released 'Digital Nomad', a digital voyage thru various electronic soundcapes.

Lothar Lubitz, SynG@te, October 2002

AMP Records & Music, UK - One of the all-time stars of the Berlin "Kosmische" scene with Ash Ra Tempel, Wallenstein and on some of the most outstanding albums of Klaus Schulze, as a drummer and synthesist he has released several solo albums, of which "Digital Nomad" is the first to have a UK release.

On "Digital Nomad" Grosskopf takes electronic soundscapes to their extreme limits, fusing world music, dark ambient textures and driving techno percussion into a striking audio experience, the soundtrack for a limitless imagination. Harald is accompanied on the CD by Ash Ra colleague Steve Baltes; the 7 tracks run continuously for almost 50 minutes, combining modern techno ambient styles with the experience of the classic epic electronics of the 1970's

Mark Jenkins, AMP Records

Tribute to Ashra, Germany - Ein alter Bekannter meldet sich zurück, der zuletzt mit seinen 3 Solo Alben, Gemeinschaftsprojekten wie Sunya Beat, N-Tribe und natürlich als Schlagzeuger bei ASHRA begeistert hat und auch mit seinem neuen Werk nicht enttäuscht.

Das vorliegende Album ist das erste reguläre neue Studioalbum von Harald Grosskopf, seit „World of Quetzal" von 1992. „Digital Nomad" ist in England auf AMP Records erschienen und es ist überhaupt das erste Album von Harald Grosskopf, welches in England veröffentlicht wurde.

7 Tracks mit Spielzeiten zwischen 04:15 und 12:30 Minuten prägen das, mit einer Gesamtspielzeit von 50 Minuten, leider etwas kurz geratene Album. Es ist sehr viel Neues von Harald Grosskopf auf dem nun vorliegenden Album zu hören, als bei den Vorgängern, dennoch ist ein typisches Album von Harald Grosskopf. Seit seinem letzten Soloalbum von 1992 ist viel Zeit vergangenen und dementsprechend hat sich Harald Grosskopf - parallel zu seinen jüngsten Projekten mit Steve Baltes und Axel Heilhecker (Sunya Beat, Album „4 x 3") - auch solistisch weiterentwickelt, was hier auf „Digital Nomad" zum Ausdruck kommt. Es lohnt sich, die CD von Anfang bis Ende durchzuhören. Da alle Tracks ohne Pause ineinander übergehen, bieten sie dem Hörer einen komplexen Eindruck, beinahe wie aus einem Guss. Die gesamte Musik der CD ist sehr eingängig, rhythmisch, experimentell und abwechslungsreich. Ruhige Flächen und technoähnliche, antreibende Rhythmen, sowie etwas Drums’n’Bass geben sich mit schöner Regelmäßigkeit die Klinke in die Hand. Des Weiteren ziehen sich Samples, Trance und Voice-Samples durch die Tracks (siehe besonders Track 4), die aber nie aufdringlich werden oder wirken.

Ashra Mitglied Steve Baltes zeichnet sich bei dieser Produktion besonders für das Mastering verantwortlich und steuerte wohl auch einige persönliche Samples bei. Alles in allem ein recht gelungenes Album mit den Highlights: „Cryonic Suspension" und „Diving at the Reichstag".

Es bleibt die Hoffnung, dass man nicht wieder 10 Jahre auf ein neues Solo Album von Harald Grosskopf warten muss.

H. Neumann, Tribute-to-Ashra

Cue-Records - Harald Grosskopf legt ja immer wieder ungewöhnliche Werke auf. Für seine neueste CD Digital Nomad, hatte er gute Unterstützung von Steve Baltes. Nun, da fehlt ja nicht mehr viel,um aus der ganzen CD eine Ashra CD zu machen. Stellenweise sind die Songs auch sehr an den Ashra Stil angelehnt und man ist fasziniert, was sich der Künstler so alles einfallen läßt. Von melodischen über rhythmischen bis hin zu sphärischen Titeln sind alle Register gezogen worden, um eine außergewöhnliche Produktion auf höchstem Klangniveau entstehen zu lassen. Deshalb: CD des Monats.

Review: Cue-Records

KEYBOARDS, Germany - Auf seinem ersten "englischen" Soloalbum versucht sich Drummer, Perkussionist und Sound Designer Harald Grosskopf, assistiert vom jungen Ashra-Kollegen Steve Baltes, an der Quadratur des Kreises. In sieben crossgefadeten Tracks probiert er, ob das zusammenpasst: klassische "Berliner Schule" -Kosmik und aktuelle Trance-Beats plus Dark-Ambient-Sounds/Ethno -Sampling. Erstaunlich: es passt, auch wenn das Ziel der Fusion vermeintlich inkompatibler Stile im Opener "Gamma Knife" (bisschen viel Piano -Zucker für den electrodomteurischen Geschmack!) noch etwas halbherzig angesteuert wird. Ab Track 3 ("Cryonic Suspension"), einem hymnischen, an die romantisch-urbanen Electro-Meditationen des sich hoffentlich auch bald wieder zurückmeldenden Italo-Duos ReStart aka Isabella Colliva & Cinzia Donti erinnernden Pracht-Stück, geht die Rechnung voll auf - vor allem dank der Courage, mit der Grosskopf jedem Synthy-Sphären-Track eine wilde Percussions-Orgie folgen lässt (Tipp: Track 4"Pass The Gate"), die den Verdacht ausräumt, hier werde nur wieder alter Spree-Wein in neue Düsseldorfer Schläuche gefüllt. "Digital Nomad" ist ein Album aus 2002; man hört`s in jedem Takt, freut sich darüber und applaudiert am Ende einem Urgestein, das im Gegensatz zu manchen zeitgleich gestarteten "EM"-Veteranen noch keine Spur Moos angesetzt hat. Drum on, Herr Grosskopf!

A. Piltz, Electrodome, KEYBOARDS


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