LP - Rolf Trostel - Inselmusik - Reissue
Bureau B reissue Rolf Trostel's Inselmusik (1981). Rolf Trostel is a protagonist of the so-called Berliner Schule, or Berlin School (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze). On his first album Inselmusik, he explores the sonic possibilities of the recently introduced PPG wavetable synthesizer. The music is based on live performances from the late 1970s by Trostel and Krautrock guitarist Günter Schickert. Formally speaking, Inselmusik is a demonstration of the PPG Wave Computer 360, a synthesizer. Rolf Trostel had worked briefly as a distributor for the manufacturer, affording him ample opportunity to play the instrument for presentation purposes. In terms of content, Inselmusik is minimalist, meditative and contemplative music, enriched with remarkable choral sounds, flutes and effects. Overlapping sequencer lines and dominant expanses with feel-good harmonies are carried along on calm, soothing beats. Trostel described his music at the time as "Klangfarbenkompositionen" - tonal, textural compositions. Wavetable synthesis is commonplace now - in considerably advanced form - and integrated in many soundcards or digital synthesizers. The version which featured in the PPG Wave Computer 360 was purist, to say the least. The clanging tones it created could be harsh or brittle at times. This highly distinctive sound, particularly in combination with the charming Roland CR-78 CompuRhythm drum machine amounted to a real surprise package back then. The latter's mighty kick has stood the test of time, sounding no less powerful today. Our ears have long since grown used to digital sounds and patterns crafted with wavetable technology. But the filterless, purist methodology deployed here serves to emphasize the work's unique sonic qualities. Inselmusik thus allows us to grasp just how astonishing these often raucous sounds must have seemed when first unleashed. Trostel's early releases have legitimately assumed the status of valuable contemporary documents, rarities amongst the few albums which illustrate how the sonic pioneer of wavetable synthesis played such a fundamental role in sonic development; Rolf Trostel recorded Inselmusik exclusively with this very synthesizer, a corresponding sequencer and CR-78 drum computer in his own home studio. The original pressing of 1000 LPs sold out in no time, encouraging Trostel to continue.