Friday, June 28, 2013

Kosmischer Laufer Krautrock Hoax?

From the first time I saw mention of the Kosmischer Laufer tapes something struck me as odd. Before I had even heard the tapes or read any of the interviews it all seemed a little lucky that someone had unearthed these tapes of training music for East German athletes and that they hadn't surfaced before now.

It has turned out to be a hoax but a highly entertaining, well presented and planned one. From the fake biography to the music itself the whole ruse is amusing. It great to see someone spend sometime exploiting the wholes in history and the internet to come up with something as "complete" as the fiction created around the music they had recorded.

Surely all artist and bands are to some degree a work of fiction and at least this showed a degree of imagination and elan sadly lacking from much of today's music scene.

Although not official confirmed as a hoax (why would you break the spell) it does appear to have been recorded by two electronic musicians in Scotland.  They run the label (well the Bandcamp Page) that contains the recording.

They also went to the trouble of creating a website, Twitter Feed, YouTube channel and Facebook Page for the "artist".

This is from the biography page on the main Kosmischer Laufer website:

"...In East Germany in the early 1970’s Martin Zeichnete worked as a sound editor for DEFA, (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned film studio. Like many young East Germans of the time he would listen furtively to West German radio at night and became infatuated with the Kosmische Musik or ‘Krautrock’ epitomised by the likes of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster emerging from his neighbouring country. Martin, a keen runner, hit upon the idea of using the repetitive, motorik beats of this new music as a training aid for athletes.

After sharing his concept with colleagues Martin was taken from his studio to East Berlin, quizzed by the authorities about his ideas and, fearing the worst, was surprised to find himself put to work by the Nationales Olympisches Komitee immediately. Installed in a cold Berlin studio with the few electronic instruments the state could supply, (Martin asked for a Moog but was refused), he began one of the strangest journeys in music. Know to the government as State Plan 14.84L, Martin and his fellow musicians informally called it ‘Projekt Kosmischer Läufer’ (Cosmic Runner).

For the next 11 years Martin would be spirited to Berlin to work on tracks with little notice. He created hours of music fusing traditional rock instruments with synthesizers, early drum computers, tape slicing and looping techniques he and his engineer formulated themselves. His output included tracks for running at various paces, warm up pieces, ‘ambient’ music to play in gyms during training...."

You can discover the weird and wonderful world of Kosmischer Laufer  via the following links

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