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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

COSMIC HOFFMANN: Best of (2012-2016)

Best Of is indeed the best way to discover the great world of Cosmic Hoffmann, an iconic figure in EM and in the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style

1 Howling Wolves 8:08 2 Shiva Connection 10:39 3 Hypnotic 5:08 4 Opera Mellotronique 7:51 5 The Call of Gullu 10:41 6 The Gate of Bihar 6:03 7 Sehr Mystisch 5:53 8 Spacewards 12:37 9 Crab Nebula 7:39 AD Music ‎– AD165CD

(CD-r/DDL 74:43) (V.F.) (Berlin School, Kosmik Musik)

That feels great to hear again the very beautiful music of Cosmic Hoffmann, of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Although this brilliant guitarist and synthesist founder of Mind Over Matter is a little more discreet since the making of Hypernova, his last album including a collection of unpublished titles released in 2009, he remains an always symbolic character of EM as prove his multiple collaborations and his participation in the creation of digital Mellotron, the Memotron from Manikin. AD Music re-releases the albums of Cosmic Hoffmann (7 all in all) for the needs of streaming platforms. BEST OF is a re-release, without new mixing nor mastering, of the compilation album entitled Best of Cosmic Hoffmann which saw the light of day in 2012 on Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's label, Heart and Mind.

Composed in 1997, Howling Wolves sets the tone with a slightly jerky but rather fluid movement with a line of bass sequences which waves peacefully under layers of synth in the colors of Tangerine Dream in Desert Green and under the howlings of cosmic wolves. The approach is rather vintage with very warm tones which and with beautiful synth solos which coo in a mass of cosmicolectronic tones. The ambiences are soft, and the effects are near the psychotronic universe the 70's. It's a very good title stemming from the first album of Cosmic Hoffmann, Beyond the Galaxy. Shiva Connection presents us the very energetic side of Cosmic Hoffmann with a hyper jerky structure which parades as a train at a brisk pace in the interstellar landscapes. Other title and other structure of rhythm, Hypnotic changes of tone with a rhythm livened up by some motorik percussions which shake a nest of sequences skipping with fright. The synth spreads a mixture of charms as much of a flute and saxophone with beautiful harmonies, so giving an approach of hypnotic tribal trance to a title which reaches the aimed purpose. Opera Mellotronique doesn't really need presentation! It's exactly what we wish to hear of this master of Mellotron. Beautiful and ambient, one listens to it the eyes in the stars. The finale is magnificently captivating. Fine minimalist pulsations draw the rhythm slightly pulsatory but resolutely ambient of The Call of Gullu. An avalanche of synth lines gets entwine and unroll in a thick cloud of sound hoops from where escape solos and harmonies all carriers of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik seal. Always very comfortable with a Mellotron, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock brings us in the dark spheres of la belle époque with a beautiful floating structure where voices and effects of enveloping layers remind us the sublime period of Tangerine Dream's Phaedra. If we like those cosmic ambient phases, Spacewards will know how to fill our waits with a beautiful structure which too is not far from this era too but in a more cosmic envelope. Sehr Mystisch flirts a little with the structure of Howling Wolves with a wave-like movement and some rather piercing songs of synth. The effect of cosmos is always very present. Crab Nebula concludes this very representative collection of Cosmic Hoffmann with a structure which drifts as so comfortably than Spacewards and where the sweetness of the Mellotron and the beauty of the cosmicolectronic effects are as much inviting as the sweetness of Morpheus. There is a bit of Vangelis in this title for the effects of intensity which make rise a little the adrenalin of an eater of cosmic tones on the edge to fall asleep.

We had lost Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock a little in the fog since a couple of years. And this initiative to put back on the map a piece of his immense career with his Cosmic Hoffmann project is completely justified. It's the best way to discover this brilliant artist and this BEST OF describes aptly the styles and the approaches of this iconic figure of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style.

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th, 2016) ****½*

Available at AD Music

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