Kritiken, Empfehlungen, reviews, recommendations

Multi-instrumentist, shynthesist and composer Stephan Kaske, mainly
known for his work in Mythos, which he founded in 1969 and whose first
album was released in 1972 is a pioneer of Synth-Pop, Techno and Space
Sequencer Music.
The author of various albums, as well as infinity of
soundtracks, he has now returned to the stage.
This album gathers his live performance at the Grugapark in Essen,
Germany, in which he surrounded himself with analogic synthesizers,
vocoders and other equipment of the 1970's, as well as other instruments.
Without resorting to computers, he took care of the entire equipment in that
memorable concert.
With his personal style, Kaske offers us a warm performance, imaginative,
in a wave following the spirit of previous albums of Mythos but with a
more eclectic, extemporally approach.

Eduardo Fontana

The Encyclopedia of Electronic Music (Russia) reviewed the "Gallery Concerts" album

Recorded live directly from the mixing board, "Gallery Concerts" is a recent offering from Berlin musician Stephan Kaske aka Mythos.
"Analogdigitalpolyphomono" is a showcase for Stephan's unique approach to synthesizer-based composition. Various moody sequences envelop the listener in a warm and inviting blanket of sound that's totally synthetic in nature and yet sounds very human and comforting.
Excellent music, guys! Once again Stephan proves himself to be a master of subtle sequencing and captivating melodic constructions.
Also of note is the always excellent sound quality. The music is just crystal clear. There's some nice use of Korg vocoder on this track. "Filtergatemania" pumps up those sequences for a rollercoaster ride on top of bubbling pulsations and subtle, yet insistent rhythms. There's a symphonic richness to this piece with an almost orchestra-like grandeur backed by shifting and mutating electronic pulsations.
This music breathes life and proves EM to be a vibrant and captivating genre.
"Improviflutecho" couples warm analog string stabs with rich pulsations and heavier, broken rhythms. Finally, a wonderful mourning flute is heard, bringing in those Middle Eastern sensibilities. The flute section is then over for a reprise of the initial analog strings melodic theme, giving the piece a sense of continuity and completeness.
"Mysticauroraborealis" is the most atmospheric piece of the album. However, it's still firmly rooted in sequences and other pulsing structures. It's just that the pace is slower this time, leaving the individual sounds more space to develop and fully shine. However, the rhythm on this piece is even harder than on the preceding ones - a classic techno-ish bass throb. Vocoder makes another appearance here, this time opting for a more melodic approach (true singing as opposed to just uttering some words). Electronic bagpipes appear on this track, blending in nicely with other textures. The tempo decreases after the 12-minute mark, bringing this monolithic and somewhat dark piece to a halt.
"Sequenctrumpetextasy" once again showcases Stephan's skills at sequencing. Other sounds are worth mentioning too, be it the thick synthetic drone, the wonderful electronic rhythms or the crying trumpet. Hypnotic and asserting, this piece got my head nodding and my foot tapping in no time. And it even ends with my favourite, trademark slow-down!
Love the sequencers? Go get this one!
Enjoy well-programmed synthesizers and skillful rhythms? Go get this one!
Favour a more melodious approach to EM? Go get this one again, as "Gallery Concerts" got it all and then some.
Another winner from Stephan Kaske.

Artemi Pugachov

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*** SONIC CURIOSITY / U.S.A. meint: ***

MYTHOS - Gallery Concerts

This release from 2009 offers 53 minutes of bouncy electronic music recorded live at Grugapark in Essen, Germany, on August 29, 2008.

Mythos is Stephan Kaske. Returning to his roots, Kaske performed without laptop computers, just using flute, electronic bagpipes and an assortment of synthesizers, effects units and vocoders from the 1970s.

Needless to say, the electronics exhibit a retro sound, yet Kaske’s handling delivers a thoroughly modern flair to the bouncy melodies. Textural flows create lavish backdrops for the keyboard riffs and the blooping sidereal effects.

The keyboards are cheery and sprightly, generating nimble-fingered chords of sparkling definition. Additional keyboards lend deeper resonance to the mix, nicely fleshing out the music. Loops are sequenced and left to run while auxiliary riffs enter the flow with steadfast regularity. This multi-layered activity bestows the melodies with a vivacious sense of animation.

E-perc provides sinuously chittering rhythms which introduce a bouncy demeanor to the tuneage. These intricate tempos achieve an almost techno presence, enhanced by the presence of deep bass tones establishing complimentary rhythms.

Flutes are utilized to flavor one song with a lush idyllic attitude, while in another track bagpipes inject an impish lilt with their shrill, sliding chords. Synthesized trumpet gives the last song a dramatic brass presence.

Vocals are fed through vocoders, resulting in mechanized crooning that remains tastily submerged within the spry music.

These compositions are quite liquid. The fusion of antique equipment with Kaske’s well-seasoned talent produces tuneage that adroitly blends contemporary electronic music with techno sensibilities, an engaging mix of cerebral and danceable intentions.

(Matt Howarth)

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It had been a long time since Mythos (Stephan Kaske) played in concert. In the occasions of varnishing, exhibitions, festivals and art galleries, the mythical German musician started a series of intimate concerts where he sprawls all his dexterity, as musical as creative, on 5 titles where structures finely polished up cross a hardly perceptible improvisation, so much the tone is right.
For these concerts, Stephan Kaske used panoply of electronic gears, allying analog tones to those digitals, without using PC and/or laptops. Gallery Concerts is the audio witness of a concert held outdoors in Essen on August 2009. It results in an album of vivifying and warm EM where the rhythm evolves on sequences in crossing, in the purest sound tradition of Mythos but with a more accessible approach.
Fine arpeggios waddle innocently on a sequence who sounds as a lullaby on the opening of Analogdigitalpolyphomono. A fine bass line shapes a soft and flowing rhythm imprint by a German psychedelico-electronic musical universe of the 80’s (Mythos, Clara Mondshine and Baffo Banfi). Charmer, Mythos integrates an electronic flora which mumbles on metallic percussions, of which the rumbles shape a strange automated military march, which pierces a crystalline nebulosity of a discreet groovy and psychedelic approach.
A first quiet track, before the boiling Filtergatemania, which hops and bites a hiccupping structure. A structure livened up by cute jolts which titillates on a heavy and biting bass line as well as a minimalism sequence drowned by beautiful synth to warbling keys and by good percussion strikes.
The more the concert progresses and the more Mythos tames his free audience. If the first 2 titles hook easily, it is another thing with Improviflutecho which is agitating on untidy arpeggios, skipping in a light rainfall of synthesized chords which go and come in a circular echo. We are between analogue and digital worlds with this hiccupping structure hatched by scattered percussions. Foggy synth and ochre atmosphere, Improviflutecho is very representative of the Stephan Kaske's eclectic sound universe.
On a crushed rhythm, the German synthesist succeed to introduce a magnificent charming flute (that we can see on the video), producing a suite of fluty loops to languishing and treble tones which melt themselves in a rhythmic filled of carousel undulations.
A very beautiful track, but there is much better with Mysticauroraborealis, the key title of this live opus. A little as on the first 3 titles, solitary keys wander in a sound world in evolution. A synthesized line encircles the musical piece, such a chipped stroboscope, which rolls on a roaring bass line and percussions to excessive rumbles, creating a heavy and slow rhythm which would make Peter Gun's delights. Except that Mythos brilliantly dresses this track of a psychedelic approach from the flower power area (Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane and the others) with the electronic bagpipe (who sounds as an old organ) completely delirious and a vocoder out of its time. A superbly audacious and inspired title, which is going to make heads waddle.
Sequenctrumpetextasy closes with heaviness. An avalanche of synthesized strata follows an intro with sinister tone, before throwing itself a boiling sound mud, hammered by percussions which find echo into heavy resonant pulsations. This synthesized intro becomes sequential, giving all the freedom to the synth for exploited a symphonic approach, with fabulous twisted forms solos, in a structure which becomes more atmospheric and more ethereal, before resuming the heavy musical coat of its opening.
Well, I liked this last Mythos opus. Of course I do like a lot the works of the German synthesist. Stephan Kaske created so many pearls that I fast became an addict. On the other hand, Gallery Concerts is not really a representative work of the Germanic solitary It is a rather accessible album which touches slightly the soft creative madness of Mythos, in particular with Improviflutecho and the magnificent Mysticauroraborealis. Thus, the fans of Kaske will find something out of it with these two tracks. While those who knew nothing about Mythos, or about his electronic music which is astride Berlin School and Krautrock discovered, during his concerts, a total artist who innovates and builds a music to bipolar tendencies, to hybrid rhythms and to strangely captivating atmospheres.
In brief, they saw great performances, tinted with an approach that demonstrates the innovative nature of the character.
Here are two links, on You Tube, where we can view Mythos live during this homeland tour:
Sylvain Lupari

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Ça faisait longtemps que Mythos (Stephen Kaske) ne s’était produit en concert. Dans le cadre de vernissages, d’expositions, de festivals et de galeries d’art, le mythique musicien Allemand a entrepris une série de concerts intimistes où il étale toute sa dextérité, autant musicale que créative, sur 5 titres où des structures finement fignolées croisent une improvisation à peine perceptible, tant le ton est juste. Pour ses concerts, Stephen Kaske a utilisé une panoplie d’équipements électroniques, alliant les sonorités analogues à celles digitales, sans avoir recours à l’usage de PC et/ou laptops. Gallery Concerts est un le témoin audio du concert présenté en plein air à Essen en Août 2009. Il en résulte en un album de MÉ vivifiante et chaleureuse où le rythme évolue sur des séquences en croisement, dans la plus pure tradition sonore de Mythos mais avec une approche plus accessible. De fins arpèges se dandinent innocemment sur une séquence aux airs de berceuse en ouverture d’Analogdigitalpolyphomono. Une fine ligne de basse façonne un rythme doux et souple empreint d’un univers musical psychedélico-électronique Allemand des années 80 (Mythos, Clara Mondshine et Baffo Banfi). Charmeur, Mythos intègre une flore électronique qui balbutie sur des percussions métallisées, dont les roulements façonnent une étrange marche militaire robotisée, qui perce une nébulosité cristalline d’une discrète approche groovy et psychédélique. Un premier titre tranquille, avant le bouillant Filtergatemania qui sautille et mord une structure hoquetante. Une structure animée de soubresauts croquignolets qui s’émoustille sur une ligne de basse lourde et mordante ainsi qu’une séquence minimalisme noyée par de belles intrusions de synthé aux accords roucoulants et de bonnes frappes de percussions. Plus le concert progresse et plus Mythos apprivoise son auditoire libre. Si les 2 premiers titres accrochent aisément, il en va tout autrement d’Improviflutecho qui s’agite sur des arpèges désordonnés, sautillant dans une ondée d’accords synthétisés qui vont et viennent dans un écho circulaire. Nous sommes à la croisée de l’analogue et du digital avec cette structure hoquetante hachurée de percussions éparses. Synthé brumeux et ambiance ocrée, Improviflutecho est très représentatif de l’univers sonore éclectique de Stephen Kaske. Sur du rythme concassé, le synthésiste Allemand réussi à introduire une superbe flûte enchanteresse (que l’on peut voir sur la vidéo), engendrant une suite de boucles flûtées aux sonorités langoureuses et aigus qui se fondent dans une rythmique aux ondoiements de carrousel. Un très beau titre, mais il y a mieux avec Mysticauroraborealis, le titre phare de cet album en concert. Un peu comme sur les 3 premiers titres, des accords solitaires errent dans un monde sonore en évolution. Une ligne synthétisée ceinture le morceau, tel un stroboscope ébréché, qui roule sur une ligne de basse ronflante et des percussions aux roulements excessifs, créant un rythme lourd et lent qui ferait les délices de Peter Gun. Sauf que, brillant, Mythos habille le titre d’une approche psychédélique des années ‘’flower power’’ (Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane et autres) avec la cornemuse électronique (qui fait office d’un vieil orgue) tout à fait délirant et un vocodeur hors de son temps. Un superbe titre audacieux et inspiré qui va faire dandiner des têtes. Sequenctrumpetextasy clôture avec lourdeur. Une avalanche de strates synthétisées suit une intro à sonorité patibulaire, pour se jeter dans une mare sonore bouillonnante, martelée de percussions qui trouvent écho auprès de lourdes pulsations résonnantes. Cette intro synthétisée devient séquentielle, laissant toute liberté au synthé d’exploiter une approche symphonique, avec de fabuleux solos aux formes torsadés, dans une structure qui devient plus atmosphérique, plus éthérée, avant de reprendre le lourd manteau musical de son ouverture. Ben…j’ai bien aimé ce dernier opus de Mythos. C’est sur que je suis vendu à la cause du synthésiste Allemand. Stephen Kaske a tellement pondu de petites perles que je suis vite devenu un accro. Par contre, Gallery Concerts n’est pas vraiment représentatif des œuvres du solitaire Germanique. C’est un album assez accessible qui frôle légèrement la douce folie créative de Mythos, notamment avec Improviflutecho et le superbe Mysticauroraborealis. Donc, les fans de Kaske y trouvent leur compte avec ces deux titres. Alors que ceux qui ne connaissaient rien à Mythos, ni à sa musique électronique qui chevauche la Berlin School et le Krautrock, ont découvert, lors de ses concerts, un artiste complet qui innove et qui construit une musique aux tendances bipolaires, aux rythmes hybrides et aux atmosphères étrangement envoutantes. Bref, ils ont eu droit à de belles prestations, teintées d’une approche qui démontre le caractère innovateur du personnage. Voici deux liens où l’on peut visionner Mythos en action sur You Tube, lors de cette tournée :
et (lundi 11 janvier 2010)
Sylvain Lupari

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