Hans-Werner Fassbender & Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock
Heartbeat Cover
Heartbeat Part 1
Heartbeat Part 2

P+© 2001 by HEART and MIND - HaM3

An earthy cover with a strange hybrid photo greets the holder of this CD. I'm very familiar with Klaus' excellent work, under the names Cosmic Hoffmann and Mind Over Matter, as well as his strong support to other electronic musicians such as Ron Boots and Stephen Parsick. Though Hoffmann-Hoock's music often has a dreamy quality, he usually employs strong rhythmic elements as well. Such is not the case in this largely quiet music, perhaps the influence of musical companion Fassbender, with whom I'm not at all acquainted. For the first several minutes, a low muted heartbeat is joined by sort of retro-sounding Mellotron and such. Strings assert themselves just prior to the 8:00 mark, lending a more dramatic, symphonic quality, but only for a moment. This is followed by a mini-collage of various sounds, then more soft drifting. Eventually, it settles almost into classical mode, with gentle echoes of piano against a minimal atmospheric backdrop. An odd clicking sounds flitters about in the background as well. The music manages to be unassuming and challenging at the same time. It defies categorization as ambient, Berlin school, or classical, yet there are elements of all three and more. The emphasis is on soft textures, occasional melody, even bravado at times, such as the crashing cymbals 22 minutes into part one. This part ends with strange alien underwater sounds, a spooky but very interesting finish. If part one showed restraint for 30 minutes, part two is 22 minutes of bolder combinations of seemingly different elements, though it remains relaxed and mostly quiet. Mellotron strings again permeate. Light tribal sounds like wood blocks and such bounce around. Sometimes, it sounds as though Klaus and Hans are exploring, trying to find their way, but such is the nature of spontaneous improvisation, and the results are largely successful and soothing. Recommended.

2001 (c) Phil Derby / Sequences Magazine
The two tracks are simply called 'Parts One and Two' and rather appropriately right from the outset a heartbeat can be heard very low in the mix. Windy cosmic noises blow over the top making for a deliciously atmospheric beginning. More conventional synth pads then make an entrance. At five minutes we get what sounds like a Mellotron (an instrument which is never far away when Klaus is involved). Things then become very atmospheric again as we enter a rather ghostly haunting section. Next on the agenda is a dramatic, filmatic, orchestral score type passage. Its a return to spooky realms next with wind blown percussion sounds but this doesn't last for long.

Organ sounds start to swell over tranquil drones, these are then replaced by faintly choral pads but as you are probably beginning to guess by now we soon move on from this into yet another section, this time more 'metallic' sounding. Everything is calm but rather fluid as we are constantly moving from one mood on to the next. At sixteen minutes we get the first melodic section played on the piano but even this is rather meandering. Strummed guitar sounds then accompany it. Its then back to floating pads and percussive effects. 'Part Two' commences with another filmatic passage. If anything this 'Part' of the CD is even more floating than the first. Apart from the glockenspiel solo at five minutes that is ! There are more gorgeous mellotron sounds at eleven minutes making the listening experience even more serene and this feeling continues with the addition of piano detail up until the end. 'Heartbeat' is very different from either Klaus' Mind Over Matter or Cosmic Hoffman material.

Like 'Shambala' it is ideal music for meditation but the sounds used on this album are very different. Whether it has any similarities with Hans' solo albums I don't know as unfortunately I haven't heard them. Just to finish a word of warning. Apparently some CD players "don't like" this CD. If yours is one of them please return it and choose something else or ask for a refund. (DL)


Naast de releases onder de namen Mind over Matter, Cosmic Hoffmann en sinds kort ook Mindala is er bij het brein achter deze drie bands nu zelfs sprake van een vierde "incarnatie" (het lijkt wel een aflevering van The X-Files), namelijk die van Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock zelf. Samen met de kunstenaar Hans-Werner Fassbender bracht hij in 2000 een cd uit getiteld "Heartbeat" (in de zgn "Encounter Series "). Bij mijn weten heeft Klaus slechts twee keer iets onder zijn eigen naam uitgebracht, beide op verzamelaars. In 1995 verscheen op een Schwingungen Club-verzamelaar de uit 1980 daterende track "Rohan Rider" (Tolkien liefhebbers opgelet), die tot nu toe op geen enkele andere cd te vinden is. Het in 1996 op de "Radiowellen "-sampler geplaatste "Howling Wolves" is inmiddels op de eerste cd van Cosmic Hoffmann uitgebracht. Maar nu ligt er dus een complete cd onder eigen naam. De muziek op "Heartbeat" is eigenlijk weer geheel anders dan Klaus' andere werk. Ditmaal geen etnische rock, Berliner Schule sequencers of ontmoetingen met de Kosmos. Het is een ruim vijftig minuten durend concert in twee delen ( "Heartbeat" deel 1 en 2), dat grotendeels geïmproviseerd tot stand gekomen is. De gelegenheid was de opening van een schilderijententoonstelling van Fassbender in het Gebäude der FAA Gesellschaft für berufliche Bildung in Mönchengladbach op 20 november 1998. Fassbender speelt toetsen en gitaar en Klaus is te horen op zijn Megatron, de digitale Mellotron. Hij heeft de elektrische gitaar dus tijdelijk aan de wilgen gehangen. "Heartbeat" bestaat uit zeer rustige, dromerige muziek, die begint en eindigt met hartslaggeluiden. De muziek van Klaus, die telkens nieuwe zijpaden inslaat maar die altijd te kenmerken blijft als eersteklas elektronische muziek, blijft boeien. Deze cd is naast de beide Cosmic Hoffmann releases het derde album op Klaus' eigen Heart & Mind label.

Perry Moree / KLEM NL
Next to the releases under the names Mind over Matter, Cosmic Hoffmann and recently, Mindala, there is even a fourth "incarnation" (it looks like an episode from The X-Files) in the brain behind these three bands, namely that of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Together with the artist Hans-Werner Fassbender, he released in 2000 a CD titled "Heartbeat" (in the so-called "Encounter Series"). To my knowledge, Klaus only twice released something under his own name, both on compilation-albums. In 1995, there was a track on a Schwingungen Club-compilation, "Rohan Riders" (Tolkien-lovers: pay attention) from 1980 which until now can't be found on any other album. "Howling Wolves", which was released on the "Radiowellen"-sampler in 1996, appeared on the first CD of Cosmic Hoffmann. But now there is a complete CD under his own name. The music on "Heartbeat" actually is totally different from Klaus' other work. This time no ethnic rock, Berliner Schule sequencers or encounters with the Cosmos. It is a concert of more than fifty minutes in two parts ("Heartbeat" part 1 and 2), that is largely improvised. The occasion was the opening of an exhibition of paintings from Fassbender in the Gebäude der FAA Gesellschaft für berufliche Bildung in Mönchengladbach on November 20, 1998. Fassbender plays keys and prepared guitar and Klaus can be heard on his Megatron, the digital Mellotron. So he has temporarily put away his electric guitar. "Heartbeat" consists of very quiet, dreamy electronic music which opens and ends with the sound of a beating heart. Klaus' music keeps taking sideways all the time but it is always recognizable as first class electronic music that remains fascinating. This CD next to both Cosmic Hoffmann releases is the third album on Klaus' own Heart & Mind label.

Perry Moree / KLEM NL

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