Beyond the Galaxy

Beyond the Galaxy Cover
1. Beyond the Galaxy
2. The Gate of Lahore Part1
3. Howling Wolves
4. The Gate of Lahore Part2
5. Wanderers of Time
P+© 1999 by HEART and MIND - HaM 1

Many years ago a friend who shares my love for 'vintage keyboards' advised me to listen to COSMIC HOFFMANN because of the frequent use of my beloved Mellotron. He also told me that this musician owned at least 13 Mellotrons at his home. COSMIC HOFFMANN does justice to his musical name because most of his music sounds very spacey/cosmic featuring beautiful Mellotron waves (often the violin section), soaring synthesizers and in the title track a fiery and often howling guitar solo along captivating, Arabian inspired synthesizer flights.

In the less dreamy parts the music has echoes from 1974 - 1980 Tangerine Dream, early Neuronium and early J.M.Jarre, very warm and melodic. The final, very mellow and hypnotizing composition 'Wanderers of Time' features as guest on synthesizer Ron Boots, the pivotal and prolific front man of the new Dutch electronic music. If you like cosmic electronic, Cosmic Hoffmann will please you.

Eric Neuteboom NL
An incredible synth/Mellotrons based album, and one of the best of its type ever!
Whether you're into Kraut, space or prog instrumental music, this album will have appeal for you. There are 3 long tracks that run between twelve and nineteen minutes each, and 2 of seven and eight minutes, and every one is fantastic! The 1st track, for example, starts with some classic space synth layers before introducing a huge set of synth rhythms, synth leads and sequencers, and showing the rest how it should be done — A rock solid slice of classic Teutonic-flavoured synth music that will have TD fans in tears of joy. Not only that, but you also get a superbly used electric guitar line in there too just to give an added depth and a sense of dynamics and bite, as the whole thing flows along leaving you in raptures of delight. I'll tell you how good it is - the first ten minutes flies by and you feel you've not been listening to it for more than five - this is just fantastic! The music fades around the thirteen-minute mark into a sea of cosmic bliss with keyboard layers and textures that take the piece to a perfect conclusion. Track 2 features nearly eight minutes of Mellotrons - yes, this IS Mellotron heaven, on a track featuring synthesizer backdrops that leave the main work to that classic keyboard, and the track is one of the finest vehicles for Mellotron work since Edgar Froese's 'Epsilon In Malaysian Pale' album, and you don't need me to tell you how good that was. The rest of the album is equally sensational using all these settings from electric guitar, sequencers, Mellotrons, synth melodies and rhythms, cosmic backdrops to produce stunning works from the hands and mind of a truly gifted musician who, in one fell swoop, manages to put so many others to shame, leaving even the likes of Red Shift, early Air Sculpture and certainly modern Tangs, dead at the starting post.
Could be best synth album of the year, certainly one of the top three. Essential listening.

ND GB/ 1999
Bevor Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock ( als Gitarrist ein deutscher Dave Gilmour, als Mellotron-Kollektor unter anderem Autor der grundlegenden Mellotron-Stories in KEYBOARDS 2/94 bis 5/94 und 4/98 ) sein erfolgreiches Bandprojekt 'Mind Over Matter' aus der Taufe hob, war er - von 1976 bis '82 - unter dem Pseudonym 'Cosmic Hoffmann' aktiv. Daß Cosmic Hoffmanns Erzählungen nun, nach fast 17-jähriger Pause, ein weiteres Kapitel hinzugefügt wird, ist ein so unerwarteter wie logischer Schritt, denn auf den bislang acht MoM-Alben wirkten Hoffmann-Hoocks elektronische Space-Exkursionen doch mitunter wie Fremdkörper. Was also lag näher, als 'Cosmic Hoffmann', nunmehr ab MoM-Seitenprojekt, wiederzubeleben!

Und so frönt Hoffmann-Hoock auf "Beyond The Galaxy" - eingespielt mit den Gästen Stephen "RAMP" Parsick (Synthesizer, Sequencer, Electronics) und Ron Boots (Synthesizer), zugleich die erste Veröffentlichung auf dem frisch gegründeten Label 'Mind and Heart' - seinem Faible für die Psychedelic der späten Sechziger und frühen Siebziger, als seien alle Uhren nach Tangerine Dream's "Zeit" stehen geblieben. Vor allem im bereits 1978 entstandenen "Howling Wolves" (Track 3, 8:13) wird eine analoge Galaxie vermessen, die Jerome Froese nur vom Hörensagen (oder aus Papas Archiv) kennt. Die Zukunft der elektronischen Musik sieht zwar anders aus, aber die Vergangenheit hatte auch ihren Reiz; 'Cosmic Hoffmann' beweist's.

Albrecht Piltz
KEYBOARDS / D 11/1999

l have heard so much good music in 1999, particularly in the Berlin School style, that l am starting to run out of superlatives to describe them. So, here l go again, raving about yet another excellent one, "Beyond the Galaxy". l've already compromised myself by describing two previous releases (RMI's "Borrowed Atoms" and Ron Boots' "Tainted Bare Skin") as the best music l've heard in 1999. So if l say it again, well, all l can say is, l keep hearing really great music. Let's just say that l really, really like this CD.
Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (a.k.a. Cosmic Hoffmann, a.k.a. head of the band `Mind Over Matter`) plays guitar, Mellotron and electronics. He also keeps excellent company, including Stephen Parsick and Ron Boots as guests on certain tracks. Hoffmann notes that he has had the concept for this CD in his head since 1974. In fact, my favourite track "Howling Wolves" was recorded in 1978. Crisp sequences, stellar electronic effects and noises really push this one along. Parsick 's presence is definitely felt on the title track, which sounds very similar to material from his "Traces of the Past"-CD, no big surprise, since Hoffmann played on it as well. l wish l could describe in words how fantastic this music is, it is truly an extraordinary testament to 1970s krautrock. Both up-tempo sequencer pieces and laidback space journeys are played to perfection. "The Gate of Lahore Part 1" sounds eerily similar to parts of Tangerine Dream's classic 1974 recording "Phaedra", and Part 2 would be equally at home there. Both are expansive, reflective pieces that unlock the imagination to explore faraway places. Hoffmann's eastern influences from `Mind Over Matter` creep ever so slightly into the meditative "Wanderers of Time"; which includes both Parsick and Boots in fine form. This serene floater is a perfectly relaxing way to close the wonderful "Beyond the Galaxy"-CD.

Phil Derby
9/ 1999

Temos aqui un album que nos faz lembrar a producao eletronica/ambiental/minimalista alema dos anos 70. Gravado agora em 1999,"Beyond The Galaxy" traz toda aquela atmosfera espacial desenvolvida pelo TANGERINE DREAM (fase "Phaedra" a "Force Majeure"), Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching, ASHRA TEMPEL e outros lendarios pesquisadores cosmicos germanicos.
O padrao dequalidade desta producao e garantido pelo fato do projeto COSMIC HOFFMANN ser dirigido por Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, um guitarrista e tecladista alemao envolvido com musica desde os anos 70, quando adquiriu os seus primeiros instrumentos musicais:dois teclados "obscuros" chamados Mini-Moog e Mellotron! Daquela epoca ate agora dedicouse a dois caminhos: no primeiro, o trabalho na banda MIND OVER MATTER, conhecida dos colecionadores de RP eletronico. 0 outro caminho e quase um lugar-comum nos artistas alemaes que iniciaram sua trajetoria no final dos anos 60 e inicio da decada seguinte: o interesse pela filosofia oriental, principalmente pela forma de pensamento tibetano (budismo) e indiano (hinduismo, yoga) e as estruturas harmonicas e melodicas de sua musica e seus instrumentos tradicionais.
"Beyond The Galaxy" traz uma amostra do primeiro caminho (embora com conexoes conceituais com o segundo). Sao ao todo 5 musicas: a faixa-titulo com 20 minutos "The Gate of Lahore" (partes 1 e 2, num total de tambem 20 minutos),"Howling Wolves" (de 8 minutos e gravada em 1978, bem na Iinha TD da epoca) e "Wanderers of Time" de 17 minutos. Neste album Klaus toca os seguintes instrumentos: Mellotron M 400, Mini Moog, Kurzweil 2500 S, Roland JD 800, Gibson 335 guitar. Ele se faz acompanhar de dois convidados: Stephen Parsick (ARP 2600, Mini Moog, ARP Sequencers, Korg PE-2000, Roland VP-330. EKO Compute Rhythm e Hammond Organ) e Ron Boots (que participa em apenas uma faixa com un sintetizador nao identjficado). No balanco final, um disco para alegrar os fas do velho Krautrock eletronico que vai permanecer vanguardista ate o III Milenio.

Marcus Cardoza de Oliveira
METAMUSICA Brasil 11/1999

Cosmic Hoffmann is Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock from 'Mind Over Matter'. As on their recent album 'Avatar' Stephen Parsick makes an appearance and l think this time takes more of a part throughout rather than just on occasional passages. Ron Boots even helps out on one track. We drift through the ether on faint solar winds to a zone 'Beyond the Galaxy'. A rapid sequence starts to develop low in the mix but soon gains full strength and bursts through. lt`s all very 'Ashra' sounding, think of 'New Age of Earth' or 'Inventions...' and you won't be far off the mark. Klaus' guitar shimmers all around, then breaks through making a tremendous impact, being intense but complimenting the synth background and sequence without dominating them. Amazing blistering stuff! The sequence fades away for a very brief Asian-influenced section. A new sequence momentarily enters but we return to more tranquil realms to finish.
'The Gate of Lahore Part 1' rumbles with brooding menace, great Mellotron sounds oozing to the surface.The space effects here really are out of this world (sorry for the pun). For much of the track though Edgar Froese's 'Epsilon in Malaysian Pale' inevitably comes to mind. 'Howling Wolves' was apparently recorded in 1978 and initially is full of deep space cosmic twitters and howls. The sequence wastes no time in advancing to the surface and straight away takes you to those wonderful late 70s to early 80s years which many of us still haven't come down from. The main question that comes to mind is: How could he have resisted releasing this for so long? What a sequence! Again the Mellotron plays an important role but even with such a superb sequence and Mellotron chords only half the story is being told. The sounds emitting from the barrage of other analogue equipment are pure heaven. Wow!
Much of what was said about Part 1 also applies to 'The Gate of Lahore Part 2' though somewhat darker and the 'Epsilon' comparisons aren't as appropriate. Think more of 'Atem' and 'Phaedra'. More brilliant analogue space effects get 'Wanderers of Time' underway. What we have here is a deep space floater that wouldn't have been out of place on a 'Vidna Obmana' album. So to sum up: This album has everything! Almost half of it features the most superb sequencer passages whilst the other half takes you to other worlds, some of them dark and ominous, others more tranquil. This is nothing like the music of 'Mind Over Matter' but is a superb CD nevertheless. Highly recommended!

Sheffield/GB 9/1999

"Asiate" Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock auf kosmischen Abwegen? Mitnichten! Der Mastermind der Elektronik-Rock-Formation MIND OVER MATTER hat sich nun endlich "getraut", an der Musikschiene weiterzuarbeiten, mit der er bereits in den frühen 70ern begonnen hat. Angefangen hat's also 1974 mit dem Mini Moog und einem weißen Mellotron, den "dreammachines" der 70er Jahre schlechthin. So gut ausgestattet, war es endlich möglich, in neue spacige Dimensionen vorzudringen und interstellare Sounds zu produzieren. "A rockguitarist's dream came true!"
Hier mit dieser brandneuen CD "Beyond the Galaxy" legt "Cosmic Klaus" nun ein Zeugnis seiner Arbeit von 25 Jahren ab. Spontane spacige Studioeinspielungen und Live-Materialien wurden gesammelt und für diese Scheibe ausgewählt. Note Eins, Herr Lehrer! Als Gastmusiker hat sich Klaus seinen niederrheinischen Nachbarn Stephen Parsick an die Seite geholt. Wer würde besser zu Mini Moog und Mellotron passen als der Analog-Freak aus Moers? Die Zusammenarbeit der beiden zeigt hier eine gelungene Symbiose aus analogen Sounds gemixt mit dem heute digitalisierten Mellotron. Perfekt!
Selbst nach mehrmaligem Hören verfalle ich noch in Trance. Psychedelische Musik der Extraklasse erreicht meine Lauscher. Weich und sphärisch beginnt schon das Titelstück "Beyond the Galaxy", das mich dann über fulminante, rockige Gitarrensounds auf die knapp 20minütige kosmische Reise durch die Sternenwelt mitnimmt. Am "Gate of Lahore" bin ich schon völlig abgehoben. Ich lasse meine Seele einfach baumeln und fiihle mich total relaxed. Fast am Rande der Unendlichkeit höre ich aus der Ferne die Wölfe heulen. - "Howling Wolves", ein Titel aus dem Jahre 1978, der schon auf dem Radiowellen-Sampler der NRW-Bürgerfunker 1996 veröffentlicht wurde. Klaus hat ihn aber fiir diese "psychedelic imagination" nochmals etwas umgearbeitet. Immer noch fühle ich mich wie ein Wanderer durch die Zeit. Wohltuende Wärme durchdringt mich - plötzlich wird's in den Gehörgängen still - kaum zu fassen, wie schnell so eine Stunde vergehen kann. Auf jeden Fall bin ich nun herrlich entspannt und es fällt mir schwer, mich wieder auf den Boden der Tatsachen einzufinden. Beim letzten Titel "Wanderers of Time" lässt zusätzlich Mr.Groove aus Eindhoven, Ron Boots, sein Können an den Synthies einmal mehr aufblitzen. Hier klingt es diesmal aber überhaupt nicht "bombastisch", sondern sehr feinfühlig und leise. "Beyond the Galaxy" ist nicht nur musikalisch etwas Besonderes. Es ist auch das erste Album, das Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock auf seinem neu gegründeten Label Mind and Heart herausgebracht hat. Ein Label für elektronische, psychedelische Sounds. Um mit Klaus' Worten diese Rezension abzuschließen: 'Enjoy and keep watching the stars!' Dem folge ich natürlich gern.

Sylvia Sommerfeld
Schalldruck 5 / D August 1999

After some delay (nothing major by EM Standards, though) comes the first release from Cosmic Hoffmann, taking time off from the ethnic/rock/electronic hybrid styles of Mind Over Matter. The spacey theme of the title is very appropriate here as the music, for the most part is cosmic with a capital C, Hoffmann making good use of his Mellotron throughout, most noticeably on the two-part 'The Gate Of Lahore' which sounds like it should be one piece (and probably was to start with!) so quite why Klaus broke them up is a mystery. Surely he didn't think 19 minutes of ethereal Mellotron chords would be too much for us, certain EM fans l know live for this sort of thing! The track that splits the two parts 'Howling Wolves' was recorded in 1978 and echoes the styles of the German synthesists of that time who were starting to make their own way, following from the Berliner Schule. Despite its somewhat rough feel, this is a good example of what Klaus was doing way back then. Ron Boots joins in the fun with the closing 'Wanderers Of Time' and his digital synth links up superbly with Klaus' Mellotron to reproduce another cosmic stunner and a future classic. Similar comments could be aimed at the 19 minute Magnum Opus that is the opening title track where Klaus teams up with Stephen Parsick who provides the jet-propelled sequences that make up the middle section of this track. The restful opening soon gives way to this up-tempo section which is urgent, dynamic and utterly compelling, Klaus' guitar licks complementing Stephen's screaming synthesizers, soaring and flying until eventually the bustle subsides and a lonely Middle Eastern-tinged lead line is left, perfectly illustrating the loneliness of space. The mood from here on in is slightly uneasy and certainly not as calm as the opening sections of the track. Almost imperceptible the track fades until it is no more. Anybody who enjoyed Parsick's 'Traces Of The Past' will go for this one big time and I, for one.fully believe that this album will be regarded as a classic in the future.

Sequences ( GB )
No 22 / 1999

In mijn dubbelrecensie van de nieuwe cd's van MIND OVER MATTER en Stephen Parsick in KLEMblad 90 deed ik een verwoede poging om aan te tonen dat de muzikale roots van Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, het brein achter MOM, heel duidelijk bij de Berliner Schule in de jaren zeventig liggen. De twintig minuten durende titeltrack van de in 1998 verschenen cd 'Avatar' is immers een ode van Hoffmann en Parsick aan die grootse tijd van de elektronische muziek.

De vraag of dit al dan niet een eenmalig uitstapje was, kan thans definitief beantwoord worden. In mijn cd-lade ligt namelijk de zojuist verschenen cd 'Beyond the Galaxy' van COSMIC HOFFMANN. Klaus heeft duidelijk gekozen voor zijn andere alter ego naast MOM. Hij trad in de jaren zeventig onder de naam COSMIC HOFFMANN op en bracht in 1982 een 7 inch single uit. Deze single 'Weltraumboogie' is inmiddels een heus collector's item, dat tot op heden niet op cd is verschenen. Klaus heeft de nieuwe cd op zijn eigen label MIND and HEART uitgebracht. Op het cd-hoesje belooft hij op toekomstige releases met allerlei verschillende muziekstijlen te zullen experimenteren.

Over 'Beyond the Galaxy' kan ik eigenlijk heel kort zijn: iedere liefhebber van e-muziek moet deze cd in zijn of haar collectie hebben. Alles wat de Duitse elektronische muziek -de namen van de groten van weleer zijn bekend- ooit zo bijzonder en revolutionair maakte, is aanwezig op dit volledig instrumentale schijfje. Interstellaire explosies bulderen en ongelofelijke Mellotron-oceanen ruisen zachtjes tijdens de vijf tracks van dit album. Even de ogen sluiten en je bevindt je direct aan boord van de U.S.S. Discovery, bestuurd door HAL9000 en onderweg naar de manen van Jupiter. Klaus is op de hoes te zien tijdens een live-optreden met een Mini-Moog en een originele witte Mellotron M400.

De track 'Howling wolves' (8:13) met een schaamteloos pulserende sequencer werd live opgenomen in 1978 (!) en verscheen in 1996 eerder op de verzamelaar 'Radiowellen'. Het in 1998 in de Studio opgenomen 'The Gate of Lahore Part 2' (12:10) laat horen dat er tenminste nog een persoon in Duitsland leeft, die weet wat een kosmisch intro is, waarna de Mellotron weer de macht overneemt. De overige drie tracks, 'The Gate of Lahore Part 1' (7:37), 'Beyond the Galaxy' (19:55) en 'Wanderers of Time' (17:40) werden opgenomen tijdens een concert in het Duitse Lünen in maart 1998.

COSMIC HOFFMANN bestand toen uit Klaus en de onvolprezen coming man StephenParsick, die met zijn arsenaal analoge synthesizers wederom weet te imponeren. Tijdens laatstgenoemde track speelt ook onze eigen Ron Boots zeer verdienstelijk mee. Een prachtige en ingetogen cd, met een op dreef zijnde Klaus, die mij ooit heeft toevertrouwd een grote stapel opnames van zijn concerten uit de jaren zeventig te bezitten. Wellicht iets voor een volgende release op het Mind and Heart-label? Het is goed om te zien dat er nog steeds musici zijn, die hun roots serieus nemen. Alleen daarom al verdient deze cd een ereplaats in ieders collectie. (Perry Moree)

KLEM Blad 93 (NL ) / 1999

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