Outerspace Gems

Outerpace Gems Cover
1. Up to the Stars
2. Megasun
3. Cosmic ChaCha
4. Galaxy Rising
5. Spacewards
6. Magellanic Cloud
7. Attic Music
8. Cassini Division
9. Black Hole Magic
Total time: 60:50

CD - Manikin MRCD 7089

Those were the days in the '70s when homerecording my synthesizers and the marvellous Mellotron still meant a cassette or tape recorder. It still was the 'analogue' pre-MIDI time before thousands of factory presets, computer plug-ins and digital tools appeared. The recorder's sound-on-sound function or primitive tape loops offered us the sought-after echo. Multi-tracking had to be done by bouncing two recorded tracks onto another recorder while playing the overdubs live! Every take was an adventure full of emotions and discoveries. Opening again my archive of electronic music from the years 1978-1985 I hope you enjoy this second edition of spacey gems as much as I did.

Born in 1951, Klaus COSMIC HOFFMANN-Hoock is a musician who experienced the world of music at first hand. From the early days of the Beatmania, through the mid-60s' Psychedelia and the wild era of Germany's '70s electronic Krautrock till today, he has always tried to find his own musical way of expressing his thoughts and feelings with no interest in fashion or hype. Traces of unreleased song material of his archive could be found scattered over his previous CDs. After his 'Space Gems'-CD Klaus opens again his 'magic box' of handmade spacey gems from the period 1978-1985 for this compilation of original electronic music. Enjoy!

All titles composed, produced and performed by Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock

Instruments used:
Mellotron M 400 S + various tape frames, Mini Moog, ARP Odyssey, Roland M 100 Modular System, Roland drum machine, Italian organ, Korg PS 3100, Gibson guitar
Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock is truly the multi-instrumental master of the Euro electronic and progressive music scene. Since his 'Mind Over Matter' LP debut in 1987 on Klaus Schulze's "Innovative Communication" label he has produced some 20 albums + several DVDs that feature some of the most evocative and exotic fusions of guitar, electronic and ethnic music you'll hear made by anyone, anywhere.

Cosmic Hoffmann is one of the creative personas he works under to produce electronic, spatial music, and OUTERSPACE GEMS is one of a series of albums he's produced featuring his purely electronic music recorded that flashes back to the golden years between 1975-1985.

If you want to hear classic "cosmic electronics", this is it, in all its glory. The nine tracks here combine to take you on a 60 minute trip into the synthetic cosmos beginning with "Up to the Stars" and ending with "Black Hole Magic". You will get mentally swept away by the swirling electronic sound waves and even physically tweaked by "Cosmic Cha Cha".

The very cool music and vibes aside, it is simply great to feel transported back and remember the time when music and the people who made it, did not simply repeat a formula, but played music which flowed from their uniquely individual moments of inspiration. Today it sounds and feels like a breath of fresh air...

Archie Patterson, USA, www.eurock.com
"Outerspace Gems" is a beautiful compilation of musical relics from 1978-1985 that no doubt will delight the followers of this composer and of the analogue Space Music. As suggested by its title, this album is an impressive space odyssey based on the use of analogue synthesizers and other vintage electronic equipment, ideal to let imagination soar through unearthly worlds. The instruments used here range from the Mellotron M 400 S to the Mini Moog, the ARP Odyssey or the Roland M 100 Modular System.

EDGAR KOGLER Amazing Sounds
When I reviewed the first Space Gems set of archival recordings from Cosmic Hoffmann, I thoroughly enjoyed it and said bring on volume two, and here it is, 'Outerspace Gems'. All source material dates from 1978-1985, so once again the retro electronic sound is quite authentic. "Up to the Stars" is swirling space rock, more space than rock, pulsing along in psychedelic fashion. "Megasun" is one of my favorites, a melodramatic low-key affair that growls just a tad menacingly. "Cosmic ChaCha" is as fun as it sounds without being overly cheesy as a playful set of interweaving rhythms dance around cool synths. By now the disc really hits its stride with three fantastic outer space journeys. "Galaxy Rising" is a sombre piece loaded with Mellotron strings and male choirs, followed by the epic "Spacewards" nearly 13 minutes of vintage EM goodness. The first half is very spacey and atmospheric, and then mesmerizing sequencing comes in midway through along with more Mellotron strings, wonderful stuff. By the time "Magellanic Cloud" concludes, which plays like a cross between early Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, you should be totally in analog heaven. And yet there are still three more to go, all as good as the rest. The closing track "Black Hole Magic" is particularly nice, with a unique lead line that is vaguely like hammered dulcimer but is likely guitar or synth based. 'Outerspace Gems' is full of drifting, trippy pieces that will send you into the outer realms with a great big smile on your face.

Phil Derby / Electroambientspace
This CD from 2008 offers 61 minutes of spacey electronic music. The tracks consist of vintage rarities from 1978 through 1985.

Cosmic Hoffmann is Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Joining him on this release are: Horst Theis (on ARP) and Peter Joergens (on Ovation 12 string).

In keeping with the CD's overall theme, the majority of the electronics display a distinctly celestial flair. The foundational texturals are extremely astral, while the main electronics embody a cosmic sensibility. Everything is superbly harnessed and applied to engaging melodies that celebrate astrological phenomenon. Expanding nebulas are given billowing voices through expansive tonalities; naked singularities resound with introverted harmonics that collapse in a glorious fashion.

Keyboards are utilized to goad the raw electronics into sweeping melodies, crafting atmospheric tones into looping chords of alluring character. Pulsations of a lower sort serve to ground the songs, providing the listener with familiar vantages while the tunes soar far beyond our own solar system.

While tantalizingly adept with synthesizers, Hoffmann is also a master of space guitar. Cosmic riffs spill from his strings to reverberate with visceral strength, their wails lending a gutsy edge to the otherwise dreamy music. In one piece, pleasant strumming accompanies heavenly chorales to achieve a transcendental state.

Percussion is present in one track, but the rest of the music flourishes without rhythmic support, flowing like powerful streams of ethereal sound through the vacuum of the interstellar void. Do not expect passive gentility, though, for the electronics supply more than enough oomph to elevate the songs into gripping sonic experiences.

These compositions fulfil a promise of electronic vigour. While possessing ambient elements, the music is rich with grand scope and emotional stamina.

Matt Howarth SONICCURIOSITY USA 2/2009
After 'Space Gems', released last year, Cosmic Hoffmann (Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock) gets back again with another collection of unknown tracks: 'Outerspace Gems'. A second release of unedited music composed between the analog years of 1978 to 1985, produced this time on the well known Manikin label.
And as on 'Space Gems', this last Cosmic Hoffmann collection of rarities opens with a very boiling title. The meeting place of a cosmos effervescence 'Up to the Stars' rolls nervously on heavy sequencers which spiral on cascading loops in an overflowing of synths to galactic waves. A heavy track intersected with short intercalates of cosmic semi-atonic music with strident synthesized streaks. 'Megasun' appeases the tempo with an ambient movement swept of heavy Mellotron winds, an atonal passage where a synth bores a malevolent fog with fine oscillations which circle with an almost harmonious wandering.
Moreover all the concept of 'Outerspace Gems' seems to be molded to a dark cosmos, spangled of fine melodious bits, thanks to a very poetic Mellotron which will recall the beautiful days of Tangerine Dream with 'Phaedra'. Titles such as 'Galaxy Rising', 'Spacewards', 'Magellanic Cloud' and 'Cassini Division' will enchant space music lovers surrounded by cosmic fluids. 'Galaxy Rising' and 'Spacewards' are pure delights of ambient and gliding music. 'Cosmic ChaCha' bears its name well, a cosmic dance on hopping minimalism sequencer, accompanied by a synth with languorous charms, in a galactic atmosphere. A title as special as astonishing which adds a little life to this dark album, which fits perfectly the distant galaxies. 'Black Hole Magic' offers a more lively approach with an acoustic guitar on a floating synth with great cosmic fragrances. 'Outerspace Gems' is a mainly gliding album with beautiful melodious insertions. A quiet album, except for 'Up to the Stars', which brings us closer to the moon, of ourselves with a bit of a dark nostalgia of the 70s.

Sylvain Lupari 'Guts Of Darkness'   Canada 2/2009
Outerspace Gems (60'48") travels a path formed of ancient echoes. Cosmic Hoffmann presents nine rough-hewn late-night jam sessions channeling the ethos of "Phaedra" and the cerebral energy of "Cyborg". Hoffmann embraces the early-day attitudes of the Kosmische Musik movement and transcends them. Elevating the most familiar themes to another sphere, his Mellotron, guitar and classic analogue synths glow with their first radiance. Glissando guitar, modular synthesizers and Mellotron pads fall into a wondrous mix of vibrating metal chords, electronic modulations and elegiac choir and strings.

Riding the tides of cosmic seas, this work shifts in a current of sonic and harmonic motion. Outerspace Gems is often beautiful, even breathtaking - as it conjures up visions of galaxies, planets and vast stretches of space. Hoffmann's imagination carries these performances, and anyone in love with Spacemusic and its very specific poetry will want to hear this recording.

Chuck van Zyl / STAR'S END   30 October 2008
Das waren Zeiten, als man Mitte der 70er plötzlich mit modernen elektronischen Klangerzeugern massiv den Kosmos zu bereisen begann. Vangelis reflektierte über die Rückstrahlkraft der Erde ("Albedo 0:39"), die Tangs gingen in die "Stratosfear" und Jarre sah auf "Oxygene" dem ökologischen Kollaps des blauen Planeten entgegen. Auch der deutsche Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock war mit seinen Formationen Cosmic Hoffmann und Mind Over Matter in EM-Gefilden unterwegs. Nun hat er seine bisher unveröffentlichten Prä-Midi-Aufnahmen durchforstet und mit zwischen 1978 und 1985 entstandenen Stücken ein äußerst schlüssiges Album zusammengestellt, mit dem ihm die alte Faszination elektronischer Musik wieder wachzurufen gelingt. "Up To The Stars" beschwört in herrlichen Analogsynthesizer-Farben den mentalen Ritt durch den Kosmos. Mit differenzierter Dynamik lassen sich Innenwelten entdecken. "Megasun" und "Galaxy Rising" dringen mit Mellotron tief ins Unterbewusstsein. "Cosmic ChaCha" ist dafür näher am Drum-Computer der 80er dran. Auch abstraktere Musiken passen sich in den kosmischen Reigen ein und am Ende gibt's gar ein wenig Eroc-"Wolkenreise"-Gitarre.

WS 11/2008, Eclipsed
This is the second release of vintage rarity recordings (1978-1985) from Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, aka Cosmic Hoffmann, now put out as a pressed CD on the established Berliner-based Manikin label.
Retro fans will find lots of their liking here, already set in good mood with the energizing, vintage sequencing and cosmic textures of the 10-minutes opening track "Up to the Stars". The mesmerizing, roaring sound pads of "Megasun" take on a lighter shape as they unfold, followed by the hypnotizing, minimal sequencing patterns and pads bouncing around in "Cosmic Cha Cha". Mellotron M 400 textures grace the free form, atmospheric "Galaxy Rising". Although the sound quality of the 12-minutes "Spacewards" isn't always that fancy, it easily takes the listener up to cosmic scenery with its gliding, elevating soundpads and smooth sequencing. The nice synth lingerings and Mellotron textures of the free form "Magellanic Cloud" continue to wander through endless space in a quiet manner, after which "Attic Music" offers a portion of static, rather flat-out music that seems to be a bit uninspired. The soft swirling Mellotron sonics of "Cassini Division" sure realm in better cosmic spheres, after which "Black Hole Magic" brings things to a nice, soft closure with beautiful Ovation 12-string guitar and airy soundscape magic.  
All in all, who loves cosmic music and the warm, embracing of sounds of vintage instruments will want to dig this 60-minutes album for sure.

Bert Strolenberg NL 2008, www.sonicimmersion.org

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