The German band Mythos was founded in 1972. They were less well-known than Ashra Tempel and Agitation Free, even though they hailed from Berlin just as the other two, and also musically these bands were rather similar playing cosmic kraut rock, trippy free form rock with classical and ethnical influences using flutes, Mellotron and synthesizers. Maybe they weren't taken so seriously, because of the strongly accented vocals by Stephan Kaske. Between 1972 and 1980 Mythos recorded four albums: Mythos (1972), Dreamlab (1975), Strange Guys (1977) and Concrete City (1979).
Mythos went through several personal changes. In 1979 Kaske found himself alone for the third time facing the fact of searching for a new line-up change again or not. This meant going through a hard period of finding new musicians, doing interviews and planning rehearsals, jam sessions and trial gigs. And for how long..? Kaske decided to take Mythos further as his solo project, so he bought a sequencer and a drum machine to replace the bass player and the drummer. The period around 1980 was a vital period in electronic music, because of the technological improvements. Synthesizers became polyphonic, computer technology was integrated and digital sampling was introduced. Not only entered many state of the art synthesizers the market, but they became also reasonably priced.
Quasar (1980) was Kaske's first solo album under the name of Mythos. He played most of the instruments himself like flutes, guitar, synthesizer, vocoder, Mellotron and sequencer. On some of the tracks Markus Worbs played the drums. Quasar was not only a personal transition album, from a band to a solo project, but also a musical transition from free form rock to pre-programmed electronic music. Kaske had the intention to record many albums as Mythos making both new age meditation music and synthi-pop in the vein of Kraftwerk. However, after Quasar he recorded just one more album as Mythos, the poorly received Grand Prix (1981). Besides he recorded a number of tunes for TV-shows.
Like many other albums of that era Quasar was very much influenced, but also limited by the technology in electronics. One can hear the technological developments on the albums that were released in that era. It may have sounded futuristic at the time, but it sounds outdated in the 21st century. Musically the material is rather weak. The sequencer, for instance, that he used sounds almost the same on all the tracks. Did he like it so much that he didn't want to change it? Or was he afraid that he couldn't reproduce the same sound again? As a bonus you get a collection of almost ten minutes of jingles and tunes that Kaske recorded for TV. These are clearly from a later date, but in a way Quasar is a blue print for these tunes.
**- Erik Gibbels (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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