In the early seventies the German band Mythos − formed around Stephan Kaske − started to make music in a style quite similar to bands like Ashra Tempel and Agitation Free: cosmic music with ethnic elements. During the seventies the band went through several line-up changes. In 1979 they split up again and Kaske had the difficult task to find new members and start all over again, but instead he decided to remain a one-man band using electronics. Since 1980 Kaske released several albums under the moniker of Mythos, but under his own name as well. Furthermore he earned a living with producing music for television.
Hailing from Berlin it would be obvious to describe his music as the electronic music of the Berlin School. In fact Mythos is more related to the Düsseldorf School of Kraftwerk from the Mensch-Machine (1978) era. This applies especially to his minimal music approach: often just a simple bass line is played by a sequencer adding synthesizer sounds on top of it. The music sounds very electronic and artificial.
Surround Sound Evolution is the sequel from the album Surround Sound Offensive from 2008. It took Stephan Kaske four years to make it because in the meantime he did a Planetaria tour and he also released a live recording from 1976 (Superkraut, see review) and a reissue of Quasar (1980/2012, see review). However, my promotional copy of Surround Sound Evolution is a regular CD without a surround sound. The first couple of tracks are very simple synth tunes, but from the seventh track the album suddenly becomes more cosmic and atmospheric. These tracks remind me of the trance music that bands like System 7 and Banco De Gaia have recorded. Surround Sound Evolution contains a few outstanding tracks, but also simple tunes. As a whole I give this album the benefit of the doubt.
*** Erik Gibbels (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013