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Progressive Electronic • Germany

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seesselberg biography
Seesselberg is a project really innovative that since its inception in 1970 has anticipated the explosion of the use of Synth, in fact the two brothers Wolf-J and Eckhart Sesselberg (from which the band takes its name) gave the start in Germany to the experimentation with the modular synth and electronic instrumentation in general.

Wolf-J had worked as assistant at the Hamburg Deutsches Schauspielhaus where in 1960, while he was experimenting new electronic sounds for the Opera "Aniara", under the influence of Swedish composer Karl-Birger Blomdah, kindled his passion for future professional works in terms of films, experimental music and painting. Unlike his brother who became acquainted with the electronic music field professionally, Eckhart came up to it at 11 years making experiments with a walkie-talkies (encouraged by his older brother). The result was a precursor of what would become a synthesizer (!), completed in 1970 and of which we can fortunately appreciate its sound in the album "Synthetik 1".

The real special thing, in addition to their special approaches to electronic music, is the absolute lack of traditional synths characteristics such as memory, in fact the sounds were set via one of many knobs and spontaneously generated. Their performances often took place in art galleries or Modern Art museums, where besides their sounds they also offered seminars to instruct the public into the art of synthesizer sounds. So the public consisted of lovers of the sounds, Academy students, gallery owners and some curious that could be considered very exclusive, and after all this was the same public of firsts Kraftwerk or Conrad Schnitzler or even Cluster.

There were released only 1000 copies of the album often bought at the end of the performances, so there's no wonder if his music has been so hidden.

Their only one self-released Opera "Synthetik 1" contains some performances, fortunately recorded, between 1971 and 1973 of adventurous synths far from musical canons and totally devoted to experimentation. Unfortunately the album is often underrated and it needs a more attention for its comprehension, however it represents an innovative obscure kraut / Electronic work worthy to be appreciated.

Biography by Utnapishtim

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Seesselberg - Synthetik 1 - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS126Seesselberg - Synthetik 1 - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS126
Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds
Vinyl$75.99 (used)
Synthetik V.1Synthetik V.1
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SEESSELBERG discography

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3.20 | 13 ratings
synthetik 1

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 synthetik 1 by SEESSELBERG album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.20 | 13 ratings

synthetik 1
seesselberg Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Seeselberg' sound like they've just opened their Christmas presents, plugged them in and started pressing buttons, pulling knobs and recording, before realising that they have to read the instructions first. Being entirely electronic, 'Synthetik 1' is an unholy mess, lacking structure and coherence, and is damaged goods for this reason.

It's full of new fangled technology and effects that had just been unleashed for the first time, with the musicians appearing to be dumbfounded and confused as to what it all means. Almost as though they'd tried deciphering hieroglyphics upon seeing them for the first time.

This is a peculiar album for 1973, that didn't have a cats chance in hell of breaking into the top 100 anywhere on earth. There are, however, a few similar sounding artists such as Pierre Henry, Bernard Parmegiani and Conrad Schnitzler who also plunged headfirst into the deep end of early electronica. Sadly for 'Seeselberg' the previous artists do it better with more professionalism and gravitas.

It's all completely tuneless of course, with a copious amount of bleeps, bloops and splodges of early electronics, which visually would look like the remains of custard pies thrown at a wall.

None of it makes any sense and I guess there never was any. It's a wordless sound collage without message, meaning or frilly edges. In fact some of it is downright ugly, sounding uncannily like extreme Japanese noise masters 'Merzbow'. 'Kondensmusik' with its sped up VCS3 throb displays remarkable similarities to Aphex Twin's beat driven tunes of the mid-nineties. That's not to say that it's a success; it's not, in fact it's downright irritating. Seeselberg find a beat and frequency then repeat from start to finish without much variation.

'Synthetik 1' is not a particularly enjoyable listen and so much has come to pass since its inception in 1973 that it now sounds like a relic, an antique lost in time that is no longer relevant or necessary. A prototype experiment using a technology that would take a few more years to master in more capable hands.

 synthetik 1 by SEESSELBERG album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.20 | 13 ratings

synthetik 1
seesselberg Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars seesselberg is a one-and-done noisy electronic prog artist, and this albums is incredibly technical. Maybe not technical as in hard to play or anything, because I'm fairly certain that this is improvised noise. It's technical as in that this album sounds like a super-computer, processing PIDs on every human's every day lives. Bleeps, bloops, buzzing, harmonic sequencer lines, dissonant zapping and hypnotic pulses. I'd liken this album to pre-Merzbow, because it has the incredible filling effect that Merzbow's music tends to have, except seesselberg is able to make every one thing stand out on its own, making this a thoroughly enthralling and compelling album to listen to - almost exhausting. I also get an Autechre feel from this album. It's really fantastic, but I don't know how to make it sound fantastic. It's just something that you'd have to hear for yourself, I guess.

If a Merzbow/Autechre collaboration from the '70s sounds like something that you'd like to hear, then seesselberg's synthetik 1 is the album to listen to. I know my review doesn't sound positive, but everything above is meant purely in a positive light.

 synthetik 1 by SEESSELBERG album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.20 | 13 ratings

synthetik 1
seesselberg Progressive Electronic

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Seesselberg's solo work express the anguish of how much the electronic fascination, avant-garde, obstruction of senses and technical volatilization evolves to an artistic phenomenon, an implacable hallucinating music, plus an equally fascinated and freaky hard imagination and timeless impression. The rest falls into obscure lapses (and never leaves that spot, the promotion of this music material is basically flat-line, only telling you spicy and best to describe emotions about an album that you can hardly book anymore, these days), spontaneous reasons of electronic velocities and well-designed kinds of artistic impulse and leaking visions, impossible unfortunately to concur with the biggest names of the genre.

The Seesselberg's brothers evolve a thing that appeared common and mostly fascinating around the times and the linguine hedonistic movement of electronic and complicated music: the search for brand new characteristics (mostly finding a lot of motivation in the area of sounds, of fractures, of noises and of atomized tensions of music), ways of flagrant expression, experiment and exploitation, plus an immense feature of unnatural and dissimilar patterns of music adaptation - listening to a lot of the artistic or obscure kraut rock which dispenses of all its "beautiful melody" and "courageous timbre" for a couple of insane and psychotic monumental orchestrations, or to the same quality of electronic music, grasping the experimental and the sharp resounds, proves the 'addiction' and the fully massive art-crash within those boundaries. Seesselberg's recipe was to create their own set of instrumental equipment (and they reach a set of electronics, synths, modulations and phasers beyond any calm and simple notion of musical-based technique, permitting them to move forward, into experiment and expression), plus based all their "Dusseldorf sub-school" train of thoughts towards a kind of unpredictable and very toughly and roughly balanced unique music amplitude, reaching the likes of Kluster and Schnitzler having revolutionized, based on impossible atonalities and dark spirits of sounds, the classic system of the eclectic genre. Some basic tangent characteristics with the psychedelic and kraut rock embers are made, but mostly this is a wild session of classic cold electronica.

The album synthetik 1 is composed of nine pieces, much to the sense of a dark concept and an independent stroke of composition. There's no rhythm and subtle line to follow in this album made of hollow, sharp-turbulent, astral-numb, technical apprised and hard trend-setting sounds, noises, music meter volatilizations and general impacts of synth-swirls. Everything is a dark and impressionable scratch, to the extent that excessiveness means the achievement of high drifts and impeccable motions. Nothing, except some vibrations and some colors, sheds light on how this burden can be interpreted leisurely or how melodies or simple electronic ideas can be depicted or can replace the ideal of mass experimentation. Since it also gains a stubborn quality of compelling more and more by each minute, it can appear heartless and drafty, cynical and made of an unstoppable imagination - true to a point, the Seesselberg experiment actually culminates at a point of electronic music not being randomly improvised, but produced, in a conservatory way, under coaled, deep, intrinsic and introverted fibers. A work impressive by its nature.

The sad part remains how this album had only 600 copies, how the Seesselberg brothers stopped only at this album and how, since neither apparently continued on other levels and into other bands their work and their etherized style. A cruel, but perhaps not absolutely astonishing fate. Another volume or two of synthetik wouldn't have presented in no way a loss or a deviance of this profoundly technical and somber-artistic vision.

Obviously very difficult and with a lot of unromantic, unnatural and unmelodious power to impress, this album is a very powerful experiment recommended to the very high artistic and architectural music one can love. A classic of its kind, though it simply proves a work of obscure and unwonted strength. Kluster, Schnitzler and other kraut-heads or electro-machinists did, theoretically, a similar kind of exploding art, some a couple of times more interesting, but that's not even close to relevant.

 synthetik 1 by SEESSELBERG album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.20 | 13 ratings

synthetik 1
seesselberg Progressive Electronic

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Classic kraut-electronic noises and effects. Exclusively composed with "molecular" machines and played as sound installation. It features hypnotically building patterns, cyclical motifs, interlocking, moving frequencies, bizarre "astral" sounds and a great collection of electronic gadgets. Highly recommended for fans of proto-electronica (from first Kraftwerk to Conrad Schnitzler) and cosmic, sculptural electronics. An important musical and historical document...whatever you like or dislike this German curiosity.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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