Exposé Online banner

Peter Frohmader — Cycle of Eternity
(Cuneiform Rune 59, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-08-01:

Cycle of Eternity Cover art They say the first impression is the one that lasts, and so it is here with the latest album by German electronic master Peter Frohmader: the album opens with the twelve minute "Spiral,” a majestic brew of sparkling sounds, rhythms and countercurrents, rippling through a rich melodic landscape of ever-changing textures. Sequences are played at different speeds, altered, recombined, torn apart, all the while riding on an intense rhythmic wave. Beyond this first track, the album moves on through various phases of electronic experimentation utilizing sequencers, samples, and taped bits; sometimes it works with splendid results — the brilliant "Spritedness" is a collection of unusual rhythmic patterns overlaid with everchanging sequences and bursts of voice samples; "Reflection" is a quieter piece which has an intermittent out-of-sync character, with notes in the main theme occurring a split second before or later than their accompaniment, all contributing to a disjointed feel which works well on this and a couple other tracks. "Persistence" offers a cyclical feel punctuated by what appear to be treated acoustic guitar samples, drums and percussion. A heavy bottom end drives "Emphasis,” while bell and flute samples mix with other synthetics. This is a long album, though — over 75 minutes, and not all the material works so well — occasionally getting lost in technique and experimentation and delivering little that the listener can resolve. Two eleven minute tracks "Hypnosis" and (especially) "Inexorability" are guilty of this — being very tedious overall — yet even these have some fine moments. In short, this is a good disc, the best material here could've been edited down to around 45 minutes and the album would've been all the better for it.

by Rob Walker, 1994-08-01:

Cycle of Eternity is the latest release from Cuneiform electronic music artist Peter Frohmader. In typical Cuneiform fashion, it defies easy description, blending diverse influences with a strong originality making it a challenge, but ultimately a rewarding one, to listen to. Using a variety of synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers, Frohmader creates a dense and dynamic electronic minimalism. Atonal melodies float above convoluted sequenced patterns, and eerie drones and odd electronic and sampled noises create a mysterious and sometimes unsettling atmosphere. A few of the pieces use electronic percussion; others rely on the rhythmic strength of interweaving melodic and harmonic ostinatos. The nine pieces on this 75 minute CD are very well composed and executed, and have a strong sense of direction which is often absent from electronic music. The overall style is at times reminiscent of the minimalism of Louis Andriessen, at others, of Zappa's synclavier work and more recent ""serious" compositions. But mostly this is Frohmader's own brand of dark and powerfully moving electronics, some of the most engaging I have ever heard. A unique sound and brilliant execution make this a must-hear electronic music release.

by Mike McLatchey, 1994-08-01:

And that's how long this album seems to last. Actually, I really like most of Frohmader's earlier works like Jules Verne Cycle or Homunculus Volume 2 (to name only a couple) which were highly innovative dark and unusual electronic, rock or zeuhl fusions. Many of these I would recommend unreservedly. My exploration of his music more or less came to a halt with Cuneiform's other Frohmader release Macrocosm which I must admit bored me to death. I'm not that familiar with his music in the interim between then and now, but I can still tell you that his flirtations and explorations with digital technology were much less to my liking than his analog/modular atmospheres on his earlier tracks. Cycle of Eternity is a far better album than Macrocosm yet it’s mostly just a bunch of digital sequencers in unusual patterns and combinations where basically some work well and others fall short. It does have Frohmader's distinctive touch — sort of in the same way masters like Klaus Schulze and Richard Pinhas have that make their music fairly identifiable, yet the mechanical and too clean sounds of the synths that are used give his normally dark feel and atmosphere too contradictory a feel. It does remind me in some ways of some of the sequencer work of Pinhas on his old Moog modular, yet is much more sterile and inhuman and in all truth rather dull. I'm still waiting for the Sensorium reissue of Cultes des Goules.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 4 , 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Frohmader / Nekropolis

More info

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffins - Chronometers – A strange release at first glance. One CD, 70 plus minutes, 21 tracks, one track is 23 minutes long. Hmmm. This is a compilation of outtakes and general weirdness from 1975. The Muffins are often...  (1993) » Read more

Amon Düül II - Surrounded by the Bars – Actually, this is not a true reissue, in that these remixed versions of the band's better songs from their classic early seventies period have never appeared together on a compilation before....  (1994) » Read more

Stone Breath - Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis – Stone Breath’s third album, recorded in 2000, has been reissued with a second CD of rare and unreleased tracks. On Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis Stone Breath continued their exploration of dark folk...  (2009) » Read more

Il Sistema - Il Viaggio senza Andata – Ciro Perrino has been Mauro Moroni's right hand man at Mellow Records, so it's not surprising that many of the lost relics released by that label include him and other members of the short...  (1996) » Read more

Focus - Focus 8 – Leave it to Thijs Van Leer to recognize the timely need for Focus to return to active duty. Within the past three years he encountered a Focus tribute act in his Dutch homeland and was so impressed he...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues