08 October 2008

Rolf Trostel - 1983 - Narrow Gate to Life

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

Here's a slice of pretty obscure German electronica. I don't think it quite fits in with the Berlin school (don't you need lots of sequencers for that?), but it serves well as an early 80's update of the early Tangerine Dream sound (like Zeit). Rolf Trostel recorded this live in a Spanish cathedral according to the liner notes. This is a very ambient album and I believe we are getting some atmospheric sound from the location, just as Paul Horn used the Taj Mahal as his personal echo chamber.

While there are technically five parts to Trostel's piece, I've got it as one long track and it probably makes sense that way. Staying below the surface, Trostel builds layers of synthesized tones. You'll find plenty of evolving pads of sound at work. Of course, that makes this pretty much slightly disconcerting background music, but at least I like to make my apartment an aurally creepy place from time to time. Make sure to wait for the grand finale when Trostel manages to play more than one note every five seconds (along with a bit of sequencing, so maybe this segment is very Berlin School), not that he really needed to for the first forty minutes; this is deep in ambient territory.

This is a notable disc of droning, electronic atmospherics. If any music is going to alter the chemicals in your brain, Narrow Gate to Life should do the trick (although not quite as spectacularly as Coil's Time Machines).


Anonymous said...


*note: track one is a cd rom track; I don't have it, and I doubt you'd need it

spiritplant said...

Excellent blog! Very impressive indeed. Have a look at mine at http://alone-in-the-clouds.blogspot.com/ - there may be some stuff you're interested in. It's just now but growing every day !

Anonymous said...

I have this box set and a great set it is. This CD is superb. Fabulous.

J said...


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Anonymous said...

Great Albums here. Thanks for sharing with us.

Is there any chance to post more from this composer?

thanks again


Dr. Schluss said...

Unfortunately, this is all I have by Rolf Trostel. Does anyone out there have something interesting?

johanz said...

here's one more
Insel album


does anyone know about the history of this Norwegian dude?


Unknown said...

Any chance you could re-up this? I have Der Prophet, Inselmusik, and Two Faces if you are interested in link trading!