Der Prophet

BB 232CD BB 232CD

Bureau B reissue Rolf Trostel's Der Prophet (1982). Electronic pop was the musical goal of the Berlin School musician Rolf Trostel on Der Prophet, which was released in the same year as its predecessor Two Faces. Der Prophet is the culmination of this phase of Trostel's oeuvre, which was tightly coupled to the PPG Wave Computer. As on his previous releases, the sonic peculiarities and clanking sounds of wavetable synthesis are emphasized. Yet here they are obviously more interlinked with the rhythm computer, the Minimoog solo synthesizer and the analog string synth. Additionally, Trostel spatially layered the sounds with different amounts of reverb, which gives the sound the necessary depth for electronic pop and especially emphasizes dry effect sounds. Compared to the previous albums, simpler sequencer lines with less layering provide for a more airy sound. The reason for this was the fact that Trostel had now replaced his PPG 350 Computer Sequencer and Roland CR-78 drum machine with the Roland TB-303 bass synth and step sequencer and the TR-808 drum machine. This at-the-time brand new equipment formed a dream team for electronic pop - the machines are now highly coveted and sought-after cult objects among musicians. "With this production, the rhythmic element is at the foreground, specifically the variable programming of drum computer. Der Prophet was my most commercial production," explains Trostel. The album also benefits from the assertive sound of the TB-303/TR-808 combination and their sync-able sequencers. By 1981, Trostel was no longer using the PPG Wave Computer 360 A as a spearhead to explore new soundscapes. It had been replaced by more modern developments. Wolfgang Palm, the developer of this synthesizer and inventor of wavetable synthesis, presented the PPG Wave 2 with integrated analog filters, which quickly became a best seller and was further developed until 1984 with the PPG Wave 2.3. It was a mainstay in every professional keyboardist's setup during the 1980s. In parallel, the functions of sampling, phase and frequency modulation became increasingly important for sound tinkerers. In retrospect, one gets the impression that Trostel's enormously productive creative period, during which he released three albums within two years, was triggered by the PPG 360 A Wave Computer and the PPG 350 Computer Sequencer and concluded when they became obsolete. To a certain extent, these instruments channeled and conveyed Trostel's classical piano training.