Marran Gosov – Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik

Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik LP front cover
Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik LP back cover
Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik LP side A

Better known under his artist name of Marran Gosov, Bulgarian Tzvetan Marangosoff was born in 1933 in Sofia to a Bulgarian father and a German mother. He relocated to Munich in 1960 and made all his career in Germany as a film director, actor, playwright, singer and film music composer. In 2008, a retrospective of his 5 full-length films and numerous short films was held in Filmclub 813 in Cologne (from German Wiki). In 1977 and 1978, Gosov self released two LPs of his rather idiosyncratic own songs, under the unifying theme of Diletanttische Lieder, or Dilettantish Songs, or Dabbler Songs (see official website). Titled Baby Mann, the first LP was an autobiographical homage to his mother through a cycle of intense, one of a kind songs in unique arrangements. The Steine Kitzeln LP followed in 1978 and then Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik appeared in 1980 on Kuckuck, the legendary electronic and avantgarde label from Munich (Deuter, Hans Otte, Eberhard Schoener, etc).

Above: one of the short films Gosov produced in 1977 based on his songs.
Several of these films were uploaded to Vimeo in 2011 (look here).

As opposed to his first acoustic LPs, Vocoding Life is dominated by synthesizer and Vocoder, as all vocals and guitars are channeled through the device. But while in Giorgio Moroder the Vocoder is used to create a pseudo-futuristic sheen over smooth girly vocals, in Vocoding Life the Vocoder creates a feeling of radical estrangement, or Verfremdungseffekt, ala Bertold Brecht, something even more exacerbated in the video above. These are mostly sentimental songs with weird arrangements on the verge of incredibly strange music. Due to the tone of the voice and the lyrics from previous LPs, I assume the German lyrics are either autobiographical or deal with very personal feelings and thoughts. It is even possible the entire project meditates on the state of Heimatlos and loneliness. Somewhere between spoken word and song, often semi-improvised over a basic written structure, these tracks form a coherent song cycle with extremely minimal arrangements sometimes reduced to voice and Vocoder only. Other tracks feature synth loops, rhythm from an electric organ or electric guitar, but voice and Vocoder remain prominent features.

Klar, unvollkommen bin ich. Wie kann ich anderen die Leviten singen. Auch ich bin ein von Zukunftserfahrungen gebranntes Kind, zurück-gefallen auf mich selbst und ahne schon die Gewißheit, daß am Ende nur jene Güte beweisen werden, die an nichts glauben.
[from liner notes]

01 Eifersucht (8:39)
02 Amore (3:15)
03 Lampenfieber (9:09)
04 Babymann (2:58)
05 Gitterbett (2:27)
06 Mütterlein (5:18)
07 Ferne Nähe (7:25)
08 Clown (5:02)
09 Kaltes Stück (5:11)

Total time 49:20
LP released by Kuckuck, Munich, West Germany, 1980


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15 Responses to “Marran Gosov – Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik”

  1. 2 continuo May 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

    You’re welcome.

  2. 3 horstu May 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I listened to this with a lot of curiosity because I don’t know many vocoder records. The vocoder treatment is quite conventional, seems to be a simple Korg VC 10, but the overall sound of this tripped-out record is really strange and amazing. Thanks for this nice Kuckuck post [NB: Hans Hotte –> Hans Otte :)]

  3. 4 continuo May 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    At first, Marran Gosov’s music seems completely weird and impenetrable – it takes several listening sessions to enter his logic and artistry. I think he was interested by the cyborg voice of the Vocoder treatment, which he used as a way to enhance the estrangement effect he was looking for. Even in his 1977-78 acoustic LPs, this effect is still palpable.
    Thanks for pointing to the typo. I have a long way to be fluent in German, admittedly! By the way, it would be nice from you if you could translate the excerpt from the liner notes I added as a quote at the end of the post. Thanks in advance!

  4. 5 Moon May 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you !

  5. 6 continuo May 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    My pleasure.

  6. 7 Evan May 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    thank you very much. excited to listen.

  7. 8 continuo May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for your comment. Be prepared for something rather unusual.

  8. 9 astanakazak July 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for an exciting post! – Math /

  9. 10 continuo July 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for dropping by.

  10. 11 337is March 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I was really struggling to find information on Gosov and your overview has helped me immensely. Thank you so much!

  11. 12 Burkhardt Huck October 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you so much to reconnect Maran Gosov. Two years ago a searched without proper results, when I downloaded a videoclip using his song from an old tape: “Er will dass, sie gluecklich ist..”

  12. 13 Chris December 18, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Strangely, I found out about this record through a google images search for something else – and that showed the cover clearly saying “Vocoding Live”, yet your scan above clearly says “Vocoding Life”! Weird. Anyway, links are dead, so unfortunately I am yet to hear this interesting album.

  13. 14 EFX January 5, 2015 at 11:30 am

    anyone has a good quality dwnl link for “Clown” for me?

  1. 1 Marran Gosov: Amore | Ascots for the Needy Trackback on October 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm

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