Kosmischer Läufer Volume 5

Unknown Capability
2nd May 2023

Format Info

LP - green vinyl

While he worked as a sound editor for DEFA (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), Martin Zeichnete spent eleven years leading a secret, parallel life writing music to train and inspire East Germany’s athletic elite.

The first part of this selection features a 180 BPM running program in four sections. Following the uplifting ‘Zeit zum Laufen 180’ (1976) we blast off with two of Martin’s most pulsating compositions. The motorik gallop of ‘Der kosmische Strahl’ (1980) and the fizzing, buzzing sequence of ‘Schreibmaschine’ (1979) keep the body and mind on track. The program ends with the hazy drift of ‘Im Herzen des Universums’ (1976) bringing the runner back down to earth.

The second part gives us our first listen to what could perhaps be called a secret within a secret. While work on Projekt Kosmischer Läufer gave Martin access to equipment and studio time few others in the DDR enjoyed, he yearned to have his music released to a wider audience. Repeatedly denied the chance to publish his music, Martin began recording demos at his makeshift home studio. Then, in late night sessions at the DDR Radio Studio when his supervisors had lost interest and left, he and his engineer would work on these more personal songs. One such project has been assembled here.


A childhood visit to the Karl Schwarzschild Observatorium in 1964 gave Martin a lifelong interest in the planets, the stars and the mysteries of the cosmos. At the time, East German scientists were taking part in the ‘Internationales Jahr der ruhigen Sonne’, a multinational study of the eleven year solar cycle and its influence here on Earth. As well as providing Martin with a title for this piece, it would prove inspirational to his future career in kosmische music.
The tracks presented here were recorded at various times. The brooding ‘Die stille Sonne (Teil 1)’ originated in 1977, ‘Nordlicht’ and ‘Südlicht’ had appeared around 1976, and the metronomic pulse of ‘Die stille Sonne (Teil 2)’ was completed in 1982. Here the tracks are interspersed with short electronic experiments called ‘Sonnenfleck I-III’ (c1973). Pieced together, Martin hoped the completed work would evoke his own sense of wonder and awe at the living universe.

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