Ultra-rare D.I.Y minimal / synth-pop / industrial / darkwave album from 1986!Kozmonaut was the personal project of a young & talented Canadian musician called Michael Gutierrez, who moved to San Francisco in the early 80s. Influenced by Kraftwerk and German culture / electronic music, Michael recorded the “Flieg” album all by himself at his garage studio, using the pseudonym of “Hans Schiller”.
1000 copies were pressed on his own label, Vier Productions Inc, but they were never distributed or sold at the time, with virtually the entire pressing being discarded, as Michael, a perfectionist, was not satisfied with the spelling mistakes on the cover, among other things. In 1989, Michael, along with Pieter Ziegelmeier, formed the famous industrial / electronic band Kode IV.
Sadly, Michael contracted AIDS and passed away in 1994. All the contents of his garage (tapes, albums, synths and recording equipment) were sold for cheap or ended up in the street.
Fast forward to 2010: An adventurous record hunter (Christian Peintner) finds a copy of the “Flieg” album at a thrift shop in San Francisco. At first, he thinks it’s a German album but after some investigation, he discovers the name of Michael Gutierrez which leads him to Kode IV and then to Peter Ziegelmeier. He visits Peter who tells him the real story of Michael Gutierrez aka Hans Schiller and Kozmonaut.
“Flieg” is an excellent album, a crossover of a wide range of styles from early Industrial (paving the way for Michael’s later sounds with Kode IV), to Synth-Pop, Experimental Electronics, ambient and Dark Wave. Michael uses the vocoder very effectively and in one of the songs, “Tidal Meditation”, he recorded the Golden Gate Bridge fog horn to use it as a sample.