27 September 1941
Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
21 May 2009 (aged 67)
Uli Trepte (born 1941 in Konstanz in the south of Germany) is a German musician probably best known for his collaborations with various influential Krautrock bands during the early 1970s.
Uli Trepte began his musical career in 1966 on double bass as a free jazz player/founder member in the Irene Schweizer Trio, a formation that wrote avantgarde history. At about that time and later he also appeared with jazz musicians like Yusef Lateef, Gato Barbierie, Barney Wilen, John McLaughlin and Mal Waldron.
In 1968 he strictly changed to bass guitar and with drummer Mani Neumeier formed Guru Guru as part of the newly-emerging psychedelic rock music. He wrote both lyrics and music for that group. It was a band which set a radical new playing standard and belonged to the few genuine pioneers of the so called Krautrock.
In 1975 founded his own group, Spacebox to consequently realize his concept of an authentic European, cyclic structured, minor dominated, modal harmonic, collective improvised, organic-electric live music as a player, composer and song writer.
From 1975 to the early 1980s, his main performance work was through his Spacebox project. With it he performed solo in Berlin and London where he stayed for about half a year each, enlarged it in 1978 to a quartet in Munich and gained an international reputation as an extremely un-normed, uncommercial underground figure.
In 1981 he stayed six months in Tokyo, in 1982 one year in New York, for, after disbanding Spacebox, to live since 1985 in Berlin, where he reduced his original music to a mainly instrumental one, realizing it with selected musicians on sound carriers, in the last years giving more priority to the playing of his Modal Minor Constant Structure Blues and working at the same time in cooperation with the Dutch multimedia artist Aja Waalwijk on the elaborate song project Takes on Words.
As the quintessence of his musical concept he led 96-01 Move Groove, the Modal Groove Concept, with whom – including the involvement of such highly professional musicians like Hans Hartmann (ex Guru Guru) and Edgar Hofmann (ex Embryo) – he also played live again.
Since 2002 he only performs a solo act called "Bass+Lyrik", but still releases recordings of strictly instrumental music resulting from different sessions with the participation of - beside the above mentioned - Chris Karrer (Amon Düül) and Geoff Leigh (Henry Cow).
Sadly, Uli passed away on May 21, 2009 after a long bout with cancer.
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