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Eppo Schaap

Eppo started to play the organ when he was 14 years old (we're talking 1974, Soest, the Netherlands). He liked it so much he turned it into his profession. Eppo got a degree at the Utrecht Conservatorium after 'cooking' behind the Hammond A100 for five years. At the same conservatorium he also studied jazz arranging. The conservatorium was also the place where Eppo had his first experiences with synthesizers.

He was not only interested in playing his instruments (guitar has always been his second instrument) but also started composing and recording (synth)songs as soon as this was possible, using sound on sound cassette and tape recordings and porta studios. We're talking about the pre MIDI era now.

The Atari computer (which was very popular in the eighties and early nineties in Europe) had standard MIDI sockets and opened a new world to him. He used the new MIDI techniques excessively to compose 'multitrack' material and program synth sounds and effects for movies he composed scores for. He even printed his scores in standard music notation with the Emagic Notator program on the Atari. Today he uses Reason and Cubase to compose, arrange, edit and master his music (Galbatron ofcourse).

His musical influences are numerous. Starting with the classical music he was brought up with, there's a long list of influences, amongst which The Beatles, Toto, Gino Vannelli, The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), Stevie Wonder, Steve Morse, Jeff Beck, Diether Falk, Nik Kershaw, Thomas Dolby and Steely Dan.

In the Galbatron oeuvre you can notice influences from Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Tomita, Jan Hammer, Tangerine Dream, Kansas, The Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yello and one of the former artists of Tangerine Dream: Christopher Franke. These names represent only a very small part of the huge amount of LPs and CDs he has been listening to the last 25 years. He's a real musical omnivore.

Currently, Eppo is author of Interface, the leading Dutch synthesizer magazine. He also works as a music teacher at several music schools.

Loek van Kooten

Born in 1974 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Had his first music experience at the age of 3 with his grandmother, teaching him how to play psalms and old Dutch folk songs on an electronic organ from Viscount. Got his own Solina electone at the age of 8, with a genuine hole in the speaker grid (which was also the reason why his mother could afford the organ in the first place). At the age of 12 his mother (now a member of the nouveau riche) gave him a 12.000 guilder Yamaha FE-70 (1000 guilders for every life year), financed by half of her inheritance.

Loek participated in several Yamaha Electone Festivals: the first time finishing last in the qualifying round, the second time becoming last in the semifinals, and the third time becoming 5th in the national Dutch championships.

After that the Electone Festivals stopped and Loek decided to focus on another instrument: the synthesizer. Besides that, he was also offered a job as a keyboard salesman at a music store in Veenendaal. There Loek met both Karel Demoet, who later became his Pipe Organ teacher, and Eppo Schaap, later to become his partner in crime at Galbatron. Karel's brother, Wim Demoet, taught Loek how to play the electronic organ. Loek finished the 8 year course within 3 years - Eppo became his new private teacher.

After 3 years, Loek decided to quit playing Pipe Organ, but the classic influences he received during those years would never fade away. Loek joined MSX-Engine, a computer club specializing in importing Japanese MSX hard- and software from Japan to the Netherlands. He was asked by the same club to write music for a computer game called D.A.S.S. - not much later, Eppo and Loek joined forces and established Galbatron. Galbatron's first album, Sophistication, was released in 1992, on cassette tape.

After the downfall of MSX-Engine, things became very silent. Loek and Eppo went their own way for 7 years - Eppo continueing his work as Editor in Chief of Keys & Audio, and Loek going to university and studying Japanese. After having been in Nagasaki for one year, where he met his wife, Loek came back to Holland and finished his study in Leiden, The Netherlands.

In 1998, Eppo and Loek decided to put the complete Sophistication album on mp3.com - because of enormous success, they decided to join forces again.

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