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Zyma

Zyma, named after an artificial ferment, were a band founded in 1972 by musicians from the area around Heidelberg and Mannheim. At that time, in the initial stages, they were playing progressive hard rock. Their keyboard player was Günter Hornung (b. 02/16/1938 in Karlsruhe), a teacher, who had played in many jazz and jazz-rock bands before, among them a big band, and whose last one had been the Groovers, a soul band. Due to his many years of experience and outstanding abilities and skills, Hornung was the leader of Zyma. Yet their driving force was Bodo Brandl (b. 04/10/1943 in Nikolsburg) on bass, also a teacher, who had been performing since 1963. He, too, came from the Groovers, as well as Meinrad Hirt (b. 01/05/1945 in Triberg), who was now singing, playing violin, flutes, keyboards and sometimes guitar. Their lead guitarist and lead singer was Tim Pfau (b. 06/08/1951 in Mannheim), their drummer Karl-Heinz Weiler (b. 07/24/1951 in Mannheim). Günter Hornung's wife Ellen was the band’s manager, Mitsou Kührbis was in charge of the PA. In 1973, they began playing progressive jazz-rock, whereupon Karl-Heinz Weiler left the band. He was replaced by Udo Kübler (b. 03/31/1951 in Heidelberg), a drummer since 1966. In 1970, Kübler had founded Filter, an experimental band, and before joining Zyma he had been a member of Medusa (pop), Ra and Brassy Brew (both jazz-rock). When he left Medusa, with whom he had released a single, Karl-Heinz Weiler took his place. In 1973, under the pseudonym Hyazintus, Weiler was also to play drums for the band Nine Days Wonder on their LP, "We Never Lost Control".


After Meinrad Hirt had left Zyma (he was to rejoin them some years later) in early 1974, Dorle Ferber (b. 09/07/1952 in Mannheim) joined them as singer and on violin and flute. She had studied classical music, had a folk background and brought these influences into Zyma. In the same year, they were given a chance by Alfred Kersten to release two of their own compositions, "Law Like Love" and "Tango Enough", on the double LP, "Proton 1" (Kerston FK 65017) which also featured Nexus, Andorra, Penicillin and Sun. This compilation had a run of only a few hundred copies, probably no more than 300, but it is, in view of its rarity and quality, valued amazingly cheaply in collectors' circles. The album was recorded at the TFE studio in the town of Neustadt/Weinstrasse in the summer and autumn of 1974. In 1975, South German radio station SDR broadcast a programme where for 45 minutes Zyma were presented in detail, and some time later the band had a TV appearance in the youth show, "Drum Special", broadcast by South German TV station SWF III. In 1976, Tim Pfau left the band. Two years later, Meinrad Hirt rejoined them and Zyma released "Thoughts", their first LP of their own (Z-Productions 0381978) in a private pressing of 1,000 copies.