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Klaus Schulze - Kontinuum CD (album) cover

KONTINUUM

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.86 | 54 ratings

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convocation
4 stars Overall, there is nothing stunningly original here that Schulze has not investigated before. He is a master of his art, albeit, a limited one. For all the nearly forty years he has been experimenting with electronic music, he has maintained his characteristic style. This is both a plus and a minus for an artist. His music is very well composed, executed, and produced. There is no doubt that Kontinuum is beautiful to listen to. Those who are familiar with Klaus Schulze will appreciate this trio of compositions; the unfamiliar must prepare for a subtle and even repetitive experience. No attempt is made here to command your attention. Liking or disliking this material is not a matter of musical maturity or having a taste for the mystical. This music is only as deep as you want to think it is; but that definitely does not make it so. Just having an open mind will do for enjoying Kontinuum. As my Russian language professor once quipped when I naively asked him "What can I expect on my first trip to the Soviet Union?" under Brezhnev's rule: "Well, don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed!" It was a real trip!

Sequenzer begins with two interwoven sequencer tracks. A third sequencer track eventually "appears" bearing a similar sense of circularity that leaves you with the impression of a plucked string instrument like a harpsichord. Some of the sequences almost imperceptibly evolve while another independent theme wells up and sinks through this aural carpet. Primarily, orchestral impressions and a vibrato sine wave or imitation of a theremin end this piece.

Euro Caravan is dominated by a pondering deep bass tone sequence that hints at a bow-drawn bass or bass pedal. A mournful alto softly chants a middle-eastern sounding line. In between these two is another layer of synthetic bowed instruments. Half way through Euro Caravan, the mood changes, with the entrance of a different sequence full of resonance, and echoes. At about the three-quarter point the alto returns, adding to the complex rhythmic mix, pulsating and wailing simultaneously.

Thor opens with the sound of distant thunder and wisps of wind. A constant low- pitched kind of synthetic groan rises and falls through out. The whole gives the impression of a great space within which the musical activity takes place. Various voices fade in and out, often treated with digital delays to create short and long echoes. One transitory voice sounds particularly like a Muslim man chanting or praying. A high-pitched buzz modified by various attack-sustain-release profiles interrupts the wandering music, then often cuts out with a sharp echo effect rising in pitch as it fades. Eventually, though, the sequencer takes over with simple four-note cascades, rising up and down in pitch. Synthetic muted clay pots and other percussive sounds slowly take over the tones of the sequencer.

convocation | 4/5 |

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