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Klaus Schulze - Picture Music CD (album) cover

PICTURE MUSIC

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.73 | 116 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Klaus Schulze's first accessible album and little gem

Hidden between his early experimental albums and the seminal "Timewind", often considered as the beginning of his 'golden' era, "Picture Music" tends to be a lesser-known album of the German pioneer. A pity. For me, this fourth studio opus marks a giant step and the genuine beginning of his seventies' electronic period. Recorded in 1974, after "Blackdance", this is truly where Klaus Schulze started to move away from ambient drone music to enter the world of sequenced and hypnotic soundscapes that will become the trademark of the 'Berlin School'.

This spectacular progression in less than one year is due to the acquisition of new synthesizers, such as the ARP 2600. For a first fully electronic solo attempt, the compositions are very good and sounds rather modern for their time.

"Totem" paints an oneiric atmosphere, supported by ethereal keyboards and futuristic percussions giving life to this track. Then, the rhythm accelerates, unveiling whirlwinding improvisations reminding TANGERINE DREAM, as well as strange sound effects. The finale is just magical... This first side is a bit lengthy though, but remember this is Klaus Schulze.

Calmer and softer, "Mental Door" is also darker and more mysterious. Maybe influenced by his recent jamming adventures in COSMIC JOKERS, it even possesses a little swing feel, which is rather unusual in the progressive electronic genre. Like in "Totem", the pace gets faster and faster and the music transports you through unknown galaxies. Mindblowing, and quite original too! The ending part is slower but nonetheless beautiful.

The bonus track, "C'est pas la mÍme chose", is an alternate and extended version of "Totem", with a different final section.

Trippy and slightly ahead of its time, "Picture Music" is a milestone in Klaus Schulze's career. This first full-synthesizers album from the German ex-drummer is an interesting and colorful mixture of long dreamy sonic landscapes, surprising variations, futuristic sonorities and lively percussions.

Fans of TANGERINE DREAM and PINK FLOYD, be sure not to miss this one!

Modrigue | 4/5 |

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