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Klaus Schulze - Dig It CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze


Progressive Electronic

2.97 | 74 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Klaus goes digital

Whereas most of his electronic brothers, such as TANGERINE DREAM, KRAFTWERK, Jarre or even NEURONIUM, manage to renew themselves while still offering inspired compositions at the dawn of the eighties, the same thing can't be said for Klaus Schulze. In fact, the German musician is maybe one of the first synthesizer pioneer to exhibit a decrease of inspiration from 1980. Curious, as his works were always demanding and not always accessible. This time either, Schulze didn't - and never - want to turn commercial by proposing radio-friendly tunes. So why "Dig It" is an half-failure?

As the double-pun album title suggests, the sound is now digital, which will greatly harm the progressive electronic genre in the 80's. Goodbye charming trippy analog synthesizers of the 70's, say hello to the soulless icy numerical keyboards of the new decade. In this opus, the German abandons his trademark contemplative and hypnotic soundscapes in profit of... we don't really know, a few shorter tracks, a bit more melodic... however less unreal and magic. Anyway, the music has not aged well and resembles hardly nothing to what he had accustomed us before. Schulze cannot be blamed though for trying to renew himself, but unfortunately the result is not very convincing and the choice of sonorities not always suited.

This change of direction can be perceived from the first seconds of the disc. "Death Of An Analogue" is a sad reference to the gone glorious analogue days of the seventies. Ironic, as the track itself is definitely not in the same league to what the years it refers to. This opener could be described as a digitalized funeral march, with a text narrated by Schulze at the vocoder. Rather monotonous and lengthy. Although "Weird Caravan" is overall average, it does possess a special intriguing ambiance that makes this title unique with its jazzy bass and world / new-agey sounds. The only truly good track is the futuristic "The Looper Isn't A Hooker", for its eerie atmosphere. The length and structure of "Synthasy" should theoretically remind 70's Schulzian soundscapes, but is finally flat and fails to catch attention.

Fans of Berlin School, and even 80's TANGERINE DREAM and Jarre lovers, will be somehow disconcerted by the orientation taken by Klaus Schulze in this decade. This opus marks a transition in his approach, not a very good one I'm afraid. The music is more varied indeed, contains new ideas, but is really also very dated and doesn't provide the immersion and evasion of his former works. Although released at the very beginning of the eighties, "Dig It" makes no exception, and the next albums will follow this path paved with cheesy synthesizers and unequal compositions.

Give it a try if you want to make your own opinion... For me, the German pioneer will take time to wake up and recover his past grandeur...

Modrigue | 2/5 |


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