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Klaus Schulze - Kontinuum CD (album) cover

KONTINUUM

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.74 | 78 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The recovered continuity

Whereas the troubled new-wave / new-age waters of the 80's were a difficult context for Klaus Schulze to express himself, the 90's represent a celebration of his ideas with the explosion of techno and trance. However, for me, it was the third millennium that really saw the genuine awakening of the German Moog pioneer. Schulze finally found his place in the contemporary musical landscape, and managed to renew himself better than most other historical electronic bands, such as TANGERINE DREAM for example.

"Kontinuum" revives the typical schulzian experience by offering extended hypnotic sequenced soundscapes with modern sonorities. The three titles are continuous, forming a single track of 76 minutes. Besides a return to the original 70's recipe, this opus also marks the 60-years anniversary of the synthesizer wizard.

As you may have guessed, "Sequenzer (from 70 To 07)" is a reference to Schulze's career in the musical industry, as his first studio release dates back to his participation to TD's "Electronic Meditation" in 1970. A spacey sequenced title, the Berlin School style, pulsating and mesmerizing. During the last third, the loops vanish to unveil hazy waves of ambient keyboards. A nice trip, although a bit too long, which will be a recurring reproach about the disc. "Euro Caravan" begins atmospheric to then turn esoteric with its middle-eastern-ish vocalizations. Interesting when you know Schulze will further collaborate with Lisa Gerrard from DEAD CAN DANCE... A dynamic sequence reminding the good-old days adds a futuristic fauna to this desert landscape. An electronic caravan is passing...

The 32 minutes "Thor (Thunder)" is the final and longest title of the record. Don't be mistaken by the opening storm sounds, this composition is pretty much in the vein of the previous track, however without less vocalizations and inspiration. With such a title, the listener expecting a dark and raging epic suite will be quite disappointed, as the music is rather calm and takes the time, finishing in an ambient note. Not bad per se, but a little redundant with "Euro Caravan" and definitely too lengthy.

Like me, I believe than many progressive electronic and 70's KS lovers were somehow disoriented by his releases after the ambitious 1978's "X" or 1980's "...Live...". "Kontinuum" arrives as the long awaited album for these fans, the one where Klaus finally remember his magical formula. Although "Moonlake" was more modern and varied, this opus more resembles trademark Schulze compositions in terms of structure and ambiance. There are two major problems though: the length and the redundancy. The music does not expose enough changes or evolutions to justify such durations, and "Thor (Thunder)" is optional.

Anyway, if you're a fan of classic Klaus Schulze, don't miss this disc. "Kontinuum" is one of the best post-1980 works by the German, with "Moonlake". How should we call it? "Modernized vintage electro-prog"?

Modrigue | 3/5 |

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