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Klaus Schulze - Blackdance CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze


Progressive Electronic

3.44 | 144 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars BlackDance is Schulze's third release and sounds as pitch black and hermetic as the preceding ones. However, the addition of a few melodic touches like vocals, acoustic guitar, synthesizer leads and rhythmic percussion make it more accessible. The album marks the transition between Schulze's Kraut years and his more popular 'Berlin school' years which would start in the following years.

It is the last album Schulze would release before he got his hands on a sequencer and would start creating more accessible and melodic music like Tangerine Dream had done with Phaedra. By consequence, compared to Phaedra this comes off a bit primitive in a technological sense.

The music however is the most enjoyable from his avant-garde / kraut years. Waves of Changes sets the mood with eerie synths and repetitive rhythmic percussion. Some Velvet Phasing is entirely different. No rhythmic patterns, just very sparse and desolate organs and synths and something that sounds like a mellotron. It's my favorite early-Schulze piece, similar in atmosphere to TD's Mysterious Semblance and Sequent C from the same year. Voices of Syn starts off great with a synth improvising around a collage of dark opera arias from Verdi. A weird sequenced pulse follows. Hard to say what this sound is, it has no tune and consists of a mix of clicks and backwards effects. Very avant-garde indeed. A dissonant organ weaves patterns around it and adds to the disconcerting effect this track has.

I have the 2007 re-release in my hands here and it features two extra tracks from 1976.

- Foreplay 10:33 - Synthies have (no) balls? 14:42

Foreplay is a non-sequence track that has synthesized voices (probably mellotron) fading in and out on top of a synth-simulated thunderstorm. A bit too long again though. Synthies is a bit different from Schulze's usual laidback approach, it has a bit more punch and aggression and disorder to it. But nothing special again. Besides, the extra tracks don't fit entirely with the original album. In just two years, the use of sequencer and moog had entirely changed Schulze's sound.

The booklet says Klaus himself isn't all that enthusiastic about this album but he tells us his 'buddy' Steve Wilson (good friends with Klaus apparently) really loves this album and I think I see why he does. It has a very distinct alluring weird darkness about it. Typically something for Wilson!

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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