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Klaus Schulze - Are You Sequenced? CD (album) cover

ARE YOU SEQUENCED?

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.16 | 37 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After a period of experimentation with sampled sounds in the first half of the 90's, Schulze returned to analogue synths in 1993 on his cooperations with Pete Namlook. With Are You Sequenced? he gives a fitting answer to the evolutions in the dance scene around that time.

The album starts excellently. The first piece, before the beat kicks in, is gorgeous. It is followed by 25 minutes of good trance music that get slightly repetitive because of the monotone rhythm. Working with beats will never be Schulze's speciality. Valle De La Luna makes up for it and is a typical Schulzean piece for dreamy synths and washes of violins.

The album was intended to be a regular studio album but shortly before its release Schulze performed it live and the adrenaline captured during the live rendition was eventually preferred over the original studio take. That's why some of the transitions between beat driven parts and ambient sections are a bit rough at times, but the live energy bonus can clearly be heard on the next couple of tracks. On Are You Sequenced? the beats kick in again but this time it's a smooth ride, the music gets in a commanding groove and especially the section Moogie Baby Goes Solo is a wild swirling moog fest that you shouldn't miss. Moldanya / Vildanya balances the steady pace with a great moment of peace and beauty. The closing 15 minutes repeat the earlier beat with tons of dazzling Schulze sounds on top of it. Over the course of allmost 80 minutes, this continuous piece of music really builds up to a great finale

Conclusion, not a perfect release but given the impressive length, it's easy to distil more then an hour of perfect listening pleasure. The rest is a bonus. As with all Schulze music, the key to full enjoyment is ear-shattering volumes. Don't play this as background music, crank it up! It's an annoying cliché but it's certainly true for this music.

About issues and re-issues.

There are several versions of this album. The original release had a second CD consisting of remixes. While varying in quality, some of the remixes are spot on and demonstrate how the regular album could have sounded with real techno beats. An example is the delicate lounge reworking Voices In The Dark, also SQ3 is great house interpretations. Be warned though, real techno here, bound to drive away prog lovers even more then punk does.

The preferred issue to seek out is the 2006 remaster which adds a second CD with a 1993 composition called Vat Was Dat?. It has the same beat as the main album but apart from that it's entirely different. It starts with a stringent sequence, embellished with eerie synth vocal melodies and aggressive orchestral samples. A second theme is more classical, slightly similar to Philip Glass. Both themes are alternated and further developed throughout the entire 77 minutes of this piece. It's really long obviously, but it's a bonus and a 3.5 star album in its own right. Highly recommended in the electronic progressive section of prog.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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