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Klaus Schulze - Dune CD (album) cover

DUNE

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.22 | 60 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Dune' - Klaus Schulze (6/10)

Klaus Schulze is a man whose music I have not always enjoyed, but at the very least, I've always considered him to be a man of great talent. This was enough reason for me to pick up a used copy of 'Dune' at discount. Being a major fan of the book by Frank Herbert, I was intrigued to see how Mr. Schulze would approach the subject matter, and bring the story of 'Dune' to music. Somewhat disappointingly, Klaus Schulze does little to distinguish this album from most of his other work. The longwinded, often minimalistic compositions are much the same that I have heard from the man's work I've heard so far. A couple of interesting surprises are enough to take 'Dune' from a blatant sense of deja-vu to a valid work in is own right.

Frank Herbert's 'Dune' was a space epic set on the desert planet of Arrakis, a wasteland made valuable only by a commodity called 'the spice'. Much of the plot takes place in the sprawling landscape of Arrakis; a setting that seems perfect for Klaus to mimic through his music. For such vast imagery as a desert, I would have thought that 'Dune' would have opened up with a typical electronic sequence that would likely flow throughout the rest of the composition. Instead, 'Dune' opens with some fairly percussive sounds, a jarring way to start off the album. Before too long however, 'Dune' settles into the typical spacey sound that I have come to expect from Klaus Schulze. Although the title track 'Dune' and its b-side 'Shadows Of Ignorance' are both incredibly long compositions, there are not too many ideas or themes floating between them. The music here is meant to dabble upon an idea until its absolutely exhausted. This is nothing new for 'Dune', as much of Schulze's music follows that formula.

Although 'Dune' first feels doomed to retrace steps that the man would cover again and again, the introduction of a cello into the music is a bold step that adds an entirely new element of warmth to the music. Although the sequencers may have felt empty on their own, the cello playing of Wolfgang Tiepold provides a steady lead and feeling of emotion to Schulze's composition that would have been lacking otherwise. 'Shadows Of Ignorance' builds upon the themes of the first, but adds an even more surprising musical element; vocals. Not just any vocals however, but the voice of Arthur Brown, the same man who helped pioneer the prog rock style. Instead of his aggressive voice that I first heard on 'The Crazy World Of...', his voice is more of a saddened croon here. It fits the mellow music quite well, although the lyrics that Brown sings feel only loosely connected with Herbert's 'Dune' universe. Klaus Schulze creates a very atmospheric journey here, but I get the feeling that, even with the cello and Arthur Brown's voice, this album lacks the unique identity I would need in order to call it a truly great work.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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