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Klaus Schulze - Mirage CD (album) cover

MIRAGE

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

4.26 | 200 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Released in between the two porn soundtracks for Body Love, Mirage is Klaus' most critically acclaimed album next to Timewind. Like that album there is no drums or percussion here. One of the reasons why there may be no drums here is that when this album was being recorded in early 1977, Klaus' brother Hans Dieter died of cancer. He taught Klaus how to play drums and Mirage is dedicated to him. The death of his brother, who was an idol to him, most likely had an effect on why this album sounds so cold and moody. Granted, Schulze rarely made music that you made you want to smile and tap your feet, but on Mirage there is a detached, icy winter-like feel that sounds even more gloomy for Klaus than usual. Generally the music here is ambient and New Age-y with some symphonic elements.

The first track "Velvet Voyage" you can listen to in it's entirety on PA. I feel it's the weaker of the two pieces and is not a great introduction for somebody who has never heard the music of KS before. The version on the latest CD release is slightly different to earlier versions. It starts out very quiet with sounds that resemble the 'seagulls' in Floyd's "Echoes." Almost sounds like the soundtrack to a scary movie for awhile. Slowly it morphs into more sci-fi sounding territory - spacey yet soothing. Then it settles into more of a New Age vibe. Around halfway the music becomes both more spacey and symphonic, almost hypnotic at times. Klaus eventually starts to solo over the hypnotic sequencer pattern. It basically stays this way until the end when you get more hypnotic sequencer and choir-like sounds. Very spacey conclusion.

"Crystal Lake" is the more interesting of the two tracks. A bell-like sequencer pattern lays the foundation for other keyboards to pile on top of it. Starting before 5 minutes the sequencer pattern keeps getting transposed back and forth to different keys. The music now is symphonic and dramatic and Klaus does some soloing. As he solos the music becomes less tense as it floats along. Later the sequencer pattern gets transposed back and forth again. Gets more New Age-y in the middle. Some icy sequencers sparkle as the music becomes more spacey. Klaus does some soloing as the music gets more subtle. Things get spacier as Mr. Schulze does some spacey soloing and a hypnotic sequencer line appears. The track ends this way with choir-like sounds being added.

I'm not a big a fan of Mirage as some people are. While better than the majority of what he did after X, it's not as strong as the previous three albums or even the first two. I also don't think it is a great place to start with this man's music. Newbies should go for Timewind or Moondawn instead. Mirage is a good album but it's not exactly typical of his style or is the most interesting thing he has done. My final verdict would be a 3.5 but I don't feel this is strong enough an album to deserve 4 stars. So 3 stars it is.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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