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Klaus Schulze - X CD (album) cover

X

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

4.15 | 181 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The last truly great release from the German godfather of electronica - and arguably his best - 1978's double-sided 'X' album marked the culmination of a fabulous decade for the former Tangerine Dream drummer. With all ten albums leading up to 'X' (bar, perhaps, the avant-garde dronery of 'Blackdance') proving singularly brilliant in their own unique way, the 1970s was a truly fertile period for Schulze and it seems fitting that he would end this golden period with one of his most ambitious projects. Featuring almost two hours worth of material spread out over six lengthy tracks, and with each track based on a particular historical hero of the Teutonic synth wizard, 'X' is a truly magnificent labour-of-love featuring a vast array of analogue technology (synthesizers, mellotrons, sound effects, tape relays, banks of keyboards etc). The subjects for 'X' are drawn mainly from the worlds of classical Germanic music and literature, and include philosophiser Friedrich Nietzeche, Austrian poet Georg Trakl, classical composer Friedemann Bach, former Bavarian king Ludwig 2nd and German novelist Heinrich Von Kleist. The one exception to the otherwise Germanic cast is the addition of American author Frank Herbert - best known for writing of the epic sci-fi opus 'Dune' - and whose trademark novel would become the focus of Schulze's next album, 1979's 'Dune'. Schulze claims to have a stylistic theme running through each composition, yet with each individual piece stretching around the twenty-minute mark, 'X' simply becomes is a highly-complex and never-ending sprawl through the psychedelic possibilities of early electronica. Like contemporary electronic artists Tangerine Dream and Edgar Froese, this is music very much for those listeners with the patience to enjoy it, with layers of highly atmospheric artificial sounds, industrial noises and throbbing, phaser-laced keyboard washed gently bubbling away underneath Schulze's slowly-unfurling synth-led rhythms and melodies. Like his very best work ('Timewind', 'X', 'Irrlicht') 'X' proves a thoroughly hypnotic and intensely mystical experience - more a continuous soundscape than a series of tunes - yet one that never loses its momentum. Describing 'X' in it's entirety is a difficult enough task; listening to it is an almighty quest into the unknown. Fans of Schulze will, of course, know exactly what to expect; new listeners are advised to take their time, as multiple listens reveal the true sonic beauty of Schulze's gloriously anti-commercial music. His last great work, 'X' is a true sensory experience and Klaus Schulze an artists quite unlike any other. Highly recommended. STEFAN TURNER, FRANCE, 2012
stefro | 5/5 |

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