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Klaus Schulze - Cyborg CD (album) cover

CYBORG

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.74 | 96 ratings

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Louie
5 stars After the release of his 1972 solo debut "Irrlicht", Klaus Schulze ventured out into epic proportions with the follow-up album "Cyborg". Released as a double-album in 1973, "Cyborg" finds Klaus expanding his musical horizons breaking down many barriers in the process. Throughout its 98 minutes, "Cyborg" mixes elements of avant-garde classical music a la Stockhausen with experimental often droning electronics. 30 years after its release, it still does not disappoint. "Cyborg" opens with the beautiful "Synphara". Here, Klaus uses a 40-piece orchestra which sounds as if it were recorded on a cheap radio. Throughout the piece, Klaus creates an endless series of drones, bleeps and wind storms with his then newly acquired VCS3 synthesizer. This piece maintains the same mood throughout except when it moves towards the end. For the final six minutes, the orchestra drops out and Klaus is left alone in the mix conjuring up seas of white noise from his synth. The next track, "Conphara" is a 26 minute drone-fest opening with a chaotic cacophony of what sounds like air-raid sirens. Underneath, a steady bass pulse emerges which sets the tone for the rest of the piece. After the 'air-raid siren' intro fades out, the orchestra returns with a long dramatic theme. This is music that would not sound out of place in a horror film of some sort. Towards the end of the piece, things settle down a bit as the orchestra backs off and some delicate flutes take over. The buzzing pulse heard throughout the piece then fades into silence. The second half of the album opens with "Chromengel" (supposedly German for "Chromium Angel"). Klaus's Farfisa organ dominates this piece accompanied by a percussive rhythm from his VCS3 synthesizer. The mood of this piece is extremely dark and funeral-like. At the same time, it reminded me of walking into a giant cathedral with a large pipe organ playing consistently. There is very little change throughout this piece but it's themes and variations along with it's synthetic rhythms are superb. The closing track on the album is the experimental "Neuronengesang" ("Brain Song??"). Throughout the course of its 25 minutes, dark and grunting drones drift in and out the mix accompanied by a wandering Farfisa organ. Sharp synthetic bursts scatter throughout the piece sounding like an alien game of laser-tag. There are brief moments of calmness but for the most part, it is layer upon layer of droning pulsating tones creating an intense atmosphere. There are similarities between this piece and Tangerine Dream's "Nebulous Dawn" from their 1972 classic "Zeit". Both tracks feature the same idea of droning notes pulsing in and out of the mix. "Cyborg" was definitely ahead of its time when it was released back in 1973. Also the fact that it was a double album clocking in at nearly 100 minutes with nearly 25 minutes+ of music accompanying each side was considered quite generous for the time. It is still highly regarded as an avant-garde masterwork. Klaus wasn't finished after "Cyborg" though. After this, he went on to produce timeless classics such as "Picture Music", the groundbreaking "Timewind", "Moondawn", "Mirage" and "X", all of which are regarded as important works from this important musical genius.
Louie | 5/5 |

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