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Klaus Schulze - La Vie Electronique 2 CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Episode II in the Schulze retrospective "La Vie Electronique" consists of studio recordings from the 72-75 period. Most of the material was previously released on the 50cds spanning "Ultimate Edition" from the 90s, but that boxset has been long out of print so these alternative releases are more then welcome, especially this second release in the series.

Disk one mainly consist of a 1973 collaboration with Hans-Jörg Stahlschmidt. The tracks "Nightwind", "Minuet", "Signs of Dawn" and "Land der Leeren Hauser" were even scheduled for release as a collaborative effort of both artists, intended to be named either Tau, Tao or Timewind. But somehow it didn't happen, a real loss as it is a unique gem in Schulze's discography. Stahlschmidt's acoustic guitars inspired Schulze to delicate psychedelic organ playing in more regular keys then the chromatic scales he usually employed at that time. The result is very dreamy relaxing music, very similar to Dom's "Edge Of Time" and some of Ash Ra Tempel's more pastoral moments like "Le Berceau De Cristal".

Disk two presents two extended improvisations for organ from 1973. They are quite similar in style to what was on offer on "La Vie Electronique I" but they feature the more subtle sound of the Farfisa organ. Especially "Titansee" is a beautiful mood piece. Also the shorter "Electric Love Affair" is an excellent track, be it a bit short.

Disk three is the most varied. It starts with the 1973 "Land der Leeren Hauser" from the 'Timewind' project mentioned above, but then jumps ahead to 1974 and 1975, where Schulze's sound gradually changed along with the more advanced equipment he got hold of. None of the pieces uses sequencers but the sound became much warmer and more synthy, much like we know it from "Timewind". The 38 minute "Blaue Stunde" from 1975 matches "Wahnfried 1883" in its intense but subdued melancholy.

For non-Schulze fans this will be quite a lavish set to stomach. But at the price of one regular CD you get 4 hours of music, most of it excellent and beyond. Fans of Schulze's 1973-1974 period shouldn't hesitate a second.

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Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink

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