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Klaus Schulze - Live CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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3 stars The ever creative klaus schulze produces this remarkable live album consisting of 4 extended compositions.At the time he declared that it wouild be his last live recording and the appearance of crazy Arthur Brown on Dymagic was the highlight of the four command performances presented here.Sense is literally pulsating and captivating which includes very sharp and presice percussion work the remaining tracks require more attention and are considerably more complex but give them a few listens and you will not be disappointed. Electronic at it`s finest. Hard to find but well worth the search.
Report this review (#96084)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first live album from Klaus is quite challenging.

It is some king of mixed bag from the late seventies and offers several facets from the great man. It is true to say that there are golden moments in here.

The fantastic version of "Sense" (about fifty minutes) is just wonderful. Such a pleasure for any prog electronic lover (but not only I assume). The soundscapes are phenomenal, the melodies are HUGE, and the emotions are intense. Soooooo intense!

This piece of music is really to be related with the best of his studio work so far (and if you have read some reviews of mine about the great man, you might know that I am quite positive about his musical contribution). The great percussion work is also quite a positive add on to this glorious moment of prog.

This is of course the absolute highlight. The masterpiece of this live album and another masterpiece from his whole discography (but he already proposed lots of them).

This album could have been an extraordinary pleasure from start to finish. But unfortunately, there is "Dymagic" featured.

Lots of fans were quite sceptic about the collaboration between Klaus and Arthur Brown while they met for "Dune" (I'm one of that kind). I couldn't be thrilled with "Shadows of Ignorance" but what I have listened during "Dymagic" is all but magic.

It is of the same level than the weakest and infamous Schulze album so far: "Aphrica". This half an hour of schizophrenia, non-event item and indigestible partition can only lower my global rating. This part should have been skipped. I wonder why this was ever released, unless for contractual reasons. Anyway: it was a BIG mistake as far as I'm concerned.

As such, even if the great "Heart" starts as the wonderful "Invisible Limits" from whom you might know and "Bellistique" is quite alright, the upper limit of my rating is four stars. Seven out of ten really, because of the inhuman "Dymagic" that lasts for about thirty minutes!

Report this review (#243357)
Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I didn't hear this album until very recently and after I had worked my way through the historic and other editions. Compared to the excellent concerts in those boxsets, this compilation of material from various live performances between 1976 and 1979 disappointed me.

I enjoy 'Bellistique' very much and also the first half of 'Heart'. However, the 50 minutes of the 1976 piece 'Sense', that should have been the main attraction here, don't work at all for me. Way too repetitive. It sure surprises me as this is the favourite track for other reviewers. As I said, it might just be caused by the abundance of 1975-1977 concerts from the boxsets that I had heard just before this one.

Report this review (#248080)
Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The first (of many) live recordings from synthesizer guru KLAUS SCHULZE should have been the capstone to a pioneering decade, celebrating nearly ten influential years of groundbreaking electronic meditation. But the haphazard selection of performances and often sloppy organization makes the two-CD set resemble instead an obligatory catalogue filler more than a crowning achievement of any sort.

The four long tracks succeed in providing a valuable snapshot of exactly where the artist was at the end of the 1970s. But, similar to the likewise double-disc live package "Encore", released a few years earlier by his compatriots in TANGERINE DREAM, there's a suggestion that the once cutting-edge Berlin School of electronic music was falling into bad habits, with all those synthetic ragas and endless pre-programmed sequencer arpeggios fast becoming another kosmische cliché.

Disc One begins strongly in the 21-minute "Bellistique", reversing the usual template by opening at full swing and only later devolving into an extended ambient soundscape. (I read somewhere it was actually the finale to an evening's performance, and maybe should have likewise been positioned here at the end of the disc.)

But the rot begins to set in during the nearly one-hour long "Sense", at least after a compelling introduction: twelve minutes of classic KS, arguably the highlight of either disc (and apparently missing from the original, abbreviated LP version). The foreground improvisations are typically fluid throughout the slowly unfolding 51-minutes of the track, and old friend Harald Großkopf's drumming gives the music a sharp dynamic edge. But the too simplistic four-note sequencer pattern is plodding, at best, and continues with little variation for longer than forty (!) minutes. The occasional chord change is included to give it at least a semblance of variety, but the final effect is more numbing than hypnotic, and the applause at the end sounds a little perfunctory. Maybe the crowd was simply exhausted by that point.

Then there's a noticeable dip in the sound quality on Disc Two, at around the 12-minute mark of "Heart", the first of two half-hour long jams filling the second set. The ethereal introductory soundscapes will sound familiar to veteran fans, recalling the evocative "Heinrich von Kleist", from Schulze's 1978 studio epic "X". But I'm convinced the latter two-thirds of the track are from another, later gig entirely, and together with "Dymagic" sounds like a bootleg audience recording (a very decent one, I should add, the quality of which does nothing to impair the experience).

Arthur Brown (yes, the God of Hellfire himself) is the guest star of this last excerpt, fresh from his controversial appearance on Schulze's then current 1979 studio album "Dune". KS was always looking for novel ways to galvanize his electronic soundscapes, using borrowed orchestral tapes, real drumming, and unexpected vocal accompaniment (recently collaborating with ex-DEAD CAN DANCE singer Lisa Gerrard). Brown's performance here isn't nearly as irritating as it was on "Dune" (which, admittedly, I haven't heard for several decades: only the magnificent title track of that album survives in my music library). At times he almost seems to have a Klaus Blaquiz / MAGMA vibe going, adding a unique spin to what otherwise would have been a fairly routine space jam.

And this last track, too, shows evidence of tampering: notice the brutal edit just beyond the 26-minute mark, clearly an attempt to bring artificial resolution to a performance that couldn't be shoehorned in its entirety onto one side of vinyl. (A quick digression apropos both tracks featured on Disc Two: you can always tell when Schulze is growing bored with his own noodling, by the arbitrary shift upward in tempo.)

Klaus Schulze would release numerous concert recordings over the next thirty years (and counting). But it's a shame his more influential, analog years aren't better represented (outside the occasional expensive boxed CD set) beyond this often compelling but occasionally slapdash release.

Report this review (#286475)
Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, I think I don't share the other reviews, for me LIVE is one amazing photograph of SCHULZE in the seventies.

The first track, Bellistique starts with synthesizers and drum patterns, that come up stronger and stronger until the piece changes into something quieter and darker. Very good starter.

The second track, Sense, is a masterpiece of the Berlin School od Electronics, yes, the intervals of the main sequence don't change during the piece, but the secuence itself changes a lot in terms of intensity, volume, key, etc, creating lots of different soundscapes. The drums amplify the effect. The soloing is intense, it doesn't give you rest at all, it keeps going in time and in terms of melody it doesn't end, so it is like touching a wound that hurts and not realising the finger, truly great.

The third track, Heart, starts very slowly, a bass pulse is there, almost inaudible, then a lead synth is there without identifying when it started. The track changes in something more rhythmic with synth and drum sequences. Good track.

The fourth track, Dymagic, is not what I like the most from SCHULZE, but I recognize it has that experimental edge.

I have the vinyl (with poster) and last CD editions of this album. The vinyl has some scratches here and there, but the sound is better. The bad thing is that the tracks are cut to fit the side of the vinyl. The CD has the complete tracks.

Report this review (#295502)
Posted Friday, August 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Schulze's first live and last analog album

Finally, after eight years of career, here is Klaus Schulze's long awaited live album! Difficultly understandable when you know the German pioneer was already very prolific. Like other electronic artists of the 70's such as his fellow countrymen TANGERINE DREAM, his concerts were often composed of improvised and previously unreleased material. Nowadays, some of these performances can be found as bonus tracks on the Revisited Records Editions or in the "La Vie Electronique" boxsets.

Nonetheless, this live compilation, just titled "...Live...", is a double album compiling more than two hours of sequenced music within four gigs extracts, from 1979 and 1976. All tracks have a typical 'schulzian' duration, i.e. 20 to 30 minutes, except "Sense" which lasts... 51 minutes! The last piece also contains a little surprise... Musically speaking, the style is quite similar to Klaus's melodic and retro-futuristic works during the late 70's, such as "Moondawn" and the two "Body Love". Nonetheless, there is slight difference this time, as the compositions sounds more modern, more sci-fi, maybe due to the usage of rhythm boxes.

I personally consider Disc 1 more interesting than Disc 2. "Bellistique" was recorded in Paris, November 13th 1979. Although the shortest track of this compilation, this is my favorite. An hyper pulsating sequence for an over-trippy music. I cannot think of another piece from Schulze sounding this fast and furious at the time, it simply foreshadows the trance genre of the 90's! Mindblowing! A bit repetitive, however dark and thrilling... Chaotic and atmospheric, the ending is quite frightening. Recorded in Berlin, October 5th 1976, "Sense" is the only track not from 1979. This 51 minutes long mastodon is the central point of the album and features Harald Grosskopf at percussions. After an ambient hazy introduction, a short evanescent mesmerizing loop disappears into smoke to unveil the main theme that will nearly last until the end, with nice spacey variations. A sensation of misty magic reigns over this tune. The mysterious vaporous sequence comes back for the final section. For sure, "Sense" could certainly have been shortened to 30 minutes, but this piece still remains overall quite good. 4 stars.

Disc 2 is unfortunately less inspired. Recorded in Paris, November 13th 1979, "Heart" opens in a calm but spooky atmosphere. It then turns more rhythmic and futuristic, with strange sound effects and synthesizers sounding even Middle-Eastern-ish at times. The second half sees the pace speeding up at the second half as well as pretty cool passages. Schulze plays his keyboard soli like a guitar hero here! An uneven composition, which contains very pleasant moments though. "Dymagic" was recorded in Amsterdam, October 27th 1979, and features Arthur Brown at vocals. The German musician already collaborated with the him on "Shadows of Ignorance", for his album "Dune", released the same year. Quite unique in its own way, this minimalistic track resembles nothing Klaus did before, or even after. It mainly consists in the same electronic loop supporting Arthur Brown's mad vocals. Half-narrated, half-narrated, the English singer enters a shamanic transe and seems to be fully possessed by some unknown demon. All this give the impression of a crossing between an obscure incantation with a mechanical ritual. Except the final section, relaxing and spacey, there are not many changes, even if the rhythm increases in the last third. Easily one of Schulze's weirdest pieces, some will immediately fall in love with its special craziness and esoteric ambiance, while others will just skip this nonsense. 2 stars.

In conclusion, although unequal, "...Live..." remains an interesting yet heterogeneous live compilation. One interesting thing about it is that each listener may have a different appreciation of each part. For me, the interest goes decrescendo: the tracks are respectively great, good, uneven and... bizarre. I would have liked to have the 1977 Köln WDR concert extract "For Barry Graves" featured here, instead of "Dymagic" for example. Another point worth mentioning is that there are not many contemplative soundscapes in this double album, however these 1979 compositions are much more lively than "Dune".

"...Live..." was for a long time the only testimony of Klaus' seventies performances and still remains one of his best live releases. Every fan of the late 70's retro-futuristic side of Schulze should give it a listen to make his own opinion.

After this one, the German keyboard wizard will turn digital, and this will be another story...

Report this review (#1599916)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2016 | Review Permalink
2 stars Schulze's live albums just don't do it for me. Why? He's had some great live tracks ("But Beautiful"), but most of the tracks on this (and on the only other live album I have of his, Dziekuje Poland) don't benefit from the combination of live playing and sequencers. Or maybe it's me.

Released in 1980 as a double album, ...Live... was comprised of four songs, one per LP side, recorded in 1976 and 1979. This should be good news, as he was at the height of his powers right around then. The 51-minute "Sense" (the vinyl only had 31 minutes of this piece) even features the great Harald Großkopf on the drumkit. Unfortunately, the 29-minute "Dymagic" features Arthur Brown on vocals. Schulze and Brown had already teamed up the prior year on Side Two of Schulze's Dune, but I guess neither learned his lesson.

But my issue with ...Live... goes beyond this one track. I can't exactly put my finger on it, so to speak, although I've tried. To Schulze's credit, these are all new compositions; he's not just recreating his studio work. But I guess the concert environment just doesn't suit what is fundamentally a studio endeavor.

Report this review (#2183118)
Posted Sunday, April 14, 2019 | Review Permalink

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