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Klaus Schulze - Audentity CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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3 stars "Audentity" rimes with "Authencity".

Dear friend Klaus got back indeed to some of sublime seventies act. We are used by now to have the very good Tiepold on the cello and the great Mike Shrieve (from the great "Santana") on percussions.

Still, during the opener of this double set, I wouldn't tell that they are here for the best. I quite rather preferred the ambient and desolated start than the more upbeat second half from "Cellistica". The short "Tango-Saty" and "Opheylissem" are only worth thanks to the great percussion work from Mike. But these cold and passionless synthetic sounds are not my cup of tea. The only funny point is that the latter is the name of a small town not too far from where I live. But this is not an excuse?

"Amourage" holds some far Eastern intro which is quite welcome even if not awaited. The beautiful keyboards lines that follow are just brilliant and should reconcile us with the great man. This is another wonderful track full of tact and beauty: a formidable yet accessible trip to eternal tranquillity, peace of mind and sublime prog act. The (only) highlight.

So far, this album leaves me with ambiguous feeling. Both remaining epics will decide whether or not we are confronted with a very good or decent Schultze album.

"Spielglocken" (and not glockenspiel as some Oldfield fan could have reminded) is a song built on a crescendo mood. Needless to say that I like the scheme. It is quite hypnotic and desperately cold and feeling less. But very effective in terms of melody, attraction and result.

One just need to be conquered and join for the ride which turns out to be more upbeat after a while (some six minutes). Dear friend Mike is of course not alien to this. What a great man! The second part though is too repetitive and lacks of good moments. It is actually quite a deception. But it was good to see a collaboration between two great musicians I profoundly respect.

The closing track starts with a violin/keys duet which culminates in some powerful "end of the world" tendency. It calms down a little to leave the place to Tiepold as a solo artist. He delivers some respectful chords but again, but there is too little manoeuvring space I guess to be really catchy.

The second half of this piece of music definitely reaches boundaries that are too far from my reach. I never could go in there. These improvisation textures with no melody are too alien from my genuine perception to be appealing. Brutally avant-garde; that's all.

In all, this album is quite hermetic, long and offers little harmonious moments: "Amourage" being the best track of the whole as far as I am concerned. It is impossible for me to go over the three stars rating for this "Audentity" that started better that it ended. It is the most experimental work of the man so far and I far much preferred his superb and melodic work from the previous decade.

Three stars (but this is rounded up really).

Report this review (#241680)
Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars "Audentity" is a double album released by Klaus in 1983. It's not a concept album as some think but a collection of pieces that aren't related. Some guests here on keyboards and cello while Michael Shrieve (SANTANA) adds some percussion.

"Cellistica" is a great way to start with those sounds that come and go. It's louder 2 minutes in. An electronic beat before 3 minutes and some cello too. Drums before 4 1/2 minutes. The beat continues as the music changes and evolves. Cello is back around 15 minutes. "Tango- Saty" features this catchy beat with horn-like sounds. I can't help but laugh. Sorry this just sounds bad to me. "Amourage" is much better. A melancholic tune overall that starts out with pings and pulses. Then sounds cry out 1 1/2 minutes in and come and go throughout. Spacey synths too. Piano joins in around 4 1/2 minutes. "Opheylissem" features lots of beats.

Side two starts with "Spielglocken" and again I feel the first track is the best one. Electronic beats build as spacey synths join in. A change after 5 1/2 minutes as the spacey sounds leave and drums join in. Spacey sounds are back around 7 1/2 minutes. A great sounding track. "Sebastian Im Traum" is an interesting track. I can't say I like it much but the way Klaus keeps bringing back certain sound on and off throughout this over 28 minute track is very cool. The cello, the door opening, the loud sound that seems to pass by all are repeated in this long track.

A good recording, but i'm hard on double albums and I don't think this deserves the fourth star. Many will disagree.

Report this review (#266659)
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With Audentity Schulze incorporated avant-garde elements in his sound. I've always been only mildly enthused by this, but the current re-issue series offers real value for money. Nice packaging, good sound and always interesting bonus material from what must be immense vaults of unreleased Schulze gems!

Cellistica is interesting for the cello contributions from Wolfgang Tiepold. Schulze withdraws to a background of minimal sound effects and a 4/4 mid-paced dance beat. Every few minutes, the melodic main theme helps us to digest this extended piece. It is done very subtle and the result is adequate but never overwhelming.

Spielglocken is similarly minimalist and cold. I think the clinical 80's sound doesn't work well for Schulze, at least not in my ears. Either that or there was a lack of inspiration on Schulze's part. Usually he has that magic touch that breathes live into his machinery but I don't feel that here.

Sebastian Im Traum however is a beautiful piece. It starts with a very noisy and dissonant modernist part before it gives way to a charming sequence of synth vibes. The atmosphere is still chillingly cold and distant but somehow the beauty of the music shines through this.

The second CD of the 2005 reissue starts with the short Tango-Saty, a rather unusual piece for Schulze. It's like an avant-garde version of Kraftwerk's synth pop. Amourage is more typical Schulze, a laid-back ambient piece with slowly spinning melodies and gentle dots of piano. Romantic, sad and harmonious, one of the album's highlights. It is followed by another short avant-garde synth pop piece Ophelylissem. It's not really memorable again. I can't say I'm very impressed with the computer drum sounds used on this album.

At this point the original album's track list would be over. The reissue however adds another 58 minutes of music, split into 5 separate tracks. This bonus material sure equals the overall quality of this release. It has a Tangerine Dream kind of quality to it. The sequences and synth melodies on wouldn't be out of place on TD's Hyperborea album of the same year. It's a bit too long but it's a nice treat for fans.

Audentity is an unusual Schulze album that you should not skip as a fan. Together with the preceding Dig It and Trancefer, it's one of his best albums of the 80's. 3.5 stars

Report this review (#287972)
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars With "Dune" I concluded that 80's work of Klaus Schulze might be worth listening to. So I picked up this "Audentity" which contains almost 100 minutes of synthesizer music on a double vinyl, containing three side long tracks and one side filled with three shorter tracks. Klaus Schulze still collaborates with Wolfgang Tiepold on Cello which have been proven to be very succesfull (X, Dune). Michael Shrieve takes care for the drum computer and Rainer Bloss adds some "Glockenspiel" and soundeffects. Klaus Schulze is giving more sounds out of hand!

The opening side filling track "Cellistica" shows Schulze in a less abstract form then I'm used too. This is due to more clear melodies and the all flattening drum computers (no, I'm not too fond of these!). Because of some strange sounding "organs" and space effects this composition is still quiet listenable, but doesn't leave me too enthousiastic. The second side - which is filled with three tracks - I find almost unlistenable because of the first and third composition on this side. The first ("Tango - Saty") should have been funny, but I find it the weakest track I've heard so far by Klaus Schulze. The third composition I find quiet boring because of the drum computers in it. The second composition may be quiet good, like other reviewers have pronounced, but cannot save this side for me.

The third side is filled with another side filling track, named "Spielglocken". This composition I find a bit too predictable, because of the constant use of drum computer, which flattens the sound and lack of abstraction. The last side contains the last track "Sebastian im Traum". This I find actually the only compostion worth listening too. It is far more abstract, lacking any form of percussion or drums, and contains some nice glockenspiel and space effects. It also contains some more horrifying parts.

In total I cannot say I'm very fond of this double record. There is a lot of mediocre/ weak material on it and just one composition that stands out, but this one is still not one of Schulze's best works. Because of the huge amount of material on this album this could however be a nice addition for fans.

Report this review (#938376)
Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Three songs on Audentity portend the future of Klaus Schulze's music, while three recall the past. (There's also a bonus track in the 2005 and subsequent CD reissues.*) The first two tracks on the reissue, "Spielglocken" and "Cellistica," are an indication of the streamlined, sequenced sound Schulze would pursue with Angst, his next studio album. The brief (5:48) "Tango-Saty," originally the album's second song, would also have fit on Angst.**

Meanwhile, "Sebastian im Traum" is a bit of a return to Moondawn-era Schulze (i.e., 1976); it sounds like "Mindphaser" to me. The pulsing "Opheylissem" and "Amourage," with its synth noodling over a rhythmless atmosphere, are throwbacks to Schulze's mid-1970s output. "Opheylissem," apparently named after the Belgian town, bears more than a passing resemblance to "Frank Herbert" (from X, 1978) and "Stardancer II" (Body Love 2, 1977). But none of these three really compares to those classics. First of all, Schulze had already produced plenty of music that sounded similar to "Sebastian im Traum," "Opheylissem," and "Amourage." Secondly, the sequencing seems to undergird and ground these pieces; earlier in his career, Schulze would trigger preprogrammed sequences during his longer pieces, making the sequencing appear secondary to the work as a whole.

It should also be pointed out that a drum machine is nothing more than a specialized sequencer. Whereas much of Angst works well with a drum machine, Schulze's 1970s work was designed with a live drummer in mind (excepting those songs without percussion). So the drum machine on a track like "Opheylissem" seems out of place. Indeed, Harald Großkopf, the drummer on many Schulze's best works is missed on Angst, although percussionist Michael Shrieve accompanies the drum machine on four of the tracks here.

So Audentity is a mixed bag. Roughly half of the pieces represent kind of a dry run for Angst, while the other half document several aspects of the artist's transition from analog to digital. I generally don't criticize the length of Schulze's albums, but here's a case where a single album would've almost certainly been better than a double. And oddly enough, it's also a case where Schulze took his time - - he recorded his prior album, Trancefer, in the summer of 1981, and did not begin recording Audentity until the fall of 1982.

Anyway, not a bad album, but an inconsistent one.


*The hourlong bonus track "Gem," which is comprised of four parts, is pretty good, especially the "Tiptoe on the Misty Mountain Tops" section, which is somewhat Angst-like.

**It's interesting, and beyond the scope of this review, that the sequence Schulze uses in the latter part of "Sebastian im Traum" is recycled as "Freeze" on Angst.

Report this review (#2236723)
Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2019 | Review Permalink

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