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Klaus Schulze - Beyond Recall CD (album) cover

BEYOND RECALL

Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The ever prolific Klaus Schulze has always been keen to embrace new technology, and as the 80s turned into the 90s samplers and associated devices started becoming more prevalent in his work. This offering from 1991 sees Schulze embracing digital technology and using it to add new dimensions to his work. This album was sufficiently cutting edge to make it onto the playlist in chill out rooms at early 90s raves, and the Future Sound Of London even included a sample on their excellent Life Forms album.

For all the new technology, this is pretty much business as usual for Schulze - there are no acid house rhythms or trance-ambient-dub remixes here. The opening track is 26 minutes of what sounds like samples of ethnic flutes and tropical wildlife woven into the kind of electronic tapestry that has been a mainstay of the synth maestro's output since the 70s. This piece sets the tone for the whole album, and therein lies the one problem with a lot of Schulze CDs - while the sound is great, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There's a fair amount of repetition - or perhaps minor variations on theme is a better way of putting it - and after a certain point all the tracks seem to blend into one.

This is a fascinating and diverting album for fans of the electronic prog genre, but ultimately it would have benfitted from some judicious editing. Worth checking out, but not essential.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#45838)
Posted Tuesday, September 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
snobb
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is music! It's not a usual German technical sound experiments/sound design/sound effects. No way, it's music!

I can compare this album with "Snow Goose "by Camel Yes, no mistake!

Absolutely beautiful, perfect melodies, nice concept , may be a bit ... e,e,e ... not enough experimental!

But , as in case with "Snow Goose ", you just like beautiful prog - take it.

OK, let be more serious: this album's music is cold electronic sound, nothing in common with Camel music in that sense. But if you're trying to listen electronic prog, you know, what are you going to hear, I hope!

So, even more there: the music of this album , near it's beauty, has inside some WARM moments ( just don't forget, warm nuances in cold electronic prog).

So, if you know now, what you want - just do it!

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#237768)
Posted Sunday, September 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I have never been a huge adept of sampling. And even if I could highly appreciate "En=Trance" which was in some way the start of this new era, I am not brought to some sort of third dimension with this album.

This very long album opens on an epic which lasts for about half an hour ("Gringo Nero"). You know that I was quite addicted to his great works from the seventies, but here: I have to say that he doesn't play in the same division.

The music is far from being as creative, on the forefront of electronic prog as it ought to be some twenty years prior to this album. Some might have a peculiar feel for this album, but I am desperately looking for a good and innovative sign. Great melodic lines are alien to this song which displays some synthesized guitar and "drums" which sound quite awkward as far as I'm concerned. At no moment, was I embarked on the dark side of the moog. But this is another story which will be reviewed later on?

I am quite addicted with Klaus's work, but when he is offering such an album, I am much less laudatory. In fact, this long "Gringo Nero" stuff is quite boring with very little (to none) passionate moments.

"Trancers" holds some more emotions, but still: nothing to be compared to the great, great past. I understand that an artist can't remain at such a level of creativity than Klaus during the seventies; but an artist also needs to understand that his fan database can't be passionate with each of his output. And this is my case while listening to "Beyond Recall".

Of course, this is not a bad album; but "Brave Old Sequence" says it all?The last half an hour of this album which is represented by two tracks, is not of great interest to my ears either (and I 'm quite a fan of the man).

Five out of ten is as much as it gets from me this time. Can't upgrade it to three stars. Sorry Klaus.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#247236)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars The more modern works of genre-defining German electronic composer Klaus Schulze have been a bit of a mixed bag to discover. His 23rd solo release from 1991, `Beyond Recall', sees the artist incorporating modern techniques and equipment, delivering what frequently works as a satisfying, if occasionally frustrating chill-out ambient work. Only a few annoying samples incorporated in a seemingly random manner (although I'm sure all these were actually carefully implemeted by the artist at key points) prove to be a little distracting, as does an over-reliance on cliched tribal elements. Yet Mr Schulze still finds ways to bridge enough of his usual ambient sounds of old, those long flowing pieces that gradually unfold and envelope the listener, into this modern age, and there's some intriguing results to discover.

The focal point of the disc is the opening 27 minute `Gringo Nero', Schulze utilizing acoustic guitar samples to quite dazzling effect, bringing an almost old dusty western cinematic quality and taking on sweeping symphonic themes. Lightly pulsing programmed beats and gentle synths bring a flowing breezy New Age sound, with diverting tribal flavours in the middle and a couple of darker, more urgent passages as well. There's occasional interjections of screeching groaning animals, chanting, chirping wildlife and vocal snippets that intrude on the dramatic build growing throughout, and the piece would have been even more successful without them. Even better is the gloomy dark cinematic soundtrack `Trancess'. Gothic piano, oppressive monolithic cold synths, groaning cello samples, a ghostly operatic female vocal and a welcome (if brief) return of the eerie Mellotron. There's a malevolent, spectral quality to this nightmarish piece that makes it darkly exquisite.

The aptly titled `Brave Old Sequence' closely resembles the Schulze of old. A chiming programmed pattern skitters over an icy crystalline electronic atmosphere, murmuring bass seeping along the background and sighing synth harmonies inhaling and exhaling, reaching a breathless urgent climax. After opening with floating placid washes of keyboards and cascading cloudburst synths that fall like shooting stars from the night sky, the undemanding `The Big Fall' simply offers more tribal ambience. Predominately piano driven with soft pattering beats, even slightly jazzy, the piece is quite warm and comforting, but a little too lightweight and obvious to be truly engaging. Tribal elements again come to the fore throughout `Airlight', completely devoid of percussion or beats, instead being a collage of different themes with plenty of growing unsease. Melancholic cello samples and synths that rise around piano middle section take on an almost cooing female vocal quality are the highlight, but there's not much to lift it above being a mildly curious background listen.

Mr Schulze certainly tries new sounds on this one, moving with the times and still experimenting, but there are simply endless more involving and interesting albums from the artist that should be recommended over this one. It's certainly more demanding, complex and challenging than the bland muzak dreck that fellow electronic masters Tangerine Dream have sometimes offered in this modern era, but it's never completely engrossing or rewarding. While it's frequently subtle, some of the tribal elements get a little tedious in spots, meaning the 77 minute running time will really test patience levels. I think many listeners may find the album is to be admired rather than totally enjoyed.

`Beyond Recall' is definitely a respectable release from the electronic pioneer, but all but die-hard followers of the artist should try elsewhere in his extensive discography of more fully rewarding releases before looking into this one.

Still, three stars...and I have to admit, I am rather smitten with the charming peaceful cover artwork!

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#1286944)
Posted Thursday, October 02, 2014 | Review Permalink

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