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Klaus Schulze - Moonlake CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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5 stars Wow! What an astonishing release from Klaus Schulze! With "Moonlake", the German pioneer manages to re-discover the sources of inspiration of his beginnings (long sequenced electronic soundscapes) by adding a modern feel more than thirty years after... and to deliver a new album composed of four beautiful tracks.

The first one, "Playmate In Paradise", is definitely my favorite of the album. It is catchy, hypnotic and catches my attention and my imagination during 30 minutes. The lasting part sounds very 70's-ish. "Artemis in Jubileo" begins with ethnic sonorities to finish in a vaporous atmosphere. Then, a smooth cristalline melody takes place with "Same Thoughts Lion". The record ends with "Mephisto", a beautiful music piece perfectly sequenced in which you can perceive echoes from "Bayreuth's Return" with trance loops... Magic!

"Moonlake" largely stands in comparison with Schulze's most ambitious albums of the 70's and is highly recommended to electronic and ambient music fans. Brilliant, and possibly a new classic!

Report this review (#107541)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars If you would except the "Moog" collection, this was the sole album of the great man since "Dosburg" (in 97) which was not at all memorable. The work of this great artist was quite a ride to review (but mostly with great pleasure)) but I have to admit that I'm more on the Rico's side than Modrique's one for this album.

We are indeed facing an album with long pieces of music which could bring us back to a wonderful past, but frankly the level displayed has little to share with the golden years (the seventies if you want to know my opinion).

What's available here are some decent keyboards combined with some electronic drumming and average (or below) "vocals". None of the tracks available shows any grandeur like in the good old days. But even "Are You Sequenced" is far from being matched.

Some dancing beats as it was experienced in the nineties won't turn me into a huge fan of this album. As such "Artemis In Jubileo" is a real nightmare. Almost eighteen minutes of the same chord. Boredom, boredom ("Boredom" ? The Buzzcoks).

The best item to listen to is the delicate "Same Thoughts Lion". A sweet journey throughout magical soundscapes and wonderful spacey music. Klaus as he always ought to be. Of course, thanks to his huge input to this musical genre, he is fairly forgiven to have released some lesser albums.

This track could almost sit on a compilation effort of this great musician. But in my humble and honest opinion, such a bundle would never see the light since it should feature about ten CD's!

Now, let's come back to earth with the closing "Mephisto". Some sort of intriguing matters, lines or sounds. A decent musical experience after all: nothing too fancy though. Some sort of classical techno beat which is not the best I would have expected from Klaus. The last two minutes are splendid though: an orgy of plentiful synths.

As a conclusion, I would only say that this is not a very good album. Even if I am a great fan of the man (as you could find out in previous reviews). I can't really go higher than two stars for this album. Let's be honest: the first decade was so gorgeous that it was really difficult to match it.

Two stars.

Report this review (#255780)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 50 minutes of potential. 25 minutes of resolution

For some reason, some of Schulze's official albums bare little witness of the new-found confidence that can be heard on many of his unreleased works from around the new millennium. Moonlake is a difficult album that has a bit of a problem to get going.

The first 15 minutes of Playmate In Paradise are passable but ultimately forgettable, a dull rhythm, poor repeated sequences and little or no sonic texture. Nevertheless, it has a very warm and lush sound and with just that little extra spark of inspiration it could have been set ablaze. But that doesn't happen. Also the improvised vocals don't make a significant difference and somehow merge unnoticed into the sonic soup. Halfway in, Schulze revisits his more ambient leanings. It upgrades the track from electronic muzak to something more noticeable, but still passes by without grabbing attention. The last 10 minutes are better. It's hard to say why, the sequence isn't much more layered then that of the first part but somehow this one grooves.

Artemis In Jubileo starts more promisingly. Beginning as a soft ambient techno track but gradually developing into more ceremonial directions with classical strings. At 17 minutes it largely overstays its welcome though.

It isn't till Same Thoughts Lion that I get the feeling this album might still turn out for the good. At 10 minutes, this sequence feels soothing, comfortable, pleasant and not too long. The closing 15 minutes of Mephisto are good as well. It starts with a high-pitched sequence that brings Tangerine Dream's White Eagle to mind, after 5 minutes a smooth funky rhythmic is added, nothing exceptional but adequate. The second half of the track is dominated by one of Schulze's moog solos and develops into a gorgeous climax.

In general the album misses that secret Schulze ingredient that makes most of his albums so exciting. On the other hand, there are fine moments spread throughout the first 50 minutes and the closing 25 minutes are really good. 2.5 stars

Report this review (#259410)
Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | Review Permalink

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