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Klaus Schulze

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Klaus Schulze La Vie Electronique 4 album cover
3.09 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
1. Just An Old-Fashioned Schulze Track (73:28)

Disc 2
1. Shadow Piece (13:10)
2. I Sing The Body Electric (49:15)
3. Das Herz Von Grönland (14:16)

Disc 3
1. The Andromeda Strain (41:46)
2. Make Room, Make Room! (28:57)
3. Darkest Steglitz (07:43)

Total Time: #1: 73:30: #2: 76:53: #3: 78:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Schulze / keyboards, programing and synthetizers

Releases information

3 disc with historic Klaus Schulze recordings.
Kat. Nr.: 307872 REV 111
Release date: 7.8.2009

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KLAUS SCHULZE La Vie Electronique 4 ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KLAUS SCHULZE La Vie Electronique 4 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Now Volume Four!

As I wrote in my previous review, there is a collection of (so far) eight volumes of "La Vie Electronique". Albums where one can find Klaus Schulze's music from different periods of his career. This fourth volume comprises tracks and live recordings from 1975 and 1976.

In the first CD, we will find a really long song entitled "Just an Old-Fashioned Schulze track which was recorded in an only concert back in 1975, it is a 73-minute track which can be also divided in nine compositions, though you have to be careful if you want to appreciate when the new track appears, because it sounds actually as just one song, but there are some changes that began to produce a brand new sound within the song, those changes (not all) give pass to a new "song". This track can also be found in "The Ultimate Edition CD 48"

This composition is in my opinion extraordinary, one of the finest live acts I have heard from Schulze, because since the first seconds you will find yourself motivated and expecting odd noises and a synthesizer injection that will flow through your veins until your body and mind are in only one place. The song is constantly growing and in every second you will feel part of it, you will see colors and create images on your mind, if you close your eyes you might be transported to another galaxy, but actually the effect appears even with your eyes wide open, so imagine the power of the music. The part named "Rock is a Four-Letter Word" is the one that really caught my attention due to the different nuances and ways that Schulze's skills create, because there are several sounds that appear at the same time, but the good thing is that you can appreciate them all, I mean there is no sound that shines above all, no, in fact, every single sound was created to build a strong and complete musical piece.

The spacey effects and all the science-fiction like sounds may put you in the mood of reading a nice book or even watching a movie related to that topic. The sound actually could work as a soundtrack of some film. A film full of different passages where there is tension, there is tranquility; there is nervousness, but also hope. I say this because of the different moods that the song produces. This is overall an extraordinary track that any prog electronic fan would love.

The second CD is divided in three parts, though the second one is also sub divided in six songs. The names of those parts are "Shadow Piece" which was recorded from a concert in Germany and can be found also in "The Jubilee Edition" CD 14. Then, "I Sing the Body Electric" is the one which has subdivisions, this long track can be found also in the "Historic Edition" CD 2. This piece was recorded from a concert in France in 1976. And the final part is entitled "Das Herz von Grönlad" which can be also found in the same CD of the same set of the previous track. This one was taken from a concert in Germany in 1976.

Contrasting from my feelings toward CD one, this time, CD two did not cause the same excitement as the first, in fact, there are moments where I actually feel bored and tired, my journey to the music's dead-end was much more difficult this time, though the thing would be the same as in CD one, several synth effects, production of different nuances and colors, moods and atmospheres, but this time there were only few parts that really caught me, that made me part of it. Sometimes I felt it monotone, like more of the same. Anyway, it is worth paying attention to "The Machineries of Joy" and "Das Herz von Gronland" specially, I would have chosen this last song as the first one of the CD, and then my mind may have changed.

And finally, the third CD comprises three other live recordings. The first two were taken from the European Tour in April and May 1976. And both long tracks are also divided in shorter ones. "The Andromeda Strain" opens this CD and contains four songs; while "Make Room, Make Room! Has another three songs. These two can also be found in the Historic Edition CD 6. The last part of this third CD is "Darkest Steglitz" is the shortest one, which was recorded in 1976 in a concert that Schulze gave at his hometown.

Now you can take a short break, breathe and sit comfortable, have some rest, and then return to your headphones and to this third CD, because here the first composition is more interesting and challenging to my ears. It is growing and growing, making some crescendos and becoming more and more exciting while the minutes pass. Now there is a climax, but it has to slow down in some moment, that happens in "Die Macht der Bilder" when the music turns softer and calm, but actually it is announcing something, and in the last minutes it begins to progress and grow again and be full of textures and sounds. The last part, "Darkest Steglitz" as the name suggests is a song with a dark atmosphere, but to be honest, a great choice to end the third CD.

It is not easy to listen in a row all the CDs in a box set, however, it is a challenging to the listener because it either could cause you total excitement, or deep boredom, you need to be on the mood and have enough time. I believe that if you are a fan of Klaus Schulze's music, then you'll be pleased with this collection, so if you can, get some volumes. But in the other hand, I would not really recommend them for people who are not eager on his music, because after listening to the first CD, they'll fall asleep. I like volumes 3 and 4, the latter a bit more, my personal grade would actually be four stars, but because it is not for everyone, I believe three stars is a more accurate rating.

Enjoy it!

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'La Vie Electronique IV' - Klaus Schulze (4/10)

Being credited for pioneering the electronic music scene almost forty years ago, there's no denial that innovator Klaus Schulze has been a huge force in modern music. Having released a number of albums that are now considered masters of the genre, it goes without saying that the man is an inspired composer and musician. On top of his more visible releases however, Schulze has released many hours of previously unreleased material. To that measure, 'La Vie Electronique,' a newly commissioned boxset series seeks to rerelease this vast section of Klaus' work that never came to light. This is the fourth installment of that series.

The tracks on 'La Vie Electronique IV' are taken from 1975-76, around the time when Schulze was at a creative peak. The sound here is generally taken from obscure live recordings of long, drawn out improvisations that Schulze would fashion in concert. With tracks here going as long as 73 minutes (being broken down for the sake of CD navigation), there is no doubt that Schulze lets his sound simmer and take it's time. With that being said, that is both the music's greatest strength, and most fatal weakness. While the minimalistic attitude of the composition and lack of form makes for a very soothing, near-astral listening experience, anyone looking for an exciting piece of music should look elsewhere. Even after multiple listens of the music on 'La Vie Electronique IV,' the listener will be hard pressed to find much of a narrative structure beyond the intentions of the improvised manifest.

Most of the music throughout the three hour-plus discs on 'La Vie Electronique IV' follows the same format, which can get very tiresome after an almost four hour experience. A very slow, minimalistic sound that generally switches between two prescribed chords is layered with some added meandering synth leads. Occasionally, there will be some new sound introduced into the recording, which is alot more exciting here than it normally would anywhere else. While the preceeding installment in the series had a few more dynamic sections and a more driving atmosphere, 'La Vie Electronique IV' slips even further down the route of spaciness and ambience.

The most valuable thing about this product is actually the packaging itself. Everything is put together beautifully, and each disc is formatted in a nostalgic digital vinyl. Inside is also some insightful commentary from the acknowledged electronic music historian Darren Bergstein, as well as some words from Schulze himself on the music.

While 'La Vie Electronique IV' is certainly not a stellar listen and generally a very boring record. Klaus Schulze is a very talented composer, but despite some very attractive packaging and a generally atmospheric journey, only the more dedicated fans of electronic music are recommended this.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars LVE number 4 is the second box in this series with registrations from live concerts. We moved a couple of months forward since LVE 3 and these few months show a noticeable growth in Schulze's skills as a live performer.

CD1 covers a autumn 1975 concert in Germany and despite its title ("Just an old-fashioned Schulze track") it is anything but 'just' a Schulze track. It is a lot faster and more energetic then the music Schulze normally performs and the first half is dominated by loud and frantic sequencer parts that seem to get faster and more violent as it progresses. The second half is more relaxed, offering a soothing soundscape with slowly floating chords. All of it performed with the known 1975 synths familiar from 'Timewind'.

CD2 moves forward to 1976 and the Moondawn era. The central piece 'I Sing The Body Electric' spins some variations on the Mindphaser theme, using the Syntorchestra violins that Schulze was so fond of back then. After a good 10 minutes we welcome the Moog (or at least it sounds like one to me) and armed with this legion of buzzing bees, Schulze moves through his ethereal moods for half an hour before the sequencers join, with a pattern resembling 'Totem' from 'Picture Music'. Given that I usually prefer Schulze without sequencers, this track, and its variations that follow on CD3 and on the following boxset LVE5 count amongst my favorite Schulze music, reminding of 'Cyborg', but performed with a warmer set of instruments.

CD3. As I've just mentioned, much of the material is built around the same basic structure, which stands to reason given that they were taken from the same tour and from concerts not more then a few days apart. 'Make Room Make Room' and 'Andromeda Strain' are both variations on 'I Sing the Body Electric'. I find 'Make Room' to be much less intense, but 'The Andromeda Strain' is a marvel, both in its slowly flowing abstract opening and in the subtle sequence parts that follow.

Is it still necessary to mention that this is fan material? Of course not, any 4 hour boxset with live material from one artist will only be of interest for fans. But those fans are in for a treat. Due to the chronological order of the LVE boxsets, there is an obvious similarity between some of the material, so I wouldn't recommend hurrying trough this in one go. As you know, a vintage Schulze is consumed with patience and dedication. 3.5 stars.

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