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Klaus Schulze

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Klaus Schulze Cyborg album cover
3.70 | 180 ratings | 22 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Synphära (22:49)
2. Conphära (25:52)
3. Chromengel (23:49)
4. Neuronengesang (24:57)

Total Time: 107:27

Bonus track on 2006 reissue:
5. But Beautiful (Live *) (50:55)

* Recorded at the Brussels "St. Michael" Cathedral on the 17th of October 1977

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Schulze / Farfisa organ, VCS3 synth, percussion, vocals, producer

- Colloquium Musica Orchestra / violins, cellos, double basses & flutes

Releases information

Further organ drone experiments.

Artwork: Peter Geitner with Marcel Fugère (photo)

2xLP Kosmische Musik ‎- KM 2/58.005 (1973, Germany)

2xCD A.V.I. ‎- A.V.I. 2CD 2002 (1986, France)
2xCD Revisited Rec. ‎- REV 058 (2006, Germany) With a bonus Live track

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KLAUS SCHULZE Cyborg ratings distribution

(180 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

KLAUS SCHULZE Cyborg reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
2 stars This double-album reflects Klaus Schulze's love for the "machine-sounds" side of electronic music. If you liked Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music", then this album may appeal to you. Of course, it's not as abrasive, as has a much more musical feel, but the similarites are undeniably there. I bought the album in the mid-70's, listened to it a few times, and realized that I would never be in the mood for a 20+ minute machine drone piece, let alone four of them. As usual with Klaus Schulze albums, more variety and shorter tracks would have helped this failed attempt immensely.
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Cyborg" is a seminal work in abstract experimental electronic music. The psycho acoustic and hypnotic effects on the listener are incredible. This double album features almost similar electronic equipments used in "Irrlicht" (acoustic strings manipulations, molecular machines, primitive keyboards). This deep meditative and almost supernatural musical adventure starts with a magical linear organic composition led by cello chords, long dronescapes with circular "intergalactic" noises. The atmosphere has something creepy, sad but released within a fragile beauty. The second part begins with an obsessional, cybernetic, industrial accompaniment, floating in a static time. In distance come modulated sounds, giving a macabre accent to the ensemble. Progressively rises monumental synth waves. Beautiful, ethereal electronic loops come from the dark. "Cyborg" second album carries on an imaginative and haunted abstract symphony. The first composition starts with organic powerful "drones" sustained by rising synth lines. The tension goes higher and the composition opens on a church like organ chant. Discreet electronic repetitive rhythms give an other dimension to this unique and unmistakable piece. The last track features an avalanche of electronic loops, effects and accidents, sometimes turning the attention of the listener with mysterious, celestial synthesiser chords. With Irrlicht, this one represents the pick of Schulze's musical creativity. No musical conformism, no definition, just exquisite traumatic dreamscapes.
Review by Neu!mann
3 stars ...a review of the 2006 re-mastered CD.

Klaus Schulze's sophomore solo effort, released in the stone age of electronic music (circa 1973), takes the same mind-bending sound of his 1972 debut "Irrlicht" and spreads it out over two discs, without (thankfully) diluting the impact of the album, as forceful and demanding now as it must have seemed when new.

The music was a refinement of Schulze's early, pre-synthesized experiments combining primitive electronics with pre-recorded orchestral tapes. Nothing new was added to the accomplishment of "Irrlicht" (hence the conservative 3-star rating). But when heard front to back in a single sitting it remains an epic journey of truly "kosmische" proportions-as much as Schulze bristles at the term in his notes for this CD re-issue. Maybe he shouldn't have titled the album after such a ripe sci-fi cliché, or commissioned the suitably spacey Urs Amann artwork (sadly demoted here to the CD booklet, replaced on the album cover itself by an unflattering portrait of Schulze himself, standing slack-jawed and possibly stoned in front of a laser-light display pattern).

Regardless of the presentation, this is not music for the fainthearted, in particular the throbbing subsonic juggernaut of "Conphära" (which when played loud enough can wreck your head as well as your headphones). The orchestra here, and on the more passive but no less disturbing "Chromengel", sounds not unlike a cheap mellotron, over which Schulze adds layers of industrial-strength drones and twittering electronics.

The production quality throughout is remarkable for such a simple home recording. Schulze continued to work wonders using just an organ, a VCS3 sound manipulator (not a keyboard instrument, but a small cabinet of knobs and dials), and a Revox tape machine. Keep in mind he still had his day job at the time, employed as a mailman for Deutsche Bunderspost in Berlin. And the album was, as always, very generous, stretching the limits of vinyl technology with almost 25 minutes of music per album side.

The same generosity has now been extended to the Revisited Record CD re-issues of Schulze's back catalogue, filled to the digital brim with bonus tracks and accompanied by extensive notes, photos, and essays. For "Cyborg", the four original album tracks have also been restored to their correct sequence and titles (previous CD editions apparently goofed in that respect). And half of the second LP was pushed over to Disc One, making room for the long bonus track: a live performance recorded in 1977, from Schulze's Golden Age of classic albums like "Moondawn" and "Mirage".

This is quintessential Klaus Schulze: an almost hour-long improvisation building from calm symphonic ambience to agitated sequenced frenzy and back again, revealing how he liked to structure his longer compositions. The relatively sophisticated late '70s synth patches don't quite match the abyssal mood of the "Cyborg" album itself, but consider it an olive branch of sorts, extended to fearless listeners for surviving the entire 97-minute challenge of the original double-disc.

Bottom line: Schulze's second album is an improvement on but not an advancement over his first. Nevertheless, it's a prime slice of early Klaus Schulze at his most avant-garde and inscrutable, although it should definitely be avoided late at night or while contemplating existential thoughts of mortality.

Review by russellk
3 stars I suspect there were those in the early 70s who believed this sort of music would replace the so-called inane pop music that had taken the western world by storm. Cerebral, demanding and symphonic in scope, KLAUS SCHULZE's 'Cyborg' is everything that pop music isn't. These four long tracks are unfailingly cold and metallic psychedelic experimentations, firmly in the kosmische school and owing a great deal both to krautrock and his origins with TANGERINE DREAM.

But this music didn't take over the world, and neither did the robots the music is named after. Instead the listening public relegated such long ambient drones to a niche market, and got on with their pursuit of soundbites. A few devotees were left listening to this material.

What is the attraction? It is the structure of the music, the slow changing of a repetitive sound into something else, the layering of one sound on another. And beyond that, there is a sense of suspended time, as there are no beats to tick away the moments. The four tracks are all over twenty minutes long, but they could be any length, really. SCHULZE creates an enormous soundscape using pre-synth instruments, and at the time this really was considered a masterwork. The pulsing background to Conphara, for example, is pure genius.

The album has its faults. The sound quality is not great, and in particular the volume rises and falls in an unpleasant fashion (for example near the end of the first track). This is in part due to the limitations of vinyl: 25 minutes a side was too long for the format, reducing the amount of information available in the grooves. The absence of anything resembling a melody adds to the bleak, monolithical nature of the album, but this listener would have appreciated some light relief, at least by way of contrast. But the major flaw is that it has not aged well. Unlike TANGERINE DREAM's 'Zeit', this really does sound at every moment a product of its time, an over-optimistic look forward to what was then seen as the inevitable triumph of machine over man. The concept is dated, the instrumentation is dated (SCHULZE embraced synthesisers as soon as he could) and the album comes off as overly sterile.

That ought to be enough warning. Don't bother unless you're a fan of this sort of stuff. That said, if you are a fan, this album is an important historical document. Just not one that invites repeated listening - except to Conphara, a magnificent track.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars I love early 70's electronics! This one's right up there with the best. Imagine a more lively 'Zeit' by Tangerine Dream and you're almost there. But, Gott im Himmel don't show your friends the front cover of the most recent edition! For some reason the original creepy 'light bulb head' charachter by Urs Amann is relegated to an inside booklet. Talk about destroying sales! What you're left with is Klaus looking like he's been kicked in the nuts. Baahh!

This is beautiful beatless, late night music, the likes of which Steve Roach and Robert Rich would have been proud of.

This is dark, quiet music and far less abrasive than his opener 'Irrlicht'. Perfect for the CD medium. If you like the top 100 on the 'Prog Archives' list I'd probably stay away from this. You won't like it! But if you're in the right frame of mind -it's a brilliant.

Put it this way.... You'll either love it or hate it.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This second album is less dark and oppressive than "Irrlicht". And my feeling is that the content is not so promising.

"Synphara" for instance is an extended version of the short intro from CTTE. Some sounds with birds almost for twenty minutes. OK, the keyboards layers than come on top are fine: spacey; even melodic at times. But no such brilliance like "Ebene" for instance.

Don't get me wrong though, this album holds some magnificent musical experiences The atmospheric and cold beauty of "Conphara" is in that respect the best example I can point out. The music played by Klaus and the one from TD are of course quite close in those days; and if, like myself, you love one: you immediately love the other.

This album is also getting better and better with each track. The highlight here being the crystal clear and sublime "Chromengel". Such a moving track which makes you travel all around the cosmos. It is magical my prog friends.

In all, "Cyborg" is again an essential Schulze album. Maybe not as melodic than his solo debut but still well above the three stars mark.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a very rewarding albums once you decide to invest some effort into it! This can probably be said about all of Klaus Schulze's great albums but the fact remains that Cyborg sounds nothing like Klaus Schulze's later releases like X and Moondawn, instead it loosely reminds me of Brian Eno's early ambient experiments!

With that being said this double-album does in fact hint somewhat of Schulze's later masterpiece Mirage but that album is way more electronic and doesn't have the organic flow that is so prominent on Cyborg. Each of these four compositions have their own unique identities which might at first not seem as such but give this album some time to settle down and a whole story will unfold in front of you!

There is really not much more to say about this release, especially since I don't want to give away any spoilers, except for a slight word of warning to keep the volume low during your first spin since some of the sound effects might catch you off guard!

***** star songs: Synphära (22:49)

**** star songs: Conphära (25:52) Chromengel (23:49) Neuronengesang (24:57)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Schulze's beginnings are both fascinating and original, but they are a difficult listen. At that time the electronic equipment was very primitive and the resulting sound is very desolate and dark. The subtle soundscapes that he created from Timewind onwards are still a few years ahead.

While difficult and unusual, the music isn't inaccessible. And it's certainly not deliberately weird or artsy. Schulze is one of the most uncomplicated, modest and genuine artist you are likely to run into and he always shied away from any form of posing, artsy pretence of intellectualism. Still, it might frighten people away because this music has let go of two familiar musical components in our Western musical tradition: there's no repetition and no rhythm. The music flows seemingly purposeless through slowly changing chords and fluid soundscapes, refraining from repeated melodies that you can hum along with, nor is there any beat or pulse that will get your feet tapping. No, another mindset will be needed, one that can do without melodic repetition, one that can be thrilled by the abstract and suggestive power of this music.

Other similar works are Cluster's debut, Schulze's Irrlicht and Tangerine Dream's Zeit. Within that pool, Cyborg is the most accomplished for me. I would be completely at loss argument why though. The music is almost tuneless, there are organs, synths and sounds like flutes and violins that come flowing in and out. But all chord and tone changes remain unrepeated, making it impossible to discern anything we could call a melody. It's just sound, organically progressing chords, tuneless pulses, effects and atmosphere. Loads of atmosphere.

The ambience evoked is one of nightmares, paranoia, fear. Each of the 4 pieces builds its own unique sound world. While mostly stunning, some pieces drag on a bit too long for me. The opener is most compelling in its first 10 minutes but loses tension afterwards. The album closer by contrast takes quite a while to get going and works best in its second half. The best piece of all is Conphära. The pulse that Schulze creates here is hypnotizing and the sound is very lush and dreamy. I'd say it's Schulze's first 5 star moment.

If you want classic harmonious structures, this album might leave you completely cold. But if you want to give you melodic concepts a little shake then this album comes highly recommended.

Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars Cyborg is the Klaus Schulze album for melancholy robots. Cyborgs are robots resembling human-form, but with the inability to feel and sympathize with human emotions. That is very much the sound of this album.

"Synphara" starts the album off in a dreary, dead, empty and cold atmosphere made of synthesizers and electronically manipulated classical instruments. Electronic sparking, spatial waves, cascading electronic-sparkle effects and windy drones help move the track along slowly and sadly to a finale sounding like the beach of an electronic ocean.

"Conphara" is initiated with a steady buzz and tick-tocking as synths and mellotrons eventually soar high above in the mix. The static washing-machine-like effect that serves as the backbone of this track gets stronger over time and is severely hypnotizing.

"Chromengel" is an adagio of organ, spatial electronic experiments, and a buzzing drone. The barrage of galactic squeaking, barking and squealing gives this track a very sad, almost maddening feel.

"Neuronengesang" is the most experimental of the 4 lengthy tracks. It consists of a buzzing backbone, but it varies and progresses perinnially through just about every drone, buzz, zap, and wave effect you could think of. Definitely a fantastic finale to this album

The life of a cyborg, considering that they are mechanic, is profoundly long - much like this album (almost 100 minutes). Cyborg progresses from the constant, uneventful drone that dominated Irrlicht by adding more sonic textures and more organic instruments to the mix, but it still has the same feel overall as the previous album. Fortunately, from here-on, Schulze's music would continue to get better and better. Though this album would be a bad place to start with Klaus Schulze's music, Cyborg is a great addition to anyone's Schulze collection.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Although Klaus's previous album, Irrlicht, was supposedly based on the same concept that inspired Tangerine Dream's Zeit, it's Cyborg that forms a much better response from it. Klaus Schulze takes the four side-long tracks structure of Zeit and strips it of all organic instruments, leaving only his synthesisers to create these great, glacial walls of sound within which buzzing, bleeping machines go about their business. Like Zeit, it's one of those albums where you really need to give it time to do its magic in the background rather than dipping in and out of it. This is the album which set Klaus onto the synth-dominated path the rest of his career will take, so fans of Schulze's works have little excuse not to listen to this essential chapter in his story.
Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you." -Friedrich Nietzsche

This is probably the most famous Nietzsche quote ever, and to the best of my knowledge also the most misinterpreted of all of his guru sentences. Roughly spoken, it means that we should be careful not to become the very thing we fight against.

Just to be totally obnoxious and join those hipster flocks, who read Nietzsche like children read the newspaper, - I´m going with the masses this time, not because I want to, but rather because the music within Cyborg is telling me to. When you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss will gaze back into you. Oh yes my friends - with all the metaphysical madness attached to that very sentence. Oh yeah, that´s Cyborg for ya.

The music here is what happens when you´ve sat around a pitch black room for a while, and it suddenly starts speaking to you. The very moment the room starts evolving a language, and you question whether you´re mad and slightly overtired, or if there indeed is some kind of other world in existence next to ours - one which is dark and magical - summoning all that you can possibly muster to fathom what little of it you can pick up from the silence. -That very moment is the catalyst of Klaus Schulze´s brooding voyage into the spaces between the blackness. It´s like catching air with your hands.

This is Schulze´s second album, and like others here have mentioned, the structure or indeed the lack thereof highly reflects that of Tangerine Dream´s Zeit, which was recorded a year earlier. The music is very slow and brooding - moving like Sisyphus and his pet boulder up the never ending mountain. Again highly reminiscent of Zeit, but I must confess, that I find far more pleasure and emotion in this album, and to tell you why would be like explaining to a blind man the differences between the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock...(Come to think of it, there´s a distinct laissez faire approach/casual improv going on in both artists that mirrors the feel of Cyborg very well)

Klaus Schulze was a true pioneer of the electronic genre, and what I find most gratifying, is his knowledge of "the beat" and how to work with it. This sounds like some crazy mumbo jumbo, but seeing as Klaus started out behind the drum-kit with Ash Ra Tempel, and then moved on from there into what he has become now - a synthesizer deity, - I think it´s perfectly natural to look at his work in that context. You could obviously forget about his drumming skills listening to the sluggish drones of his first solo albums, but underneath - what really makes them flow the way they do with such elegance and grace, - is in my opinion his love of the beat, and how you can be without it, and still create music that moves.

On Cyborg the synth sounds all come from the VCS3, and much like my Italian buddy Franco Battiato - they often take on mystifying caricatures of real life images - such as sounding like a common pair of Reebok shoes running over a wet gym floor. Sometimes they sound like a stuttering nightingale trying to voice its joy over something as mundane as the colour red. Although Klaus is known for these bleep bleeps more than anything else, what Cyborg really is all about, is the organs. Often soaked in melancholic cello-like treatments - and other times powering an unnerving and distressing tone that inches its way into your subconsciousness. I guess we´re back at Nietzche again now aren´t we? These organs are at the heart of these improvisations, because that is really what they are, and quite frequently they´ll present themselves as long drawn out wails that push the boundaries of just how far you can go in a certain musical note without changing it. It feels much like a billion muscles contracting all at once, for then to be released with a huge sigh as the chords change. Breathe out.

Cyborg is some kind of matter in itself - as mad as that sounds. Or maybe just a metaphor for things in the dark that we can´t see with the naked eye. Telling you how it actually sounds, gets me back to the start of my review and that darkened room talking back across the silence. It sounds like 2 enormous oil tankers dancing cheek to cheek in a slow-motion dance of death, life and love. It sounds like the universe breathing heavily into your ear. It sounds like the soundtrack of the first hour after the big bang.

It takes time and patience to unravel Cyborg´s mysteries, but once you get past the strange and cold ambiance of this record, chances are that you´ll be persuaded and enamoured by it. So by all means: take the step into whatever lies in that alluring and frightening abyss - without any hesitations. 4.5 stars.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 8/10

Cyborg" is one of the best cosmic Odysseys put into music.

Klaus Schulze today is considered among the Top Electronic artists of all time. His contribution to the genre is massive, at the par with other outfits like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk or Jean Michel Jarre. However, for some reason he is considerably less known and appreciated than the above mentioned, leaving him in the shadow of these great artists. "Cyborg" was the follow up to the highly praised album "Irrlicht", which had a very concrete atmosphere and dark tones. "Cyborg" in a way is an evolution to "Irrilicht": it's much more ambitious, complete sounding, even though musically they share many qualities.

Electronics in 1973 were obviously quite primitive sounding and not exactly at the same levels as today. Electronic music was used thus in a much more experimental way, and electronic beats were not even heard at the time. Synths, before the birth of Disco, were conventionally used to do either Prog Rock or Electronic. In the case of Klaus Schulze, he doesn't do just simple Electronic music, but brings it up to Progressive Electronic, making him part of the Berlin School movement. In "Cyborg", his concept of space is not something melodic, nor rhythmic; it's pure and simple, yet extremely dense atmosphere what he creates in these enormous 90 minutes. He builds layers on layers of stretched out synth sounds, but also violins in some spots, creating bleak, yet spacey and fluent soundscapes that you could just dive into and feel like you can't ever go back. The explicit spaceness is evident when there are obvious sound references to weird space sounds, some might feel like a falling star, or a glimpse of a planet, or some sort of alien presence. These sounds make the atmosphere even more credible sounding, and, if you close your eyes, I guarantee that you'll have everything in front of you.

"Cyborg" is one of the best cosmic Odysseys put into music: the four songs on here together build one of the trippiest journeys you'll ever experience. If the first track, "Synphara", starts almost with an earthly mood thanks to the drony sounds of violins being layered, after a while the space element is finally felt, almost implying that this song is one that represents the ascent from earth to space. The more repetitive and spacey "Conphara" suggests that we're deep in space, thanks to its pulsing synth sounds. With the wonderful "Chromengel" the music isn't as claustrophobic as the previous track, feeling a lot more open and relaxed, and finally, there is some melody. The final track,"Neuronengesang", feels like a slow descent from space to earth, without however not sounding extremely evocative at all times. This makes "Cyborg" a huge, sonic circle that begins within the first minutes of "Synphara" and ends up in the same place as the beginning with the last few minutes of "Neuronengesang".

A remarkable adventure is proposed with "Cyborg", an extremely long album that however has to listened to as a whole. An essential album for Progressive Electronic and the Berlin School.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars

To wH0m it mAy ConcErn :

wE hve y0ur mUsIc. dΘnt TRY to conTACT the poLICE.

Y◌ːu Ψill PLACE five-thousand d0llArS in sports bag Δnd leave IT next to the fountain in the pArk two blocks from your house TOmorrow evening at eXaCtLy 8:30 pm. Your mUsIc will noT be harmed úŋless you do not cOmPLY as instructed-- ◌ːne record will be sEvErEly scratched for every hALF-hour you dElaY IN responding T0 our dEmAnDs. Your Λλusic will be rEturnEd at the same spot, same night, at 9:30 pm.

SO that YOU will KN0W it IS your COLLECTion, a description of 0nE of your records follows. It says "Klaud Schultz Cyborg" on tHe cover, dark BL◌͠◌ with drawing :

First thing, an ◌̦rgan, sounds like cHuRcH, and someone rúŋnning a credit card along fence. Ten minutes now ΔND still the same but with out-ΘF-key trumpets. Going on twenty minutes now, don't know if this cΘuld even qualify as music.

What SOUNDS like A second SONG noΨ, MAYBE. Long, long, and then ~ what ~ bΔgpipes? And a screen door being shook violently. It sounds ... mechanical. Like robots.

Long silences. NΘw birds. Like the aviary at the z◌͠◌.

If you c0mply with Ωur demands, all materials will be returned tΘ you. Do n0t try anything f00lish - -

Review by Progfan97402
3 stars Man, is this a difficult listen! A double LP set that really takes it to the extremes, by making sure nothing is under 22 minutes long (25 minutes is the lengthiest). This simply takes the ideas of Irrlicht to the next level. "Synphära", for example, has this lengthy droning organ with lots of synth effects that go throughout this piece. "Conphära" is a bit more like Irrlicht, featuring strange droning sound, and that same distorted orchestra that sounds more like a Mellotron (Schulze never used a real Mellotron until late 1976, and when he did, he preferred choirs). "Chromengel" is simply a bunch of strange space electronic effect, but more is going on in the next piece, "Neuronengesang" has more going on, but still lots of tripped out sci-fi sounds.

As strange as it seems, I have little trouble sitting through all four sides of Tangerine Dream's Zeit (that album can be a very difficult egg to crack, but it only took me a few listens to get it), but I do have that problem with Cyborg, but I do like the ideas found on this album, but I think sometimes it goes on for just far too long at times. I know a Schulze album is usually never an easy listen, but this is one of his more difficult ones. No wonder he did change his approach to something more accessible (but still not as accessible as 1970s Tangerine Dream at their more accessible). Three stars it is.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars The whole reason KLAUS SCHULZE had broken ties with two of the most innovative Krautrock bands, Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel was very much because of the wasted time in the democratic process of compiling ideas, hashing them out and bringing them to fruition. While there are pros and cons to being in a group lineup or going alone, SCHULZE opted for the latter as his restless free spirit and creative visions weren't finding actualization in the group process and were becoming watered down at best. Despite the compromise games that did come into play with many of the early Krautrock bands, the majority of these groups did not experience much success or recognition at the time when they were recording all those classics. Instead it would take the public many years to catch up to the visionary sounds laid down during those days. Despite drifting even further into the clouds and ever more distant from any possible instant gratification in terms of the world of financial success, SCHULZE was literally driven to create unthinkably long and alienating soundscapes that seemingly materialized in his head.

While most of the German scene was gravitating toward a more rock oriented style of kosmisch psychedelia, SCHULZE was much more ambitious in scope and followed more in the footsteps of minimalist composers such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich and even Stockhausen and Varèse than Pink Floyd which led him to create sounds with an emphasis on sustained drones, repetitive phrasing and the complete meltdown of barriers that usually segregated rhythms from melodies and timbres from tempos. Like most of the early pioneers, SCHULZE was limited by his financial ability to buy the best equipment for his visions and was forced to improvise the best he could with the low budget machinery he had access to and adapt his limitless imagination around a finite display of recording equipment to carry it out. After his departure from the aforementioned bands, SCHULZE immediately recorded his debut "Irrlicht" and experimented with modifying broken amps that would cause feedback, tremolo and sound effects and with ample amounts of ingenuity created one of the strangest albums the world had ever heard.

On his second album " CYBORG, " the money situation hadn't changed one bit and neither had the state of his battered equipment including his one VCS3 synthesizer which cranked out the eerie and surreal soundscapes on the debut. For his second album he added a lot more organ sounds and synthesized percussion through a Revox tape machine loop. In the same vein as the debut SCHULZE also once again solicited the helping hands of students at the Colluquim Music Orchestra whose rehearsals he recorded in order to splice and dice with a razor blade to physical change their very dynamics in terms of running time and delivery which as you could imagine was a painstaking process that required the patience of saint to administer. But patience was a virtue he had mastered and not only did KLAUS manage to record four lengthy behemoth electronic tracks that would emerge as a double album but also had so much extra material that he would eventually release a box set of bonus tracks in the future. With music this so far removed from reality it's utterly amazing that SCHULZE managed to create four unique tracks that float off into the cosmos but never lose their true identity.

The opener "Synphära" is the most traditional sounding track of the lot that utilizes a church organ to slowly lure the listener into the more esoteric tracks that follow. Embellished by a pulsating drone, a Gothic organ repeats a simple melody throughout its run while extraterrestrial synth swirls bubble up from nowhere and usurp control as if the Crab Nebula's spectral signature had suddenly been transcribed into musical notation. Similarly "Conphära" follows a similar journey to the stars with an even stronger pulsar sort of drone with a stronger staccato presence and more richly layered atmospheres that do some sort of cosmic dance as they hypnotize like ice sculpture ballerinas in the vacuum of space. "Chromengel" adds a more earthly vibe with heavy use of violins and cellos that reverberate while fluttering helicopter type blade sounds launch the track even further toward planet Lysergia. The string section gives it a bit of a classical soundtrack feel bit the spectral sounds of the synthesizer effects keep it floating far from the clutches of Earth's gravitational field. The loops of sounds take on lives of there own as if the listener has entered a cosmic aviary with strange sonic birds flapping around from all directions. "Neuronengesang" or what i call "The Haircut Clipper Song" is dominated by a buzzing sound that reminds me of having my head sheered as a child with a buzzsaw sound effect that approaches my ear, passes by and then moves away. This is the basis of the track while ethereal sound effects build into dense cloud forests of sound with some droning, some pulsating and some flittering about aimlessly.

" CYBORG " was way too far ahead of its time for most of the music buying public but it did receive significant praise from top music critics. The nuanced multi-layered sonicscapes were the soundtracks of dreams where freeform hypnotizing sound effects coalesced into myriad compilations of bombinating assonance that find an orgy of oxyphonic pitches merge with raucous yet haunting tautophonic assemblies of empyreal surrealism. " CYBORG " takes a monumental step past the terrifying frigid nature of "Irrlicht" and explores a miraculous layout of merging musical forces with none of the limitations that rock music can impose with segmented percussive beats. Otherworldly and almost knocking on heaven's door, " CYBORG " has a less alienating feel than the debut and demonstrated the limitless possibilities of the human ingenuity with the scarcest of resources. I recommend the 2006 remastered version with the bonus track "But Beautiful" which showcases yet another stunning track only with SCHULZE performing all his sound effect magic in a live setting. The track clearly demonstrates that SCHULZE was no studio dependent junkie and effortlessly created order out of a seemingly untamable assortment of disparate sound palettes. Despite this massive undertaking, SCHULZE would continue to produce some of the most surreal sounds ever laid down to tape with great prolificacy. While some of the later albums are more accomplished, " CYBORG " is not one to be missed.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Note: Ignore this review if you're thinking of buying any CD version of Cyborg without the bonus track "But Beautiful."

If you're going to compare Cyborg to any other Schulze LP, Irrlicht would be the obvious choice. These are Schulze's two pre-synthesizer albums, and both use similar instrumentation. There are two major differences, in my opinion, the first being the quality of the bonus tracks. Ordinarily I wouldn't consider bonus material in a review, but since 2006, all issues of both albums contain the same bonus tracks: "Dungeon" on Irrlicht and "But Beautiful" on Cyborg. "Dungeon" is a piece which fits well with the original three tracks, despite being recorded four years later. However, "But Beautiful" is one of the best two pieces of Schulze's career. I have to assume that its length (50+ minutes) kept it off any vinyl album; in any event, it too was recorded four years after the original album. At any rate, following the original tracks of Cyborg with "But Beautiful" somehow, magically completes the album.

The second improvement of Cyborg over Irrlicht is in composition. Whereas Cyborg maintains some of its predecessor's experimentation, its individual tracks just make better use of sound as art. Or, to put it in different, but equally obscure terms, Cyborg is of a higher compositional quality. When it comes to electronic music like Schulze's, "more musical" doesn't always mean "better." But it does in the case of comparing Cyborg and Irrlicht.

Cyborg is not quite at the level of Mirage, X, or Picture Music, but it's still a very good album.

Review by friso
4 stars I don't usually listen to electronic music, but these early works from the seventies with their eerie covers and titles somehow trigger memories of childlike fantasies and attraction. I already owned Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit' double lp and expected this to be in a similar vain, yet this record wildly exceeded my expectations!

Skimming through my colleague's reviews I frequently stumble upon descriptions as non-lineair, droning, non- melodic, modern, ambient and so forth. All these do apply in abundance, yet I was surprised how harmonic and musical this record actually was! To me these four side long pieces feel like quite natural one-man meditations on technology-driven modern classical music. Every piece could have lost 5-10 minutes without being comprised in impact. Then again, the record does offer time to fully embrace its soundscapes and trigger once's own projections on it. The opening track Synphära and closing track Neuronengesang offer most variety and engagement and are therefor arose as my favorites at first spin. Conphära is a strong experimental piece with a mind boggling main drone and melancholic strings (which start to distort slightly toward the middel of the vinyl). Chromengel is perhaps my least favorite and reminds me most of the bleak minimalism of 'Zeit'.

I can't imagine any-one really enjoying this on headphones of low-fi stereo equipment. This isn't really music, not in a traditional way. It's more like a abstract movie you have to watch with your eyes closed. Guided imagination. A soundtrack to trigger your own sci-fi fantasy. Klaus Schulze offers a complete work with a unique impact and therefor my rating of four stars is more then accounted for.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Cyborg and Irlicht are the humus of the Schulze's universe, experimental and non figurative soundscapes. Only with organs and strings, all passed trough his morpher hands in the mixing board (as another musical instrument) Klaus give us an extatic story, about a organic machine, recording her bre ... (read more)

Report this review (#184079) | Posted by Dellius | Monday, September 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As it can be seen on Irrlicht, KS continues his pioneering period of experimenting with organs and early synths. This album must be for many electronic music listeners very harsh and a little difficult to digest. I must say that Schulze succeeded very well on Cyborg in melting the harmon ... (read more)

Report this review (#167752) | Posted by Sachis | Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, it deserves four stars, but I am sure many listeners would be doomed and dissapointed, as this is realla heavily experimental work. Klaus goes to areas of sound where noone has been before. He creates unique drones, good ambient sounds, but, if you concentrate to listen this, you might no ... (read more)

Report this review (#128118) | Posted by nisandzic | Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the release of his 1972 solo debut "Irrlicht", Klaus Schulze ventured out into epic proportions with the follow-up album "Cyborg". Released as a double-album in 1973, "Cyborg" finds Klaus expanding his musical horizons breaking down many barriers in the process. Throughout its 98 minutes ... (read more)

Report this review (#83859) | Posted by Louie | Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Now folks, how on earth do you comment on this album? Half the album is dominated by - err - cosmic orchestra, & half by organ. The whole lot consists largely of very dense drones spiced with the usual electronic "twittering" sounds. Well I'm very glad I took the trouble to return. Schulze fan ... (read more)

Report this review (#56266) | Posted by | Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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