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Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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Klaus Schulze Dig It album cover
3.07 | 92 ratings | 7 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Death Of An Analogue (12:15)
2. Weird Caravan (5:03)
3. The Looper Isn't A Hooker (8:17)
4. Synthasy (22:56)

Total time 48:31

Bonus Track on 2005 reissue:
5. Esoteric Goody (28:21)

Bonus DVD from 2005 reissue:
1. Linzer Stahlsinfonie (Live) (62:22)

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Schulze / G.D.S. computer, vocoder, producer

- Fred Severloh / drums (1)
- Ideal (band) / drum loop source (2)
- Tommy Betzler / drums (Live DVD)

Releases information

Artwork: Klaus Schulze with Michael Weisser

LP Brain ‎- 0060.353 (1980, Germany)

CD Brain ‎- 811 632-2 (1984, Germany)
CD+DVD Revisited Rec. - REV 006 (2005, Germany) With a bonus track and extra DVD with the video of the opening concert at "Ars Electronica" in Linz, Austria (September 8th, 1980), filmed by the O.R.F.

Thanks to seyo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KLAUS SCHULZE Dig It ratings distribution

(92 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

KLAUS SCHULZE Dig It reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well until recently I only heard reputation of Schulze being an early member of TANGERINE DREAM, and finally got this one at low price. Not bad at all! Very pleasant electronic music but with some sci-fi/space touch, unlike J.M. Jarre for instance. There are even some hints of Orf's "Carmina Burana"-style choir at the beginning of this album. I guess he has better works than this but for the beginning I give it ***.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I was deeply in love with Klaus's work during the seventies (up to "Mirage").

The sounds available here are dramatically different (and less passionate) than before. The eighties were of course the summit of the synthetic moods, but these ones aren't so beautiful than the great songs available on his seventies albums.

I can't be moved by "Death Of An Analogue" which sounds more as a "Kraftwerk" tune as anything else. Minimalist, repetitive, with little texture to tell the truth. At least, it is my feeling. And I don't like to write this since I'm a deep fan from the man.

It is of no great comfort to listen to "Weird Caravan" either. It makes me think of an "André Brasseur" track (a Belgian organ player from the sixties). It doesn't sound bad, but compared to the grandiose work released in the previous decade, this is just a light meal as far as I'm concerned.

This decade doesn't start under favourable auspices for Klaus; but the late seventies didn't close brilliantly either. The best is unfortunately behind us, I'm afraid. " The Looper Isn't A Hooker" won't make me change my mind.

The long "Synthasy" does have some beautiful fragrance, some earlier brilliance and sublime passages. This is how I like the man. The mood is definitely more cosmic and mysterious. More spacey, more sidereal, better by all means in comparison with the rest of this album.

The introduction is truly magic in my own view. A superb conjunction of beauty. As I have said: brilliant. Even when the electric beats catch up, it remains a jewel of a melody and an absolute must own.

Thanks to the wonderful epic, I rate this album with three stars. The other parts are IMHHO not really worth.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Before fading away into obscurity, Klaus Schulze had a few more great albums in him. Dig It is the first of those and a must-have for fans, especially in the re-issued 2005 version.

The opening Death of an Analogue is a hit and miss, the repetitive percussion does not have the qualities from similar Kraftwerk exploits and the track gets really tedious after less then 5 minutes. The easy solution is to start with Weird Caravan, a surprisingly catchy and up-beat song that was the first piece I appreciated on this album. The Looper Isn't A Hooker is even better. Both tracks announce a new flavour in Schulze's music, one that works more on complex rhythms then on melody.

Synthasy is another winner, it starts very experimentally, with an almost kraut-alike opening, halfway in we are deeply submersed in Schulze's lush sound textures. The music is less accessible then the works from the 70's but it is not less rewarding.

Based on these pieces, the album would be a solid 3 stars, but on the 2005 re-issue there is an extra track that adds a marvellous 30-minute soundscape. The booklet says it's from the Dig It period but it sounds like it could have come right from Mirage or X (especially Heinrich von Kleist comes to mind). The first part is very abstract, downright spooky and disquieting, the second part has more harmonious features such as big moog and synth choir sounds, the third part is very experimental and non-melodious again, but as you know, Schulze doesn't need melody to be amazing.

The 2005 re-issue also adds a DVD from a 1980 concert Linzer Stahksinfonie, I haven't looked more then once yet. There isn't much to see actually apart from Schulze in a particularly goofy mining suit, a very sweaty drummer with a stern moustache and typical 80's imagery effects. The sound is OK though and the music consists mainly of improvisations on X material. The Schulze costume makes it hard to take this grave music seriously, so it works better if you just listen and ignore the images!

I wouldn't call the concert DVD a necessary item as such but it's a nice item for fans. The bonus track on the re-issued CD is a real gem though so make sure to order the right version of this album.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Like its preceding Dune, Dig It finds Klaus Schulze at an awkward transitional point in his career in which he was attempting to integrate newer synthesisers and approaches to synthesiser playing into his usual composition style, with rather mixed results. The opening Death of an Analogue harks back to his earlier work, but doesn't match it in terms of quality, and subsequent songs have catchy synthesiser beats but don't quite hang together to my ears. With more and more artists entering the electronic arena, it seems that Klaus was struggling to keep up in the early 1980s and found it difficult to find his place in the new environment.
Review by Modrigue
2 stars Klaus goes digital

Whereas most of his electronic brothers, such as TANGERINE DREAM, KRAFTWERK, Jarre or even NEURONIUM, manage to renew themselves while still offering inspired compositions at the dawn of the eighties, the same thing can't be said for Klaus Schulze. In fact, the German musician is maybe one of the first synthesizer pioneer to exhibit a decrease of inspiration from 1980. Curious, as his works were always demanding and not always accessible. This time either, Schulze didn't - and never - want to turn commercial by proposing radio-friendly tunes. So why "Dig It" is an half-failure?

As the double-pun album title suggests, the sound is now digital, which will greatly harm the progressive electronic genre in the 80's. Goodbye charming trippy analog synthesizers of the 70's, say hello to the soulless icy numerical keyboards of the new decade. In this opus, the German abandons his trademark contemplative and hypnotic soundscapes in profit of... we don't really know, a few shorter tracks, a bit more melodic... however less unreal and magic. Anyway, the music has not aged well and resembles hardly nothing to what he had accustomed us before. Schulze cannot be blamed though for trying to renew himself, but unfortunately the result is not very convincing and the choice of sonorities not always suited.

This change of direction can be perceived from the first seconds of the disc. "Death Of An Analogue" is a sad reference to the gone glorious analogue days of the seventies. Ironic, as the track itself is definitely not in the same league to what the years it refers to. This opener could be described as a digitalized funeral march, with a text narrated by Schulze at the vocoder. Rather monotonous and lengthy. Although "Weird Caravan" is overall average, it does possess a special intriguing ambiance that makes this title unique with its jazzy bass and world / new-agey sounds. The only truly good track is the futuristic "The Looper Isn't A Hooker", for its eerie atmosphere. The length and structure of "Synthasy" should theoretically remind 70's Schulzian soundscapes, but is finally flat and fails to catch attention.

Fans of Berlin School, and even 80's TANGERINE DREAM and Jarre lovers, will be somehow disconcerted by the orientation taken by Klaus Schulze in this decade. This opus marks a transition in his approach, not a very good one I'm afraid. The music is more varied indeed, contains new ideas, but is really also very dated and doesn't provide the immersion and evasion of his former works. Although released at the very beginning of the eighties, "Dig It" makes no exception, and the next albums will follow this path paved with cheesy synthesizers and unequal compositions.

Give it a try if you want to make your own opinion... For me, the German pioneer will take time to wake up and recover his past grandeur...

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars It's clear this is the start of the '80s as far as Klaus Schulze is concerned. Clearly not a continuation of Dune. While he still used tons of his old gear at this time, on this album he didn't bother and instead used exclusively the GDS computer (and some help with percussion and drums). Trancefer only proved he returned to the old gear augmented by the GDS (and likely newer stuff too). "Death of an Analogue" is definitely prophetic as far as the title goes (by 1985 it's was difficult to find any analog synths being used, digital was in full force by then). This was recorded digitally (Hawkwind's Levitation, released around the same time, was recorded digitally, and so were several other albums since 1979 including Ry Cooder, Stevie Wonder, True Myth). It definitely has a more minimalist abstract approach, and probably not the best way to start the album, as I wished there was more development. It's nice hearing the vocoder, though. "Weird Caravan" is an odd one, as he basically explore reggae, electronic style. I actually found this one more enjoyable than "Death of an Analogue", I guess his exploration into reggae. Don't worry, he didn't go all Bob Marley on us, it's still instrumental electronic, it's that he included reggae rhythms in this piece. "The Looper isn't a Hooker" is truly one of the album's highlights, as he really soars here. "Synthasy" is one of his slow droning pieces that seems to be his trademark, so it's closest to the classic Schulze sound you're going to get here.

I needed to point out that it's hard not to think that Dig It is to Klaus Schulze what Stuntman is to Edgar Froese. Both albums were clearly departing from the 1970s going for a more 1980s sound with a digital approach. Edgar's album came first, a year before Dig It. While Edgar was still using some of his old gear (the Mellotron clearly not one of them) he used new state-of-the-art digital gear (most notably a PPG synthesizer). Schulze used the Crumar GDS mainly, and he went one step further by recording this album digitally. And like both albums there are modern 1980s digital synth sounds that sound easily pass for a Yamaha DX-7, two to three years before the DX-7 hit the markets.

Thanks to the crystal clear digital production and recording, if it weren't for the occasional snap, crackle and pop on my used vinyl copy (original orange Brain pressing), I could have easily sworn I was listening to a CD (the CD did not exist in 1980, although it was obviously reissued on CD many years later).

In conclusion, I'm surprised how good 3/4 of this album is (with "Death of an Analogue" being my least favorite). I generally dread the 1980s given how so many electronic artists of the '70s had started to explore either synth pop or New Age by the 1980s. Seems that Klaus Schulze simply updated his sound and explored new ground with Dig It, but did it rather well. Surprisingly good, despite the opening cut.

Latest members reviews

4 stars THE EIGHTIES ARE ELECTRONIC There is something romantic going here as electronic music maestro Klaus Schulze ushers in a new era of digitally rendered music with one of the first recordings of it`s kind using cutting edge computer technology. It`s as if ... (read more)

Report this review (#188709) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Monday, November 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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