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Klaus Schulze

Progressive Electronic

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Klaus Schulze En=Trance album cover
3.34 | 59 ratings | 4 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. En=Trance (18:53)
2. a-Numerique (16:26)
3. Fm Delight (17:28)
4. Velvet System (17:47)

Total Time 70:34

Bonus Track on 2005 reissue:
5. Elvish Sequencer (8:02)

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Schulze / Roland S50 / D50 / MKS 30 / MKS 80 / JX 10 P / DDR / MC 500, Roland 505 drums, Korg DW 8000 / DVP-1, Yamaha DX 7 II, Fairlight, Akai sampler, Fx, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Michael B. Behr with Jacques Sehy (photo)

2xLP Brain- 835 158-1 (1988, Germany)

CD Brain- 835 158-2 (1988, Europe)
CD Revisited Rec. - REV 007 (2005, Germany) With a bonus track recorded in 1975

Thanks to memowakeman for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KLAUS SCHULZE En=Trance ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

KLAUS SCHULZE En=Trance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When we hear the name of Klaus Schulze, our mind prepares to fly and discover a new world, a new atmosphere, the music of this great guy is really serious, the power of imagination and the power of hearing a new kind of music makes his music different, his only style, not the Ash ra tempel style, not the Tangerine dream style, is the Klaus Schulze style, a style full of freedom, of tranquil , of darkness at the same time, is a mix of atmospheres, i say all this because i really find his music like a own style of music, another sub-sub genre, like electronic atmospherical progressive... but this doesnt exist, is the way to tell us his thoughts, his magic envolved in his music. This album makes me fly and makes me scream, like i was a boy with a new toy, but to be honest, after hearing this album 10 times, i found it boring, i dont think this could be a masterpiece, but is a great addition to our collections, all the songs during about 20 minutes, all epics, all with a depth sound, the keyboards of shulze are unique, the keyboars and synths of schulze makes us understand why the music is like a god, why the music is like a breakfast and dinner of every day .

En=trance is the perfect song to a perfect day in the depth of our emotions, is a new travel in time, and for me the best song of this album, i hope you could enjoy this album, because is really good.

The track called Fm delight is one of those typical "Schulze in the mood", in my oppinion is not the best song, but a lot of people loves this song, or maybe hate ( like dream theater) but by the way, is a good song.

Pay attention to all the chnges and all the moments to fly, to dream, and to fall in his circle of sound.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars If you would except the dreadful "Aphrica", Klaus Schulze never released a poor album so far. But I was hardly thrilled with his studio production of the eighties to be sincere. Globally OK albums (which means three stars) but nothing from the other world (without play on words).

The title song reverts me to some ancient Klaus algorithm. Great synth layers, subtle harmony, fully instrumental, cold yet emotional. In one word: essential. Of course, you have to accept the simple and repetitive tempo; but this is deeply rooted into his great music.

I was quite charmed with this piece of music. It is of course not the first time that the man delivers a very good epic in the eighties ("Inter*Face" was another one), but usually there were only one of those per album.

What is different on this long set is that there are very good companions as well. "a Numérique" is another winner although less attractive and accessible than "En=Trance". Hypnotic, clean and tranquil, it gets more upbeat after a while, closer to his later work as well. The addition of a true drummer (why not Mike Shrieve) would have been a plus in comparison to these synthetic ones. But that's only a very small negative point.

And there's nothing to do: while I listen to the opening of "FM Delight", I am just ? delighted. It reminds me of the great albums from the seventies when emotion was at its peak, brilliance at his height and beauty close to perfection. Yes, it is that great!

The idea might sound simple, but the execution is superb. The melody is splendid. These keys are just too wonderful to be human! Great, great, great. Even if after the first third (some six minutes) these sublime lines turn into a more upbeat affair (but which still sounds very good).

The closing "Velvet System" is one of the most bombastic Schulze song. It starts on a slow tempo, but very quickly, the listener is brought to some sort of electronic-opera style of music (whatever it may mean). The second half is more conventional but still above the standard of the output from the great man in the eighties.

I haven't been so pleased with Klaus's music since "Mirage". This album deserves four starts in my own scale of rankings. A very good album indeed which I can only recommend to all electronic music fan but not only. Beleive me!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars En=Trance. Schulze has never shied away from goofy wordplays. But so far he had stayed clear from uninvolved and soulless electronic music.

Formally it all looks ok, extended pieces, no pointless beats, rhythmic sequencing, layered sounds. But the music goes by entirely unnoticed, it feels uninspired and frankly I don't like the sounds here at all. They are clean, out of the box digital keyboards that lack personality and atmosphere. For an artist that depends so much on sound as Schulze, this is a big shortcoming.

So how exactly did I leap from this assessment to 3 stars? For once the answer is maths. First of all, there's nothing really wrong with any of the tracks, and FM Delight is absolutely gorgeous and worthy for a 5 star album. That gives (2+2+5+2)/4 = 2.75!

En=Trance is a work that I wouldn't recommend to the casual Schulze fan, but on average it can sure be rated as good.

Review by patrickq
2 stars En=Trance, originally released as a double-LP in 1988, is a perfect example of ‪Klaus Schulze‬ keeping up with the proverbial times. He used the latest equipment (e.g., Roland S-50 sampling keyboard and TR-505 drum machine, both from 1986) and the latest sounds, epitomized by the Yamaha DX7 mark II, released in 1987, which used FM synthesis, the then-hot technology.* At the time, the DX7 was pretty amazing, and although its sounds could be customized extensively, they were so awesome that many artists didn't see the point. I'm no expert, but it sounds like Schulze may not have approached digital FM synthesis as experimentally as he had undertaken analog synthesis, beginning with Blackdance in 1974 - - and certainly not as experimentally as he had approached modifying Teisco and Farfisa organs before that. For centuries, people have complained that new technologies make people lazy, and relatedly, that there's intrinsic value in hard work, even if it's totally unnecessary hard work. Writing with a fountain pen instead of using an inkwell, driving a motorcar instead of a horse-drawn carriage, using a calculator instead of doing math by hand - - each of these was seen as evidence of the demise of "grit" and of the fundamental laziness of humanity. The truth in this belief is that, thanks to the new technology, you needn't expend much effort to surpass the results of the old technology. What makes someone like Schulze interesting is that we can compare his output across four generations of synthesizer technology: pre-synth, analog (1974-1979), digital (c.1980s and 1990s), and virtual.

The middle two sides of En=Trance ("α-Numerique" and "FM Delight") are the least interesting to me, but not only because FM is among my least favorite types of synthesis. I think it's also because, despite their lengths (‪16:32‬ and ‪17:29‬ on the 2005 Revisited remaster), these tracks seem rushed in places; perhaps because of improvements in technology, Schulze had more time to develop more ideas, more of which he squeezed into vinyl side.** "α-Numerique" and "FM Delight" also suffer from overuse of lead parts, some too dramatic to my ears, and others too shrill.

As far as I know, En=Trance marked just the second album on which Schulze used a drum machine throughout. On eighteen of his prior albums, most rhythms were provided by a waveform, a (melodic) sequencer, or a drummer or percussionist. Here, as on Angst, it's all drum machines. That works well on side one ("En=Trance") and reasonably well on the final track, "Velvet System." But for most of Schulze's music, I prefer the feel of the percussionist following along with - - or keeping up with - - the synthesizer or sequencer.

The best track here is "En=Trance;" not surprisingly, it's the most reminiscent of Schulze's mid-1970s work, especially the movement beginning at 4:15. Over the next few minutes, though, a familiar pan-flute preset exerts itself, and "En=Trance," bless its heart, threatens to become a wholly redundant remake. Luckily, it never follows through on the threat. "Velvet System" is nearly as good; coming after "α-Numerique" and "FM Delight," it represents a return to the pensive sequence-based sound of "En=Trance," at least until 12:30, when an unnecessarily theatrical sequence takes over. "Elvish Sequencer," the relatively brief bonus track on the 2005 reissue, was recorded in 1975, but doesn't sound as out of place as you might think. It's nearly entirely sequence-based - - it's missing the lead synth part common to so many Schulze works. In a nice twist, it has two false endings; but as "Elvish Sequencer" is evidently incomplete, those endings come too soon.

To those FM synthesis fans (or DX7 aficionados) interested in late-1980s progressive-electronic art music, I'd recommend En=Trance, but to those interested in Schulze, I'd suggest trying any of his first ten LPs first.


*Another strikingly modern aspect of the record was its stark, high-contrast artwork.

**En-Trance was the second of Schulze's albums to be released simultaneously on CD, and his second "DDD" release.

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