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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Anniversary synthesis on Klaus Schulze's career
    Posted: September 08 2008 at 10:55
This is mainly (and plainly) a sort of study or, as already mentioned in the title, a small synthesis on Klaus Schulze's music, that I wrote on the 4th of August 2008, to honor Schulze's 61 Birthday. I posted it originally on a Progressive Romanian Forum, but since I finally managed to translate it in English and perhaps plan to post it on my MS account, I figured it's decent to post it here too. I wrote the whole thing throughout the entire morning of that day, mainly collecting all my knowledge and (moreover) impressions on Schulze's music, along extracting some infos about the pre-solo career years.

(It's long overdue to wish Schulze Happy 61 anymore, alas I'll keep the "anniversary" tag...)

Klaus Schulze - A small, small anniversary study

         Klaus Schulze, one of the most illustrious exponents of the kraut-electronic musical current, was born on 4th of August 1947, right in Berlin, the heart of the entire action. Before getting to know him as a master of electronic music, Schulze proved to be a skillful and talented young musician (with studies in modern composition at the Berlin University), hard to recognize (nowadays, perhaps) in the underground scene of the 60s. He first of all learned to play the guitar, starring afterwards in several bands as a bassist or a percussionist. His evolution in these ensembles can't be considered essential, still shows the consistency of moving up ahead: from the Düsseldorfian dance group Les Barones and cover-bands frenzied about Rolling Stones to the rock group Psy Free and, finally, to the moment when, from being invited by Edgar Froese to perform as a guest in his band (I don't think we're talking yet of Tangerine Dream, perhaps The Ones) - covering the absence of the original drummer -, he became a full, "registered" member of the group. TANGERINE DREAM's debut, though officially a first solid album launched three years after the band (or the concept of it) started to form, is Electronic Meditation, the only one including Klaus Schulze. In a nebulous, experimental work, noisy and stoned, such as this one, the best thing we can notice is how Schulze adds flavor and intensity, through hallucinating percussion cliques, to a music that's anyway minimalistic, chaotic and instinctual.

          Immediately after his singular appearence in Tangerine Dream - a specific moment also turning out to be unique in TD's music - the next big step for Schulze is founding the band called ASH RA TEMPEL, together with two other young masters of that time, Manuel Göttsching and Hermut Enke. The boys bought equipment that was very similar to that used by Pink Floyd, a super-band for which the three had, apparently, a special affection, yet the Ash Ra Tempel debut is much more "drenched", being a stimulating example of kraut-rock, on the space, slow experimental, acid side. Many concerts follow afterwards. Schulze leaves though again after just one year, due to some disagreements about orienting towards blues, a style in whose popularity Schulze couldn't recognize himself. Although Ash Ra Tempel don't visibly slip towards that style which was desired by the other two founding musicians, it seems, anyway, that the album on which Schulze contributed is one of the band's best, if not actually the top one. Göttsching and Enke stick to Ash Ra Tempel for the next years, Schulze making a return only in 1973, in a "reunion album" called Join Inn, which is good, although perhaps arriving too late, after Seven Up, branded clearly by Göttsching, Enke and Timothy Leary, that's superior in every way. Instead, once stepping outside Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze is closer than ever to electronic music, which is exactly the next, "progressive" step, done by most "kraut-rockers", soloists or not. The electronic music of the renowned Berlin School (or, perhaps more broadly, of the German cult) flourishes powerfully, and Schulze is in the front line, subscribing to the current.

          Many could imagine how the move from playing guitars, drums and bass towards using synthesizers and the pure electronic mechanics happened, so we shan't meditate at all over how Schulze created his universe of instruments and techniques (from the first synthesizer to the great Moog, up in 1974 or 1975), we can more likely cover the music itself. A first phase, composed of two albums that don't sound at all like initiating works but, on the contrary, unimaginably hard and minute, keep Schulze in the space-kraut-acid zone, much alike Tangerine Dream having quit their "underground expressionism" and bringing forth immediately cosmic, abyssal, electro-psychedelic and tensioned music. Schulze stays under contract with the Ohr label, releasing in 1972 Irrlicht, a drone album, tough and impersonal, experimental and processed at the same time. Bomb #2 is dropped a year later - and we're talking about Cyborg - a monumental double-album, in which the same rough drone language has, this time, a more mechanical, robotic, metallic, somewhat lifeless, still intense and severely hallucinating sense. Out of personal experience, I can comment that the first album is a hostile one, the finale of the Satz:Ebene epic being a compressed apocalypse for the human ears, whilst Cyborg is even more of a challenge, given the force of four epics that exceed 20 minutes and adopt, separately, four expressions, rhythms and agressive atmospheres from the same machined and hard-hitting style.

         Schulze eases on the drone style after these two works, although the same happens to many groups of the fresh electronic genre. The valences of the synth music are fully discovered, attenuating, as we could critically say, the old psycho-acid art. Schulze steps from Ohr and Brain to Island. Picture Music is announced in some places (including the official site) as the third album, dating 1974, while in other places (including...the official site!!) it is mentioned as the fourth, released in 1975. Nothing to comment if the first mentioned order is the good one, but in the spirit of evolution, Blackdance keeps the dark flavor, while Picture Music is mellow. In fact, this album has nothing special whatsoever, soaking a lot of expressionistic electronic sound with the repeatability that inspires reveries, hallucinations; worse, though, is that both of the album's epics come from the same material, which is really dull. Looking back (or forward?!) to Blackdance, here recitative vocals are introduced, an element sure to displease the electronic purists, though a lot less controversial than Cyclone by Tangerine Dream, four years later, or even unremarkable in comparison with, I should say, the total transcend into songs, regardless of styles, made by Ash Ra Tempel, when they introduced the famous Rosi. Anyway, though, Blackdance contains some savoring percussions, dark electronic "sequences", plus has a more special piece, called Voices Of Syn.

          During this period, it can be mentioned that Schulze contributed, as a collaborator, in the works of other artists such as SERGIUS GOLOWIN, WALTER WEGMÜLLER and especially THE COSMIC JOKERS, aka the band that in a single year, and after a lot of LSD, came with a fabulous sequence of kraut-rock albums, easy to rate from incredible to miserable. Schulze's involvement in CODE III's sole album is a bit bigger, that brave experimental music having a bit of "electronic pattern" easily creditable to him. In 1975, Schulze's biography reminds us that he produced two albums of FAR EAST FAMILY BAND, a group which included KITARO, a much more simplistic and "aroma-therapeutic" future electronic soloist.

          The year 1975 is, though, grand for Schulze's solo music, as much as it was a referential year for electronic by and large: Rubycon and Ricochet by Tangerine Dream, Heaven and Hell from Vangelis, just to mention. Schulze composes Timewind, doubtlessly among his three fundamental creations. The album receives the French prize "Grand Prix International", in detriment of Edgar Froese's own nominated album of that year, Epsilon In Malaysian Pale. Bayreuth Return and Wahnfried 1883 are the two pieces from Timewind that, most likely, any big Schulze fan can comment upon on the spot. The sequencing is soft, hidden, glacial, much like how it sounds in Rubycon by the Tangs (and, off-topic, I often find enough similarities between that band's evolution and Schulze's own, during the 1972-1975 years, meaning I've often complied to parallels between Irrlicht and Alpha Centauri, Cyborg and Zeit, Timewind and Rubycon...); meanwhile, the space-synth atmosphere utterly dominates, not at all fevered or dry, but in true ambient, ethereal forms. There's already a noticeable conceptual impulse towards Wagner, a thing that's under no circumstances incidental. The impulse towards Nietzsche will arise soon enough too. If the first piece contains dynamics, the second side of the album is in a complete gassy state, gathering sounds, effects, impressions and "inner voices".

          In 1976, Schulze releases Moondawn, following the same cosmic, synth-loaded style. He also releases the soundtrack for an erotic film called Body Love, a score that's not to be missed, especially for its sequence-loaded epic P.T.O., which sounds absolutely stunning. In this period, Schulze joines the big project led by Stom Yamash'ta, Steve Winwood and Michael Shreeve, Go, the album itself, plus a beautiful live, Go Live From Paris, being released that year.

          1977 is again a year of reference, thanks to the second album of, most likely, the top three: Mirage, an album that's belissimo, and in which the synthesizing, sequential and ambient-marked electronic touches unbelievable expressions. After a non-vertebrate Velvet Voyage, aerial and yet sunken in an encumbered ambiance, Crystal Lake is of great interest, with a polyphonic sequence that brings more alike percussion - bells and xylophones - and leaves you breathless. Also in 1977, Schulze launched Body Love Vol.2, as good as the first one.

          1978 is perhaps, in the view of the majority, the last major year for Schulze's electronic Berlin-school music, when he releases a conceptual (programmatic, I'd say) and ambitious X, considerd an electro-symphonic work thanks to the adding of a string orchestra and through the seductive sound of the cello, mastered by Wolfgang Tiepold. Many memorable things in this third essential album, starting off directly with Friedrich Nietzsche, where the combination of sequences and percussion (played by Harald Grosskopf, member of ASHRA that time around) is tumultuous, continuing with the short Georg Trakl, where the repeated rhythm solely crowns the moment, then with Friedmann Bach and Heinrich von Kleist, dark-ambient pieces. Ludwig II von Bayern is for me a masterpiece, although many will discover that, after an elaborate ambient-symphonic start, the middle 10 minutes are reduced to a soft and "langsam" vibrato that repeats endlessly and without variations; it's perhaps a tough moment to survive, or it is perhaps a musical moment in which you have to look inside simplicity and stagnation. Anyway, at the end, in comes Grosskopf with the drums, making the finale a fantastic one.

           Starting with Dune, from 1979, Schulze creates his own label, IC. The album itself, the only one that year, is beautiful, dark-ambient, matching up with the desert loneliness from Arrakis, but developing much more music-derived sentiments, through the weep of the cello (the same Tiepold playing it) on the first part ("side") and with Arthur Brown's lyrics on the second one. The great Brown becomes a friend and a collaborator of Klaus Schulze even starting 1977, though it results, from more selected recordings, that the two didn't approach a fantastically rich repertoire at all. Important remains the already mentioned Dune, as well as possibly Time Actor, the first album of the RICHARD WAHNFRIED set, a side-project launched by Schulze that's far from the glow of his "own products"(?!), still makes you look into certain collaborations with certain big names: Brown, Tiepold, Shrieve, Michael Garvens and...Santana, as rumored! Time Actor is, very likely, one of the two better albums released under Wahnfried.

           In 1980 we finally get an official live, called just like that: ...Live..., the recordings from 1976, in Berlin, and 1979, in Amsterdam and France (later, during the 90s, Schulze & manager & co. will get back on their classic database of concert recordings, stretching from 1974 up in 1979-80, issuing them in huge box-sets). The music is fantastic, a piece to try being the mega-saurus Sense, that lasts 50 minutes and is charged with A-class sequences.

          If the rhythms of this kind, from this live, sound suspiciously open towards a more commercial (or, anyway, light-dynamic) electronic, nothing compares to the upcoming pleiade of beats and synthes from the 80s, years in which many classic bands faint for good, a thing that Schulze can't be accused of, even if his music isn't as good as back in the old great days anymore. Dig It (1981) adventures with prejudice into electro-digital, registering only here and there a combo of ambiance and synth-pop. Trancefer (1982) makes us suffer with the same uninspired stagnation that, in the middle of a full career explosion, Picture Music presented, but it's generally more experimental and concentrated. Things reach Audentity (1983), a double album that means a lot, including an avant-garde piece called Sebastian Im Traum. Besides this, one more work, a soundtrack actually, titled Angst, is released in 1984, sounding diffuse and simple, but having a dark color, with a pop expression that's, after all, electronic.

          We stop to mention two new Richard Wahnfried albums, the rock-oriented Tonwelle and the disastrous Megatone. Schulze collaborates also with RAINER BLOSS, coming with Drive Inn, Bloss being also mentioned in the live album that samples a tour in Poland from 1984, Dzekuje Poland, though not even to this day I don't get what's Bloss's big contribution, since the music that's played is by Schulze, and Schulze plays it. Released in 1984 are also Aphrica, reuniting the efforts of Schulze, Bloss and Ernst Fuchs, an excruciatingly bad album, and Transfer Station Blue, an album oriented towards synths + guitars, done together with the Shrieve brothers, something reminding of Ashra and sounding nice 'n' easy.

          Schulze can yet again be accused of having stepped too hard into electro-pop when he creates Inter*Face, in 1985, but his next work, Dreams, is remarkably profound, consenting to refined electronic programming and containing an eclectic-ambient epic. A fourth Richard Wahnfried, Miditation, finally sounds more like good Schulze music, going on ambient and old-stuff.

          At the end of the 80s, Schulze launches a very interesting conceptual album with Andreas GROSSER, titled Babel, a 60 minutes epic in three big parts, given the concentrated, sequential repetition of the themes, plus releases his 23th solo album, En=Trance, very consistent. Also, shockingly, he is a co-producer for Alphaville! This is a period of many interviews, retrospectives, limited edition samples and other diverse stuff. After disbranching of the independent labels IC and Inteam, a return to Brain is made.

          The next decade debuts both awkwardly, with an annoying Miditerranean Pads, and very good actually, given a new studio/live combo, The Dresden Performance, which is a hard listen but also tells you a lot about Schulze's new idea of a style: I don't know if it's globally acknowledged as "sampling", but anyway that's how I always call it, because it brings out the collage of sounds, mixes, voices and effects of all sorts, all paving a full way of expression and artistic experiment, a heavy alternative to the banal "digi-sequencer" dynamics and to the so-simply melodic, New-Age or ambient music. Almost every album up until 1996 - Beyond Recall (1991), Royal Festival Hall Vol.1 & 2 (1992), The Dome Event (1993), Wagner Desaster (1994) and the massive In Blue (1995) (with Göttsching as a guest, playing guitars) - are "sampling" albums - launched by Virgin, except the last two, which are released udner XYV, a private label, I think. From my point of view, in a really retro or new-age-y decade, what Schulze has chosen for his music keeps in mind artistic, representative, sometimes weird and sometimes insinuating valences, even if it's not the best music to endure and understand.

          Less valorous albums of this period are the Moulin de Daudet soundtrack, though miniaturist, the electro-opera Totentag, flawed in its depth, and especially the transpositions from Goes Classic, where Schulze really hits a low, achieving nothing by comprising the essence of classical music works in the shallow variety of keyboards, MIDIs, Moogs and others. All three released in 1994!

          Since 1993, Schulze collaborates with PETE NAMLOOK, a modern exponent of the eclectic electronic music, creating the mega-project Dark Side Of The Moog, that stretches so far to 11 albums. This style of project-music belongs more to Namlook, yet Schulze perceptibly contributes in the music, although tasting forbidden stylistic fruits such as techno and environmental. The project is tangently programmatic by paraphrasing a lot of works by Pink Floyd, as the name of the project(=of the album titles) suggests itself.

          A sense of daringness is manifested in this period with the release of two box-sets, each made out of 10 CDs filled with music till the last minute! Silver Edition is a fastidious incursion, meant more for an expert than for a novice, in more "sampling" works of the 90s, culminating with the biggest concept epic ever, Picasso geht spazieren, summing in its total 160 minutes, but being logically split on two CDs of the compilation; the Edition also offers, however, two sessions of Berlin electronic music, from 1975-6 concerts, plus from older recordings, dated 1972. The third CD, Was War Vor Der Zeit, is superb, highlighting great music from the mid 70s. Two years later, in 1995, Historic Edition is released, very inspired in offering, this time, an incursion into the pure, self-referenced as Golden Age concerts and compositions.

          Schulze's next stylistic mutation is also his most commercial, as he finally leans on trance-techno clear variations and on electric-infused music, alike "dub" and "dance" (sometimes). Are You Sequenced? is a pretentious, virtual-centric double-album, while Dosburg Online is surprisingly more acclaimed, though, in a true sense, weak. But anyhow, summing all the official albums, we've reached Schulze's 80th album!

          Three Wahnfried albums from the 1994-1997 period don't rehabilitate the modest quality of the side-project, Trancellation being a dangerous lick of trance-dance, Trance Appeal being artistic, but lacking any..."appeal", so that only Drums 'n' Balls is, in a late hour, the good-rate fusion of trance, ambiance, new-age and mixes, sounding relaxing, typical, nice.

          A third box-set, Jubilee Edition, is released in 1997, marking, indeed, 25 years of solo career with...25 albums, which cover everything! Sure, we can talk already about exaggerations, but the essential is that every Edition, in its own way, uncovers facts about how much music Schulze truly composed, in 25 years, even if sometimes relying purely on stereotypes and programmed sounds, from the beginning. The level of the schulzerian art isn't reduced, this way, to just concrete albums, but to music composed/recorded tirelessly, for all tastes, inspired in deep steps or born out of simple impulses and experimentall results.

         The Trailer compilation, from 1999, is solid, but basically announces the launch of The Ultimate Edition, the compilation of all compilations and the box-set of box-sets, one year later, all the 45 albums from the previous three Edition being re-issued, the extra thing consisting of 5 new CDs, one of them offering "alternative versions" to the classics Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Trakl from X, both longer than the original. An excellent recording, under any circumstance!

         The taste for huge compilations doesn't stop here, but, true, tempers, when two new Editions of (just [sic!]) 10 CDs each, called Contemporary Works, bring color in Schulze's 2000, respectively 2002 activity. The difference is, however, that Schulze already thinks in terms of present music, offering a new millennium style, which can largely be described as modern ambient, trance and meditational.

          In 2000, the ASH RA TEMPEL reunion takes place, with a live adn a studio being released (Gin Rosé + Friendship); it isn't at all surprising that Schulze and Göttsching agreed on adopting a mdoern-ambient largo language, because both worked on this style during the same contemporary period (Göttsching released Die Mulde). The live is of a good quality, while the studio can divide its listeners. They're, nonetheless, of the same caliber, no matter from what perspective you look upon them.

          In modern tempo, Schulze plays his own live concerts too, releasing the double offer [email protected] Vol.1 and Vol.2, music that's generally very good. A new studio, long awaited, is Moonlake, unfortunately it inspires an artistic coldness, affecting especially the marks of sophisticated, modern ambient and sequencing.

          Major health issues push forwards a hiatus, sort of, from 2004 to 2007, Schulze being even forced to stay away from the stage. A massive re-release of the previous official albums kicks-off, under the Revisited Records SPV brand, a banal act, if the beauty of it wouldn't consist of original bonus tracks, taken out of the archives almost every time. Right now, almost all the official albums have been actualised, a thing that practically doubles the collection of old fans & experts or refreshes, effectively, the offer for those who are just discovering (or want to discover) this music. A bit more arguable, for me, is decomposing the previous Contemporary Works collections into individual albums (Vanity Of Sounds, The Crime Of Suspense, Virtual Outback, Ballett 1-4 so far), although the original box-sets were, indeed, all!, limited.

          Klaus Schulze finally came back with new music though in 2007, releasing acclaimed Kontinuum, where the feeling of old 70s is precious, but there's also modern music, with more attention given to details and outlines, with more richness implemented in the essences and dynamics, making out of the album something worthy.

          2008 was equally inciting, first off with the unexpected 11th Dark Side Of The Moog (done, of course and as always, together with Namlook.
In addition to a random compilation (Muting The Noise), another round of re-release focuses this time on rearranging and offerring once more the valuable but expended materials from the Editions, in a cycle of compilations titled La Vie Electronique.

          But even bigger and better than expected ended up to be the collaboration with singer Lisa Gerrard (ex-Dead Can Dance), whose primary result was Farscape, a double-album presentation from what both artists called a serie of long, valuable, ad-lib improvisations, with a primarily mutual and ultimately surreal level of artistic expression. The album resorts to a languid ambient enclosure. What's truly big about this collaboration is the follow-up (though not necesarrily connected) Rheingold, foremost a testimony of Schulze's grand return to concerting (within the Lorelei summer festival), while assuredly an extremely-well received and incredible to hear electronic exposé, shrouded in the mysticism of the concept, and the deep aura and surround to which Schulze capably resumes, most of elegantly, preeminently. The more operatic, absorbing, impassioned and ensorcelled vocal poems done together with Lisa Gerrard represent in their own likely, almost beyond doubt, the real peak of the kind of matching artistry and vital essence that was sought after. This Lorelei concert was also released on DVD, Schulze's first ever, completing the experienced with a biographical story and interviews. The collaboration continues to this date, its fruits being apparently well savoured. Dzekuje Bardzo-Vielen Dank (2009), as a third release of this kind, is of the same ambitious caliber (if tad less profound and spot-on), highlighting two concerts in Poland and Germany. The touring fever itself hasn't yet gone cold - and the same can be said about Schulze's sparkling enthusiasm.


Edited by Ricochet - September 06 2009 at 08:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2008 at 11:31
Nice one Rico.
 
How do think TD would have turned out had he stayed with them, especially given the parallel courses they seemed to travel in music terms?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2008 at 13:46
Hard to say.

First of all, the similar evolution I mentioned in the article has its understandable limits: it was moreover imagined in a large view than actually taking the comparison between the albums to the tiny details. That's why Schulze's debut is "drone", while TD's sort of "re-debut" (AC) is "cosmic", even if the tags of "dark", "trippy" or "experimental" work for both. If Zeit takes you in a black hole, Schulze takes you inside a mind-machine. If Blackdance is transitional, Phaedra counts the same in TD's strict evolution, but also has the touch of genius.

The parallel evolution is interesting and acceptable, without stretching the similarities nor diluting the obvious differences. Synth music was a main attraction and focus in 70s electronic, so we can fairly assume both giants took a lead in that area: the differences coming along nicely - Schulze quantifying the spacey and dark ambient side, TD mastering the sequence; reversing, TD's peak in ambient music is already Rubycon, and rarely equaled Schulze's "mindphasing", while KS's sequences, besides not used plenarily, sounded sort of less physical than TD's (in other words, if the Tangs could have created a whirlwind out of them, Schulze's dynamics were more interiorized, unrooted...).

Now about why hasn't Schulze stayed, I've got, right now, mainly two answers:
1. Electronic Meditation has (had) the status of an experiment, a status that can't be set higher. The making of this album wasn't predicted from previous activity (except perhaps the psychedelic influences, tha made Hendrix hit it so raw or so numb, that made Floyd tape their breakfast or do critters chat, and that made TD act so noisy). Also, there's no continuity, afterwards; sure, it's hard to believe Froese renegates this period, since many compilations included moments from it, still between EM and AC there's no concrete continuity.
2. Imagine Schulze having stayed a drummer in TD. A drummer, that is, cause more than a musician with a certain role he wouldn't have become. Sure's we like the Franke/Froese/Baumann classic albums even because we don't get to hear any of the artists' so above the others, but I don't think the same was actually in the band's actual life. But rather than offering this sort of supposition that even I don't like to think about, here's the real answer, offered by Schulze's own career evolution: after psychedelic 60s sessions came 2 years of playing in 2 different bands, after which the solo debut moment arrived and manifested powerfully, even grandly. IMO, Schulze caught the chance of becoming a solo artist and even attached to the desire of becoming that. I don't know if the band play could have left space for that kind of an original solo identity.

And to fully cover the question, if I could imagine "what would have been", I don't think the evolution of the band would have been outside the logic: noodling inside kraut-electro, with the next step being synth music, in all its brightness. The difference: TD music with KS becoming a full member (and by that, Baumann would never get the invitation, creating a space-time discontinuum by which my favorite album of all-time wouldn't be Ricochet, and I wouldn't be Ricochet here LOL), but essentially never TD music with KS having truly remarkable roles.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2008 at 17:01
very interesting Vic!Clap
 
In the booklet which accompanies the "Nebulous Down" compilation of the first 4 albums, Schulze is quoted as saying (years later) that his departure was because at one TD concert he tried to play some organ tapes he had recorded and treated in "an uncommon way". Edgar did not approve and did not seem to like the idea of Schulze contributing more than just drums so he (Schulze) left.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2008 at 17:09
Originally posted by Easy Livin Easy Livin wrote:

 
 
In the booklet which accompanies the "Nebulous Down" compilation of the first 4 albums, Schulze is quoted as saying (years later) that his departure was because at one TD concert he tried to play some organ tapes he had recorded and treated in "an uncommon way". Edgar did not approve and did not seem to like the idea of Schulze contributing more than just drums so he (Schulze) left.
 


well looky here, I actually nailed it. Big%20smile
So that makes 2 leaves because of 2 disargreements...as much as this one sounds so logic, the issue of playing blues with Ash Ra sounds even weirder...LOL
Now these two leaves really highlight the choice to go solo, as to refine for good his "uncommon way" of music. Thumbs%20Up

But even putting this aside, I resume the idea that, even if he'd stayed, we wouldn't have gotten a second Electronic Meditations. The issue of concerting must have added to TD tempering down their experimentalness too, since, as you've stated, Froese didn't liked when Schulze didn't want to play straight, plus to recall that they've been booed 10 minutes after starting to play Zeit, in 1972. Meanwhile, Klaus Schulze's concerts with Ash Ra Tempel must have been more "groovy", while, as a soloist, I haven't heard recordings earlier than 1974. And gone were the experimental crunches then...


Edited by Ricochet - September 08 2008 at 17:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2008 at 16:56
^ well done, this text is impressively good. Clap
I don't know what do you think about the idea, but you should probably use this work as part of the bio for the K. Schulze page.

I would like to have your advice about recent entries as Alderbert Von Deyen or Bernd Kistenmacher. I've made a review for the first Von Deyen, seems to be in the direct path of Klaus Schulze's immersive droningscapes and  spaced out electronic arpeggios.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2008 at 02:06
Thanks, philippe, it's really an honour to receive good feedback from you.

I have indeed thought of improving Klaus Schulze's biography here, but I'd keep this text for now, read more biographies and important such (for instance, Klaus Müller, long-time manager of KS, covers very broadly the 1970-1997 years, I haven't yet fully read that) and, eventually, edit my text to something closer to a biography, by cutting and adding.

So when I'll have more time, I'll try that.

I have Aldelbert von Deyen's music, I just need to listen to it eventually. Of Kistenmacher I don't know anything, never tried him, never even "sampled" his records.
What sort of advice could I give you, anyway?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2008 at 17:58
  Great post Ricochet!  Clap

 You know, it's cool you wrote this in a time when i've just  been getting into KS's and Tangerine Dream's Music. But to be honest though, my main interest in these bands is the Technology behind them. All the huge boxes and equipment they had....flashing lights, motionless men, analog devices.....its all quite amazing when things like basic computers were still sortta in devolopment.

 Don't get me too wrong, I think the music is much more engaging than I would have first imagined. At first I though it would only work as nice ambient music here and there, but now I acctually sit in my chair with my eye's closed through whole albums at a time and completely engaged in them. I know people like to associate drugs with these guys a lot, and while I have no idea if they did drugs I guess I dont care. I listen to this music and can associate my own fantasies with it.

 So yes very nice post, and the only acctual question I have for you is this. Does Nihilism really play a big role in a lot of these electronic and krautrock band's philosophies? I myself am borderline Nihilism, (if thats even possible,) and since I like to associate art, (music,) and philosophy with each other, I would like to know....Wink

 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2008 at 18:14
amazing Vic, I haven't even scratched Schulze's work but now I have a wonderful guide  ..thanks


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2008 at 15:32
Thanks Mike & David; now, to take things one at a time:

Originally posted by MikeDupont MikeDupont wrote:

  Great post Ricochet!  Clap

 You know, it's cool you wrote this in a time when i've just  been getting into KS's and Tangerine Dream's Music. But to be honest though, my main interest in these bands is the Technology behind them. All the huge boxes and equipment they had....flashing lights, motionless men, analog devices.....its all quite amazing when things like basic computers were still sortta in devolopment.


If by technology you mean equipement, then you should check out this article, written by philippe:
http://www.progarchives.com/history-of-vintage-keyboards-used-in-progressive-rock.asp

About "motionless men", I remember watching Schulze's sole authentic DVD (so far?) "Stahlsinfonie", it was quite something seeing him as a "one-man orchestra" (except for the percussion, covered by Fred Severloh on the other side of the stage), and he was both relaxed, sitting on a carpet with his instruments around him, and concentrated, even if half of the music was programmed (or it took a short time to program it on the spot). In fact, the weirdest thing was seeing him do a very small bit of "headbanging" when the dynamics kicked in hard. LOL

Also regarding Schulze, the instruments' history can span very generously for whoever is interested (I admit, I sometimes just go into the music, rather than taking a research on what model of Organ was played): from the first instruments, helping him make the final jump into solo electronics, all the way to, nowadays, the Big Moog, sold (in agreement with Namlook) after Dark Side Of The Moog X, only to be retrieved in order for the two to continue the DSOTM saga with an 11th album/chapter.




Originally posted by MikeDupont MikeDupont wrote:

  Don't get me too wrong, I think the music is much more engaging than I would have first imagined. At first I though it would only work as nice ambient music here and there, but now I acctually sit in my chair with my eye's closed through whole albums at a time and completely engaged in them. I know people like to associate drugs with these guys a lot, and while I have no idea if they did drugs I guess I dont care. I listen to this music and can associate my own fantasies with it.


I've initiated myself into electronic by listening to JMJarre and Vangelis, so I never had the preconception of the kind you mentioned, even if later I discovered some of that bland stuff as well. Schulze came in a bit later and also installed as a favorite progressively. For instance, one of my first listens was Dig It, a post-classic Schulze album that made my incursion back into better, different stuff (i.e. the extreme Irrlicht) not only overwhelming, but intriguing. The first two listens of Timewind were pretty much disastrous, but the third time, listening to the same music, I got beneath the sound, into its potency. Said differently: it may be still water, but it sure is far from shallow.
 
Originally posted by MikeDupont MikeDupont wrote:

  So yes very nice post, and the only acctual question I have for you is this. Does Nihilism really play a big role in a lot of these electronic and krautrock band's philosophies? I myself am borderline Nihilism, (if thats even possible,) and since I like to associate art, (music,) and philosophy with each other, I would like to know....Wink


Ah, interesting question, I'm a pessimist when I'm not pumped up by spiritual ideas, but anyway my travel into understanding nihilism is still long. Good luck, BTW, with the music-philosophy associations, sounds interesting.

It's hard to say electronic/kraut music adopts nihilism except you think of specific examples, a thing which already devoids from generalizations. Sure, you can see what N in CAN stands for, you can imagine some angry kraut-heads denying morals, God, the Beatles or such, you can even read that some people associate postmodernism as a whole with nihilistic mentality (hitting a lame general button this way), still, as some electronicists would come up with ambient stuff in their practice of "bringing harmony & peace in your modern houses", other artists would try to express nothingness through void, noise or silence - so we're talking particular marks, particular styles, which is anyway a sign of a "conceptual imperative".

So it's hard for me to say if nihilism was a pillon in the creation of these two movements. I'd rather be skeptic about it, because we're talking "cultures" with particular elements and ideas, and even if nihilism is one such idea, it would be the "culture of non-culture"...or sort of like that...

Anyway, it's also hard to tell if Klaus Schulze focused on music philosophies. He's, to say the least, a strange figure: sometimes he'll gladly speak about what his new album is about, and he'll always draw the line between 'avant-garde music" and "pop-adressed works", no matter what album of his we're talking about, while other times he considers questions that would regard his "philosophy" in music very silly and far from needing a personal answer from him...

 



Edited by Ricochet - September 17 2008 at 15:33
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2008 at 15:59
Victor, this is a great text, now I may finally get around to listening to some old Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze material that I never got around to. ClapClapClapClap

If all our bio's were this complete, Max might never have to worry again about getting enough money in to keep the site up and running.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2008 at 08:51
10x, Angelo.

About making a bio, check five posts prior to this one, I'm gonna research more till trying to offer an official text for the site.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2008 at 17:30
Good essay Rico!!! that make me to have to relisten the discography of KS!!!
 
 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2008 at 22:39
Extremely well done Vic! Clap You sure know your stuff man. I'm just starting to get into Schulze's solo works.I do so with a little hesitation knowing there probably won't be much in the way of melody.LOL I really like "Electronic Meditation" but i know that had traditional instruments like guitar and drums in it,even if it was experimental.Kind of like the band ORGANISATION i suppose. I like the electronic soundscapes of CLUSTER so i'm crossing my fingers i like Schulze.
"The wind is slowly tearing her apart"

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2009 at 16:32
Rico Did you read Julian Cope's Krautrock sample
 
I recommend to you that book


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