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Klaus Schulze - Moondawn CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze


Progressive Electronic

3.73 | 197 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Solo album number six from master synthesist Klaus Schulze marked his arrival above ground after half a decade of subterranean electronic experimentation. His previous "Timewind" had been an overdue breakout hit, and Schulze took full advantage of his newfound stardom by investing in a lot of shiny new toys and tailoring his sometimes inscrutable sound closer to popular tastes.

It was the first KS album to utilize "the big Moog" (in his own words); his first professional multi- track recording; his first in a series of fruitful collaborations with Wallenstein drummer Harald Großkopf (a comrade from R.U. Kaiser's notorious Cosmic Jokers sessions that same year). And, perhaps not coincidentally, it was also the first time he allowed himself to fall into some lazy compositional habits. The entire album was, believe it or not, recorded in a single evening: a small miracle of spontaneity at a time when Prog Rock LPs were frequently months in the making. On the other hand, a little more forethought might have yielded music of greater depth and interest.

The lush, almost symphonic production makes the album opener "Floating" a joy to hear. But a sense of monotony creeps into the set long before the initial jam finally ends, on an unresolved fade-out after 27-minutes of less than spellbinding sequencer patterns. The 2005 Revisited Records CD edition adds an alternate take of the same material, but the final effect in either version is more repetitive than hypnotic.

The 25-minute "Mindphaser" then tries to integrate the spacier effects of other Klaus Schulze albums into a more contemporary mid-'70s sound, with mixed results. The live drumming adds a much-needed human spark to some otherwise humdrum programming. But the inorganic transition between Space and Space Rock is awkward, and his long solo on the big Moog sails at times very near the shoals of Wakemanesque tackiness.

"This record", wrote Schulze in the original LP notes, with a disarming lack of syntax, "opened another door I wanted to go through since years...the rock music." You would think he had more than enough of the rock music while in Ash Ra Tempel, or after the Cosmic Jokers debacle. And by 1976 that same door had long been open to an already crowded room full of synthesized rockers. But the end result was his biggest seller to date, perhaps because of its easy-on-the-ears simplicity and lack of otherworldly edge.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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