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Klaus Krüger - Collection CD (album) cover


Klaus Krüger


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Who is Klaus Krüger? "Ich bin Ein Berliner" are words attributed to John F. Kennedy but they are quite a propos here, as Berlin was the center of the electronic music phenomenon that spawned Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel and Klaus Schulze. Drummer and electronic music pioneer with the Dream and polar opposite in a way with Iggy Pop (during Bowie's fabled Berlin period), Krüger certainly brings some pretty odd textures and sounds to this impressive " collection", recorded at Chris Franke's studio and features Manuel Göttsching on guitars , as well as a few lesser known contributors. The music herein is actually quite removed from the sweeping cinematographic epics that Tangerine Dream were famous for, instead opting for an avant-garde canvas of various effects, both percussive and electronic in nature as well as multiple tapes, voices, dripping faucets etc.In fact, it is actually closer to the Düsseldorf School that sired Can, Cluster, Neu and the robotic Kraftwerk.

"Clever Girl" has spoken word English with that repetitive German -accented "Klevah Guhrl" with increasing hysteria within the translucent drones. The brilliant "In the Meantime" is a moodier piece with shuffling train track noises similar to Trans Europ Express, a repetitive bass synth motif with a monotone female drone and a surprising "out of nowhere" sax blast that is both soothing and disconcerting. A deliciously devilish piano solo drivels over unannounced as the sax flees the scene, oblivious to the crime, adding even more somber reflection. Both "Piece A" and "Piece B" are short but genial percussive interludes that are unsettling and dissonant, the second with some superb wobbly bass synth noodlings and sprightly Moog modules that recreate the sound of the jungle. "Disziplin" is a 9 minute extended affair that searches out new territories, the real drums and percussion giving a definitely more organic feel while at the same time stretching into bizarre tones and intense sonics. This is no easy listening backwash or muzak. In fact, there is an underlying gruesome sensation that manages to keep the listener somewhat off-guard. The avian synthesizer warbles are spellbinding and unyielding, creating an imaginary world that is interestingly both austere and laissez-faire. The female spoken word makes a return adding even more enigma, egged along by the militaristic beat. "Suchen" is like a quirky Ultravox (Vienna period) track gone haywire, pummeling along then stop-starting for no apparent reason. Very cool, pity it lasts only 2 minutes and change! "Hektik" is another spurt that highlights the "mekanikal" drums and percussion, the title says it all. "Deutschland" is the next longer opus clocking in at 6 minutes, a musical accolade to their native Germany with a surprising amount of gentle serenity that caught me off guard as I was expecting some booming Wagnerian meisterwerk. The musical onus is clearly on the brighter future rather than the somewhat thorny past, a frequent occurrence among artists in post-war Germany. This is another highlight that begs for a wider audience as the orchestrations are rather clever and inspirational. A supremely restrained guitar flight adorns this seminal piece. The closest comparison is a more laid back Yello without the goofy vocals. "Motorik" is almost Kraftwerkian in scope, a nearly 4 minute modern rhythmic romp that exudes robotics, automation and computerization. The lower register synth work is invigorating. "Marokko" portrays the North African spirit with lush taped effects, idiosyncratic patterns, scorched "de rigueur" percussives and arid drums that all conspire to create a tropical effect of bewildering animation yet parched abandon. "Finale" ends (pretty eloquent there, you oxy-moron!) with a electro-goodbye, droning synths, gongs, wind and scratching static.

All in all, a surprising collection of electronic jewels that vastly diverges from the accepted norm, boldly daring to explore new sounds and creating otherworldly textures. Refreshing, ultra-modern and ausgezeichnet.

4.5 Unter den Lindens

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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