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Klaus Schulze - Audentity CD (album) cover

AUDENTITY

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.28 | 98 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Three songs on Audentity portend the future of Klaus Schulze's music, while three recall the past. (There's also a bonus track in the 2005 and subsequent CD reissues.*) The first two tracks on the reissue, "Spielglocken" and "Cellistica," are an indication of the streamlined, sequenced sound Schulze would pursue with Angst, his next studio album. The brief (5:48) "Tango-Saty," originally the album's second song, would also have fit on Angst.**

Meanwhile, "Sebastian im Traum" is a bit of a return to Moondawn-era Schulze (i.e., 1976); it sounds like "Mindphaser" to me. The pulsing "Opheylissem" and "Amourage," with its synth noodling over a rhythmless atmosphere, are throwbacks to Schulze's mid-1970s output. "Opheylissem," apparently named after the Belgian town, bears more than a passing resemblance to "Frank Herbert" (from X, 1978) and "Stardancer II" (Body Love 2, 1977). But none of these three really compares to those classics. First of all, Schulze had already produced plenty of music that sounded similar to "Sebastian im Traum," "Opheylissem," and "Amourage." Secondly, the sequencing seems to undergird and ground these pieces; earlier in his career, Schulze would trigger preprogrammed sequences during his longer pieces, making the sequencing appear secondary to the work as a whole.

It should also be pointed out that a drum machine is nothing more than a specialized sequencer. Whereas much of Angst works well with a drum machine, Schulze's 1970s work was designed with a live drummer in mind (excepting those songs without percussion). So the drum machine on a track like "Opheylissem" seems out of place. Indeed, Harald Großkopf, the drummer on many Schulze's best works is missed on Angst, although percussionist Michael Shrieve accompanies the drum machine on four of the tracks here.

So Audentity is a mixed bag. Roughly half of the pieces represent kind of a dry run for Angst, while the other half document several aspects of the artist's transition from analog to digital. I generally don't criticize the length of Schulze's albums, but here's a case where a single album would've almost certainly been better than a double. And oddly enough, it's also a case where Schulze took his time - - he recorded his prior album, Trancefer, in the summer of 1981, and did not begin recording Audentity until the fall of 1982.

Anyway, not a bad album, but an inconsistent one.

___

*The hourlong bonus track "Gem," which is comprised of four parts, is pretty good, especially the "Tiptoe on the Misty Mountain Tops" section, which is somewhat Angst-like.

**It's interesting, and beyond the scope of this review, that the sequence Schulze uses in the latter part of "Sebastian im Traum" is recycled as "Freeze" on Angst.

patrickq | 2/5 |

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