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Klaus Schulze - Dziekuje Poland (with Rainer Bloss) CD (album) cover


Klaus Schulze


Progressive Electronic

2.69 | 47 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars I'm pretty stingy with five-star ratings, having awarded fewer than twenty. Four of these I've given to Klaus Schulze (for Picture Music (1975), Mirage, Body Love 2 (both 1977), and X (1978)). Among my favorite progressive-music artists, Schulze is second only to Yes. Maybe that's why I consider Dziękuję Poland: Live '83 to be a one-star album - - perhaps I have higher expectations of Schulze than of other artists. Either way, I just can't get into an album of two synthesizer players (Rainer Bloss and Schulze) playing along to prerecorded tracks.

There are six live tracks recorded in 1983.* "Dziękuję" ("thank you") is a six-minute improv which is mainly Schulze addressing the crowd. Three others are songs from Audentity: "Tango-Saty" (called "Warsaw" here) and two versions of "Spielglocken" ("Katowice" and "Dzin Dobry!," the latter appearing as a bonus track on releases since 2006). "Gdansk," seems to be a radical reworking of "Cellistica," also from Audentity. Finally, there's also a version of "Ludwig II. Von Bayern" (from X) called "Lodz." And "Lodz" is a perfect exemplar for this album. "Ludwig II. Von Bayern" is my favorite Schulze song, and you might think I'd appreciate Schulze taking a shot at a live version. Actually, he had done so five years earlier in the form of "Objet D'Louis," now included as bonus track on newer releases of X. That version featured a string orchestra, and it didn't really work. But while "Objet D'Louis" pales in comparison to the original, it is still a live rendition of "Ludwig II. von Bayern." "Lodz," on the other hand, has the performers playing along to the orchestral backing tape, except for the passages when it's just the tape playing. The same can be said of "Warsaw," "Katowice," "Dzin Dobry!," and to some extent, "Gdansk" - - i.e., just about the entire album.

I have one other complaint: until 2006, Dziękuję Poland: Live '83 had the names of both performers on the cover: Schulze and Bloss. The artwork was changed to remove Bloss's name, although he's given his due in the liner notes. Why the historical revision? What changed between 1983 and 2006 to reduce Bloss's worthiness?

To be fair, based on the liner notes, the concert tour documented on Dziękuję Poland is of historical significance; as you can tell by the date, Schulze and Bloss were performing in the Eastern Bloc, behind the proverbial Iron Curtain, in Poland. In fact, Poland was still under a period of martial law when the concerts were given: General Jaruzelski declared on December 13, 1981, "I declare, that today the Military Council of National Salvation has been formed. In accordance with the Constitution, the State Council has imposed martial law all over the country." As it turns out, the legislature later deemed this unconstitutional, but what else is new? Anyway, martial law was lifted on July 22, 1983; the ten Schulze-Bloss concerts were held from July 1 to July 10 in eight cities across the country, although they had been planned in advance of this. To put this on a timeline, The Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność" (Labor Union "Solidarity") movement began in September 1980, and a year later one out of every three working-age citizen was a member (you can see why martial law was declared when it was). But "semi-free" elections weren't held until June 1989. So yeah, this concert tour is notable.

But the music's not. Retailing at around $22, Dziękuję Poland: Live '83 is not cheap, yet it adds very little to the collection of a Schulze fan who already owns Audentity and X, each also a two-CD set selling for around the same price. Only for die-hards or for those with an interest in or connection to Poland in the 1980s.

*There's also a studio bonus track, "The Hip-Hop Midas Touch," recorded in either 1984 or 1985.

patrickq | 1/5 |


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