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Klaus Schulze

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Klaus Schulze Mirage album cover
4.27 | 372 ratings | 25 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Velvet Voyage (28:20) :
- a) 1984
- b) Aeronef
- c) Eclipse
- d) Exvasion
- e) Lucid Interspace
- f) Destination Vold
1. Crystal Lake (29:12) :
- a) Xylotones
- b) Chromwave
- c) Willowdreams
- d) Liquid Mirrors
- e) Springdance
- f) A Bientot

Total time 57:32

Bonus track on 2005 reissue:
3. In Cosa Crede Chi Non Crede? (19:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Schulze / ARP Odyssey & 2600, Minimoog, Micromoog, Polymoog, Moog CIIS, EMS Synthi A, Farfisa String Orchestra & Syntorchestra, PPG Synthi, Farfisa organ, Crumar keyboards, computer sequencer, Fx, producer

Releases information

LP Brain ‎- 60.040 (1977, Germany)

CD Thunderbolt ‎- CDTB 033 (1986, UK)
CD Revisited Rec. - REV 001 (2005, Germany) With a bonus track - complete version formerly unreleased of a soundtrack piece recorded six months prior to "Mirage"

Thanks to Fantômas for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KLAUS SCHULZE Mirage ratings distribution

(372 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KLAUS SCHULZE Mirage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
3 stars One of my favorite Schulze albums (not that I've heard them all; very few after 1980). What sets it apart from all the others? On the surface, it's not all that different from others released in the mid-70's. It's just that the sounds he uses and the composition overall seem more.... inspired. So many of his albums sound like "Part II" of whichever album came previously, but this one doesn't sound that close to any of the others I've heard from that period. I really only liked one side of the record much, but it was enough to make it a keeper. Nice liner notes, too, seeing the future of the world way back then...
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Klaus Schulze in highest form. "Mirage" defines a visionary music around mental pictures. This is experimental synth music featuring a vast gallery of different analog synth, non- modular Moog, Farfisa, Mellotron. The result is sumptuous and can be hardly described with words; a cerebral and emotional exploration throw time and space. "Velvet voyage" is a cosmic synth travel, starting with strange, weird electronic sounds to finally let the place to deep ethereal synth contrasts accompanied by a doom bass line.."Crystal lake" offers one of the most brilliant progressive electronic pieces I've heard: a celestial, repetitive dreamy melody comes to the light, covering a large part of the composition, totally hypnotizing. A wide range of abstract electronic sounds are progressively put into the mix to create a sophisticated "imaginary" music. Fascinating and unique! Klaus Schulze best analog synth album.

"Music is a dream without the isolation of sleep. In fact whilst listening to music, your ego is living. But your universal ego, your principle watchs of your self ego is taking a new level of participation, the dream is reality because your are living the dream and your dreams control your reality. The supreme reality is creativity (all kinds of art) which takes you back to your mental origins. The musical theory is perfection, sometimes never obtained. The concept is a mental reaction, the process of movement and change, the basis of mankind. Music is the background to a mental picture, but the exact interpretation must be made by the listener, hence the music is only half composed and the listener himself should attack the composition to gain a mental repercussion. The listener has to add the meaning. The principles of music are to make the listener powerful and happy to endure our dying planet like by using their own creativity and being aware of emotion."

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Klaus Schulze's seventh studio album has him going into uncharted territory in the electronic field. It's hard for me to write about this album because putting this album to words is very difficult. Here is an album that is completely unlike any other album I've listened to (besides other Schulze albums of this era) and here is an album that takes you on a voyage of the senses and an aural exploration of the inner workings of your mind (which are like many of his albums from this era). Schulze really seems to take his time on these albums and really elaborate and explore any musical theme he has to the fullest, and there lies the main problem with his album (in my opinion at least), is that at points you probably will feel bored. But besides that, it's ambient electronic music, what else would you expect?

The album opens with the 28 minute opus Velvet Voyage, which is essentially a voyage (pun intended) of electronic sounds and sparse instrumentation spaced brilliantly and performed at a rather leisurely pace. Slowly but surely layer upon layer of subtle keyboard is added. What I imagine when I listen to this song is being in some sort of desolate environment (like in the middle of the desert). It's the perfect mood and atmosphere and the keyboard soars and creates lush textures underneath to whining leads (which remind me a bit of Rick Wright's middle section in Echoes, only a bit more dramatic). The song goes through many different themes, tempos, moods, et cetera, but it all has one common thing, the atmopshere is tense and there are many moments of pure brilliance. However, that said, it does tend to drag, being it is 28 minutes long.

The second song of the album is the 29 minute Crystal Lake begins with an interesting bell sequence (with may be keyboard) that slowly becomes a bombastic and grandiose composition with layer upon layer of keyboards and sound effects slowly added on top to reach a glistening crescendo of synthesizers and droning (and sparse) bass synth notes. I'm quite fond of the middle section, in which the synthesizer lines have become fully realized and the bell sequence becomes the underlying theme over the synthesizer notes. And much like the opener, there are some certainly some sections that could have been cut out (not to mention some overly long sequences), but on the whole this is a fantastic track that really takes you on a second voyage.

As a bonus track for the reissue of this album, we are also treated with In Cosa Crede Chi Non Crede?, a near 20 minute track that further explores this type of atmosphere and sentiment. Beginning with a somewhat ominous organ motif, the piece evolves and reaches peaks and lows, but maintains an uneasy and desolate atmosphere. Schulze relies of some clicking percussions to keep an underlying beat underneath more anxious and lush orchestral sounding synthesizers. It's a nice addition to the album and really rounds off the cd on a high note.

Overall, Mirage may not be Klaus Schulze's best album (in my opinion at least), but it certainly is an interesting piece of work. His music is tough to describe, it is tough to put to words, but tehre is something about how his compositions seem to evolve and then regress, and then come to a crashing crescendo that reminds me somewhat of Post-Rock (although Schulze may be the farthest thing from Post-Rock). If you like lush atmospheric soundscapes in the vein of the more accessible Brian Eno works (Ambient 1 or Apollo), you'll find something to love with Klaus Schulze. Very fine effort indeed. 4/5.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Some thoughts in the liner notes from Klause : "...I wanted to do something completely different with "Mirage" and exclusively work with sound layers.This is somewhat the same as what I had done with "Irrlicht" back in 1972. With both records I had the idea to create a more abstract music in order to show in which direction my music could move in the future.The basic idea was was to create an electronic winter landscape. Now here I must also add that at that time my brother was dying,and I was in a very sombre mood which I think is reflected on "Mirage". The record also reflects themes such as Ice Age, Winter, stagnation and death. But that didn't really become clear to me until later because I had never made a record with a concept in mind beforehand. I would usually just start with a track and then let it develope out of itself. It's like writing a diary, you always write how you felt at that particular time. Looking back today I can absolutely tell you that every one of my albums mirrors how I felt then, and what I had in mind". Klause Schulze November 2004.

"Velvet Voyage" has some of the greatest moments in Klause's dicography. This is dark, cold and spacey. It gets quite eerie and tense 4 1/2 minutes in.The intensity and fear breaks after 6 1/2 minutes.This is an amazing soundscape. Unbelieveable.The haunting mood continues though and that hopeless feeling starts to return after 10 minutes.The cold sounds are just sweeping across the icy soundscape. It sounds so lonely here. After 13 minutes we get what sounds like light keys playing repetively while the solar winds continue to gust. Another sound joins in that could be farfisa organ.The last 2 minutes are very heavenly as it seems to fade into nothingness.

"Crystal Lake" opens with a cool synth melody, more synths arrive 3 minutes in. It gets even fuller 9 minutes in. The original synth melody stops 14 1/2 minutes in as waves of sound take over. It becomes haunting 16 minutes in and continues that way until the sound becomes intense as other synths join in around 24 minutes. It builds to a chaotic sound 28 minutes in until it ends.

This is one of my favs from Schulze, especially those dark, haunting soundscapes that appear on both tracks. Brilliant.

Review by Neu!mann
5 stars In the hierarchy of a solo career spanning nearly 40 years (so far), this 1977 effort stands alongside his earlier "Timewind" as maybe the most acclaimed and influential album ever released by electronic music guru Klaus Schulze. And even today, after decades of changes in musical taste and technology, it holds up remarkably well as a model of early electronic impressionism.

At the time, Schulze's fortune and reputation had already been assured by the international success of "Timewind" two years earlier. For proof you only need to scan his subsequent album covers, typically replacing the Dali-esque surrealism of Swiss artist Urs Amman with sleeve-filling portraits of Schulze himself. Or consider his vastly expanded arsenal of equipment, all of it proudly itemized inside the original gatefold cover (and, when reproduced for the 2005 CD booklet, filling an entire page in very small typeface).

The new album was, needless to say, another major leap forward in sophistication from the primitive organ and tape experiments of his embryonic, post-TANGERINE DREAM career. But in the typically chatty notes for the 2005 CD re-issue Schulze admits he planned it as a throwback to the more opaque soundscapes of his earliest recordings ("Irrlicht", "Cyborg"), dispensing with the live drum work that had energized his more contemporary "Moondawn" and "Body Love" albums.

You can perhaps hear the realization of that aim in the opening, icy abstractions of "Velvet Voyage", the first of two side-long (on vinyl) compositions here, clocking in at a typically generous 28+ minutes long. The layers of overlapping, atmospheric synthesizers recall some of PINK FLOYD's spacier digressions, in particular the cosmic seagull-and-surf effects from the song "Echoes", on their 1971 "Meddle" album.

But Schulze doesn't eliminate the beat entirely, allowing a more organic electronic pulse to gradually surface in the otherwise somber waves of sound. And the lively "Xylotones" intro to the 29+ minute "Crystal Lake" sounds very much like a more uncompromising version of the opening motif in MIKE OLDFIELD's celebrated "Tubular Bells" (on the original vinyl I always assumed "Crystal Lake" to be the first track of the album, and maybe it should have been).

"Mirage" could have become, like some of Schulze's earliest work ("Cyborg" immediately springs to mind), an exercise in bleak, synthetic detachment. Instead, the album was probably his richest and warmest to date, despite being subtitled 'eine elektronische winterlandschaft' and recorded in what must have been a mood of emotional uncertainty (the album is dedicated to Schulze's then-dying brother). And in the years since then it continues to inspire a generation of New Age electronic rip-offs, from copy-cat artists who maybe should have been listening more attentively thirty years ago.

Consumer postscript:

As usual, the Revisited Records CD re-issue is handsomely packaged, with essays and photos and a complimentary bonus track, in this case the oddly-titled 20-minute mood piece "In Cosa Crede Chi Non Crede (rough translation: "The Same or Not the Same". Blame Schulze's manager for such a disposable non-sequitur). The additional track was recorded six months prior to the album itself for the soundtrack to an unidentified Dutch film, but in retrospect it was clearly a rough draft of the same music, and thus provides a fitting epilogue to the album proper.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Schulze's third release in one year is by no means showing signs of weariness or rehashing older ideas. On Mirage, the sound palette and style has changed considerably compared to the previous albums and it is used to maximal effect. You won't hear many synth leads, improvised soloing or the low moog sequences that you are used to. Instead we get a very densely layered soundscape with a seemingly uncountable number of interweaving patterns that will slowly grow on you with each repeated listen. Schulze sure sets a new standard for 'lush' on his album! The entrancing beauty of Mirage is unsurpassed in Schulze's work and maybe even in electronic music as a whole. It sure isn't the most immediate Schulze album but I find it his very best.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The seventies were quite a wonderful decade for Klaus. So far, he released only very good to excellent albums (all four stars and plus in my rating) and this one is no other.

Some splendid travel indeed to the boundaries of electronic prog. How great can these sounds be! Magical my prog friends. I just reinforce here, that this artist should deserve much, much more attention on such a musical site. But I have written this already.

The first epic ("Velvet Voyage") conveys some truly poignant passages. Superb atmosphere, relaxing jewel. In one word: splendid. Doesn't need a hundred words to be described: one just need to listen and share the passion. It is as easy as that! Gorgeous and extremely melodic. What a nice voyage indeed! Such a delicate musical oeuvre. Exceptional.

The flip side is of less interest IMHHO. It all starts as a languishing and repetitive sort of "Tubular Bells" which finally evolves into better territories but this is rather weaker than the sublime "Velvet Voyage". Fortunately, it ends up into some brilliant orgy of keys which consulates me with this number.

This makes it quite easy in terms of rating: the masterpiece status for Voyage and three stars for "Crystal Lake". Total: four stars. Another excellent work performed by Klaus.

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To quickly recap, when we last left Schulze he was drumming for Ash Ra Tempel and working with Tangerine Dream on their first album. I guess the latter made an impression on him, because he has spent the rest of his career crafting intricate, long form electronic works that have a lot in common with TD. Mirage is no exception.

While I've only sampled a fraction of his massive discography, and everything I've heard so far has been good, this stands out as a high point for Schulze. It is subtitled "an electronic winter landscape" and it sure sounds it. I still can't figure out what the title "Mirage" and the horribly dtaed seventies cover art have to do with the music though. The album is divided into two sides, "Velvet Voyage" and "Crystal Lake," each running nearly a half hour. The are similar in structure, opening with chilly synth atmospherics drifting over slow and gloomy bass lines. After ten minutes or so of build up, Schulze busts out the sequencers and we are treated to a coldly beautiful rhythmic ostinato that devlops throughout the rest of the piece. While Schulze uses the same formula for both tracks, the melodies are distinct and they each have their own personality.

All of the sounds Schulze manages to tease from his synths are cold and distant sounding. There is none of the warmth or friendliness of something like "Autobahn." In places, the music is reminiscient of the best parts of "Phaedra" by Tangerine Dream, but Schulze has a longer attention span and is willing to stick with a single idea for a really long time to see what develops. On other albums, this tendency has at times proved somewhat tedious, but the material is strong enough here that it never gets old.

The 2005 reissue adds a an additional twenty minute bonus track, but it feels superfluous and does little except dillute the tightly focussed original album.

Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars Despite the bright and light-hearted album cover, the music this album contains is not cheerful. This is very dark and hauntingly beautiful progressive electronic music of the highest quality. Before this album, everyone knew that Schulze was a main figure in the electronic music industry, but this album put him on top above all else.

The album consists of two, nearly 30 minute journeys of sonic electro-soundscapes. The first 6 minutes of "Velvet Voyage" are loud and experimental drones and short resonances of celestial beauty, but is very dark in color and very noisy. From there is progresses, slowly but surely, adding new elements to the soundscape every few minutes until the mass density of the lead and bass synths give way to a slowing buzz that ends the voyage.

The first 7 minutes of "Crystal Lake" is a repetitive but effective synth line that draws you in, hypnotizing you, and the bass line eventually kicks in and sends your mind adrift on the icy cascades of glistening sound. Lightly used electronic zapping, also helps fill the sound through this first half of the track. Just after the half-way mark, a slow and dreary passage that recalls pastoral classical romanticism enters the frame, adding a little more variety to the mix.

Out of all of the progressive electronic albums floating around, this is without a doubt one of the biggest, loudest, fullest, and overall most satisfying of them all. If you're into progressive electronic and are looking for the best of the best, look no further than Mirage.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Welcome to the world of the few who came to believe that a side of vinyl could fit more than 18-20 minutes of music! With this 1975 release we see Klaus Schulze recreate himself and his vision as an artist with his first concept album. The results are mature and masterful--we've entered a new phase of Klaus' work: that of a master of craft--a craft that he and a few others were pioneering.

Side One: "Velvet Voyage" (28:28) is offers a sonic landscape that is stark, bleak, yet the music is constructed, to my ears, very similarly to a classical piece of music. The fact that there are no sequences or percussive sounds used to drive the music forward, that it's mostly done with a weave of individual, single note-playing keyboard instruments is what gives me that impression. Strings, winds, horns, and, yes, percussion instruments are magically replaced by electronically synthesized sounds. Remarkable. The second half of the song, in which the multi-instrumental fabric is full and at play, is my favorite part. I always find it weird that this weave begins to slowly fade into the background with over seven minutes yet remaining as gurgles, burbles, harpsichord, and Mellotron move out front with the soloing "cor anglais." The almost-cacophonous Mellotron dominance over the final two minutes is unsettling. I think I understand Klaus despondent mood while composing/recording this. (9/10)

Side Two: "Crystal Lake" (29:16) opens with a slowly emerging and developing sequence of "bell" arpeggi into which Klaus feeds other sounds and sequences. The bass-heralded shift at 4:40 is awesome! Such a surprise. The sequences awesomely alternate and shift into other chords over the next three minutes as Klaus keeps us in suspense with each and every new shift. At the end of the eighth minute a new horn-like synth brings in a spritely new "lead" instrument to distract us. More and increasingly quicker shifts, now supported by an accompanying bass line, exert some new tension into the song during the twelfth through fifteenth minutes. Thereafter the mid- and upper-range sounds fade out leaving low end sounds to dominate until a synth wash and Arp-like synth leads in the high end upper registers. In the nineteenth minute a high-end "tingling" sequence and Mellotron male (and later female) voices join in giving the song an interrupted, floundering feel, like an interlude. Soon a new tapestry of sound is constructed with a different set of sequences woven into the foundation while Arp does the soloing over the top. A perfect display of the power and breadth of the Berlin School apparatus. (10/10)

While I like Berlin School music that uses sequences as Klaus does on Side Two more than I do the airy, feathery effect of the first half of "Velvet Voyage," I understand the value others place on this album as a whole. Klaus took a step--a big step--out of his previous patterns with this one and the world is a much better place for it (for the reason of all of his output after this).

A five star masterpiece; a shining example of the potential realized for this new musical form.

Review by Warthur
5 stars After test driving his cool, sleek, proto-cyberpunk sound on Moondawn and the Body Love albums, Klaus Schulze presented an absolutely perfect album in this style with the magnificent Mirage. Relying almost completely on analogue synths, Klaus creates a futuristic atmosphere in which the creepy undertones of Cyborg are substituted for a more relaxing and calming mood. Raising the bar for electronic music yet again, with this album Klaus opened up a lead between himself and Tangerine Dream, who had previously been neck-and-neck with him when it came to pioneering this particular strand of electronic music - it's simply better than Tangerine Dream's material from around this point of time by a fair way.
Review by Zitro
5 stars Schulze's "Mirage" is an electronic new age masterwork from the mid-70s with crystal clear sound, rich layering of analogue instrumentation, and minimalistic dynamics. These elements work together to provide you ultimate relaxation.

"Velvet Voyage" is a timeless piece of art, among the most beautiful in the genre. The mysterious, avant-garde synthesizers drift you off to a dream-like wintry (or cosmic) soundscape throughout the rest of the song driven by multiple layers of choir mellotrons, pulsing synthesizer loop, repetitive delicate keys, and ambient moog synthesizer improvisations. All of these elements are brilliant by themselves, transcendental when mixed together. The track, despite half an hour in length, does not overstay its welcome at all. It also does not have any moments that would break the delicate, quiet mood that help relax listeners' minds. I perceive it to be a rare perfect composition.

"Crystal Lake" continues the theme of winter and the sequence of bells and vibraphones conjure images of a desolate frozen lake. After a few minutes, thick buzzing synthesizers begin cutting through the thick bell sequence and a third layer plays in the background, adding a needed element to the first themes. I do find these first eight minutes repetitive and somewhat dated when I am not in the mood: the issue is that the pace is a bit more energetic and the themes are more upfront and less intertwined. Luckily, the extended ambient rhythm-less section that lingers for over ten minutes is stunningly beautiful. The music eventually develops into a culmination that involves variations of the themes from both tracks, including the gorgeous keys from "Velvet Voyage" and the dense mellotron layers. The end of the synthesizer solo can give me chills: it is that powerful.

This album is recommendable to anyone who can enjoy any forms of slow-paced minimalistic music. It is the album that helped me discover the good side of electronic and new age music. While the only thing that is connected to 'prog' in here is the heavy use of mellotron, "Velvet Voyage" (and possibly Crystal Lake) should find many fans within this website which provides the full track for streaming.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The music of Klaus Schulze slowly grew on me with an avid interest in Kraut and electronica. I was introduced to his inimitable style with "Mirage" and what an introduction, laced with a tapestry of analogue synth; a dance of Farfisa, Moog and Mellotron. There are a sequenced suite of movements in the piece; '1984 / Aeronef/ Eclipse / Evasion / Lucid Interspace / Destinati'. The icy cold glacial soundscapes are hypnotising and calming to the senses. The celestial beauty of solar winds blowing over icy planets is an image that is conjured by this mesmirising ambience. Far more intriguing and compelling than Tangerine Dream, the music howls through the mind and creates dense atmospheres of haunting dreamy cognizance. As the opener 'Velvet Voyage' builds in intensity I felt drawn into the music like a starship caught in the gravitational pull of a black hole. The lush synthetic beauty is intoxicating and I felt some strong emotions; the serenity and peace of daydreams encapsulates, and I can only shake my head in awe and wipe away a tear as the music envelops my world. The howling at the end fades into oblivion and we are left in the stillness of silence. After such a powerful opening I was looking forward to a different feel on side two.

The masterful ambience continues with 'Crystal Lake' on the flipside of the vinyl. This one is also lengthy taking up the full vinyl side and is presented in a suite of stages; 'Xylotones/Chromewaves/Willow Dreams/Liquid Mirrors/Springdance & A Biento'. At the opening crystalline snowflakes fall from out of a solar star streaked sky. The music locks into a rhythm of chimes and tubular bells. Finally a synth bass sound drops into the frame and the rhythm changes into a new hypnotic melody. I like the way it changes key so patiently several times. At 14:22 the droplets of synth fade out and we are left with bass heavy synths and spacey ambience. The album is dripping with analogue sounds, a ballet of electronic soundwaves. The layers of abstract keyboard waves are an effective sound to conjure images of wintery icecaps looming amidst sleet sheets raining down on glacial mountains. At this point in the album I am transfixed by the splendour of layers of synth, and dark atmospheres. Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre spring to mind but Schulze has a density to the soundscape that is superior to my ears. He does not go for swathes of synth variation but focuses on a theme and melody and then operates around this as a framework to build a thick intensity. At 20 minutes in there is an organic liquid sound of lush Moog flourishes. Towards the end a bell chiming sound vibrates over the mellotron dance and captivates in its crystalline passages. This 70s album is surely the pinnacle of the genius of Klaus Schulze.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Released in between the two porn soundtracks for Body Love, Mirage is Klaus' most critically acclaimed album next to Timewind. Like that album there is no drums or percussion here. One of the reasons why there may be no drums here is that when this album was being recorded in early 1977, Klaus' brother Hans Dieter died of cancer. He taught Klaus how to play drums and Mirage is dedicated to him. The death of his brother, who was an idol to him, most likely had an effect on why this album sounds so cold and moody. Granted, Schulze rarely made music that you made you want to smile and tap your feet, but on Mirage there is a detached, icy winter-like feel that sounds even more gloomy for Klaus than usual. Generally the music here is ambient and New Age-y with some symphonic elements.

The first track "Velvet Voyage" you can listen to in it's entirety on PA. I feel it's the weaker of the two pieces and is not a great introduction for somebody who has never heard the music of KS before. The version on the latest CD release is slightly different to earlier versions. It starts out very quiet with sounds that resemble the 'seagulls' in Floyd's "Echoes." Almost sounds like the soundtrack to a scary movie for awhile. Slowly it morphs into more sci-fi sounding territory - spacey yet soothing. Then it settles into more of a New Age vibe. Around halfway the music becomes both more spacey and symphonic, almost hypnotic at times. Klaus eventually starts to solo over the hypnotic sequencer pattern. It basically stays this way until the end when you get more hypnotic sequencer and choir-like sounds. Very spacey conclusion.

"Crystal Lake" is the more interesting of the two tracks. A bell-like sequencer pattern lays the foundation for other keyboards to pile on top of it. Starting before 5 minutes the sequencer pattern keeps getting transposed back and forth to different keys. The music now is symphonic and dramatic and Klaus does some soloing. As he solos the music becomes less tense as it floats along. Later the sequencer pattern gets transposed back and forth again. Gets more New Age-y in the middle. Some icy sequencers sparkle as the music becomes more spacey. Klaus does some soloing as the music gets more subtle. Things get spacier as Mr. Schulze does some spacey soloing and a hypnotic sequencer line appears. The track ends this way with choir-like sounds being added.

I'm not a big a fan of Mirage as some people are. While better than the majority of what he did after X, it's not as strong as the previous three albums or even the first two. I also don't think it is a great place to start with this man's music. Newbies should go for Timewind or Moondawn instead. Mirage is a good album but it's not exactly typical of his style or is the most interesting thing he has done. My final verdict would be a 3.5 but I don't feel this is strong enough an album to deserve 4 stars. So 3 stars it is.

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars Probably the peak in Schulze's entire career. This is one of those albums where everything just fell into place effortlessly and sounds simpy beautiful. He was around in the right time and the right place, using the analogue technology he'd built up during the previous five years. That's how long it took him to finally release a faultless, perfect electronic album.

If you can skip past the frankly awful "Childrens's Art Contest' sleeve you could be in for a treat here. 'Mirage' is precise in execution of choice of keyboards. Schulze certainly knew exactly what finished product he wanted here.

'Mirage' is quite similar to 'Timewind' from two years earlier - which itself is a super album. Here though - the results just sound far more complete and accomplished with less 'noodling'. This is a very smooth and polished instrumental electronic recording with every bloop and bleep carefully inserted into the score. There's no hurry or urgency - things just develop at their own pace in huge waves of analogue electronic sound.

I just love those old 70's Berlin recordings . They're copied unashamedly today by the likes of 'Redshift', 'Free System Project' and 'Radio Massacre International' - all of which sound remarkably like 'Mirage'. They even use the same equipment to try and recapture that realism that digital technology fails to do.

A beautiful, clean cut and precise album which sits comfortably alongside 'Ricochet' and 'Rubycon' but without the heavy arpeggiator sound of 'Tangerine Dream'. 'Mirage' is probably more aesthetically pleasing and can be played late at night without neighbours banging and shouting in complaint.

One of the last great analogue electronic albums that more than matches Tangerine Dream circa 74-76.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars

. . . incoming transmission - - incoming transmission - - incomi . . .

date: Unknown

parsec interval: .000007

vector: Unknown

day 7, semisolar - Fading. Power supply dwindling. Soundwave patterns persist. No known source. Natural, unnatural... both at same time. Almost human. Even forgiving, yielding. Is this death? Is this sound? Is sound death? Are moments of such peace; such delicacy and grace; but also menace. I hear bells.

day 8, semisolar - A taking of souls by unrighteous means. You have no right. But I am a free man. Twisting, distending. I live.

day 9, semisolar - ::: >`bd+\y\l ^ ;;;

. . . end transmission - - end transmission -- en . . .

Review by Modrigue
3 stars Do mirages exist in frozen lands?

3.5 stars

Subtitled 'An electronic winter landscape', this seventh album from Klaus Schulze is dedicated to his big brother Hans-Dieter, who taught him drumming and just died shortly before. The least we can say is that all these points are reflected in the music. Although the German pioneer deploys an impressive amount of various electronic devices here, this sonic research does not extend the futuristic and melodic approach previously adopted on "Body Love", or even "Moondawn". No Harald Grosskopf here, so no percussive elements either. The two 30 minutes compositions are atmospheric, static, like on "Timewind". However, instead of the oneiric and surrealistic soundscapes of the 1975 opus, "Mirage" proposes a musical trip to far away icy soundscapes, frozen for eternity, out of time, crystalline and melancholic. The track contain six sections each, but they're difficulty distinguishable from one to another.

The ambient and gloomy opening of "Velvet Voyage" resembles the 'screams' part of PINK FLOYD's "Echoes Part 2". Like "Wahnfried 1883", there are almost no sequences, but rather slow stretched and depressive waves, even taking us back to the "kozmische musik" years at times. The contemplative ending is great. A cold beauty, however a bit too imposing.

The highlight of the record is the superb "Crystal Lake", which perfectly carries its name. A dreamy and crystalline painting with unique bells sonorities. The middle section is melancholic, sad, and even a little mystic. Then the 'bells' sequence returns. Undoubtedly Schulze's iciest composition. For me, the lake is located underground, in some mysterious crystal cave, reflecting every entering murmur.

With "Mirage", the German artist proposes something different and goes one step further. Considered by some fans as his summit, I find this seventh opus slightly overrated though, mainly due to "Velvet Voyage". But I adore "Crystal Lake". Nonetheless, this album remains one of his most original, personal, majestic, and definitely his most depressive.

Do not expect futuristic or lively music here. "Mirage" is a disc to listen to when you're in a particular mood, melancholic, looking at the snow fall through the window at the winter...

Review by Progfan97402
5 stars Klaus Schulze released no less than 3 albums in 1977, Body Love Vol. 1, Mirage, and Body Love Vol. 2. Since the other two were soundtracks, Mirage was the only non-album soundtrack album he did that year. This one emphasizes the more calm and sedate side of him, with rather low key use of sequencers when they are utilized. It would be very difficult to deny this album has a huge impact on an obscure French musician named Serge Lefosse, who recorded as Serge Ramses, and released an album in 1978 called Secret on RCA. That album has a similar feel and vibe but was quite a bit shorter. Anyways back to Mirage, "Velvet Voyage"is completely sequencer free, concentrating on synth soundscapes. It's not too terribly different from the more calm and sedate moments of the Body Love albums or even Timewind. "Crystal Lake" features low key use of sequencers but the middle part is free of sequencers. Whatever the case this is without a doubt a high point in the career of Schulze, and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. This album is simple required in your collection.
Review by patrickq
5 stars Mirage is comprised of two similar and complimentary tracks, "Velvet Voyage" and "Crystal Lake."

The first twelve minutes of "Velvet Voyage ✔︎ is a series of synthesizer-pad chords whose durations generally decrease and whose tones grow more complex. A lonely lead synth plays an occasional note as the dissonance slowly increases. A sequencer fades in during the thirteenth minute, partially obscuring the chords and white noise. Eventually a lead synth moves toward the surface as the presence of the now-established sequence can be maintained even though it has moved back in the mix. Twenty minutes in, the lead synth has become more insistent, its notes having become shorter. This state continues for several minutes as the sequence gradually regains its place in the mix, then fades as the end of the track approaches. Soon the listener is left with synth pads and noise, which degrade over the last half-minute. It's only in the last two minutes of "Velvet Voyage" that the changes happen quickly enough to be obvious.

"Crystal Lake" begins with a sequencer pattern similar to the one in "Velvet Voyage." In fact, I get the sense that "Crystal Lake" is like experiencing the same phenomenon as "Velvet Voyage," but from an entirely different vantage. At 4:37, the sequence shifts to a higher key. This happens again at 5:10 and 5:28. Most of this time Schulze is improvising on a lead synth which follows the key changes. At 5:57 the sequencer returns to a prior state, where it stays until it fades slowly during the song's thirteenth minute. Around ten minutes later, it fades back in and eventually disappears into the cacophony of the song's last half-minute. The middle section of "Crystal Lake" is a darkly ethereal "dry ice" movement that suggests shapes moving under the moonlit ice of the titular body of water.

The bonus track on the recent remasters, "Cosa Crede Chi Non Crede?" is a variation of part of "Velvet Voyage." It extends the album by almost twenty minutes, further strengthening the sense of cohesiveness across the record.

Mirage is the most elemental of Schulze's three 1977 releases. Despite its relative lack of variation - - the same essential ideas are restated, revised, and recapitulated on the same instruments for fifty-eight minutes, not counting the bonus track - - it is also the strongest of the three. It creates and sustains an ostensible serenity that's vaguely unsettling. It wasn't a surprise to find out that Schulze created this work as his brother was dying. It is not a feel-good album, but it certainly isn't nightmarish. In a sense, it seems to represent a stark acceptance of death.

It also wasn't surprising to discover that Schulze subtitled the album An Electronic Winter Landscape. It's a cold album, both emotionally and sonically.

But it's a great album. With Picture Music and X, Mirage is one of Schulze's best. There are no weak passages on Mirage. Each section seems well-placed, each transition sensible. In addition to the high quality of the composition, the sound is also superb. In short: a highly recommended album, and a masterpiece of progressive-electronic music.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Klaus Schulze's 70s albums are nothing short of amazing. All navigating around the realms of Electronic, ambient, and space music, Klaus Schulze has released has released many albums that were incredibly influential to the electronic music scene as they were also quite enjoyable. Mirage is my ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#1309436) | Posted by Imperial Zeppelin | Sunday, November 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars For relaxation purposes only! This is my second review of Klaus Schulze. The first one was the Blackdance, which did really convinced me of the talent and devotion of this master in synths. This second record was a bit of a drawback in my opinion. It's less dark and more neutral in it's sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#655320) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, March 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the liner notes, Klaus mentions that he wanted to create an "electronic winter landscape". Listening to this album in my car one winter afternoon, with dark clouds hanging low and a fierce wind blowing snow across the road and the empty fields around me, I had to admit he had succeeded totall ... (read more)

Report this review (#553297) | Posted by infandous | Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My first ever Klaus Schulze album, and it was a pretty good one, i understand that this is not everybodys music, most whuld proboboy describe this as background music. Its 2 long almost 30min pieces of reapted sounds that dont go anywhere realy it will give you pictures of ice and snow in your h ... (read more)

Report this review (#173894) | Posted by Zargus | Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A piece of music can never be too long; certain attention spans can only be too short. Klaus Schulze has created an immense array of unique and beautiful albums, but this one takes the prize. Mirage is one of the timeless achievements of humanity, one which survives through years and years of rig ... (read more)

Report this review (#161817) | Posted by Eastern Lights | Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The album has two long -scale compositions. One is slow and misterious. Based on long continuous glissandos, and very subtle rhythmic sequences. The other is based on a pattern early on turns out to be polyrhythmic. The piece raises slowly into a climax, with a pause (very typical of KS) and e ... (read more)

Report this review (#34990) | Posted by Paco DelCaos | Tuesday, May 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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