- Date : 2019 // 20.01.2023
- Package : CD Digipack // CD Jewel Case Box
- Running Time CD 1 : 77:55
- Running Time CD 2 : 76:37
- Running Time CD 3 : 79:29
Klaus Schulze – La Vie Electronique Vol. 3
Re-issue of Klaus Schulze’s successful “La Vie Electronique series”
“La Vie Electronique” first was published as a strictly limited 50 CD-Box and later it was released in chronological order in 3CD-sets including some material never released before.
Do Synthesists Dream of Electric Bleeps?
Thanks to volumes like this one, no longer can newcomers (or even diehard enthusiasts) desiring Klaus Schulze’s music use the excuse of its unavailability to deny themselves the pleasure of experience. Already, the glut of this singular musician’s back catalog has been revived in full, beautifully reissued and repackaged; all of his original, notoriously hard-to-find (well, at least for those of us living on the other side of the Atlantic pond) recordings, most containing additional tracks, are now easily obtainable, and instantly collectable. The ear can become reacquainted with the vast expanse of Schulze music from its earliest beginnings right up and into its modern incarnations, robust with the now-patented lengthy irises, numerous kaleidoscopic events, and still-innovative breadth of tonalities that have become the artist’s stock-in-trade.
Despite the music’s technological carbon dating, there’s nary a wasted sequence, motif, or idea throughout; some of Schulze’s exploratory beginnings are in fact witnessed in full bloom. This, the third volume culled from the original massive Schulze boxset Ultimate Edition, represents much of the artist in a live setting, featuring many an improvised piece in addition to his site-specific epic undertakings. Trading the dry air of the studio temporarily for the manifest rush of live performance always seemed to evoke great drafts of creativity in Schulze that continues unabated to this day. Certainly, there’s no doubt that being able to slowly unwind your ideas in the comfort of the studio and its massive banks of electronic equipment naturally informs the very font of creation. But on stage, Schulze, whether bringing readymade ideas to the party or working it out right there on the fly, seems to channel the latent energy of a live gathering directly into his viscera, the resulting electricity splayed out in to the audience in great zaps of molten synthetic energy. Schulze’s work, like most musicians, wasn’t always forged in studio isolation; across the wealth of his catalog, many of his grand statements were recorded right on the front lines of many a chosen performance space.
A good portion of this three CD set well-illustrates Schulze working his otherworldly mojo out in the limelight. What is it about the pulsing cascade of interlocked synthesizer keystrokes that make for such enthralling listening? Though his music can scarcely be labeled “minimalist”,- much of the same mantra-like hypnotism that buttresses his music shares more literal definitions of the style. The two half hour-plus works that nearly inform the totality of CD One (in addition to the zoological sequencer figures that temper “Well Roared Lion!”) are prime explorations into the metallic voids of mid-70s synthesizers and the science-fictional worlds they evoke. The interstellar winds blowing through “Alles ist Gut” could have soundtracked any legion of futurist troopers dispatched by starships; many of Schulze’s superbly crafted pulses and arcane tautologies sometimes reincarnate soundcrafters like Louis and Bebe Barron or Oskar Sala. Allowing his pieces to unfold in studious, gradual, supple manners is to get wholly lost in the sound’s virtual imaginarium, whether it’s sinking deep into darkening, velvety atmospheres or thrust headlong into a pretzel logic of notes.
Considering the shelf date of these works, what makes their impact even more extraordinary is that in spite of being created by the instruments of their day, Schulze’s deft hand still engenders in them an utter contemporaneity. Now that analogue synthesis and formerly “ancient” rhythm programming has been enjoying something of a modern renaissance (by both enthusiast and musician alike), Schulze’s expansive sonic architecture is suddenly in vogue. Not that he’s a man content to rest on his laurels: recent works such as “Moonlake” and 2007’s “Kontinuum” flex ingrained methodologies to exercise new wrinkles out of his system. Those recordings maximized the limitless potential of his digital arsenal, an extension of the sampling techniques he has mastered to galvanizing effect over the last 10-plus years, but somehow the “purity” of his earlier analogue experiments not only hold his recorded corpus in better stead, it bespeaks of an imagistic vitality that’s hardly diminished decades down the road.
Immersing oneself wholecloth into the coiling sequencer workout of CD Three’s sole live track, “Zeichen meines Lebens”, with its starshine dazzle, rocket thruster boost, and serpentine trajectory suggests nothing less than circuitry thrust into maximum overdrive by the mad synthesist hovering over his mainframe. This image persists in photos of Schulze of the period: setting his controls for the heart of the sun, he often looks like the penultimate air traffic controller, balancing incoming/outgoing sonic cargo with a poised hand and finely attuned muse. Consider the supernatural phantasy that imbibe “Fourneau Cosmique”, or the deepcore event horizons glimpsed throughout the aforementioned “Zeichen”, and it’s not difficult to understand where in fact the origins of “spacemusic” (rather than the horrid appellation “krautrock”) arose in both genre and concept.
This is by no means negating the importance, relevance, and sheer wealth of invention on display throughout this set’s included studio pieces. Extracted (like all the music collated for this current set of reissues) from the massive (and long out-of-print) collections Historic Edition, Jubilee Edition, and the original Ultimate Edition 50-CD opus, CD Three’s five studio works also originate from Schulze’s mid-70s ”golden era”. Though part and parcel with the set’s then-burgeoning syncopations, they nevertheless provide glimpses into some of Schulze’s future directions. So, although heavily vested in the electronic vocabularies of its period, tracks such as “Semper idem” and “Wann soll man springen?” actually embrace strongly the “classical” foundation on which Schulze insists his works are built upon. In the yards of oscillating patterns and vaulting textures can be discerned where Schulze would later avail himself to the wonders of digital sampling, springboards from which he would eventually devise some of the most different and difficult music of his storied career. A far cry indeed from his days as the “drummer” with Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel, yes, but those formulative years spent at the traps led to a seemingly inexhaustive vortex of ideas wrestled deep from the silicon innards of his trusty machines.
Alles ist gut
- I ScentThe Morning Air 08:17
- Le roi s’amuse 21:45
- The Rest Is Silence 06:15
- Well roared, Lion 09:20
Der blaue Glaube
- La vida es sueno 08:40
- Tant de bruit pour une omelette 23:35
CD 1 total: 77:55
- Allumer 18:32
- Luer 07:05
- Die lebendige Spur 12:44
Der Lauf der Dinge
- Tutto va bene 10:16
- You Don’t Have To Win 10:27
CD 2 total: 76:37
Zeichen meines Lebens
- Für Vaterland und Menschenfresser 07:17
- Paternoster 07:02
- Es war ein Sonnenstrahl 12:25
- Il dolce dar niente 05:25
- Semper idem 11:37
- Wann soll man springen? 15:06
- Experimentelle Bagatelle 04:11
- Kurzes Stück im alten Stil 07:01
- Gewitter 09:21
CD 3 total: 79:29
CD1+2+3 total: 234:01