Blackdance is one of Klaus Schulze's early albums. The tempo changes are smooth and sure and the sequences are varied — some are deep and strong, others are long on atmosphere. Schulze mixes these elements seamlessly with experimental timbres and spatial textures. He adds an organ drone to give the disc a Baroque attitude and sinister overtones. This is more atmospheric than most of his albums. (Unknown reviewer)
|Born||August 4, 1947 (1947-08-04)|
|Genres||Electronic music |
New Age music
|Labels||Ohr Records |
|Associated acts||Tangerine Dream |
Ash Ra Tempel
Klaus Schulze (born August 4, 1947) is a German electronic music composer and musician. He also used the alias Richard Wahnfried. He was briefly a member of the electronic bands Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel before launching a solo career consisting of more than 50 albums (more than 140 CDs) lasting over 3 decades.
In 1969, Klaus Schulze was the drummer of one of the early incarnations of Tangerine Dream for their debut album Electronic Meditation. In 1970 he left this group to form Ash Ra Tempel with Manuel Göttsching. In 1971, he chose again to leave a newly-formed group after only one album, this time to mount a solo career. In 1972, Schulze released his debut album Irrlicht with organ and a recording of an orchestra filtered almost beyond recognition. Despite the lack of synthesizers, this proto-ambient work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music. The follow up, Cyborg, was similar but added the EMS Synthi A synthesizer.
Since this point, Schulze's career has been most prolific, and he can now claim more than 40 original albums to his name since Irrlicht. Highlights of these include 1976's Moondawn (his first album to feature the Moog modular synthesizer), 1979's Dune, and 1995's double-album In Blue (which featured one long track with electric guitar contributions from his friend Manuel Göttsching of Ash Ra Tempel). Schulze often takes German events as a starting point for his compositions, a notable example being on his 1978 album X (the title signifying it was his tenth album), subtitled "Six Musical Biographies", a reference to such notables as Ludwig II of Bavaria, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. His use of the pseudonym Richard Wahnfried is indicative of his interest in Richard Wagner, a clear influence on other albums, such as Timewind.
Throughout the 1970s he followed closely in the footsteps of Tangerine Dream, albeit with far lighter sequencer lines and a more reflective, dreamy edge, not unlike the ambient music of his contemporary Brian Eno. It is to be noted that some of his lighter albums are appreciated by New Age music fans, despite the fact that Schulze has always denied connections to this genre.
Klaus Schulze had a more organic sound than other electronic artists of the time. Often he would throw in decidedly non-electronic sounds such as acoustic guitar and a male operatic voice in Blackdance, or a cello in Dune and Trancefer. Schulze developed a Minimoog technique that sounds uncannily like an electric guitar, which is quite impressive in concert.
In the 1980s Schulze moved from analog to digital instruments, and his work accordingly became less experimental and more accessible. Although the switch to purely digital recording and instruments is evident in the style of Dig It (1980) It was not until the release of Trancefer (1981) that the shift in style became evident. Trancefer was far more obviously reliant on sequencers than previous recordings, and the resultant effect transformed Schulze's style from gentle melodic journeys to an ever-growing crescendo of music consisting of multi-layered rhythmical passages. This is particularly evident in the Trancefer's first track "A few moments after Trancefer", although the second track "Silent Running" is more reminiscent of Schulze's earlier works.
This newer style can also be found in Schulze's next release Audentity. Both "Cellistica" and "Spielglocken" are composed in a similar, sequencer based, style as Trancefer, but this is certainly not the case of all of Audentity's tracks, indeed "Sebastian in Traum" hints towards the Operatic style to be found in some of Schulze's much later work. The predominance of sequencing can also be found in the follow up live album Dziekuje Poland Live '83, although it should be noted that many of its tracks are re-workings of those to be found on Audentity. Schulze's next studio-based album Angst (soundtrack to the namesake 1983 film) moved away from the harshness of sharp, heavily sequenced style of the 3 previous albums and, once again, had the more "organic feel" of earlier recordings.
Another highlight of this era was En=Trance with the dreamy cut "FM Delight". The album Miditerranean Pads marked the beginning of very complex percussion arrangements that continued into the next two decades.
Starting with Beyond Recall, the first half of the 1990s was the notorious "sample" period, when Schulze used a wide variety of pre-recorded sounds such as screeching birds and sensuous female moans in his studio albums and live performances. Sampling was such an unpopular diversion that when In Blue was released in 1995 without samples it was hailed as a return to form. The decade also saw the release of copious amounts of previously unreleased material, of varying quality, in several limited-edition boxed sets. Some live recordings were discovered on pristine but forgotten reels of tape which had been used to provide echo in concerts.
Recently Schulze began incorporating elements of jazz and classical music, working with more contemporary techno dance music such as trance, and creating two operas, the second still awaiting release. Also, in 2005 he began re-releasing his classic solo and Wahnfried albums with bonus tracks of unreleased material recorded at roughly the same time as the original works.
In the last several years, Schulze has produced albums and staged numerous live appearances with Lisa Gerrard.
Richard Wahnfried, then simply Wahnfried after 1993, is the long-time and only real alias for Klaus Schulze – originally a pseudonym, later an official side project name. Seven albums were released under this name between 1979 and 1997.
The main characteristics of the Wahnfried albums (as opposed to Schulze's regular works) are:
- Often being oriented towards more mainstream genres (some would say "more commercial"), such as rock, dance, techno and trance.
- Always allowing for collaborative and less electronic albums, with known or unknown guest musicians performing along Schulze's synths.
The pseudonym's etymology stems from Schulze's love for Richard Wagner:
- Richard, evidently from Wagner's first name. Richard is also the name of Schulze's first son.
- Wahnfried ("Peace from delusion and/or madness", in German), from the name Wagner gave to his villa in Bayreuth (and where he was later buried).
In his 1975 album Timewind (four years before the first alias use), Schulze had already named a track "Wahnfried 1883" (in reference to Wagner's death and burial in his Wahnfried's garden in 1883). The other track on Timewind is called "Bayreuth Return". After 1993, the albums are simply credited to "Wahnfried", and namedrop Schulze ("featuring Klaus Schulze", "Produced by Klaus Schulze").
"Wahnfried" is the only known alias of Schulze (albeit on the 1998 Tribute to Klaus Schulze album, among 10 other artists, Schulze contributed one track barely hidden behind the "Schulzendorfer Groove Orchester" pseudonym).
Schulze's concert performances are original compositions recorded live and thus listed as albums. An intensive reissue program of Schulze CDs began in 2005, with most releases having bonus tracks, and sometimes additional discs. They are published by the label Revisited Records (a division of German company InsideOut Music 1), and distributed by SPV.
|1977||Body Love (soundtrack)||2005|
|1977||Body Love Vol. 2||2007|
|1983||Dziekuje Poland Live '83 (live)||2006|
|1990||The Dresden Performance (live)|
|1992||Royal Festival Hall Vol. 1 (live)|
|1992||Royal Festival Hall Vol. 2 (live)|
|1993||The Dome Event (live)|
|1994||Le Moulin de Daudet (soundtrack)||2005|
|1994||Das Wagner Desaster - Live - (live)||2005|
|1996||Are You Sequenced?||2006|
|2001||Live @ KlangArt 1 (live)||2008|
|2001||Live @ KlangArt 2 (live)||2008|
|2008||Farscape (with Lisa Gerrard)|
|2008||Rheingold (live, with Lisa Gerrard)|
|2009||Dziekuje Bardzo (live, with Lisa Gerrard)|
Richard Wahnfried albums
Composed by Schulze and performed with guest artists under alias Richard Wahnfried:
|1997||Drums 'n' Balls (The Gancha Dub)||2006|
- (1979) Time Actor
- (1981) Tonwelle
- (1984) Megatone
- (1986) Miditation
- Klaus Schulze – synths
- Steve Jolliffe – flute (ex Tangerine Dream)
- (1994) Trancelation
- Klaus Schulze – synths
- U. W. Überschall – sampling
- Georg Stettner – keyboards
- (1996) Trance Appeal
- Klaus Schulze – synths
- Jörg Schaaf – keyboards
- (1997) Drums 'n' Balls (The Gancha Dub)
- Klaus Schulze – keys, computer, recording, mix
- Joe "Dum Dum" Loevenstone – ritual percussion
- Sloto Olatunye – sirophone, melomanica, bubble drum
- Katarina Nevaseynewa – singing voice
- Venus "Fretless" Dupond – bass
- 1993 Silver Edition – 10-disc limited edition box set
- 1995 Historic Edition – 10-disc limited edition box set
- 1997 Jubilee Edition – 25-disc limited edition box set
- 2000 The Ultimate Edition – 50-disc limited edition box set (Silver, Historic and Jubilee Editions with bonus material)
- 2000 Contemporary Works I – 10-disc limited edition box set with guest performers
- 2002 Contemporary Works II – 5-disc limited edition box set with guest performers (6th disc included with the first 333 copies)
Reissues from Sets
|2005||Vanity of Sounds||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2006||The Crime of Suspense||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2006||Ballett 1||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2006||Ballett 2||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2006||Ballett 2||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2007||Ballett 3||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2007||Ballett 4||Contemporary Works I (2000)|
|2008||Virtual Outback||Contemporary Works II (2002)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 1||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 2||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 3||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 4||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 5||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
|2009||La Vie Electronique 6||The Ultimate Edition (2000)|
The Dark Side of the Moog series
In collaboration with the extremely prolific ambient techno guru Pete Namlook (joined also by Bill Laswell on volumes 4 to 7). Each title is a humorous distortion of a Pink Floyd title, included in brackets:
- 1994 The Dark Side of the Moog I – "Wish You Were There" (Wish You Were Here)
- 1994 The Dark Side of the Moog II – "A Saucerful of Ambience" (A Saucerful of Secrets)
- 1995 The Dark Side of the Moog III – "Phantom Heart Brother" (Atom Heart Mother)
- 1996 The Dark Side of the Moog IV – "Three Pipers at the Gates of Dawn" (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn)
- 1996 The Dark Side of the Moog V – "Psychedelic Brunch" (Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast)
- 1997 The Dark Side of the Moog VI – "The Final DAT" (The Final Cut)
- 1998 The Dark Side of the Moog VII – "Obscured by Klaus" (Obscured by Clouds)
- 1999 The Dark Side of the Moog VIII – "Careful With the AKS, Peter" (live) (Careful with That Axe, Eugene)
- 2002 The Dark Side of the Moog IX – "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Mother" (Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun / Atom Heart Mother)
- 2005 The Dark Side of the Moog X – "Astro Know Me Domina" (Astronomy Domine)
- 2008 The Dark Side of the Moog XI – "The Heart of Our Nearest Star" (Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun)
The series was officially concluded with volume 10. On 21 March 2005 at 14:52 CET, Pete Namlook sold the Big Moog synthesizer that was the symbol of the series. Surprisingly, volume XI of the series appeared on Namlook's set on April 15, 2008 .
- 1970 Electronic Meditation (with Tangerine Dream)
- 1971 Ash Ra Tempel (with Ash Ra Tempel)
- 1973 Join Inn (with Ash Ra Tempel)
- 1973 Tarot (with Walter Wegmuller)
- 1973 Lord Krishna von Goloka (with Sergius Golowin)
- 1974 The Cosmic Jokers (with The Cosmic Jokers)
- 1974 Planeten Sit In (with The Cosmic Jokers)
- 1974 Galactic Supermarket (with The Cosmic Jokers)
- 1974 Sci Fi Party (with The Cosmic Jokers)
- 1974 Gilles Zeitschiff (with The Cosmic Jokers)
- 1976 Go (with Go, including Stomu Yamash'ta)
- 1976 Go Live From Paris (with Go, including Stomu Yamash'ta)
- 1977 Go Too (with Go, including Stomu Yamash'ta)
- 1984 Aphrica (with Rainer Bloss and Ernst Fuchs)
- 1984 Drive Inn (with Rainer Bloss)
- 1984 Transfer Station Blue (with Michael Shrieve and Kevin Shrieve)
- 1987 Babel (with Andreas Grosser)
- 2000 Friendship (with Ash Ra Tempel)
- 2000 Gin Rosé at the Royal Festival Hall (with Ash Ra Tempel)
- 1994 "Conquest Of Paradise" – Single, Schulze commissioned to replay a track of 1492 by Vangelis.
- 2002 "Manikin Jubilee" – On a Manikin Records 2-CD sampler limited to 777 copies.
- 2004 "Schrittmacher" – On a Manikin Records CD sampler.
- 2008 "Zenit" – On Sehnsucht (Schiller)
- 2008 "Invisible Musik"
Compilations and promos
- 1991 2001
- 1994 The Essential 72–93
- 1999 Trailer
- 2003 Andromeda (Promo CD)
- 2004 Ion (Promo CD)
- 2009 Come Quietly (with Lisa Gerrard) (Promo CD)
- 2009 Hommage a Polska (Promo CD)