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Klaus Schulze - La Vie Electronique 1 [Spv/Revisted rec - 2009]

La Vie Electronique 1 is the first of a series of 3 cd sets that bring together a selection of early tape material by electrroinca godfather and  Space music /Kosmische Musik legend Klaus Schulze.

The series features mainly material that appeared originally on the pricey and ltd box sets the Historic Edition and Jubilee Editions, but they also include never before released material too. This sets features work recorded between 1968-1972 when Schulze was trying to create his distinctive sonic visions with a more paired down and lo-fi set up, then what he would later use on his landmark solo albums. Basically all the pieces here can be seen as jams, try-out or sonic sketchers; but don’t let that put you off there’s little here that sounds shabby or ill-conceived and most of the tracks here are rewarding, often hypnotic and very inventive.  Each of the 3 disks is crammed to near full point coming out just under the 80 minutes mark each

Starting the whole set off we have an 25 minute unreleased suite of tracks from 1970/71 that's wonderfully entitled I was Dreaming I was Awake and then I Woke Up and Found Myself Asleep. The piece is cut into three 8 to 9 minutes parts and each is built around wavering organ harmonics that are swung and darted over by early electro synth purrs, bobs and folds. As a whole the three tracks make a rather pleasing, haunting and a little eerier sonic journey giving one the feeling of walking slowly over the melancholy atmosphere of a strange distant world. The rest of disk one is taking up with the relatively brief 12 minutes of The Real McCoy and another lengthy 26 suite of tracks in the form of Tempus Fugit and lastly another 14 minute track in the form of Dynamo then a very short interview snippet with Schulze from the early days which unfortunately for none German speakers is in German.

On to disk two we have another two lengthy suite of tracks in the form of Traumraum at 31 minutes and Cyborgs Traum at 39 minutes; Both tracks are building and space based organ dwells with Traumraum adding in spacey guitar improv texturing and folds to great effect. Sandwiched between the two big suites we have study for Brian Eno which is a shimmering lo-fi electo haze with enduring but slightly haphazard peddle effects wavering and melting the organ’s harmonic  progression.

Disk three is mainly taken Die Kunst, hundert Jahre alt zu warden which roughly translated to The Art To Become Old One Hundred Years and as the track title suggest the suite has quite a feel of HG wells Time Machine to it or certainly a vibe of the early 1960’s George Pal’s film of the story. With the suite of tracks starting off with sc-fi effect peddle hovered organ textures, before picking up pace with an Tangerine Dream Atem like organ, bass and tight drum elctro/ organic work-out which feels like the world slowly speeding away around you, as if your sat in the time machines seat.  The rest of the tracks dips for haunted, sci-fi and atmospheric dwells before once more picking up the pace again for another rhythmic shot of organ dwell and elctro/ organic drum pounding- very rewarding stuff.


The three disk set comes in a fold out digit-pak with early pictures on Klaus Schulze and an intresting 20 page booklet talking about this set and the upcoming sets in series. All in all a very worthwhile look and celebration at some the early, lo-fi & inventive work of this space music and ambient pioneer.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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