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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Klaus Schulze - Body Love [MIG Records - 2016]

Originally released in  1977 Body Love is one of the more bizarre, though at the time popular additions to the discography of this  highly respected & inferential German electronic music composer and synth wiz. The album was the 7th release from Mr Schulze, it was his first soundtrack album, and the bizarre & unexpected side of it all, is that it’s the soundtrack for a porn movie- which really when thinking of Mr Schulze’s work  is the last thing you’d think of.

Once again this is a recent CD reissue on the MIG label. The disc comes in a four panel digipak, and features the original album artwork taking in an arty & tasteful grey & black representations of female faces & bodies, against a white background. The release comes with a 16 page booklet- featuring a pink colour scheme, and this  takes in stills from the film, and pictures of Mr Schulze & his set-up, along with English & German texts talking about Mr Shulze work in general & the album it’s self.

Body Love was a 1978 film directed by fairly well known Italian pornographer  &  film director Lasse Braun. It tells of well-to-do teen Martine, who upon reaching her 18th birthday  is told by a baron farther  she is to be deflower in orgy.  Apparently the film features a selection of kinky sex games, and a semi- rape scene with strange symbolism. 

By all accounts Shulze involvement with the project came fairly late in proceedings. As Braun had filmed many scene’s  with  the use of classic 70’s Shulze albums like 1975’s Timewind and  1976’s Moondawn been used as temporary soundtracks. When coming close to finishing the film he tried other music, but it just didn’t syncing in with  the films ‘action’ (?!)..So he approached Shulze who composed three tracks for the film.

This CD reissue features the three original tracks, which run between eleven &  twenty seven minutes. Plus a bonus twenty two minute bonus track-  bringing the whole release runtime to seventy five minutes.  And  I guess you’d say all the tracks here are fairly typical, though still worthy examples of Mr Schulze’s work around this time- i.e. long, pulsing, weaving synth & beat compositions.

First up we have “Stardancer”, and this starts off fairly shape-less & swirling, built around sparking & glittering spacey electronics, growing/ warming synth like sweeps, and skittering  elector & live drums.  By around the 4th minute things have firmed up & taken off more with a fixed base of churning bass synth, tight drum pattern- which is added to by a snaking slightly eastern sounding soloing synth line, spacey flutters, and the backdrop of ambient keyboard sweeps from the beginning of the track.  The tracks ok, but certainly isn’t the stand-out here.

Next we have “Blanche”, this is the shortest track here at around the eleven minute mark, and it really stands as my favourite moment here. The track opens in a fairly sad & reflective mood, with Schulze bringing together ornate & felt piano wonderings, with a backdrop of  warming harmonic ambience, and a growing selection of sparking, bubbling, and simmering electro textures.  At around the mid-way point the piano drops back, and more defined- yet-snaking synth melody line comes into play, with the original ambience & synth textures still at play in the background . The whole track has such a great wishful, lush yet sad feel to it. I can’t really imagine how this fitted into the film it’s self, but I’m guessing it must have been in one of the more arty/ slower scenes.

Last up from the original release we have “P.T.O”, and this is very a epic-long-form track coming in at over twenty seven minutes. It starts off with a blend of swirling & slowly sweeping string like synth layers, which is topped off with subtle sparking electronics. Then at around the three minute mark we get a firm though quite evocative lead synth line. The next shifting happens around the 7th minute, when a keen & consistent pulsing layer is added to the proceedings, as the live drum pattern builds-up. In the last quarter things break down to more moody stretches of keyboards & eerier elector effects. All told it’s a engaging enough long-form track, though it doesn’t really stand out much from Shulze similar work of the time.

The final & bonus track is just over twenty minutes of “Lasse Braun”. The track is apparently from the same period as the other tracks, though I’d say its vibe is a little darker & more moody. It opens up with a fading mid-range pulsing synth tone, as the track progresses you get a moody organ like simmers, and tight pittering & pattering drum work added onto constantly brooding pulse.  Later on you get more electro bound twitters, glides & sweeps added in, and of course this nicely builds the atmosphere.  As does the higher lines of more urgent solo synth work  that appear in the last quarter. I’d say this stands as my second favourite track here, as I like the more moody feel to whole thing, and it all builds in a nicely subtle manner. Though I can’t say it’s particularly inventive or fresh as 70’s synth bound composition goes. 

While Body Love isn’t as vital, important, or distinctive as classic 70’s Shulze albums like Cyborg, Timewind, Dune,& Moondawn. It’s an enjoyable enough slice of 70’s synth scaping, and worth a look if you already a fan of Mr Shulze’s work.

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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