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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KLAUS SCHULZE: Beyond Recall (1991)

Beyond Recall is build within an audacious pattern of samplings which transcends all the borders of the anti-music

1 Gringo Nero 26:54   2 Trancess 12:50   3 Brave Old Sequence 11:02   4 The Big Fall 11:35   5 Airlights 14:34 Virgin CDVE 906

(CD 77:07) (V.F.)

At both audacious and fascinating, BEYOND RECALL is an album difficult to access which blows aromas of Miditerranean Pads on approaches that I would consider a bit more harmonious, but on rhythms which are strangely fuzzy. Imprecise rhythms which are confronting to very colorful samplings and which compete with notes of piano and guitars, but rarely with sequences and synth momentums, on percussions of which the strikings ignore rhythmic patterns quite structured. The result is an enormous musical collage where Klaus Schulze exceeds the nonconformist borders by presenting an album which has more sounds than music and where the harmonies distinguish themselves in a sea of tones as eclectic as sometimes musical. And this long multi-sonic journey begins with the sublime Gringo Nero. Sublime because of its structure but I'm not sure about its musicality. I guess it's depending of your degree of musical curiosity.

Became a classic of Schulze's repertoire among adepts of sonic samplings (we can hear on it a multitude of these samplings on groups such as Future Sound of London and those bands of successors of a contemporary EM filled by psy-trance moods), Gringo Nero is a long piece of music with sound strangeness which come from the depths of rain forests on an electronic musical pattern which sounds strangely like what Schulze and Göttsching had created in In Blue. It's a hazy and hallucinogenic tempo, to the limit funky, where smooth bodies waddle with hypnosis and contemplation in the reflections of an acoustic guitar which pulls up its notes on the skins of composite percussions with strikings as much scattered as their tones. Flutes, many tribal flutes, are flavoring this cerebral mood where humming ahumahumahum are praying for a passive approach among breaths of desires and passions which float and dance in an eclectic universe of which the surrealism would light the desire of Salvator Dali, and Vangelis for the documentary approach. An amazing track, Gringo Nero is brilliantly rich in tones which transcend the imagination, and which deceive a fuzzy rhythm of which the indistinctness is the cradle of a melodious madness which draws a surprising harmonious path. It became a cult track which is also the main structure of BEYOND RECALL and whose sonic ashes and de-merged rhythms will also furnish the un-orthodox approaches of the strange kind of smooth Jazz which is The Big Fall and the dramatic Airlights and its heavy acerbic piano which dips its cold notes into some imperceptible vocalizes and a boreal finale which remind me a little of Tangerine Dream samplings within the Le Parc era. It's totally out of this world and completely beyond what Klaus Schulze had created to date (we are in 91).

A lugubrious intro, with austere cellos which caress a hesitating piano, opens the somber horizons of Trancess. A soft flute, of which the tone reminds me the work and the melodious spirit of Audentity and that we also find on Airlights, and a feminine very ethereal voice are crossing the 13 minutes of Trancess which floats in a world of ambiguities with its heavy and mordant strings and its percussions scattered in a structure of hybrid rhythm which is divided between improvisation and structuring. This is quite a good track with a great mood of distress and strangely fascinating that would fit perfectly in a good horror movie, little in the kind of Dresden 4. Crystalline arpeggios flutter in the intro of Brave Old Sequence, one of Klaus' contemporary classic. An intro which is not without recalling the poetics Crystal Lake, even if the approach is livelier. Besides we have this strong feeling that it's a kind of remix of Crystal Lake so much the dreamy mood is breathing with a more liven up pace and samplings which wasn't just there on the original. The melancholic gloom is well anchored there and rests on vocalizes a little bit suggestive but hardly perceptible. The rhythm, sat up on glass tones, pursues its quest with a crescendo which peaks towards an unusual world where vocal samplings melt themselves in tribal flutes before returning to its initial harmonious and crystalline approach. This is a very good track and indeed, a brave old sequence which returns haunting us. Wasn't it the spirit behind it?

A little like contrasts which get attract in order to form a heterogeneous union, BEYOND RECALL is quite a whole cultural boldness. It's an album which transcends all the borders of the anti-music to finally give a poetically musical work, if we dare to force the listening. At the end it's a music without concrete rhythms and unexpected moods but with a creative madness which has made developed the contemporary electronic music world with the hatching of DJ and their panoplies of sound samplings. I quite liked this audacious approach. But I'm a fan! On the other hand, and before all I am a fan of feelings, reveries and poetries which show that borders have no beacons. We find this a little bit here and there but it's necessary to listen closely and between notes in order to feel them. If the adventure tempts you, just keep in mind that it's an album to be listen with all attention to seize the whole character that is Klaus Schulze… But if you still haven't tamed or seized his world, I would recommend you to start with a less experimental album. And don't jump to Airlights if you haven't tamed Trancess or The Big Fall yet because the sensation of metal which grazes your ears could run out of patience.

Sylvain Lupari (September 25th, 2009) ***½**

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