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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KLAUS SCHULZE: Das Wagner Disaster (94/05)

Das Wagner Desaster is another extravaganza from the master who delivers here possibly his best of his symphonic and samplings years

CD 1 (78:46) 1 Wagner (Wild Mix 28:32 2 Nietzsche (Wild Mix) 28:40 3 Entfremdung (Wild Mix) 10:00 4 Versöhnung (Soft Mix) 11:44 CD 2 (75:49) 1 Liebe (Soft Mix) 28:00 2 Haß (Soft Mix) 28:34 3 Encore Sevilla (Bonus Track) 19:17 SPV 304822 CD-REV 033

(CD 154:35) (V.F.) (Symphonic EM, Berlin School beats)

Put on CD for the first time in 94 on the ZYX label, DAS WAGNER DISASTER is the combination of 2 concerts given in May in the cities of Paris and in Rome during the 1994 European Tour. And like a lot of albums from the Master, it was released in a new remixed edition by Revisited Records at the end of 2005. This Deluxe digipack format contains a nice booklet as well as a bonus track, Encore Sevilla which was performed and recorded during the Spanish Tour of 91. Two cd's for the same recital. The Wild Mix is the concert held at The Cicada of Paris on May 27th and the Soft Mix is the fruit of the Rome concert held 7 days later. It's the same concert with the same music recorded with two different mixes. It's the same music played in two places, but which has benefited of a different mixing. This is Schulze's style for big dynamic symphonies with long astonishing intros and finales which encircle structures which go from soft and floating to switch into nervous rhythms. Into gallop of sequences and of percussions filled with explosions and with noises in a horde of samplings where the opera and a touch of classic (as conventional as very personal) gallop on sequences, percussions and great electrifying synth solos. It's in Hambühren, in August 94, that Klaus Schulze made the final mixing. Is worth it? Is the experience worth the spending? It's debatable! Except that it shows out of doubt that a brilliant mixing changes absolutely the face of everything. But it remains a real musical frenzy signed Klaus Schulze. In short... Klaus Schulze was in great shape.

Wagner, or Liebe, is assaulted by some big burst of noises coming from cymbals and by voices of opera. The voices dash into a kind of pandemic cacophony, always in harmony with the noisy and aggressive cymbals, which end to get on my nerves a bit, on an introduction without rhythm which expresses itself as an orchestra which tunes its instruments. Let's say that it's a bit stressful by moments. The introduction of Liebe is definitively more welcoming, even more accessible. The synth spreads its train of fineness by spreading a nice crescendo with a dense wall of woosh which releases a foggy structure from where rise good vibes loaded of fluty airs. There are more effects in Wagner, and I would say that Liebe is more musical, even in the structures of ambient phases. But the airs of the flutes are more emotional in Wagner. Go figure! The rhythm settles down like a jogger in waiting to sprint in the perfumes of a synth full of foggy solos. The rhythm grows slowly. It's more fluid in Liebe where the crescendo is better coated and less aggressive. It's the dress of tones and arrangements that differentiates both recording. It's a Schulze more extravagant of his samplings collection who always amazes on a long homogeneous structure with small fragrances of Dziekuje Poland without the stormy outbursts of his orchestrations which were sometimes too monstrous in his years of electronic symphonies. I prefer the roundness and the warmth of Liebe. With noisy intros which are followed by ambient phases, Nietzsche, or Haß, offers a structure of a more fluid rhythm which gallops under the bites of the opera voices. These are two nice structures of electronic rhythm which would be even more attractive without these voices and these orchestral explosions which are the faithful reflections of these years when Schulze transposed his universe of the former days into a profusion of samplings and of MIDI effects. That even sounds the cheap electro music at times, in particular in Nietzsche. Still there, I prefer the more musical approach (sic!) of the Soft Mix Haß.

Entfremdung and Versöhnung are both tracks where the differences are the most notables. Entfremdung starts with fluttering of cymbals which fly lightly in effects of deformed voices. A line of keen oscillations gets loose from these atmospheres, forging a lively and jerky electronic rhythm where circulates notes of a piano which swirl in short and sharp rotations there. The rhythm runs and squashes into a mass of stringed instruments and their nervous jerks. It starts up again with a renewed vigor, such as a crazy spiral against the watch where everything is pretext to the massive use of effects and of samplings. Let me tell you that Schulze must have worked like a maniac to coordinate so many disparities. Still here, Versöhnung seems to be less abrupt and possesses a warmer soul. It's less aggressive. But that remains a solid electronic rhythm as only Schulze knows how to forge those. With its long ambient introduction, shaken by orchestral spasms and pulled by shouts of sometimes disturbing spectres, one would believe to hear the shouts of primates in an industrial jungle, Encore Sevilla fits quite well into the universe of DAS WAGNER DISASTER. Even if sometimes we feel a little more the influences of Beyond Recall in it. Faithful to the long evolutionary structures of the Master, the music gets out of its shell very slowly with effects of synth, as much dissonant as wrapping, and voices of nymphets which coo on chords of stringed instruments. Schulze lies down all of his dexterity with a sharp game of chords swirling like a carpet of sequences which skip in all senses, like thousands of balls. Everything is in the subtleties of the hypnotic slowness and the way the structure evolves. And the rhythm gradually kicks off with the appearance of Tablas drums, and with wonderful jingle which charm the sense of hearing, as well as a very nervous, a very jerky play of the keyboard which harmonizes its keen stream with the fury of the percussions. Intense and that had to be rather exhausting for Klaus Schulze, alone on stage. I won't say it's a great track, but it's a bonus one. I know that it would be shocking for those who bought this edition for the bonus track, but those are the risks of being a collector. Sometimes we fall on a bomb, other times on a letdown. But tell yourselves that you have now a nice booklet which accompanies quite the immoderation and the boldness of this production which is DAS WAGNER DISASTER.

Finally, the big question: is this so remastered edition is worth the outlay? Unfortunately, I may not pronounce because I didn't have its first version. If I trust some of my friends' comments who possess the original, the difference is rather small to justify the spending. But if, like me, you didn't have DAS WAGNER DISASTER, this new edition is worth it. It's doubtless the best album of this Klaus Schulze phase. It's purely electronic with full of sound gadgets and the disorder, the bazaar of tones, ends eventually to cement itself in a surprising homogeneity. It's another tour de force from our friend Klaus Schulze. And without the Wild Mix, I would have qualified this album as a masterpiece.

Sylvain Lupari (May 29th, 2011) ****½*

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