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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KLAUS SCHULZE: In Blue (1995/2005)

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

“The reunion between Schulze and Gootsching with In Blue is among the best works of the 90's in the field of EM”

CD 1 Into The Blue 78:25 CD 2 Return of the Tempel 44:38 Serenade in Blue 34:19 CD 3 (Bonus) 1 Musique Abstract / Live 1994 7:02 2 Return to the Tempel 2 / Live 1997 13:51 3 Out of the Blue 2 / Live 1998 32:20 Revisited Records SPV 089-304102 DCD+CD REV 008

ZYX Music 1995

(CD 210:45) (V.F.) (New Berlin School)

IN BLUE Ah... the soft return of Ash Ra Temple. A bit of history for me to you. I remember when I bought this album in 1995. There were few things happening in North America regarding EM of the Berlin School style. I was listening those last breathes of Software on Innovative Communication, whose catalogue was still distributed here on HMV Canada. Tangerine Dream was going further and so further away from its style with Turn of the Tides and Tyranny of Beauty. IN BLUE was one of Klaus' rare CD that crossed the ocean to land here. And when I saw the artwork and the name that was accompanied Klaus Schulze on it, I knew that I would have my ears filled of sound pleasures. And indeed, they were filled to the rim! Hold your hat and take a deep breath, IN BLUE is what I could describe as being a real masterpiece of the neo Berlin School movement. It's the perfect union between two eras. Between the essences of the warm analog sounds and of the 70's and the digital coolness of the technologies of those days. A solid opus that Revisited Records has polished in order to offer it in a superb 3 CD Digipack, including a bonus CD and this so helpful booklet where Schulze talks about IN BLUE.

Into the Blue is a long track of 78 minutes that comes in 5 segments. The first part is an ode to an ambiospherical music. A long sonic fresco loads of sensibility and melancholy. Chords that sound like a guitar and symphonic choirs are crossing a bluish sky. And around the 15 minutes, the music bursts out with percussions. And Blowin' the Blues Away transports us in the old Schulze universe where the lines of sequences are tormented by the multiple assaults of percussions and crosshatched by wind instruments such as trumpets and oboes that are knitted in yet and still very good orchestral arrangements. All this musical mixture is struggling with intensity on sharp outbursts of rhythms which are wrapped by synth layers which harmonize their grasp with the various sequenced metamor-phases. It's an incredibly rich piece of music where Klaus is in great shape and plays with the vibes while showing his incredible ingenuity to match the sequencing patterns and the samplings along the symphonic movements of the synths. The segment of 30 minutes which is Wild And Blue is totally divine. The rhythm is wild, and Schulze plays between its vast sampling of percussions, sometimes deafening, on a bumpy structure but all the same rather uniform where wallows a magnificent synth and its trumpeter's harmonies. The structure evolves artlessly, filtering an approach of free jazz with a movement of hyperactive sequences. The crash of the percussions establishes a new chapter to Wild And Blue where chords are melting in a kind of guitar, a nasal song and a sharply strummed melody. This is Klaus Schulze at his best! And even if he cannot hold this wild pace, he brings the second part towards more serene phases but always shaken by fragments of a rhythm which refuses stubbornly to bend backwards. The finale, True Blue, will take care of it.

CD 2 is magical with Return of the Tempel which is the meeting point between the genius Manuel Gottsching (Ashra Temple) on guitar and Klaus Schulze, them that have started Ash Ra Temple back in 1970. Midnight Blue is very ethereal with a more or less cosmic approach filled with huge interstellar woosh. Daydreamer, Gottsching scatters his notes in a fusion between Asia and Spain vibes while Klaus is working his orchestrations and weaves light solos which coo like an acoustic guitar. And bang! Return of the Tempel runs on us like a train with a meshing of percussions, sober should I add, and a bass line which runs breathless. Is it lamentations of guitar or of synth which wraps this rising rhythm? The magic of the sonic spectres! The guitar multiplies the effects on a structure blown up by its lively and minimalist approach as well as a great sequencing pattern which increases its dynamism as Return of the Tempel is progressing. It's there that Manuel Gottsching seizes our ears with totally outstanding solos. A wonderful piece of a music wild and crazy filled of audacious harmonious eccentricities! Blue Spirits puts back the peace that has introduced Return of the Tempel with a sort of Spanish guitar and orchestrations on a cosmic background while True Blue ends this long title with some very annoying electronic effects. A useless thing! Serenade in Blue sounds like a suite to Into the Blue so much the music and its evolutionary structures are alike.

The Bonus CD doesn't improve the greatness of the original version!

Music Abstract is an intense frenzy forged in Das Wagner Disaster's shadows. Unbridled rhythm, ghostly chorus, wild percussion and nervous synth give an explosive title that actually seems to come out from the IN BLUE sessions. A big surprise here, except that the sound quality is average. One would say a bootleg from the audience that has been remasterised. But it's good Klaus Schulze. Return of the Temple 2 is actually played with Göttsching. A title with changing atmospheres that was played on a Berlin radio station, Radio 1, in 1997. Out of the Blue 2 is a long track that respects the musical philosophy of Schulze. But I did not find anything that would suggest that it could come out of the IN BLUE sessions. A title that progresses on the same tempo, with breaks here and there, but which returns tirelessly to its original lines and should have been part of Dziekuje Poland re-edition with its sounds' arabesque that we find on the highly digital Audentity. There are good surprises, but I found better bonuses on other re-editions.

IN BLUE is a must if you are fan of minimalist music and of Manuel Gottsching. Fans of KS already own it, I'm pretty sure. It's an album which allies intensity and serenity in a musical envelope rich in new developments. It's great EM served to all sauces with fine Latinos and Oriental essences. Klaus Schulze plays with his rhythms and his atmospheres with a surprising dexterity, going from one extreme to the other with violence or quietness. This is doubtless his most beautiful work of the 90's. Of his years of samplings where the percussions and the sequences dominate the elegances that he formerly possessed to make his synth adrift with majestic solos. The first 2 CD represent a colossal work which can match easily his best albums of the 70's. And I always have these goose bumps on each time that I listen it, especially the Manuel Gottsching part. The sign of a work that aged bloody well right...

Sylvain Lupari (July 1st, 2007) *****

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