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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KLAUS SCHULZE: Irrlicht (1972)

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Irrlicht is a symphony for atmospheric organ

1 Satz Ebene 23:23

2 Satz Gewitter / Energy Rise - Energy Collaps 5:39

3 Satz Exil Sils Maria 21:25

4 Dungeon (Bonus Track) 24:00

SPV 304962 CD - REV 046

(CD 74:27) (V.F.)

(Experimental Ambient Music)

As much to say right at the beginning; it's not with IRRLICHT that I tamed the music of Klaus Schulze. If I remember correctly, I found it downright boring. Anti-music that I said to myself. I was still listening to Pink Floyd's Meddle and also Led Zeppelin IV, Grand Funk, Deep Purple and others ... So you'll understand that IRRLICHT was coming from another planet. Later, when I got to know Klaus music a little better, IRRLICHT and Cyborg were among the albums that attracted me the least in his repertoire and in the ever-growing world of Electronic Music. I even wondered how some people could enjoy this strange and floating music that seemed to me without souls or depth. At the time, the press specialized in underground and experimental music cried to the genius. Schulze had the palm and praised the merits of this avant-garde work (some said that Schulze was 20 years ahead of his peers) that it was a breathtaking symphony for orchestra and electronic machinery that leaves speechless. The beauty of the music makes you forget the novelty. (Hervé Picard / Best 1973). So when we heard the first lines of Satz Ebene, I can tell you that my friends and I, we looked at each other ...!

Nearly 35 years later, Revisited Records is releasing a new remastered edition, completed with a long bonus track, for Klaus Schulze's fans and collectors. Since I only have the old 33 rpm full of scratches on a tape and I am a fan of KS, I let myself be tempted. And even if I knew that I would enter a dark and ambient universe, because today my tastes have not quite changed. Floating music is still not my genre and I'm looking for a melody and chills when I want to hear music. So it's rather with my current ears that I am going to speak to you about this work of yesterday which will mark the music of tomorrow, and whose synthesized breezes still feed some works of today. Satz Ebene is a strange incantation. A long floating title dragging its pathetic harmony on a big organ that would have made the delusions of the Phantom of the Opera. It's a title straight out of the cold atmosphere of Tangerine Dream's Zeit out of their Pink years era. It's a long solo for organ and its multi-track effects that remains in suspension and floats with its ripples until the very ambient, icy and lugubrious Energy Rise, which is as floating and abstract as Satz Ebene. Satz Exil Sils Maria is just as drifting. On the other hand, the moods are less dark and less intriguing than in Satz Ebene. It's a long, sonic ceremony that subtly changes lanes without gaining rhythm. Dungeon is the bonus track. It would have been composed in the early 70's and it is quite possible because it straddles the spirit of Satz Ebene and Exil Sils Maria.

No, my ears have not adapted to great Masses for synthesizers, and Farfisa organs, with vaporous and nebulous psalms. I always stay a soul for rhythms, sequences, melody and big riffs, even if I enjoy more and more ambient music. You can guess that I particularly like a lively EM with evolving rhythms. IRRLICHT is not of this kind! In return, attentive listening to this revamped edition made me discover the roots and avant-garde genius that was attributed to Klaus Schulze. But I already knew that! We see the ideas and creative lines that would serve as musical springboards to create his fabulous titles that will go in line up until X. In the end, it's a long ambient trip without great emotions. A symphony for atmospheric organ in the size and importance of the minimalist works from Steve Reich and Philip Glass. But I still do not like...

Sylvain Lupari (June 6th, 2006) *****


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