KLAUS SCHULZE: Moondawn (1976)
“Assisted of Harald Grosskopf on drums, Schulze's Moondawn is a classic of the 70's and Floating makes it even more accessible”
1 Floating (27:15)
2 Mindphaser (25:22)
3 Floating Sequence (21:11)
(CD 74:03) (V.F.)
SPV 304802 CD - REV 031
The 70's ... Ah the 70's! For many, they are the pivotal years of musical evolution. The years that upset the character and the face of the culture. For Germany it's Krautrockmania, the era of prog rock and EM. From this new musical form emerge names like Tangerine Dream, Ashra Temple and Klaus Schulze. Klaus Schulze, that many like to compare to a Mozart of our twentieth century, is indeed the center of a musical revolution. He manipulates the recordings, mixes them, the facts played backwards. In short, he manipulates his sonorous textures according to his ambitions and his imagination in order to create the canvas of great melodious ambient anthems. It is in this stride that will be born several contemporary classics, including MOONDAWN. Reissued by the German company SPV, which is redoing the entire Schulze catalog, this reissue includes a bonus track entitled Floating Sequence. A correct title for a new version with a sound texture that has disappointed more than one.
Tinkles sparkle among a Berber incantation and Tibetan bells. Thin layers of an ethereal synth escape and float in a soft and warm electronic cosmos. Slowly Schulze spreads his heavy synthesized coat with layers of synth that hug the breath of Farfisa. A magnetic union that waltzes under the atmospheric sparkles, tracing a superb intergalactic landscape. A hypnotic sequence detaches itself from this morphic envelope, drawing the bases of a minimalist rhythm which unfolds by curly waves. The synth moves away, and the first steps of the drums are heard. Slyly, Floating develops on a rhythm in constant progression with a sequenced movement that waddles in a universe with multiple layers of keyboards and synths. And before we feel ourselves pulled out from our torpor; the rhythm breaks through on sweet synth modulations that race to the soft drum of Harald Grosskopf. Far from being floating, the music transports us into the sound universe of Klaus Schulze where the ambiences are fluctuating, and the synths are dense with long solos that accurately dance on fluid sequences and the agile drumming of Grosskopf. The main line of the sequencer moves subtly throughout Floating. It evolves through slight notes of piano and keyboards and between soporific synth layers that float among the solos of Schulze. In harmony with its progression, the rhythm gets heavier, hammered by Grosskopf's drums and cut by Schulze's incisive solos which hovers among galactic sound effects and sibilant bats. A hypnotic and mesmerizing rhythm that gradually fades to embrace a calm full of astral serenity. Simply grandiose!
Mindphaser is more serene, if not totally sluggish, a bit like calm after the storm of Floating. Far-off, waves strike a shore by wrapping it in a somber synthesized coat. The shadow of the synth crosses Mindphaser that starts with a long sigh. It crosses a galaxy that spits its atmospheric fuel while the waves of the abyss surround us. We are hooked on the sensory sweetness of Schulze's synths. Motionless we are nailed and hypnotized by its sirens that enhance our solitude. The tension increases and bursts under an avalanche of percussions that breaks under the dark waves of a big ghostly organ. Slow and heavy, the tempo is sensual and draws its form on sharp percussions. Solos of tortuous synth, agitated drums, atmospheric sound effects and dense sound texture, Mindphaser tortures our mind and gnaws the duality of the spirit according to the Schulzian madness. An intense cosmic and psychedelic delirium which represents very well the paradoxes of Krautrock and which gains in power and bursts with force.
The bonus track, Floating Sequence is a pale Floating similarity. A kind of mix what! It follows the same sequenced bend, but with an atmospheric tone closer to our technological reality of today than before. The atmosphere is more fluid, less suspicious than at the time. The sound effects are stretched, giving an impression of cool tone that will never match the original. Is this reissue worth the money? At the sound level I found the atmosphere less dark, a little clearer. There is much better with Moondawn (The Original Master) which was released by Manikin in 1995. This is the most beautiful edition of MOONDAWN. But this cd is out of print for a long time. Meanwhile, this edition of SPV is very acceptable and comes with booklet that describes the story of the album as well as the musical evolution of Klaus Schulze. This is the perfect opportunity for those who don't quite know the repertoire of the German icon. MOONDAWN is a classic of the 70's and Floating makes it even more accessible.
Sylvain Lupari (May 4th, 2006) *****