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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KLAUS SCHULZE: The Schulze-Schickert Session (2013)

In first ear, The Schulze-Schickert Session can seem difficult to tame but then we let ourselves wrap by the magical universe of Schulze

1 The Schulze-Schickert Session 45:17

a) Die Sehnsucht Des Laien (5:48)  

b) Hymns to the Night (10:20)  

c) No-Frills (6:46)

d) Heart of Darkness (6:05)  

e) Twilight Chill (9:18)  

f) Blessed Twilight (7:08)

2 Spirits of the Dead 8:17

3 Happy Country Life 12:36

Mirumir | MIR100704CDD

(CD 66:10) (V.F.)

(Vintage psychedelic Berlin School)

The advantage of time is that there is plenty of time to dust off its troubles by looking back on his years and thus make us discover a pearl it has hidden. The first time I heard THE SCHULZE-SCHICKERT SESSION was with The Home Session bootleg. And as much to say it from the start, I wasn't overly excited. But here is! The bootleg becomes an official album and finds its niche on the Russian label Mirumir. We can have it in a vinyl format of 180 grams, in a cd and in a luxury cd box with 2 unreleased tracks that breathe the atmospheres of this improvised session in the living room of Klaus Schulze in Hamburg on September 26, 1975. Was it Timewind and Moondawn time? Absolutely, and you can hear it throughout this album. And suddenly, I rediscover this private session gone public where the moods and dark rhythms of Blackdance and Timewind are floating in a musical broth that smells and sounds like that of Ashra. THE SCHULZE-SCHICKERT SESSION is an eclectic synth / guitar duel where Klaus Schulze's EMS Synthi A extends its membrane of musical schizophrenia on an astonishing guitar playing which forces the rhythm sounding like a sequencer with acoustic keys.

Such as a gunslinger of the electronic dunes, Günter Schickert's guitar bites winds biased by murky snores which exhale its rock dust. Layers of organs sleep in mode pilot-light whereas the intro floats in its nasal aromas. The electronic bat tones, unique to the EMS Synthi A, echo the silence like an iodine-fed dropper. Sparkling with their extraterrestrial tones on the back of layers with tones of Farfisa, they get lost in the 12 strings of the Framus that Schickert plucks with skill. The rhythm of this long title-track gets carried away slightly with Hymns to the Night. Load of nasal tones the synth lines are singing an erosive melody which drags its ashy voice in the gray dust of other lines filled of contiguous tones and melodies. The guitar guides the rhythm of ballad approach from the sequencer. And bit by bit Klaus Schulze dresses his chords which turn in loops in these melodious lines and lamentations in constant fragmentations, shaping a lyrical duel which spits out from its new musical horizons, as The Schulze-Schickert Session progresses in its chapters. We are right in the heart of Timewind and Body Love, less the percussions, where Schulze fills our ears to the brim with all his finesse and nuances that reshape the vampiric approach of this improvisation session. The huge layers of an old organ and the nasal breaths cover a rhythm defined by the impulses of a very discreet bass line and the chords of a guitar as catchy as melodious which rolls its serenades like a cowboy chews his nostalgia. The synth lines turn in ocean blue waves as No-Frills sings and oscillates over layers of organ. It’s one of the good moments which undoubtedly inspired the writing of Happy Country Life, where Schulze shows a sensitivity that makes our arm hairs shivering. And the solos scream on a phase that spits the venom of Blackdance on a bed of malicious melodies woven in the rage of the synths. The most beautiful moment undoubtedly occurs around the 28th minute with a phase which makes shinning the shimmering arpeggios as in the Mirage album. A delightful moment where the keys of sequencer flow in cascade before melting into the chords of a guitar which brings back the orgiastic and vampiric breaths which, if at times aggressive, weave an old witch's refrain on acid. If the brief attempt of Günter Schickert at songs sounds out of tune here, its origin and everything that surrounds it seems on the other hand to have inspired the daring of Adelbert Von Deyen. Spirits of the Dead, which proudly bears its name, is a track devoid of rhythms but not of ambiences with its slow synth layers and its twisted reverberations which wander in a cave oozing of discomfort. It's rather quite astonishing to observe the participation of Schickert in this long procession for lost souls. On the other hand, Happy Country Life is a great find. Günter Schickert rolls his repetitive chords that forge an ethereal rhythm. An ambient rhythm which flows like thousands of sparkling waves on a bed of synth layers which, little by little, extends an atmosphere as distressing than theatrical.

At first ear, THE SCHULZE-SCHICKERT SESSION may seem difficult to tame. Klaus Schulze's synths are as aggressive as they can be overwhelming. They squeal surrealist melodies which quietly find comfort in our ears. And after that one says to ourselves; ouch it's like Timewind (Wahnfried 1883). And there we let ourselves be enveloped by this universe of analog tones that Günter Schickert's guitar embellishes with a fascinating approach reminiscent of a certain Manuel Gottsching. Admit it's tempting!

Sylvain Lupari (June 3rd, 2013) ***½**

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