Klaus Schulze  

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Klaus Schulze (born 4 August 1947) is a German composer and musician. He also used the alias Richard Wahnfried. He was briefly a member of the Krautrock bands Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel and The Cosmic Jokers before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five

Contents

History

1970s

In 1969, Klaus Schulze was the drummer of one of the early incarnations of Tangerine Dream for their debut album Electronic Meditation. Before 1969 he was a drummer in a band called Psy Free. He met Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream in the Zodiac Club in what was then West Berlin. In 1970 he left this group to form Ash Ra Tempel with Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke. In 1971, he chose again to leave a newly formed group after only one album, this time to mount a solo career. In 1972, Schulze released his debut album Irrlicht with organ and a recording of an orchestra filtered almost beyond recognition. Despite the lack of synthesizers, this proto-ambient work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music. The follow-up, Cyborg, was similar but added the EMS VCS 3 synthesiser.

Since this point, Schulze's career has been most prolific, and he can now claim more than 40 original albums to his name since Irrlicht. Highlights of these include 1975's Timewind, 1976's Moondawn (his first album to feature the Moog synthesiser), 1979's Dune, and 1995's double-album In Blue (which featured one long track called Return To The Tempel with electric guitar contributions from his friend Manuel Göttsching of Ash Ra Tempel). In 1976, he was drafted by Japanese percussionist and composer Stomu Yamashta to join his short-lived "supergroup" Go, also featuring Steve Winwood, Michael Shrieve, and Al Di Meola. They released two studio albums (Go in 1976 and Go Too in 1977) and one live album (Go Live from Paris, 1976), which went on to become a cult favourite.Template:Citation needed

Throughout the 1970s he followed closely in the footsteps of Tangerine Dream, albeit with far lighter sequencer lines and a more reflective, dreamy sheen, not unlike the ambient music of his contemporary Brian Eno. On occasions he would also compose film scores, including horror and thriller movies such as Barracuda (1978) and Next of Kin (1982). Some of his lighter albums are appreciated by new-age music fans, despite the fact that Schulze has always denied connections to this genre. By mid-decade, with the release of Timewind and Moondawn, his style transformed from Krautrock to Berlin School.

Klaus Schulze had a more organic sound than other electronic artists of the time. Often he would throw in decidedly non-electronic sounds such as acoustic guitar and a male operatic voice in Blackdance, or a cello in Dune (1979) and Trancefer. Schulze developed a Minimoog technique that sounds uncannily like an electric guitar, which is quite impressive in concert. Schulze often takes German events as a starting point for his compositions, a notable example being on his 1978 album "X" (the title signifying it was his tenth album), subtitled "Six Musical Biographies", a reference to such notables as Ludwig II of Bavaria, Friedrich Nietzsche, Georg Trakl, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. His use of the pseudonym Richard Wahnfried is indicative of his interest in Richard Wagner, a clear influence on some albums like the aforementioned Timewind.

1980s

In the 1980s Schulze started using digital instruments besides the usual analog synthesizers, and his work accordingly became less experimental and more accessible. Although the switch to using digital equipment is audible in the style of Dig It (1980), it was not until the release of Trancefer (1981) that the shift in style became evident.Template:Citation needed

This newer style can also be found in Schulze's next release Audentity. Both "Cellistica" and "Spielglocken" are composed in a similar sequencer-based style as on Trancefer, but this is certainly not the case of all of Audentity's tracks; indeed, "Sebastian im Traum" hints towards the operatic style to be found in some of Schulze's much later works. The predominance of sequencing can also be found in the follow-up live album Dziękuję Poland Live '83, although many of its tracks are re-workings of those to be found on Audentity. Schulze's next studio-based album Angst (soundtrack to the namesake 1983 film) moved away from the harshness of the sharp, heavily sequenced style of the three previous albums and, once again, had the more "organic feel" of earlier recordings.Template:Citation needed

Another highlight of this era was En=Trance with the dreamy cut "FM Delight". The album Miditerranean Pads marked the beginning of very complex percussion arrangements that continued through the next two decades.Template:Citation needed

In 1989, German band Alphaville released their album The Breathtaking Blue, on which Klaus Schulze was both a contributing musician and the album's producer.

1990s

Starting with Beyond Recall, the first half of the 1990s was the notorious "sample" period, when Schulze used a wide variety of prerecorded sounds such as screeching birds and sensuous female moans in his studio albums and live performances. Sampling was such an unpopular diversion that when In Blue was released in 1995 without samples it was hailed as a return to form. The decade also saw the release of copious amounts of previously unreleased material, of varying quality, in several limited-edition boxed sets. Some live recordings were discovered on pristine but forgotten reels of tape which had been used to provide echo in concerts.

2000s

In 2005 he began re-releasing his classic solo and Wahnfried albums with bonus tracks of unreleased material recorded at roughly the same time as the original works. In the last several years, Schulze has produced albums and staged numerous live appearances with Lisa Gerrard.

2010s

With the release of his fortieth album (Big in Japan: Live in Tokyo 2010) in September 2010, Klaus Schulze entered his fifth decade as a solo musician. His next album, Shadowlands, was released in February 2013, quickly to be followed by the release of The Schulze–Schickert Session 1975, a rare long-unreleased collaboration, in March 2013.

Also in 2013 Klaus Schulze announced that he would not be performing live on stage anymore.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Klaus Schulze" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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