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Published on Mar 3, 2012
Klaus Schulze - 1. Satz "Ebene" (1st Movement: Plain) Irrlicht: Quadrophonische Symphonie für Orchester und E-Maschinen (Quadraphonic Symphony for Orchestra and Electronic Machines)
After brief but important sojourns with Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple and The Cosmic Jokers, drummer Klaus Schulze would go solo, discarding his drum-kit in favour of primitive, second-hand electronic equipment and kicking-off a long and successful career with this haunting 1972 slice of prime instrumental space-rock. Second only to 'Timewind' in the Klaus Schulze catalogue, 'Irrlicht' is a lovingly-composed and slowly unfurling album filled with an abundance of curious and ethereal soundscapes, as if Schulze is constructing the soundtrack to some strange, mystical sci-fi epic set on some far away planet hidden in the depths of space. Long, slow and about as un-commercial as you can get, 'Irrlicht' is certainly not for the faint-of-heart. Indeed, patience is the key to enjoying a Schulze album, and those out there willing to take the time and effort to explore 'Irrlicht' will find a rich tapestry of sounds that generate a plethora of emotions and feelings, ranging from cool, detached euphoria to quiet, slow-burning mystery as the music carefully ebbs and flows in an almost sensual manner. Fans of early Tangerine Dream, Cluster and Harmonia will find much to admire on 'Irrlicht', though, unlike Tangerine Dream's early material, 'Irrlicht' always remains melodic, eschewing the discordant noises and tribal drumming in favour of slow-burning, seemingly never-ending rhythms and pulses that keeps the listener waiting and wondering to see what will happen next. Enthralling from beginning to end, 'Irrlicht' is one of Schuze's finest albums and one of the most impressive and genuinely psychedelic space-rock albums from the era, rivalling the likes of Tangerine Dream's 'Alpha Centauri', Ash Ra Tempel's 'Join Inn' and Cluster's '71' album. Cosmic kids will get a real trip out of this. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010