Thursday, March 5, 2009

denying humanity's presence through portraiture

Klause Schulze - X vol. 1 (lala) and vol. 2 (lala) - I don't know if that is really what is behind these 1978 extended, shimmery, throbbing electronic portraits of Nietzsche, 19th century German playwright Heinrich Von Kleist and Dune creator Frank Herbert, but that is how I'm choosing to read them, plus it is less saccharine than Tangerine Dream but less animus-driven than As Ra Tempel, and those were the boundaries I set myself.

This record can get pretty cheesy, like I feel a little like I am watching Dr. Who and crew fervently craft some sort of massive makeshift device that will hopefully stem off the oncoming alien invasion, but then, that is kinda what I am doing at work this afternoon. Or it's the sound of being trapped in a mid-priced spa on the moon. Either way, X marks the spot.

From Wikipedia:

"X" is the tenth album by Klaus Schulze.

On "X" Schulze attempted to execute a concept album of six "musical biographies" evoking contemporary or historical intellectuals with an influence on Schulze. The work is often cited as Schulze's magnum opus from the classic era of Berlin School.

For two of the tracks, "Friedemann Bach" and "Ludwig II. von Bayern" (as well as the first few minutes of "Heinrich von Kliest") Schulze recorded a modest string orchestra and looped them on tape. He had done this in 1972 on his first solo album, Irrlicht, but this time he did not filter the orchestra beyond recognition. The mixture of classical music and unearthly electronic sounds gives "X" a much more organic sound than anything Schulze's contemporaries were doing at the time, such as Jean Michel Jarre's Equinoxe. On following releases Schulze employed a cello, particularly on Dune.

"Ludwig II. von Bayern" is the jam that makes up for any infringements on taste M. Schulze may have committed in the service of our new alien overlords.

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