dimanche 29 septembre 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Dreams (1986/2005)

“Dreams is Schulze's masterpiece of his digital era”

1 A Classical Move 9:40
2 Five To Four 7:57
3 Dreams 9:25
4 Flexible 4:16
5 Klaustrophony 24:40

Brain LP 831 206-1 (55:58) ****
Revisited Records SPV 085-304052
(79:50) ****½

(A mix of analog and digital Berlin School)

If Inter*Face had a little destabilized his fans, Klaus Schulze succeeds to calm them with an album which makes the bridge between his digital era, his more orchestral one, as in X, and the analog one with scents of Moondawn and even Timewind tied in some great orchestral and digital movements. It's the best of his worlds on one superb album.
It's in a huge orchestral crash that "A Classical Move" opens. And it's a real classical move with a violin which escapes from the crash and floats lasciviously on a rather melodious ambient movement. A line of sequences with heavy and zigzagging keys is settling in the background. Agile, even if heavy of its keys, it bears a mellotron violin and its jerky harmonies à la Audentity which tangle up with the discreet ringings of glockenspiel until the movement explodes with the heavy drum of Ulli Schober who hammers a resounding pace. The second half of "A Classical Move" is superbly watered by mellotron layers to violin airs and to fluty breaths. The rhythm is heavy and deviates of its course for a short moment to embrace a more sinuous but softer mood before taking back its heavy knocking beat. Less dark and more moderated, "Five to Four" makes the link between "A Classical Move" and the title-track. It takes a kind of oriental flavor over a light movement of spiral. The perfumes of Audentity are floating within the sweet orchestrations which kiss a movement of motionless sequences from which the keys get lost in the ringings which were sleeping beneath the rhythm of "A Classical Move". In spite of beautiful arrangements where the voices are melting inside the orchestrations and the rhythm goes astray towards a light jazzy tint, "Five to Four" remains a long transition. A long cinematographic intro opens "Dreams"; an ambient track with somber intonations which increases in intensity on a movement which enhances with emotion. This is some real Schulze with his mysterious instincts on a too short track, because as soon as the percussions, the orchestral arrangements and the virtual choruses inflate we would wish for an endless movement. "Flexible" sounds out of tune with its kind of groovy beat which gawks over orchestrations à la Phil Collins. If the sequencing pattern sounds familiar, the orchestral arrangements breathe of a funky movement while the guitars sounds like a kind of country rock music. This is one of Schulze weirdest tracks. Maybe this is what flexibility is all about
"Klaustrophony" is the cornerstone of “Dreams” and, honestly, one of the very good pieces of music in the repertoire of Klaus Schulze. It's a mixture of Timewind and Moondawn with the tones and the technologies of today. Ringings float in a dark universe. I'm hearing ghosts of Mirage here. They are supported by a soft and very subtle sequenced line which plays with its reverberations and the ringings of the twinkling keys. Does it recall something to you? This portion is pure musical poetry. A symphony of glass. The musical envelope takes shape around a dark synth which releases harmonies of which the discretion stays of silence in front of an orchestral thick cloud of strata and a choral with the Schulzian ghostly harmonies. Snatched by the eye of a slow musical cyclone we hardly notice that "Klaustrophony" gets dressed of the same chords pattern which surrounds the whole of “Dreams”. The movement increases with denser sheaves of violins and percussions which hammer a pace while rolling with delicacy, such as to protect a movement which reminds me of Crystal Lake. In the harmonious density of "Klaustrophony" an acoustic guitar makes its appearance. Nunu Isa pinches its strings with such emotion and sensibility. This is outstanding. And the drum becomes more incisive and hammers this passage with echo, giving it so another harmonic deepness. The highlight is for its height. Schulze delivers here a grand title. The Berber voice of Ian Wilkinson is just in time and fits just with the tone of the emotion and admirably well in the middle of these violin strata and the increasing orchestrations, enriching a musical structure which swallows every chords with greediness to make it run indefatigably in a harmonious spiral. Wilkinson's intonations and changes of tones are simply perfect and bring a lot of emotion to this great track which worth alone the buying of “Dreams”. Although written in 2003, "Constellation Andromeda" is a great piece of music. Written within the framework of a musical show for the Alesis synths, "Constellation Andromeda" was released as a limited edition single named Ion. Soon the bootleggers made of it their rights and sold it at high price all over the net. Having no other track to fit in the “Dreams”, Schulze selected this track to fill the usual time frame of the Revisited Records series. Although quite different with its bouncy structure of rhythm in a more musical contemporary envelope, I got to write that it's a judicious decision. "Constellation Andromeda" stands on a minimalist jerky spiral where the icy chords stagger in a mist made of blue particles. As the track evolves, the rhythm and the mood get louder and jerkier with bass drums filling the blanks between a staccato move.
Already back in 1986 “Dreams” was in the worth of its price. "Klaustrophony" and "A Classical Move" were by then among the inescapable of Schulze. Now just imagine these with a new improved sound structure, a beautiful notebook and a bonus track which is beyond expectations. This is Christmas all year long! If the whole of “Dreams” can't be considered as a masterpiece, these three tracks together are purely one. It's an essential work in the repertoire of Schulze and probably his best of his digital era.

Sylvain Lupari (September 29th, 2013)

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