samedi 28 décembre 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Miditerranean Pads (1990/2005)

“Still controversial for some of us, Miditerranean Pads is the album of excess with its huge percussions which strike on constantly deep and dense samplings of orchestrations”
1 Decent Changes 32:35
2 Miditerranean Pads 14:12
3 Percussion Planante 25:01
Brain 841 864-2 (1989) ****½
SPV 085-304142 CD - REV 018 (CD 72:01)

(Hypnotic, minimalist orchestral New Berlin School)

Contrary to many fans of Klaus Schulze's digital era, I hooked straightaway on the mood of "Percussion Planante"; doubtless one of his best track, to my taste, from his era of intensive orchestral samplings. It’s also one of the music pieces to play on my Walkman and especially in my car in the 90's. Klaus Schulze pursues his quest for the samplings of tortured choruses on “Miditerranean Pads”. A quest that he begun with En=Trance. So we find these fragments of opera and these bursts of classical music diluted in some dense ghostly orchestrations as well as these slow movements of cellos and invisible quartets which feed the musical frescoes of Schulze since Audentity. It is moreover on this album that I appreciated for the first time the sampling extravaganzas of Mr. Schulze and his segmented orchestrations in staccato. Except that “Miditerranean Pads” distances itself by the play of percussions, as real as virtual, imagined by a Klaus Schulze sometimes dreamy, "Decent Change", sometimes melancholic, the title-track, and sometimes rebel, "Percussion Planante". We could say that Klaus Schulze exorcises his devils of former days with the technology of today. The effect is monstrous and multiplies the surprises on a titanic work. On this twelfth reissue from Revisited Records, only 2 to 3 additional minutes of music were added on the opening track. The original one being already near the time limit with nearly 70 minutes.
Delicate kind of Tablas percussions open the first measures of the long and very linear "Decent Change". The rhythm is as softer as furtive and binds itself to a bass line which crawls under the strikings of percussions which are now divided with a real drum and the manual percussions. A solitary piano scatters its notes by clusters. Notes which draw a fascinating ethereal melody that choirs caress of their absent humming. There are not alone to caress this long funambulist introduction. The strings arrive around the 7th minute. And their movements are slow and sinuous, just as much as the first 12 minutes of "Decent Change" which espouses afterward a strange cosmico-progressive structure of funk with a heavy line of bass and the Arabian clan percussions which drum under a skillful meshing of voice samplings and stringed instruments. The play of percussions is harmonized with the bouncy bass line, giving a rhythmic structure skilfully developed which sleeps under these dark choruses and these orchestral arrangements of which the slow ethereal movements float such as tormented wings. We are literally in
En=Trance as the percussions lost of its strength, giving its hypnotic tempo to these violins, these enveloping strata, these fluty breaths and these notes of piano which forge the peaceful harmonious dynasty of "Decent Change". All in all it's a good track which would have been greater if shortened, even if it means stretching up the two other tracks which follow, particularly "Miditerranean Pads" which is a very intense ambient work and of which the vocals are the samplings of Efli Schulze's, the wife of Klaus. On a delicious piano with heartbreaking notes, the voice is blowing sighs of life, love, expectations and despairs on a lyrical movement built around diverse subtle intonations. This is a wonderful angelic soundscape track and a sublime interlude where the sensualism, do I love this sax which cries at night, is harmonized to sensibility. A very good taciturn, secret but divine Schulze with a great dexterity with his samplings of classical music. To listen on an evening of sorrow of love. We burst of tears!
Ah … "Percussion Planante". What I call an ode to percussions. We take the portion two of "Decent Change", for its heavy line of bass, and we stick it on here, in a measure amplified by four, that gives "Percussion Planante". In a perfect fusion where all the percussions are squeezing up the beatings, as hard-hitting as harmonious, with a line of bass which supports an agile rhythm, as much as the grave notes of a black piano, "Percussion Planante" flutters in the wings of its orchestral arrangements. But the rhythm refuses the obedience and it's rebelling constantly in a fascinating mosaic of percussions. Everything is well measured. The tears of violins are as dark as their silky jolts. The choruses are as much penetrating in their envelopes of discretion. These voices are the privileged witnesses of a movement from a piano which snakes and undulates its notes into some superb melodious passages. And the piano which tries its harmonic breakthroughs crumbles its poetry on the back of a rhythm which dissociates itself from the bursts of the scattered symphonic movements. This is cacophony reinvented. At around the 20th minute, the percussions are alone on a modulation movement which brings more symphonic, more orchestral lines on strikings as clear as hard-hitting. Brilliant and intense!
Although awarded in certain countries, as in the Netherlands, “Miditerranean Pads” always was a controversial work. The full excess of percussions and of convoluted rhythms, sometimes clanic and too often cacophonous, as well as its tortuous and dark orchestrations, without forgetting the so divine and black incantation of its title-track, make of it an album which goes out of a comfort zone that the fans had eventually ended by nested since the changes begun in
Dig It. In fact, it can appear like a difficult album to approach because of its propensity to the delirious cacophony by moment. But if I guaranteed you beauty, would you believe in it? And nevertheless, it's a little the bad luck of Klaus Schulze's 21th album. Faithful to his habit, Schulze avoids the ease to dig even more his taste for orchestrations and also grope around the melodic frenzy. Quietly, he incorporates subliminal beauties in his works (Klaustrophony, Freeze or FM Delight). And his works he wants them rebel, more intimist than never and rightly a little more difficult to access. But beyond all this, when that the creative genius lives in us, should we rather use it with all the disconcerting ease which will kill its passion?

Sylvain Lupari (December 28th, 2013) &
(Firstly written in French on January 22nd, 2007)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

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