lundi 7 juillet 2014

KLAUS SCHULZE: Royal Festival Hall Vol.2 (1992)

“Royal Hall Festival Vol. 2 is the Yin of the Yang of an event where the studio tracks are the cornerstone in one and the live performance is the strongest point of the other”
1 Ancient Ambiance 44:45  
2 Anchorage 11:03  
3 Variation On B. F. 11:45  
Virgin CDVE 917 (CD 67:54)
****½

(Progressive orchestral EM)
If you found the first measures of Yen (Royal Festival Hall Vol.1) are somehow difficult to digest, your ears are again going to suffer again with the opening of "Ancient Ambiance". Cacophonous? I believe that Klaus Schulze has resolutely outburst the term with his intros as so heavy as simply indigestible which always eventually end with all the charms of sublimity. I got to say; the intro, and the middle part, of "Ancient Ambiance" have annoyed me! Lapping of water, rowing, shouts of macaques, breaths of elephant seals, Elf children's choruses, rustles a la Zoolook, explosions of percussions, orchestrations as harmonious as indomitable and so, and so...Then after? What a delight! At around the 9th minute (Yes! 9 minutes), some soft violin layers crisscross their symphonic euphonies and install the rhythmic basis of "Ancient Ambiance". This hypnotic and minimalist staccato movement sat a supple rhythm where splinters of drum, percussions rattlers, childish choruses and feminine voice (genre Laurie Anderson) become mixed up in a rather melodious sonic maelstrom for a so dishevelled structure. A structure of rhythm which maintains its progressive growth in a kind of finely orchestrated sonic frenzy where the whole thing fits together, even the improbability. This is a kind of delirium soberly delivered on a hiccupping and chaotic rhythm and molded in a sonic excess which exceeds the spirit of Beyond Recall, even the one of Audentity. Because there is some fury, even violence and passion, in "Ancient Ambiance" which ends by running wildly on unbridled percussions, but in balanced doses, a little as an executioner who wants to stretch his pleasure. And Schulze stretches this pleasure. A violin appears at around the 16th minute, modifying slightly the dimension of this symphony of sounds with a more folkloric approach that would have annoyed our ancestors. And Schulze continues to agreeably surprise our ears with beautiful electronic percussions which sound so much as real tribal ones and women's sighs which make us jump and which would destabilize the devil on a more and more frenzied tempo. A tempo which fades out bit by bit in a static eddy, there where pacific voices hum and where a Muslim voice recites a Persian ode. We enter into a rather ambient phase where the samplings can sometimes offend some ears. It's a necessary step if we want to savour a breathtaking finale which drinks of a strong movement of sequences and percussions at around the 34th minute point. Hold your hats firmly because the movement is going to rock you wildly. Schulze is demonic and gets wild by overlapping his samplings on a brusque and very rock structure with superb percussions and guitar chords a la Gottsching in an intense cosmic rock which rolls fast like a furious belly-dancing where wallow some sulphurous synth solos Completely sublime … These last 10 minutes are worth the inconvenient of those annoying samplings. Fantastic Schulze here!
A solitary saxophone opens the first measures of "Anchorage". A soft intro, pleasantly melancholic which drags its sorrow beneath a darkness ochred by the arrival of samplings to the tones of cellos and boreal shouts. The bass rolls its notes like a lascivious dance with movements of sways hips that
Schulze likes so much to develop in order to hatch out a strange cerebral sensualism on a glass thread to shards of Crystal Lake and to breaths of pleasure. An odd but beautiful track where elephant trumpeting get mixed to the shouts of macaques under a soft synth momentum from a very secret Schulze. A dreamy Schulze who plots a structure built on a latent, hypnotic and mesmerizing crescendo and which dismembers itself in a crazy inverted structure. In the stride of Dresden, "Variation on B. F." offers a more austere, a more symphonic approach with the strings of a cello which scrape a heavy structure livened up by smothered pulsations but livened up also by feminine choruses and where a real transition between Audentity and Totentag is going on in front of our silent ears. I think it's nice but with a more classical touch. But isn't it Klaus who is going classical? Whether it is Vol. 1 or Vol.2, I would start with the 2, the Royal Festival event is a complex work whose basis is a vast collage of sound samplings on a musical structure which has difficulty to take off, except for the volume 2. Royal Festival Hall Vol.1 has its strengths (Silence and Sequence) and its Gregorian tendency a la Vangelis, while that “Royal Hall Festival Vol. 2” is completely staggering with a more emotive, a more passionate approach. Schulze gives one's all, touching even the hillside of his Berlin School roots with an astonishing finale on Ancient Ambiance. Completely remarkable!
Sylvain Lupari (July 5th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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