Klaus Schulze

La Vie Electronique, Vol. 3

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The third in Klaus Schulze's series of three-disc compilations of live and rare material (all of it previously released in his 50-disc Ultimate Edition box from 2000) is pure bliss for fans of early-'70s analog synthesizer music. The melodies swoop and whoosh like comets passing by a slowly drifting space station manned by dudes and ladies in unisex jumpsuits with long, perfectly coiffed hair, and beards on the men. Close your eyes and you're there. Many of these tracks are grouped into half-hour suites, but at the same time the whole nearly four-hour document can be seen as one solid piece of art, or a shaving from a vast iceberg. Schulze's droning pulses are like the rhythm of the universe, unending and, while beautiful, totally inhuman. If Kraftwerk was the sound of musicians attempting to become machines, Klaus Schulze's work is the sound of one musician attempting to become a planet. The beeping rhythms, like a heart monitor, provide a slight anchor to keep one from floating away completely as this music spins itself out in ever wider spiraling arcs across endless vistas of empty space, but the ultimate effect is near-total trance.

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