Klaus Schulze

Miditerranean Pads

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

If you're afraid of commitment, Miditerranean Pads might not be for you. To get the music's full effect, it is recommended that you turn off the lights, fire up a big candle (a lava lamp'll do in a pinch), and let Klaus Schulze's kaleidoscopic arrangements weave their magic. But -- and here's where the commitment part comes in -- the disc runs just over 70 minutes, which might tax the limits of the novice navel-gazer. Fortunately, the music commands attention, consuming the senses immediately rather than slowly adding elements for the first minute or two. Schulze's earlier work has often seemed aloof, so listeners may be surprised to find themselves heavily invested in "Decent Changes." The percussion powers the music like a steam engine designed by Maurits Escher (and that's without looking at the cover), arrhythmic and improbable at times yet somehow logical. The "changes" in the piece are abrupt, but they shift the arrangement to show off different vantage points (and it's here that the kaleidoscope analogy comes into play). For 30 minutes, "Decent Changes" provides a lush musical landscape that will engage the attentive listener from beginning to end. "Miditerranean Pads" produces a very different effect by using soprano and piano as its primary colors. The pace is slower and the music evocative; the closest comparison may be the early work of Harold Budd. "Percussion Planante" returns to the formula of the first piece, though the ride is rougher, the currents swifter, the percussion noisier. Initially, the song recalls the contemporary work of Tangerine Dream (their "Flashflood" in particular comes to mind), but Schulze soon shifts his attention to the diabolical, stirring the lost souls of men and women fallen from some fantastical city of sin (or maybe that's just the candle talking). Again, listening to this record with half an ear isn't half as much fun as giving it your full attention, so don't expect to just pop the disc in while you wash the dishes and be magically transported. Better to set aside even half an hour and get lost in one of the longer tracks. Miditerranean Pads reveals a mastery of the electronic form; if you've found some of Schulze's earlier work too abstract, you might want to re-approach him from this angle.

blue highlight denotes track pick