Klaus Schulze

Trance Appeal

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Recorded in the summer of 1995 and first released in May 1996, Trance Appeal is a curiosity in Klaus Schulze's discography on two counts: its techno leanings and the short duration of its tracks. About the first count, Schulze is unapologetic in his liner notes to the Revisited reissue, stating that he was listening to a lot of good techno music at the time and that the style permeated his own playing (something also obvious on his Are You Sequenced? album). About the short durations, Schulze puts the "blame" entirely on electronic artist Jörg Schaaf, his partner in this collaborative endeavor (originally released, in fact, under the Richard Wahnfried pseudonym/moniker). Indeed, seven out of the original album's 11 tracks are under six minutes, while the remaining four do not cross the ten-minute barrier. As a result, Trance Appeal is a different proposition, for sure, but an enjoyable one, and Schulze fans need not worry too much about it being out of character (less so, in fact, than some of his mid-'80s material). The album is more restless and beat-driven than your average Schulze CD, but even the more outright techno-ish tracks ("Rubbish," "Psychedelic Clubbing") remain tasteful, inventive, and well integrated to the whole -- if tracks are short, they all segue, forming a Schulze-like multi-part suite. And the more ambient or abstract pieces ("Suspense," "Esprit Sans Fronti Res") showcase Schulze's team spirit and flexibility when working with other musicians. The short tracks establish a fast pace early on, later marred (ironically) by a small clutter of longer pieces at the bottom of the album, but that slight conceptual flaw aside, Trance Appeal is a fine, though not essential, effort. The 2007 Revisited reissue adds an interesting 13-minute bonus track, "Marooned," recorded four or five years later by the same two musicians.

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