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Schulze, Klaus

Entry updated 2 May 2022. Tagged: Music, People.

(1947-2022) German electronic musician who was the drummer on the first Tangerine Dream album, then formed Ash Ra Tempel, leaving after their first album (though occasionally guesting on later releases). He then pursued a solo career, but would also often collaborate with others – such as Pete Namlook (on a series of albums loosely named after Pink Floyd songs); Go (the band formed by Stomu Yamashta); Lisa Gerrard and the Cosmic Jokers. The latter is reputedly the result of several German musicians – including Schulze – being plied with drugs in return for jamming at parties held in a recording studio, the performances being taped then released without their knowledge (however, accounts vary).

Schulze released over 60 solo albums, including a few box sets containing previously unreleased material – most notably the 25 CD set Jubilee Edition (1997). Sf is clearly an influence on his music (see SF Music), but as it is predominantly instrumental, genre content is mainly indicated by titles. Two albums – Dune (1979) and Deus Arrakis (2022) were inspired by Frank Herbert's Dune (fixup 1965). Other genre releases include Cyborg (1973) (see Cyborgs); Timewind (1975); Moondawn (1976) and Moonlake (2005). Some track titles also have sf connections, such as "Solar Wind" (from Timewind); "Frank Herbert" from X (1978) and "Silent Running" from Trancefer (1981) – the last a reference to the film Silent Running (1971).

His early music was dominated by sombre ambient textures, invariably taking up one side of a vinyl album. Some compositions were drone-like, others had more light and rhythm: "Ways of Changing" from Black Dance (1974), "Totem" from Picture Music (1975) or "Floating" from Moondawn would not have been out of place on a 1990s ambient techno release. Later albums would wander the ambient electronica spectrum, sometimes combined with classical music influences; but could be a little arid, overlong or veer into bland New Age territory. However, as shown by his 1970s albums in particular, Schulze was an important pioneer of electronic music, with the techno, house and ambient genres being indebted to him. [SP]

Klaus Schulze

born Berlin: 4 August 1947

died 26 April 2022


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