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CD Feature - Klaus Schulze: "Dig it"

img  Tobias
Today, it's anything but a secret that the 80s were digital - thanks to bad TV-shows celebrating the worst of a difficult decade and thanks to 10 CD-boxes sold for a nickle and a dime at local Supermarkets. In 1980, however, it was still anybody's guess. That's why "Dig it" may well be one of the most prophetic albums of recent history.

Right at the beginning of the new decade, Klaus Schulze put his analogue babies to sleep, half-jokingly refered to his old masterpieces as "wheel-chair music" and recorded a piece called "Death of an Analogue" (even though it used an old, non-digital vocoder). This makes this disc interesting not only for fans, but for all those, who wonder about the interconectivity between man and machine in relation to art. What I'm trying to say is: It's pretty obvious that the new technology had its effect on the compositions. The rhythmical basis became increasingly stoic and was reduced to a slowly gyrating pulse, serving as a foundation for crystal-clear melodies and ominous harmonies. You might call it a new form of openness. The new and fresh approach yielded some impressive results, such as the hymnical "The looper isn't a hooker", the slowly perishing vocal formants of "Death of an Analogue" and the first ten minutes of closing "Synthasy", which seems to teleport Orchestral music right into the year 2017. On the other hand, on quite a few occasions, the music relies just a little too much on mere groove and many sounds are close to being outright obnoxious. But then there's the bonus features of the re-release: A 30-minute journey into a world full of secrets and impassibilities, called "Esoteric Goody". And a sensational DVD containing the recording of a Schulze-concert of the same year, an audio-visual masterpiece containing some of the best moments of his work combined with the sounds of a steel plant.

Being a "prophet" or "ahead of your time" might make some nice headlines, but it hardly seems a relevant gauge. What it really boils down to, in the end, is: Is this music still relevant today? The fact that "Dig it" doesn't provide the listener with a clear-cut answer, actually makes it even more interesting.

by tocafi

Homepage: Klaus Schulze
Label: InsideOut

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