|Seminal electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze has lined up the release of 'Silhouettes', his first new studio album for five years, on SPV's Oblivion record label on May 25th as a Digipak CD, double vinyl LP, as well as via download and stream.
Schulze, who was born in Berlin on 4 August 1947, started his musical career as a drummer, initially with amateur band Psy Free, then with Berlin sound avant-gardists Tangerine Dream before going on to join Ash Ra Tempel. Following the recording of Ash Ra Tempel's debut album, Schulze left the fold to embark on his solo career.
In summer 1971 he built his first small sound studio in the bedroom of his flat, where he recorded his debut 'Irrlicht' which arrived at the stores in April 1972 and has been followed by countless successors to this day; experts estimate the number of releases featuring Schulze to be at least 200, but more probably 500. The press were enthusiastic from the beginning, referring to Schulze as the "King Of Cosmic Music" and the "Magician on the Big Moog", calling his work a "monument of forward-looking music."
Schulze himself has never been interested in these kinds of labels, he simply follows a clear artistic vision: "For me a piece of music takes time until it becomes alive. Theoretically I could, of course, cut down what people refer to as 'epic' to four or five minutes. But then the dramaturgy of the work would break down completely. Since my debut album, I've always allowed my compositions the time frame they need."
Even more than with a band, the creative work of a solo artist is the direct and unadulterated reflection of recent experiences, a mirror of the soul, an undiluted reaction to their current life situation. The four compositions on the album were created between summer and autumn 2017, following an extended period which was – due to health problems – very quiet and for this reason very meditative at times. Schulze: "The result automatically was a phase of reflection, of retrospection, of pure contemplation. In the wake of your 70th birthday you naturally find yourself looking back at the past – so the result is a reorientation, a renewed awareness of what is really important." Schulze describes the music on 'Silhouettes' as a "reduction to the essential things" and has consciously worked only very sparingly with solos and vocal elements. He explains: "No great distractions, nothing to force your attention in a certain direction, no major effects or gimmicks, no frills or dominant rhythms. It was important to me to paint the pictures in the depth of the space, the sonic fields of tension and atmosphere."
Sonic images that inspire with their meditative ambience, their compositional elegance, their gentle advance into expanses and depths. "Although that's not something you consciously decide to do – it just happens if the music wants it to happen and you listen to where the journey wants to take you," Schulze describes his basic creative philosophy. "The result may appear to be unspectacular at first sight, but as with a microscope or a cosmic telescope, the evident should not really be what matters. Because there are levels in music that you can almost touch, that walk through the room – but first of all you have to allow the noise in your head to calm down so the music behind it becomes audible. Which may turn out to be very simple and for this reason very complex, depending on how far you're prepared to venture into it."