Feel like taking a trip into deep, dark space? Well, one of the best ways to do it might be with this new InsideOut Music reissue of the Klaus Schulze classic Mirage. The music for this re-release was taken from the original analog master tapes and transferred to the digital format, and if you are hearing this album for the first time, the sound is pretty stunning to say the least. I've always been a sucker for 70's keyboard/electronic based music, and Schulze, one of the original members of Tangerine Dream, has always been at the forefront of the movement. This 1977 release features two main tracks which are divided into six sections. The opener "Velvet Voyage" is an eerie 28-minute jaunt into worlds unknown, led by Schulze's spacey array of haunting keyboard textures played on a score of vintage instruments like the Mini Moog, ARP Odyssey, Poly Moog, Farfisa String Machine, and many others. Hints of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" can be heard, as well as sonic tapestries that you normally would expect to hear on an early Tangerine Dream album, but Schultze had a way with creating cold and creepy soundscapes that could heighten your senses and well as frighten them. Yearning melody lines permeate the mix, only to be interrupted by fluttering chirps from the Mini Moog, a technique that many of us 70's synth hounds never get tired of.
The second part, "Crystal Lake" is reminiscant of the work of Goblin on the many collaborations with horror film maker Dario Argento. This piece is very cold, giving off a feeling of a chilly, Winter setting, as opposed to the space locale that the keyboard player portrays on the first section. While just as effective in creating a mood, I found "Velvet Voyage" to contain a little more variety in the synth attack for my tastes.
Also included is the bonus track "In Cosa Crede Chi Non Crede?", a near 20-minute song that Klaus recorded six months prior to the release of Mirage, and was originally intended to be used as a soundtrack piece to a Dutch movie. Only an edited 5-minute portion of the song was ever officially released , and the entire piece is included here. While not of the same sound quality of the two Mirage tracks, this bonus cut is still a haunting slice of synthesized electronica, and actually is just a different mix of "Destination Void." Here, Schulze lays down some chilling organ and Moog sounds that create bleak soundscapes and futuristic explorations into the darkness of the universe.
It's a ride well worth the time to take it all in, again and again. While Mirage is certainly not the kind of CD you pop in while on a date, or speeding along the interstate in your SUV, or even to pop in while having a barbecue, but it certainly goes well with a pair of headphones on high volume. A Moog classic!
1) Velvet Voyage (28:16)
- Lucid Interspace
- Destination Void
2) Crystal Lake (29:15)
- Liquid Mirrors
- A bientôt
3) In cosa crede chi non crede? (19:39) Bonus Track