By the middle of the Nineteen Eighties, the electronic pioneers were turning out their most contemporary-sounding works, leaving enough of their signature style draped with the film of accessibility so as not to sound stagnant nor retro: Jean-Michel Jarre recorded Rendez-vous, Vangelis begat Direct, Tangerine Dream issued Le Parc and Underwater Sunlight, and Larry Fast—Synergy—resurfaced with Metropolitan Suite, an album that differed even more greatly with regard to his established repertoire than the others with their respective discographies.
Drummer-cum-synthesist Klaus Schulze is no exception. While widely panned by die-hard Schulzians, Dreams, a sleeper appearing the same year as Underwater Sunlight (1986) and possessing nearly the same degree of melodic cohesion while remaining unabashedly "KS," is a better, more colorful effort than its follow-up, En=Trance. While many "state of the art" synths of the time were employed, and analog colour is lean, KS' palette doesn't sound wimpy by any stretch. Joining him is part-time collaborator Andreas Grosser (Babel) on piano, with guests Nunu Isa on guitar and Harold Asmussen on bass. Some live e-percussion is provided by Ulli Schober, and Ian Wilkinson contributed the psychedelic vocal in the final section of the welcome retro-trip "Klaustrophony."
Dreams is still very much an electronic construct; as on En=Trance, Klaus bridges different segments of "A Classical Move" with stark layered orchestral hits. As usual, sequenced and lives notes blend into a nearly indiscernible whole, a major component of the tapestry-like beauty of KS' approach. "Five To Four" almost sounds postmodernist with a right-hand pentatonic figure split into ²+¾ with rests, before a Philip Glass motif takes over while Grosser executes a suave piano run. The bulk of the title track is marked by that swell dreamscape mantra of looped percussion and thickly resonant choirs. "Flexible" is a shorter track which most likely has Schober playing an Octapad (not listed, but possible) for that slightly "kit" feel. The Prophet's fat brass attack frames errant bell tones and a sublime guitar-like lead that's reverbed to hell and back to convey a ghostly sheen.
The nearly twenty-five minute "Klaustrophony" begins dreamily (almost redundantly so) with light shimmering strings, a bell-chime arpeggio, and sonorities from the ether. Bass notes don't even appear until seven minutes in; percussion until 8-½. Nunu Isa's acoustic strings perfectly complement the inorganic landscape—his Spanish guitar solo lasts quite a few minutes. Ian Wilkinson's abstract vocal (not gibberish, the lyrics are what are) almost overpowers the instrumentation, and with its halo of maximum 'verb assumes a quasi-deific role, "floating" over the others. While not a masterpiece, this is a great track, and Wilkinson echoes Arthur Brown on Schulze's Karl Wahnfried album, Time Actor.
The bonus track "Constellation Andromeda" is another lengthy diversion, a "moderner" created for the 2003 Frankfurt Music Fair. It was named so because the track is basically a showcase for Alesis' then-new modern analog beast, the Andromeda A6. Alesis ran off 300 copies of the track as a single; Klaus included it here as a bonus track because he learned collectors were paying hundreds of dollars for a copy—at least one sold for $500! "Constellation Andromeda" is a splendid track, an evolution of collated note patterns, percussive accents, and endlessly shifting, morphing sequences.
Dreams, indeed. Repackaged as an attractive digi-pak. Other reviews of Klaus Schulze reissues by Inside Out:
Le Moulin De Daudet
1. A Classical Move (9:40)
2. Five To Four (7:57)
3. Dreams (9:25)
4. Flexible (4:16)
5. Klaustrophony (24:40)
— Bonus Track: —
6. Constellation Andromeda (23:52) (2003 Frankfurt Music Fair promo track)
Total time – 79:02