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Schulze, Klaus (feat. Lisa Gerrard): Rheingold Live at the Loreley (DVD)

Former member of Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Temple, Klaus Schulze, hits the stage for the first time in five years at the open air Night of the Prog Festival in Loreley, Germany. Regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic progressive music, as one watches his latest DVD it is not hard to see why. Joining him on stage for a couple of tracks is Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard. As the concert starts we are presented with Schulze surrounded with stacks of electronic equipment, including sequencers, various moogs and oscillators placed in the middle of the stage. For most people this would seem a bit overwhelming but it is clear Schulze is completely within his element. As the strains of electronic music starts, mist and lights are used for good effect. The entire show focuses on Schulze and Gerrard, when she appears, as the cameras remain focused on Schulze and his electronics.

If you have heard Tangerine Dream and music like it, you probably know what to expect. The show starts with the twenty-four minute "Alberich". Starting with intensity, then softening the blow, Schulze is able to create many different moods and atmospheres with his instruments. Waves of dreamy sounds emanate from the stage creating a pastoral quality in many of the softer sections. Electronic percussion is used to pick up the pace and adds just the right amount of rhythm. At times the sound is so rich and full one wonders how one man could produce such music. Watching Schulze execute these songs it is clear his playing comes from deep within, as his music is performed with passion, integrity and feeling, something I normally would not associate with electronic music. Although I have listened to a lot of electronic music I have not seen it performed live. It was cool to see how the music takes shape from just one man and his machines.

For those interested in opera, Lisa Gerrard has an amazing voice, and her voice is a good match with Schulze's instrumentation. On Loreley her voice is incorporated beautifully with the choral voices Schulze provides. At times her voice carries an Eastern inflection, adding to the exotic nature of the music.

The intensity picks up with the sequencer driven "Wotan" starting with cool nightmarish effects at times reminding me Pink Floyd's "On the Run". The ending is quite dramatic as the music abruptly stops and starts with a calculated chaos that Schulze handles with ease.

As far as sound quality is concerned, the video footage is well done and the sound is excellent. I would have liked to have seen more footage of the audience but this is only a minor complaint.

The second DVD proves to be very informative as Schulze talks about the recording process at Real World Studios, Lisa Gerrard and provides other tidbits of information. Also included is an interview conducted by Steven Wilson who does a good job and provides insight from a musician's perspective. At times Schulze's thick German accent is hard to understand but I was able to make out most of the interview.

Overall, this is a good package and rates highly for those interested in electronic/space progressive music. Enjoy the show…

Track Listing:
1. Aberich (24:56)
2. Loreley (with Lisa Gerrard) (39:35)
3. Wotan (10:03)
4. Wellgunde (with Lisa Gerrard) (14:56)
5. Nothung (11:20)

The Documentary: The Real World of Klaus Schulze
The Interview: Steven Wilson meets Klaus Schulze

Added: May 6th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's MySpace Page
Hits: 2251
Language: english

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