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Klaus Schulze: Drums 'N' Balls [Digipak]

Track List

>Drums 'n' Balls
>House of India
>Bass of Orion
>Chicken Biryani

Album Notes

Personnel: Klaus Schulze (keyboards, electronics, computer); Richard Wahnfried (keyboards, electronics, computer).

Liner Note Author: Albrecht Piltz.

Recording information: Hambühren (12/1997); Hambühren (1997).

Photographer: Klaus D. Mueller.

Translators: Markus Schurr; Matt Goodluck.

First released in 1997 under the Wahnfried moniker, then reissued in 2006 under Klaus Schulze's Wahnfried, Drums 'n' Balls is actually a solo Schulze CD. The man had been sporadically using the Richard Wahnfried alias since the late '70s, whenever he felt like releasing a collaboration project. Upon its original release, Drums 'n' Balls was credited to a number of musicians, including percussionists Joe "Dum Dum" Loevenstone and Sloto Olatunye, and bassist Venus Dupond, but those turned out to be bogus names. On the other hand, the album didn't sound or feel like a typical Schulze CD, so the man resorted to his alter ego one last time. Drums 'n' Balls is basically a dub record with keyboard patches thrown in. The drum machine occupies a central role throughout, as does a synth bass, the prime mover of the whole album. The title track is just that, drum machine and bass keyboard, intertwining in a dance at first languorous, later sedate. "Percussy" follows in a similar vein, with a bit more keyboard textures thrown in. After a pompous overture, "House of India" proposes samples from an Indian singer, followed by a long dub interlude, replete with timbale cues and sampled shouts, before the Indian voice recaps the main theme. Schulze is clearly ill at ease with the quarter-tone singing of the uncredited woman, stretching time to fit in conventional chords wherever he can -- the easy way out, really; he could have tried to compose in quarter tones to achieve a more authentic Indian feel. "Bass of Orion" features denser keyboard arrangements, without breaking away from the album's soft dub leitmotif. These four tracks are 12 to 16 minutes long, and they are all overstretched to an extent. Drums 'n' Balls is not a bad album per se (if anything, it still bears Schulze's craftsmanship), but it quickly runs out of ideas. ~ François Couture


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