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Klaus Schulze: Audentity

Album Notes

In most parts of Europe, Audentity was only available as a double LP; however, Illuminated Records saw fit to release a single-LP version of the album in the United Kingdom, deleting the original tracks "Cellistica" and "Sebastian im Traum." It's this version that U.S. collectors were more likely to find in their local import bins, so some may be surprised to find that they've in effect been shortchanged by half. What remains from the original double LP is still very good, so "shortchanged" may be too strong a word. Both the three-part suite on side one and the side-long "Spielglocken" are interesting, compelling electronic pieces. The opening "Tango-Saty" is a fantastical animal too unnatural for Saint-Saëns' zoo, prodded on by percussion that percolates to its own whims, forcing the beast to alternately lope and limp in comic fashion. "Amourage" changes the setting dramatically, transporting the listener to some stillborn landscape where the wind snakes through broken bamboo trees. Underneath, a piano adds to the placid atmosphere, recalling in some ways the muted and remote accompaniment used by the Residents on occasion. "Opheylissem" returns to the sounds of the opening piece, with the percussion's unpredictable flams and beats bullying the music from both sides. "Spielglocken" is typical of Klaus Schulze's maddeningly tight patterns, featuring cellist Wolfgang Tiepold and Rainer Bloss (on glockenspiel) in the roles of evil and good, respectively. Throughout, Schulze twists his continuous stream of sound ever so slightly, changing its direction by degrees and altering the rhythmic heartbeats accordingly. The presence of contributing players -- including Michael Shrieve, a frequent guest of Schulze in the first half of the '80s -- fleshes out the material much as Tangerine Dream was able to do. Even at half its original size, Audentity is an interesting and engrossing work. ~ Dave Connolly



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