Klaus Schulze, August 4, 1947-

Regarded in his native Germany as a composer/multi-instrumentalist within the classical music tradition, Klaus Schulze remains a cult figure in the United States, where the bulk of his prolific output is available only through the import bins. Despite his marginal status stateside, he is widely considered an avant garde mainstay as well as a founding father of both new age space music and the electronica genre.

Schultze first attracted attention as a member of the German progressive rock band, Tangerine Dream. Following the release of their debut LP, Electronic Meditation (Ohr 556 004; 1970), he departed for a solo career. His recorded work typically features extended pieces—sometimes filling an entire album—built around computer-generated synthesizers and other specially programmed electronic effects. The music itself—somewhat reminiscent of the oscillating sound loops pioneered by minimalist composers like Philip Glass—has been described as ethereal, surreal, spacey, dreamy, hypnotic, and relaxing. Since the release of the soundtrack Body Love (Brain 60.047; 1977), he has been in great demand as a composer/performer of European film music.

Schulze’s recordings—many of which are complemented by engaging art work (e.g., the Daliesque paintings of some early 1970s titles)—include Irrlicht (Brain 1077; 1972), Blackdance (Virgin 2003; 1974), Timewind (Virgin 2006; 1975), Moondawn (Brain 1088; 1976) Mirage (Brain 60.040; 1977), Dune (Brain 0060.225; 1979), Trancefer (Innovative Communication 80014; 1981), Audentity (Brain 817-194-2; 1983; with keyboardist Rainer Bloss and percussionist Michael Schrieve), Inter*Face (Brain 827 673-2; 1985), Cyborg (A.V.I. 2002; 1986), Mediterranean Pads (Thunderbolt/ Magnum Music Group 2027; 1990), Beyond Recall (Venture/Virgin 906; 1991), and The Dome Event (Virgin 918; 1993; recorded live at the Cologne Cathedral).

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