Klaus Schulze: Moonlake

»Dear KDM, Please pass on good wishes to KS and hope that he is now fully recovered from his illness. I am sitting listening to the new CD Moonlake. Track Two Artemis in Jubileo is the favourite so far. Well done!«
(Neil, Circle Member)

»Moonlake ist toll! Wir wollen MEHR :-) (= Moonlake is fantastic. We want MORE :-)«
(Michal, Poland)

»Heute hab ich Moonlake gekauft... Ein kleines Wunder.«
(Dieter, Germany)

»Artemis in Jubileo [...] besitzt eine treibende Kraft, die nur ein wenig vom zu tiefen und schwammigen Bass gestört wird. Das nächste mal bitte "knackiger" programmieren oder dezenter. Danke.«
(Michael, Germany)

»The past few months German electronica pioneer Klaus Schulze has been busy reissuing his extensive back catalogue, step by step, but now he has a brand new album out; an album that relates both to Schulze's past efforts as well as to those big techno and electronica acts of the nineties. The title is Moonlake and with a name like that one would think the music is part of a new age scene that likes its aura served with plenty of syrup and eternal springs, but not so. On the contrary, Schulze takes quite a different journey with the four tracks that make up the album, a neat 74 minutes, all in all.
Over the past few years Klaus Schulze has been working more and more with virtual instruments, a strategy which sometimes leads young electronica acts astray and straight into laziness. With Schulze, however, the effect seems to be the opposite, possibly because his background is with analogue synthesizers, and so the new virtual instruments present a new challenge, a way out of old habits. The old analogues are not all gone, though, and good thing too - the classic MiniMoog is in use on a couple of tracks and it only takes one or two listens to notice the sound design throughout the album is both focused and excellent. This is Schulze really matching his reputation of being a unique creator of atmospheric electronic soundscapes.
The first track of the album, Playmate In Paradise, is also its longest, lasting somewhere around half an hour. The music builds up slowly, in layers, introducing various themes and arpeggio sequencers moving around nicely, making for a fine three-dimensional feel. Somewhat mellow electronica beats sneak in as do synthesizer chords and improvised themes and the overall sound is not totally unlike that of Air Liquide or The Orb. Later we also hear electronically treated voices which lead the track into a cosmic ambient part, followed by hypnotic sequencer themes, beats and a fine MiniMoog solo.
Next track, Artemis In Jubileo, ups the tempo, introducing rolling basslines, arpeggios and techno beats, making for an interesting cadence, at once rigid and syncopated, a bit like Orbital, perhaps. Later, string samples appear, improvising themes that make you think of both 1990's Miditerranean Pads as well as Slovenian goth outfit Laibach.
Same Thoughts Lion is a track based on live recordings from a concert in Poland and it is also the shortest track on the album, lasting a mere ten minutes. The music is mellow and mysterious, the rhythm organic, like a rumba. The phaser chords recall Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene, and the overall feel of the music is dreaming, a trance-like state of melancholy. Layers of sequencers and rhythm are introduced, creating polyrhythmic movements but without ruining the quiet crystalline atmosphere of this gem.
The final track, Mephisto, is also based on live recordings from Poland and in many ways the music can be described as classic Schulze, at least in terms of composition and structure. Not surprisingly the music is made up from layers of increasing complexity; sequencer movements, piano themes, nice breakbeats and a good sense of transposition. There is a sense of everything moving towards a crescendo and finally the MiniMoog appears; classic solo from der Klaus, rounding off a splendid album very nicely.
Moonlake is an album for people who really like electronic sound - the music is rich in sonic details and if you're not too lazy to plug in the earphones you'll discover even more. You could say Klaus Schulze is basically doing what he has always been doing and that is true. However, he has managed to find yet a new angle, he has managed to find a balance between updating his sound and doing what he is best at - and this seems to be indeed the way ahead because Moonlake is definitely the best album from Schulze in many years. An album which should appeal to the old fans but also introduce new ones. Highly recommended!«
(Ras Bolding & Jannik Juhl, www.geiger.dk)

»finde ich zum beispiel die neue cd [Moonlake] in eine ecke gedrängt, wo sie vielleicht gar nicht hingehört. sie wirkt so "esoterisch"«
(A fan from Germany)

» I think, Moonlake sounds too clinical, too decent, too perfect, too clean (especially the percussion on tracks 1, 2, and 4). The singing on track 1 Klaus should have dropped, for me the "tralala"-contents is too high. Track 2 is a bit too lazy, sluggish, maybe too careful, it should have been a bit more exciting. The breakbeat in track 4 I find too static, not enough tension, as for instance in Percussion Planante. Otherwise it’s an beautiful and again very colourful album. «
(Robert, NL)

»Now something about Moonlake: I listened for some time to the music. No, it is not the brilliant music as I know it from Klaus. Yes, it is a beautiful silver disc, but "chicken skin" I only get from listening to Mephisto. Especially I like the short piano attacks. This piece is for me a kind of hommage to Poland and the Poland concerts.
I own the concert DVD from November 2003, I have Andromeda, have the bonus Constellation Andromeda on Dreams, and now Moonlake = all four are a "must" for fans. I see them as four mixes of the same fundamental work, and I think that the concert DVD version is the best. Why? Because I believe - despite the changes and the fireworks sounds at the end - the harmony and the togetherness is on the DVD version preserved at its best. «
(Michael, Germany)

»I am thoroughly enjoying Moonlake and even my wife has enjoyed some sections, which is a first with KS compositions!«
(John, GB)

»Moonlake contains really great music.«
(Henryk, Poland)

»Das neue Album Moonlake finde ich recht gut, zwei super Tracks und zwei durchschnittliche.«
(Jens, Germany)

»Just purchased a copy of Moonlake. Please give my warmest congratulations to KS. This is a really great CD and in my humble opinion, has a superb feel to it which puts it alongside his best works.«
(David Wright, GB)

»Oh well. I really thought Moonlake was darn good. Probably really go after it when I get paid next. That’s the main thing... no matter where I download anything from your cds , tangerine dream's, can't compete because the cd covers have amazing artwork on them and that's how I'd rather have them.«
(Lee Bartolomew, USA)

»Ich kann mich der durchweg positiven Rückmeldungen zu Moonlake nicht anschließen. Über den Klappentext ist schon genug gesagt worden. Wie kommt ihr zu Ecki Stieg?
Der Sound von Moonlake ist für KS-Verhältnisse ein bisschen mager. Den Bässen fehlt der Druck und insgesamt vermisse ich die KS-typische räumliche Transparenz. Ich glaube, KS sollte sich wieder selbst produzieren.
Auch musikalisch ordne ich Moonlake in die Katgorie "ganz nett" ein. Etwas wenig Bewegung und Entwicklung. Und gegroovt hat es bei KS schon öfter und interessanter.
Das ist halt meine bescheidene Ansicht und freuen werde ich mich auf die nächste Musik von KS. Hauptsache, man muss nicht wieder so lange warten. Danke für all die Mühen, uns Fans zu bedienen.«
(Jürgen, Germany)

»According to booklet info, two tracks origin from Poznan concert: Same Thoughts Lion and Mephisto, which is mistake. True information is that Mephisto and second part of Playmate in Paradise come from that concert. Nevertheless - MAGNIFICENT album (even if I regret it is not 100% Poznan material). Maestro is still in top musical shape (I hope he is also recovering from his health problems).«
(Tomasz, Poland)

»... schade Klaus (Schulze), es ist irgendwie merkwürdig, dass mich Moonlake kaum anspricht. Wie kommt das nur? Bei der nächsten Aufnahme wird es bestimmt wieder spannend...«
(Christian, Germany)

».I have written a review on amazon.com regarding Klaus Schulze latest release Moonlake. This is a superb recording in every aspect. Mr. Schulze has redefined the way we listen to music, not only because of his ability to compose infinite structures in sound design but because he is a gifted musician that converts synthesis into far reaching exploratory mediums that anyone with an open mind will appreciate. Since 1971 Klaus Schulze has been on the forefront of technology. "Moonlake" is a beautiful representation of this.«

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