Saturday, October 1, 2011

Klaus Schulze - Plug in Code; Press Play

...And now for something completely different.

If you even have a passing interest in electronic music, from the techno-pop of Kraftwerk, the ambient music of Brian Eno, Vangelis (one of Mac's favorites, as he wrote the score for Blade Runner), or the early experiments of Tangerine Dream, then it's time you met the master of the genre, German composer, Klaus Schulze.

Above is an abbreviated clip of Schulze from a 2010 concert in Tokyo, Japan. Below, in the second video, Schulze composes his melody, punches in his percussion code, and allows all of it to play while he walks off-stage. I don't think one really "gets" electronic music unless they see a true maestro perform. The music becomes an almost scientific achievement, a network of reverberating sound crafted on a machine; but, if the composer is successful, one can still feel the human presence in the center of this web, and feel privileged to have access to this dreamer's dream.

And below is a beautiful, dreamy collaboration between Schulze and Peter Namlook, complete with a synthetic journey through the galaxies.

For those of you who might be interested in an earlier (1977) live clip of Schulze, featuring just the man and his machines, press play.

And, in the interests of "turning European", here's a teaser clip of a 2009 Schulze concert featuring that amazing, muse-possessed vocalist, Lisa Gerrard, from the now legendary band, Dead Can Dance.


  1. Lovely post Dia! Takes me back to the days of listening to David Sylvian, Eno, Tangerine Dream and, yep, Vangelis. TD had an album from the early 2000s that was very good, a musical piece inspired by Dante's Inferno.

  2. Thanks, ToB!

    Takes me back to living in one room in a boarding house on 7th St, NYC... and listening to Schulze, Michael Hoenig, and Brian Eno while obsessively drawing a weird series of geometric designs.

    The two (electronic music and weird geometric designs) went together like white on rice...

    It was almost a form of religious experience.

  3. Hah! I remember Klaus Schulze -- I had a friend who was VERY into European electronic was a LONG time ago.

    I agree -- a successor composer can impose the human presence and the listener can access the art.

    I think this is true of all human::computer art endeavours -- the computer is merely a tool to stretch human boundries -- what results is all human.

  4. "the computer is merely a tool to stretch human boundaries"

    Yeah, on a good day... ;-)

  5. My special thanks to those of you who are "trending" this post today... You've inspired me to go back to YouTube and find a real gem. If you haven't heard Schulze's Kontinuum, then, go here:

    Or here:


    1. Sorry, gang, the copyright trolls have shot-to-shit many of the videos and links on this blog, and Trans-D.

      For those interested, however, Kontinuum can now be found here:

      As Klaus, himself, might say, "Sequencers are beautiful!"

  6. Note to "book of ra": For whatever reason your comment is marked as spam by Google. In the event it's not spam, then you are most welcome to quote me with credits and a link.