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Klaus Schulze - Privée (with U.S.O.) CD (album) cover

PRIVÉE (WITH U.S.O.)

Klaus Schulze

 

Progressive Electronic

3.98 | 8 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars 2016's `Privée' originally appeared sixteen years earlier on a long-deleted boxset from German electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze entitled `Contemporary Works', which saw the early Krautrock notable collaborating with guitarist Razoof Lear and drummer Olli Finken, two members of a Cologne DJ/music collective Solar Moon System. The trio deliver a cool instrumental set of lengthy modern-meets-vintage pieces that fuse everything from dub, ambient, trip-hop and chilled electronica to Schulze's more expected unhurried Berlin School electronic atmospheres, making it hardly an example of a vintage master lazily stuck in a rut and merely remaking his past.

This reissue opens with `The Keyhole', a short and moody solo ambient drone from the master, and Klaus' keys almost take on a spectral choral majesty. It segues right into the nineteen-minute chill-out `Privat', powered by cool trip-hop beats and dreamy electric guitar chimes flitting in and out around Klaus' lush synth caresses. Think along the lines of The Orb crossed with some of the laid-back early Krautrock bands, and the whole pieced is flecked with the lightest of reggae, jazz and psychedelic flavours.

The title track `Privée' is pulsing urgent electronica fuelled by bouncing beats and liquid reaching guitar tendrils weaving throughout, but as it slows down for a reflective and lush ambient finale and several moments where it's laced with searing runaway Mellotron races over skittering sequencer ripples, it quickly reminds of the Schulze of old.

The twenty-five minute `Private' floats through everything from dangerous bleeding synth twitches melting over a pattering of slinking beats and coasts into mellow slithering electronics, and while he doesn't openly solo, moments where Razoof's guitars emerge call to mind Manuel Göttsching's coolest Ashra and solo (E2-E4) moments of ambient dance and loved-up low-key jamming. A short four-minute bonus track `Privatissimo' is also included, and it's another head-bobbing trip-hop saunter that's essentially nothing more than a slight variation on the second track here.

There will be many vintage Berlin School purists who will probably find the whole thing a bit too `trendy' and too far removed from the thick moody atmospheres of the landmark Seventies period, and admittedly there's a couple of stretches where Schulze's contributions seem very low-key. But if you pay close attention to the most subtle of sounds, you'll hear how carefully put together whilst still retaining a vitality and freshness the album is. It's a very respectable modern effort from the German master with the help of some musical collaborators, and just a cool chill-out album overall that makes for a perfect laid-back summer album.

Four stars.

(dedicated to the biggest `Privée' fan I know, David `Guldbamsen', thanks for the recommendation in the first place!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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