Samstag, 1. Oktober 2022

Some interesting interviews

Just published in the "Perfect Sound Forever online music magazine":

Remembering the Great German Electronics Guru

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Mittwoch, 21. September 2022

Re-read (from The KS Circle # 12, October 1996)

And now again for something completely different. People ask me, why KS uses often non-English titles. Yes, I can answer this. First, it was meant as reaction, a protest, because too many German musicians use English titles for their music. When they copy Anglo-American Rock or Pop, with (more or less) English lyrics, this maybe makes some sense, ...but with our homegrown electronic music? When I asked some of these "E.M." players: why English? ...they didn't know(!), or they told me: because the American market asks for it (they sell merely five or ten copies of their CDs to USA).
. . . . I think it's a normal thing that a German artist who's not doing Anglo-American rock or pop music but music that has its roots in Germany, gives his work German titles. A French chanson singer uses French titles, a Spanish flamenco musician uses Spanish titles, of course.
. . . . Because of the intended universality of Klaus' music, and because he's worldwide known, we use a variety of languages for KS' titles. Mostly we adapt German, English, French, Spanish and Italian, because this covers 99% of the languages that we and most KS fans speak or understand.
. . . . It's nice to observe that this policy, this return to normality, is meanwhile also copied by some other musicians. And it's a nice side effect that people from France, Spain and Italy write KS and me and thank us for this practice.


Because I had to read most bizarre stories about it, here's something from our department "Old Instruments of KS": Yes, KS used in the seventies a "Schulte" phaser, "Schulte" with a "t" in the middle, like in: Tallahassie-Lassie. "Schulte" was a Berlin company that built and sold these little (approx. 20 x 20 x 5 cm) phase shifting effect tools, and they had nothing to do with our "Schulze" with a "z" in the middle like in: Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.
. . . . For those of you living outside of Germany, let me explain again, that "Schulze, Schulz, Schultze, Schultz, Schult" are most common names here. In fact, they are second after "Müller" or "Mueller".

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Freitag, 9. September 2022

Wiedergelesen (from The KS Circle # 135, March 2008)

There are a few of you who cannot read the text on the back page of KONTINUUM's booklet. [The album was released in June 2007]. Because the designer had chosen to print a very small lettering in dark green on black (!). KS and I, we are members of this helpless club. I was asked to reprint it in The KS Circle. Also there were some who had asked me for a German translation. Both I will do, of course, gladly, here, and in a readable size and lettering:

''All you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.'' This easily and loosely expressed statement was valid at the old times of Bach (who had said the above ...says a dubious but amusing rumour), but... technology was moving on. Today's musicians use not just a pianoforte but computer programmes. Side effect: a laptop is smaller than the Grand Piano, so it leaves more room for the artist to walk around thinking about what to compose, play and record. Hopefully, I say :-)
. . . . I myself am not a musician. But, as most boys of my generation, in younger years I dreamed to be a member of a band. For reasons unknown to me I always wanted to be the bass player, the solid backbone of a gang of four or five. Sadly, I never made it. Maybe because I never really tried (PS: except as the rhythm man on washboard in a Skiffle trio that existed for one day, around 1958). Instead, and meanwhile, there is a branch of music at which I truly excelled. The area I mean, at which I consider myself of Olympic standard, is ...listening! Listening to many different music. Thanks to Stephen Fry who put my nose on the obvious truth that listening is an important part in the wonderful but also huge world of music. Important it must be, just because there are more listeners than players of music.
. . . . But we are here in a booklet of a Klaus Schulze album. When I write this it's still ''the new'' album by Klaus. And at the moment I am one of the few who have heard the music of KONTINUUM in advance, means: before release. People who know me also know that I'm not a ''fan'' of KS but a critical partner and friend. And that I'm not always happy about each and every piece of sound that he had released in the past; which is normal if you look at the huge output of KS. If I think a few seconds about it, the albums which I don't like 100% were often the ones he did not make as soloist. Or, the other way around: I prefer Klaus Schulze pure. As soloist. Alone.
. . . . KONTINUUM is such a pure solo album. And I like it. But not just because there is no singer or a second (and third) player on it (who all too often are just happy to have a chance to play with the ''great master'' ...but often have no own style, or they forget it because of Schulze's prominent presence).
. . . . I like KONTINUUM as it is, as a whole, as a perfect album. Yes, I mean it and I repeat the word: perfect. Klaus proves again, as with Moondawn, Mirage, or Are You Sequenced? that he's still the master. He even shows that he is the master of reduction; he must not do everything all the time. What I hear: not one note or sound or rhythm is too much.
. . . . The album starts with the best from the past, yes I mean the wonderful sequencer: wonderful in sound and rhythm. KS is not the best in finding melodies, but with sounds and rhythm he's unbeatable. And, sometimes it has to be stated: the best of the past isn't getting bad just because it's not the newest trend. You will also learn this when getting older, my friend.
. . . . On KONTINUUM Klaus also avoids kitsch and pathos (of which he is not always free). Easily he could have added some of it here or there, in these three long tracks of KONTINUUM. The temptation was surely there. But Klaus followed the musical rule that I like so much: Less is more. He just touched the right key at the right time. Which is the most difficult thing to do, in music and else.

In Deutsch: auf den Seiten 12 und 13 dieser PDF: 131351 (pdf, 267 KB)

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Sonntag, 14. August 2022

From an older issue of "The KS Circle" ... (Nostalgic recollection, pt. 36)

Seit weit über 20 Jahren bekommen wir Anfragen, welche Instrumente KS spielt, welche man braucht um auch sowas machen zu können, wie man diesen oder jenen Effekt hinbekommt... Neben der Industrie leben einige Magazine ("Keyboards" etc) davon, dass sie diese Instrumente im Umfeld der großen Namen anbieten. Und die Amateure draussen glauben oft tatsächlich, dass sie auch n u r diese Instrumente bräuchten. Ich erinnere mich an manch traurige, zornige oder bettelnde Zuschrift in der Art, dass, wenn der Absender doch auch so viel Geld haben würde wie (vermeintlich) KS, und sich dann auch all diese Instrumente zulegen könnte, ja, dann würde er auch solch tolle Musik machen können. Ich habe das nicht erfunden, Georg. Mit solch Aberglauben müssen - und können - wir leben. Seit einem Vierteljahrhundert.
. . . .Ich habe in meinem ganzen Leben keinen einzigen professionellen Musiker oder Komponisten kennengelernt, dessen Ehrgeiz es gewesen wäre, zu spielen wie irgendein anderer, zu klingen wie irgendein anderer. Wenn sich Kollegen Kollegen anhören, wenn also KS ein Album von Vangelis, Kraftwerk oder Madonna hört, denkt er keinen Augenblick daran, dieses oder jenes zu übernehmen, sondern ihm fällt auf der Stelle ein, was er ganz anders machen würde. Verstehst du was ich meine? Verstehst du den wichtigen Unterschied?
.(Antwort an einen fragenden 'Georg', in: The KS Circle # 52, Dezember 2000)


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Montag, 20. Juni 2022

The KS Circle #297

Issue #297 has been posted to all Circle members. It contains:

* Two minor memories from 1975 and '76
* BBC's 'Krautrock' film from 2009
* Long guest article: "KS - Dream Into Action"
* Some formerly unpublished photos
... and more.

& an extra for German speaking members:
* German translation of the ''Dream Into Action'' article.

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Mittwoch, 27. April 2022

Klaus Schulze

04. August 1947 - 26. April 2022


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Mittwoch, 26. Januar 2022

From an older issue of "The KS Circle" ... (Nostalgic recollection, pt. 34)

Does Klaus play Ambient?
. . . .An American journalist is writing a book and he sent me some excerpts of his writing, in advance. He tried to describe all the seventies' albums by Klaus and to my surprise he marked them all (!) as "ambient" music. ... Therefore, I wrote him:
. . . .Yes of course you can use a modern word for an older music. It's just that there is TOO MANY "ambient" in your reviews that catched my attention; as if KS only, mainly and consciously did "Ambient Music", but the opposite is true.
. . . .Neither KS nor the fans or the press heard Schulze's music at time of release (and many years after) as "ambient" in a way Eno meant it and did it later: as a kind of "Muzak for the educated classes".
. . . .Maybe you should turn up the loudness when listening to Klaus' music? "Moondawn" for instance was very well received when it came out, and I heard many people speak about it, read hundreds of reviews and articles about it, it was in French hit lists, but no one ever said that "Moondawn" is an "ambient" album. Because for this genre it's much too lively. Same with "Body Love" and the rest of your many "ambient" described albums. After 26 years of work with KS I can easily separate all this boring, dead, new age, ambient, and noodling music, ...from the very emotional (which is the opposite of "ambient"), and partly even soulful music of Klaus Schulze.
. . . .It's not that I am a big fan of his music (I prefer completely other music), but I can hear this stark difference. Schulze's music touches the people, it is full of passion. In fact this is Klaus' trademark. Pause. On the contrary, "Ambient" is used to fill the ambient of rooms with nice sounds that does not disturb the people.
. . . .Of course, if you really see it (hear it) your own way, and if you are not just using a fashionable term, feel free to call Klaus' music "ambient", even if - historically & musically - it isn't.
. . . .It reminds me on a scene in a funny Hollywood movie: A hillbilly hears an LP with some Beethoven or Brahms and he proudly announces: "That's classical music, yep? Well, I hear that at once: No singing!" (The KS Circle # 47, from summer 2000)

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Donnerstag, 6. Januar 2022

Vor über 20 Jahren...

...gab's im "The KS Circle" zum Beispiel dies:

Jemand fragte: Du hast in einem der letzten Circles geschrieben, daß von der 1979er Tour noch etliche Tapes existieren. Ist da auch das aus der Bielefelder Oetkerhalle dabei? Und hast Du irgendwelche Aufzeichnungen darüber in Dein Tagebuch geschrieben? Es war mein erstes Schulze-Konzert (als 18jähriger) und soweit ich mich erinnere, war ich ziemlich begeistert. Anschliessend habe ich dann die mir noch fehlenden Schulze-Platten erworben und sozusagen "auswendig gelernt."

...und ich antwortete:

➪ Die ersten Städte der langen 1979er Tournee sind nicht bei den Bändern mit den Konzertmitschnitten. Also leider auch nicht Bielefeld :-(
. . . .Ich erinnere mich aber daran: Gütersloh & Bielefeld wurden vom gleichen örtlichen Veranstalter durchgeführt und in Gütersloh mussten wir feststellen, dass der für beide Orte eine riesige(!) Laser-Show angekündigt hatte, die wir angeblich beim Konzert machen würden. Dabei hatten wir nur einen kleinen Mini-Laser mit, den wir (unangekündigt) an nur einer bestimmten Stelle kurz und überraschend einsetzten. Wegen dieser völlig überzogenen Vorankündigung entschlossen wir uns, den kleinen Laser in beiden Städten nicht einsetzen. Er hätte die Erwartungen der Zuschauer in Gütersloh & Bielefeld überhaupt nicht erfüllen können; also dann lieber überhaupt nicht. Natürlich waren wir stinksauer auf den Veranstalter, denn wir liebten diese kleine Einlage. Wenn ich mich recht entsinne, hat unser Tourmanager dem Veranstalter verabreicht, was er verdient hat: ein paar Backpfeifen. Das ist meine Erinnerung an Bielefeld 1979.

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Sonntag, 26. Dezember 2021



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Samstag, 20. November 2021

Same Procedure as Every Year

Please renew your subscription if you want THE KS CIRCLE also in the coming year. Conditions are the same as for last year; more is to find in the December edition of our THE KS CIRCLE which was just posted to all members worldwide.

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