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Irrlicht

Klaus Schulze Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 34.99
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thunderbolt
  • ASIN: B000001ODE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Satz Ebene - Schulze Gema
2. Satz Gewitter - Schulze Gema
3. Satz Exil Sils Maria - Schulze Gema

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD 17 Jan 2011
By Vaughan
Format:Audio CD
There's only one review on this site, and that is a few years old. So I thought I'd post a new one.

Irrlicht is Schulze's first solo album (back when they were still called 'albums'). It is noteworthy for that, and also because Schulze is known for his work with synthesizers - but at this stage didn't own one. Instead this one was made with a cheap tape recorder (for recroding an orchestra), a broken amp (for feedback) and a broken organ - something that sounds very much like a church organ actually.

Fittingly, the music does sound almost religious. All the makings of later Sculze is one show here, albeit in a very threadbare way.

That isn't to say anyone should overlook this though, for me it's a fascinating record, with some incredible music.

This reissue includes a 'bonus track' called Dungeon which runs to 24 minutes. It's a simple track, very much in keeping with rest of the music. The booklet calls it a 'drone' - which is on the money.

I doubt anyone new to Schulze is tracking these reissues, so there's no need to go into a description of the mans work. He's a genious, a unique artist who has in fact changed little over the last 35+ years. This is where it all started. It's low-fi, and all the better for it. Highly recommended, this reissue easily justifies its price, even if you have a previous CD copy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Although it was his first solo recording (to my humble knowledge) Klaus Schulze made a masterpiece, and a classic, of this first album "Irrlicht". "Irrlicht" is not exactly light stuff, and for a first time listener it might be too far off from the safety of music as he or she knows it. However for the Klaus Schulze "addict", like myself, "Irrlicht" is of an unearthly beauty and compares to nothing else except perhaps later works by the same artist. The crackling atmosphere and the buildup of energy in the first part "Satz Einz; Ebene" is of an intensity not often encountered in music. If you enjoyed this album you might want to try "Cyborg" which generally carries a similar atmosphere.
If this is however the first album you buy from Klaus Schulze and you want to find out about his diversity, and pick out what you like, the album "Essential 72-93" might be the best choice. Here you find tracks from a twenty year period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First & Greatest 7 Jan 2014
By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
One of the greatest and first electronic albums is a blistering debut from Schulze. Pre-synthesiser, the composer records an orchestra and electronically treats it, adding a 'broken' organ creating an epic dark ambient masterpiece. Just a shame prices are such a premium (ripe for a re-release).

A bleak, haunting classic.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Klaus Schulze's Classic Debut Remastered!!! 24 Jun 2006
By Louie Bourland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The year was 1972 when former Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel member Klaus Schulze embarked on his lengthy solo career which continues to this day.

Although it is considered to be a pioneering classic in Electronic music today, Schulze's solo debut "Irrlicht" was not well received when it was first released 34 years ago. Many listeners (as well as members of the orchestra which Klaus used on the album) didn't quite know what to think at the time. However, the listening public finally caught up with Klaus's crazy ideas and the album has since become a blueprint for the ambient/drone genre.

Although Klaus Schulze has long been regarded as a pioneer of synthesizers, "Irrlicht" was actually created without any synths whatsoever as Klaus did not own one yet. The instruments and tools that were used were the above-mentioned orchestra as well as a primitive electric organ, a broken guitar amplifier, echo and effect devices as well as other miscellaneous objects.

"Irrlicht" is essentially an album-length piece divided into three distinct movements. The opening 23-minute movement "Ebene" opens with a giant orchestra rush which leads into a low-end organ drone centered around D-minor. As the organ drone shifts and pulsates, the orchestra creates and intense cinematic atmosphere around it. After about 10-minutes, the mood becomes more intense as Klaus brings in a dark chord sequence which builds with suspense. The panning effect as well as the shrieking background noises used towards the end of the movement add further intensity until it's all washed away by loud gong-like crash.

The crash begins the short second movement, "Gewitter". While it sounds like there is a primitive synthesizer being used on this track, it actually is Klaus using a broken-down amplifier and a rewired organ. The intense organ theme of the first movement is pushed to the backround while strange sound effects as well as various percussive sounds (which sound like cymbals, gongs and trash cans being hit while being drenched with echo) come to the forefront.

The last movement, "Exil Sils Maria", is probably the most experimental movement of the three. It begins with a dark orchestral/organ theme similar to the first movement only more forboding. This leads into an extremely avant-garde section consisting of a droning collage of backward-sounding noises and what sounds like a car motor being amplified. This section is a real treat to be heard with headphones. Afterwards, the movement shifts back to how it began with its dark organ theme.

The newly remastered edition includes a highly informative essay from Klaus Schulze himself as well as a never before released bonus track. "Dungeon" was supossedly recorded in 1976 (although there is speculation that it could have been recorded earlier in the liner notes) but is very much in the same style as the original "Irrlicht" album with its long held chords and drones.

With this said, if you've never heard Klaus Schulze's "Irrlicht" before, now's the time to do so especially since it has been given pristine treatment on this reissue. The sound is amazing and so is the music. This is definitely music that was way ahead of its time when it was first released in 1972. Now, three decades later, it's an influential classic!!!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A prophetic recording of electronic meditation 3 Jan 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In 1969, Klaus Schulze joined Tangerine Dream, a creative German band which created the genre of electronic rock. However, in 1969 it was still in its formative stage, where there was no musical direction specified, where there were absolutely no limits imposed on the creativity of members. As it was, the only album of Tangerine Dream Klaus Schulze contributed to was "Electronic Meditation", published in 1970, slightly before the differences between Edgar Froese, the leader of the band, and Klaus � went beyond the point of reconciliation. Schulze felt oppressed in the band, since his freedom of expression was not appreciated. In consequence, Klaus split from the band, and after a brief adventure with a krautrock band, Ash Ra Temple, he launched a solo career in early 1972.
His first attempts were not exactly successful, for "Irrlicht" as a musical material was not too attractive for the bosses of the recording companies. Klaus is fond of retelling the anecdote that when he played "Irrlicht" for one of the decision-makers, the latter writhed and requested that the tape stop, or otherwise he would lose his sanity. Schulze's music was then referred to as the sound of abrasive wheels screeching on metal. Indeed, that was an accurate metaphor, for one of the tracks features exactly those sounds � or at least they appear like that! Nevertheless, he was lucky to find a publisher in "Brain", an adventurous German company deeply rooted in the flower-power counterculture of the 60s. Idealistic as it was, the company later went bankrupt. However, one should not under appreciate its contribution to the development of music. Its mecenate over the wild penniless musicians allowed them to survive, and be heard. If you are not heard, then whatever the quality of your music, you are bound to fail � an old truth, indeed.
This said, we have a unique opportunity to evaluate "Irrlicht" from the perspective of exactly 20 years. Does it sound innovative? Yes. Is it pioneering? Again, yes. Was it prophetic for Schulze's career? Yes, yes, yes. In fact, this earliest recording of Klaus Schulze bears the stigma of all his works, to this day. It's highly monotonous, sometimes atonal, with themes developing very slowly over the space of several minutes. Indeed, Klaus has never failed to deliver the length � it was as if he stretched the medium to the maximum, accepted a given limit, and tried to completely fill it in. At times, he fails to deliver as much interesting material, other times, the whole album is interesting and enchanting. Whichever the case, one thing is true on Irrlicht as much as on all other records of Klaus Schulze � he remained consistent with his artistic vision of creating music which does not conform to any rules but his own, creating electronic music of meditation. Ironically, he took the Tangerine Dream album title he contributed to � as his motto. Electronic Meditation.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shhh... 13 May 2001
By eveoflove - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Made in GER in 1991, Serial# 833-127-2, Playing Time 50:30
Originally released in 1972. Being a fan of TANGERINE DREAM from their early days, I started to pick up KS's solo albums as they were coming out (yep, that's way back in 1972).
In those days, KS was making albums that were longer than anybody else's: granted they were long pieces (generally 1 per side), but 50 minutes on a piece of vinyl was EXTREMELY rare.
This is KS' first album, and most definitely is quietest. There's the rare presence of a string orchestra, but the rest of the spacey sounds heard on the album were made by synthesizers. Quite a shock considering I knew KS as TANGERINE DREAM's drummer!
The extraordinary advantage of being able to hear this on CD is that the music, extremely smooth, without true melody or rhythm, can be cranked up without risk: no hiss, no popping sounds, no compression due to the limitations of pressing to vinyl.
KS expanded significantly his experimentation in sounds with his next effort, the double-album "Cyborg". But on "Irrlicht", it's like listening to an aurora borealis.
Just lie down, crank it up, and you'll feel like you're travelling through time and space, to an unknown and far destination...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A turning point in modern music as well as a stunning debut 17 Aug 2000
By dronecaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The year 1972 was a turning point both in Klaus Schulze's career as a musician and for modern music in general. His desire to play rock and/or rock-oriented music, as was the case with Tangerine Dream for whom he was the drummer, was waning and his desire to experiment with new ideas was growing at a maddening rate. IRRLICHT was Schulze's first attempt at a completely new kind of music, one which oddly had more in common with Eastern rather than Western music, in that it lacked anything even remotely connected to melody or rhythm. This was not only his first album as a leader but also the first in which the instrumentation was primarily electronic...there is obviously an orchestra present here but the sounds are mutated almost to the point of not being recognized as such. But the thing which makes IRRLICHT so groundbreaking is that it layed the foundation for the rise of the ambient electronic music which was to follow, not to mention its close cousins.

At first Schulze called this "floating music" because of the music's ethereal nature. The terms "cosmic music" and then "space music" soon followed, due to the strong (if not overwhelming) tendency for the sounds to produce images within one's imagination of traveling not only through space but time as well, which is why this music is also sometimes refered to as "contemplative." Regardless of the monikers used, one must wonder the impact this album had on people back in the early '70s when it was first released. I myself was barely a toddler at the time, but people like the radio host/producer Stephen Hill understood where Schulze was going with this, which along with other pioneering electronic music at the time inspired him to create the now-famous "Music From The Hearts of Space" show back in 1973, currently heard on National Public Radio.

The main instrument used is the Teisco organ, which Schulze "rewired" to create new sounds, much like the idea of programming a synthesizer today, but with not having a clue as to what he was looking for...a process of trial-and-error. But this laborious effort resulted in some rather startling sound constructions, such as the first track "Satz Ebene" which uses a powerful sequencer-like dervish before sequencers even existed, not so much like rhythm but more like a throbbing morass of claustrophobic sound. This seques into "Satz Gewitter", which is remarkably spare in comparison and much shorter in length. The closer "Satz Exil Sils Maria" is like a precursor to his "Heinrich Von Kleist" from his masterpiece, the double-volume "X"(1978), in that it is an intensely dark, foreboding composition of overlapping textures and well-placed sound effects. It is one of the most chilling pieces of music ever created, and to think he was only 25 when he recorded it is incredible in itself. Nearly 30 years after its release and despite the "primitive" instrumentation and recording technology, IRRLICHT has clearly stood the test of time.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demanding (but rewarding) Synth Master's 1st 25 Jan 2000
By phasedin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Schulze's first ever solo recording (from 1972)strangely, uses no real synthesizers at all (quite a feat for someone known as the premiere synth player in electronic music in the last 30 years), but rather features Klaus on Organ and various electronic devises (sound effects might be more appropriate here) along with an electronically enhanced real string orchestral section. Very difficult, the music suggests a slightly eerie, barren winter landscape, and for the more attentive listener, quite a treat. This music is not for Schulze's fans of his later rhythmically charged drum machine rock music, but for listeners of avante-guarde music, and the Stockhausen's and Cages of the world, this is really a masterpiece. Too bad Schulze didn't do more of this before moving into a more Progressive Rock arena.
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