I'm a lifelong Schulze fan (hence my amazon.com pseudonym), but even the prospect of delving into his massive, sprawling back catalog has seemed too overwhelming and time-consuming to be bothered with. Further, I've been mildly disappointed by the bonus tracks that have showed up on some of his remastered albums, and assumed that the La Vie Electronique series would contain the same kind of material: acceptable but uninspired tracks that lack the rich textures of his studio albums. While I can't speak yet for the other albums in this series, this assumption was very wrong.
While indeed La Vie Electronique 3 in some cases relies more heavily on minimalist analog synth sequences, the album's soaring atmosphere and Gothic landscapes fit right alongside the best of his catalog, particularly since they were created around the same time as his classics Moondawn and Timewind. Some of these pieces were recorded live in cathedrals, and you can hear it. Aside from being able to hear the sound of warm, percolating synths ricocheting off stone walls, there must have been something in the air when these were recorded, since these inspired tracks perfectly accompany the dark, atmospheric spaces in which many were recorded. And at $20 for three CDs, the price is certainly right. This set is essential.