on 10 November 2002
X (subtitled as six electronic biographies) is a collection of six regular master pieces. On X, Klaus Schulze manages to combine the warm sound of a classical orchestra and voices with the earie sounds of electronic organs and synthi. For those familiar with the works of Klaus Schulze and alike, it is almost a must have !! For those who are to discover electronic music, X offers a comprehensable piece of art and a perfect stepping stone for a journey in the pre-80's electronic scene. Also recommended "Cyborg" by Klaus Schulze.
on 12 November 2001
This album may be the most prominent example of a succesful combination of classic orchestral and rhythmic instrumentation ever in music history. It's Schulze, so do not expect blue notes(!), but it's both classic, rhythmic and electronic, and it really sounds both dramatic and grandiose.
The works on this album were inspired by the dramatic lives of classic (mainly German/Austrian) poets and writers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Georg Trakl (see also 'Sebatian im Traum' on the KS 1983 album 'Audentity'), Frank Herbert (wrote novel 'Dune') Friedemann Bach (J.s. Bach's least succesful son), and Heinrich von Kleist.
However, the most breathtaking of these enregetic and dramatic rhythmic tracks is 'Ludwig II von Bayern', inspired by the Bavarian (big spender) king Maximillian Ludwig II (1845-1886), who played a major part in uniting the Germano-Roman states AND enabled Richard Wagner to set up his famous works.
Schulze's tenth work, 'X', (with sub-title 'Six Musical Biographies') is not only his own best work. I consider it as a major work in both rhythmic and classic music history.
But please avoid the split one-disc-releases (as 'vol. 1' and 'vol. 2'), because this album is simply too darn grand-unique to be torn apart!
on 9 August 2001
Never one to play short radio friendly pieces, Klaus surpasses himself with a double cd worth of sometimes percussive, sometimes floaty ethereal sequencer runs. Melodies come and go throughout the lenghty tracks. (the shortest is a mere 5 minutes whilst the others run from 10 minutes up to a few seconds short of 30 minutes.) Standout tracks have to be Freidrich Nietzsche and Ludwig II Von Bayern. Listen for the orchestral sounds on the latter giving it a hint of Electric Light Orchestra sound about it. I'd rank this as probably his best album ever and there are plenty to choose from.
on 18 July 2008
When i originally bought this in 1978 it was a double vinyl album,at the time Can,Amon duul2 .Kraan.Grobbscnitt,Tangerine Dream Ash ra tempel were beginning or ending their respective peaks in popularity.
When mr Schulze issued this Epic Meisterwerk it was so long that you could read "War and peace" do the ironing,have a cup of tea and light a joint and still have time to contemplate your navel by the end of side one!!
This 2004 reissue adds even more ,and it is Glorius!1This is schulze doing what he does best,long beautiful highly complex pieces that sound out of this world,the complexity is integral to all the pieces of music on both of these cds,which were recoded live in Franfurt Stunningly beautiful music.
on 25 January 2012
I've found that Klaus Schulze's albums seem to be defined not by the minutia or the surface details of the music but by that subjective term 'atmosphere'. Call it what you want - essence, mood, sound world - it is the intangible part of music which Klaus Schulze's albums brings us face to face with. And usually you can tell if you are going to like one of his albums from the initial few minutes of the first track because the music has very little in terms of conventional development. He defines his chosen atmosphere and then lets it breathe for an hour or so.
When I heard my first few minutes of 'X' (which happened to be 'Ludwig II Von Bayern') I had no trouble in forming a strong idea that this album would be perhaps his greatest, a contender with 'Moondawn' and 'Mirage'. The rest of the album didn't let me down! In fact, I'm still having a hard time digesting it.
Each piece is monolithic in scale and mood and takes a lot of energy to fully engage with. In fact, I've found that I enjoy listening to 'X' most when I am doing something else as well (writing this review for example!). It differs from earlier albums like 'Timewind' and 'Mirage', which sound relatively intimate and have few instruments, and favours vast sounds drenched in a deep reverb effect. For example 'Friedrich Nietzsche' has a large choir sound (courtesy of a mellotron, I think) in addition to Schulze regulars like synth strings, a moog lead or two, pulsating drum loops and liberal synth FXs. Even more notable is 'Ludvig II Von Bayern', which has a whole string orchestra mixed in with the synth arsenal!
But the album is not all about grandiose vistas. The stunningly beautiful and tranquil 'George Trakl' is based around a gentle synth bass riff and develops via a plaintive synth lead solo into a sound reminiscent of earlier albums, particular the first half of the piece 'Mindphaser' from 'Moondawn'.
There are many Klaus Schulze albums to choose from, vast amounts of music that he composed more or less in the time it takes to play each part separately (multi-track improvisation). What matters then is finding those albums where he was in a mood that suits your needs. If you want music that tells of barrenness, bleakness and cold cosmic beauty (forgive me!) then this is your album. It is my personal belief that this is among his best three albums.