Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Klaus Schulze – Dune (1979)

I have a handful of Klaus Schulze’s records, which are mostly on Brain Records, but apparently the label design changed in 1976 or 1977 or so, from a simpler line drawing to this more unambiguously, uh... heady variation. A variation which I find cooler. Brain was quite a label if you’re into Krautrock. They released stuff by Neu!, Cluster, Harmonia, Grobschnitt, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Guru Guru, and many others, including Klaus here.

And Klaus Schulze is also quite a guy. He was on the respective first albums of Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel before going solo, and he’s released a ton of stuff of his own, not to mention running a label that released stuff in the ‘80s and ‘90s by young, up-and-coming electronic music artists. Of Klaus’s own stuff, I actually don’t really know anything later than Dune, which is from 1979, and which I haven’t listened to since I got it maybe 7 or 8 years ago. But the mid-‘70s stuff like Blackdance and Timewind I’ve listened to many times, and are really great. Sparse, minimal soundscapes and synth stuff, fairly subtle and hypnotic, quietly enveloping. Often the tracks are side-long (check out the length of the Dune side A shown above!)

I’ll share one minor anecdote here. When I first moved to LA in 2003, I listened regularly to a fantastic Sunday night radio show on KXLU called Alien Air Music (it’s still on, check it out). One night, the DJ played what I remember to be a really great track by a band I’d never heard of, called Peak, off their album Ebondazzar. I called him up and asked him about it, and he said it was a really obscure 1980 release on Klaus Schulze’s label Innovative Communication (IC for short). I could not for the life of me track down a copy of the record anywhere, so I actually got in touch with Klaus Schulze’s rep/biographer/webmaster/archivist/etc., whose name was also Klaus. Anyway, he told me to forget about it. When I pressed him, he said something to the effect of “Why can’t you just move on? We all have!” It was mildly irritating and hilarious at the same time. I tried to find the email exchange in my inbox, but I don’t seem to have saved it.


The above events occurred in 2003, before there were really insane amounts of mp3 blogs with tons of obscure, out-of-print albums available for absurdly instant download-type acquisition. I just now searched for the Peak album and found it immediately. How disappointingly boringly easy.


  1. This label is nuts! And I like knowing that just a few years ago there were lots of disheartened old krautrockers out there grumbling about lost music and getting on with their lives.

  2. It's just too easy to find stuff online.

  3. What excellent idea, Alex. I've been a die-hard fan of record label design forever. Hope to explore and possibly contribute soon. Greetings from Chile where I could luckily promote several artists that released their music through BRAIN.