Five Essential Klaus Schulze Albums

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Klaus Schulze is one of the seminal artists of electronic music.

He was an early member of Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel, but quickly established himself as a solo electronic artists. In the 70’s, Schulze helped define the ‘Berlin School’ of electronic music – a new style of music that was performed almost completely on synthesizers.

Over the last 5 decades, Schulze has been prolific, releasing more than 60 albums. He’s also released 50+ CDs of material from his vaults that didn’t make it onto his ‘official’ albums.

As a result, his massive discography is daunting.

Here are five essential Klaus Schulze albums, covering both his classic and more recent work. This is not intended to be a ‘best of’ list – but, instead, a selection of albums that provide an introduction to the full range and scope of Klaus Schulze’s work.  Continue reading

A Charlie Brown Synthmas

a-charlie-brown-synthmasBlockhead Synthmas, by the Blockhead Trio,

Here’s what they have to say about the album:

“This is a hypothetical (and anachronistic) “best-christmas-ever” where I get a brand new KORG 770 synthesizer, a brand new YAMAHA MR-10, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack on Vinyl.

And what’s more – I USE THEM! I revel in all the possibilities each thing offers.

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Dr. Sunshine’s ‘A Rainbow Kitten Christmas’

From the land of WTF comes the holiday cheer of Dr. Sunshine’s A Rainbow Kitten Christmas.

The album offers Dr. Sunshine’s unique take on Christmas songs, featuring 8-bit chiptune sounds, lo fi vocoder goodness and a heaping helping of weirdness.  Continue reading

The Knick Soundtrack – Cliff Martinez

the-knick-soundtrackSteven Soderbergh’s new series on Cinemax, The Knick, is a period drama about the staff of a New York hospital in the early 20th century. But, unlike most historical dramas, it features a modern electronic score, by Cliff Martinez.

“As usual, Steven and I rarely spoke and instead communicated via mental telepathy,” said Martinez. “In so many words he told me: ‘We’re all going to recreate early 1900s New York as authentically as possible…except for you. I want the music to be modern and electronic.’” Continue reading

Tangerine Dream – Sorcerer (Soundtrack)

tangerine-dream-sorcerorTangerine Dream has been hugely influential in the world of film soundtracks, and, more recently, in the world of video game soundtracks. The group has scored over 50 films, including indie films, ‘b’ movies and mainstream Hollywood films.

While it was not their first soundtrack, their score for the 1977 William Friedkin flim, Sorceror, kicked off a 15-year period of intense soundtrack work.

The film was a bomb when it was released. It followed Friedkin’s critically acclaimed and wildly successful The Exorcist. Viewers may have expected another supernatural-themed story, based on the film’s title, or may have been put off by the film’s non-English sections.

Since then, though, Sorcerer has gained respect as an intense, existential thriller – and Tangerine Dream’s music has become one of their most well-respected soundtracks.

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Three Winters – Chroma

three-wintersChroma is the debut album of Norwegian electronic trio Three Winters.

According to the band, Three Winters – made up of Kim Sølve, Anders B. & Lars Fredrik Frøislie – takes inspiration from the vintage sounds on the ‘fifth generation VHS movies’ that defined their generation.

The 11 tracks on Chroma sound like a soundtrack from a lost 80’s sci-fi or horror film. They features the classic sounds of driving analog sequences, deep synth bass, Mellotron, electric guitar and vocoders. Continue reading