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Klaus Schulze — Deus Arrakis
(SPV no#, 2022, CD / 3LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-10-12

Deus Arrakis Cover art

When Klaus Schulze passed away on April 26, 2022, he left a rich legacy of more than 60 albums spanning 50-plus years. Known for helping develop the Berlin school of electronic music, Schulze worked with a variety of bands and musicians from Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra, Cosmic Jokers, Arthur Brown, Wolfgang Tiepold, Peter Namlook, to Lisa Gerrard, to name a few. And his influence is wide spread across the electronic music landscape. Schulze was a pioneer of both analog and digital synthesis. Rachmaninoff’s famous quote of “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music” applies equally well to Herr Schulze. Among his interests was his love of Frank Herbert and Herbert’s monumental story of Dune. Schulze knew the works of Dune as much as his contemporaries knew about The Lord of the Rings. Schulze composed “Frank Herbert” for his 1978 album X and then the full length concept album Dune with Arthur Brown (vocals) and Wolfgang Tiepold (cello) in 1979. After David Lynch’s 1984 film version of the novel, Schulze lost interest in the Dune theme and moved on to other projects. Forty years later, Schulze heard about Denis Villeneuve’s plans to remake Dune, which rekindled his interest re-reading the books and re-watching Lynch’s Dune. He then started making new music and did not think of Dune, until he received a phone call from his old friend Hans Zimmer, who proposed a collaboration for the new Dune. Hans is also a huge fan of Dune, and the two of them got on famously with their collaboration finding its way into the soundtrack. By now Schulze had consumed so much spice that he felt unleashed to play and play, finding some old tapes recorded by Wolfgang Tiepold. The result being Schulze’s swan song, Deus Arrakis, which is his best release in decades, if not his entire career. Truly a work of love, Schulze takes you on an imaginary journey to Arrakis over the course of three long compositions: “Osiris,” “Seth,” and “Der Hauch des Lebens.” On vinyl, the music is spread across three LPs, with one side being etched vinyl that tricked me first thinking it contained music. On Bandcamp, the three tracks are split into 16 parts, and of course the CD packs the 76 minutes into the three tracks. “Osiris” begins as slow floating music with washes of synth chords that evokes glorious images much like Stanley Kubrick did with “The Blue Danube” accompanying the spaceship docking with the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Seth” integrates Tiepold’s evocative cello with pulsating sequencers and phased electronics. What a treasure to find these lost recordings and use them to breath life into Schulze’s magnum opus. Which brings us to “Der Hauch des Lebens” or “The Touch of Life.” A slow, mysterious flight over the sands of Arrakis, transported by the guild navigators and spice. There is indeed hope for life on Arrakis. If for some reason you’ve never encountered Klaus Schulze, start with Deus Arrakis and work your way through his back catalog. Deus Arrakis is a wonderful posthumous achievement for the father of electronic music.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Klaus Schulze

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