[Review] Klaus Schulze: Audentity (1983)

Music for Daliesque shapes melting on a moonscape.

Kronomyth 16.0: A case of misshapen audentity.

Progrography: Listening to music so you don’t have to. Only I want you to listen to music. These reviews are, after all, only etchings of exotic animals from faraway places (and the occasional ubiquitous house sparrow). There are so many strange creatures ambling about in Klaus Schulze’s attic anyway that simply thrusting your hand into the dark gives good odds of getting bitten. With the mole-man on the cover, you must be thinking heavy gardening gloves, but Audentity is actually very good. Good in the sense that it holds up to Tangerine Dream, and there’s only the one road into town.

There are, of course, different cover versions, even a different double-elpee version of Audentity, but we’re sticking with the single today. With a few guests, Klaus Schulze kicks up some cosmic dust with his improbable, musical contraptions. I always think of Dali’s elephants with Schulze because they seem so wobbly at first glance but soon build up to an (almost) graceful gait that reveals a method to their absurd mechanical construction. That describes “Tango – Saty” and “Opheylissem.” In contrast, “Amourage” is a haunting spacescape (yes, I cringe every time I write the word “haunting”) and the side-long “Spielglocken” a cross between TD and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

Yet a word of warning for the uninitiated: Schulze sometimes builds his worlds with tinkertoys, which can sound like random nonsense, and in long stretches this stuff is trance-inducing. I actually had to get up during “Opheylissem” to make sure the record wasn’t skipping. It wasn’t. Trust me, there are times when you won’t know the difference. So for the final etching: a pair of perverse pachyderms, one lunar sea and a trance encounter that lasts for twenty minutes. Enjoy.

Original elpee version

A1. Tango – Saty
A2. Amourage
A3. Opheylissem (total time for side one: 21:31)
B1. Spielglocken (21:00)

All compositions and arrangements by Klaus Schulze.

Original 2LP/CD version
1. Cellistica
2. Tango – Saty / Amourage / Opheylissem
3. Spielglocken
4. Sebastian Im Traum

Expanded 2CD reissue version
1. Cellistica
2. Tango – Saty / Amourage / Opheylissem
3. Spielglocken
4. Sebastian Im Traum
5. Gem
6. Tiptoe On The Misty Mountain Tops
7. Sink Or Swim
8. At The Angel of An Angel
9. Of White Nights

The Players

Klaus Schulze (computer and keys, program), Rainer Bloss (sounds, glockenspiel), Michael Shrieve (EEH computer, Simmons percussion), Wolfgang Tiepold (cello). Produced by Klaus Schulze; mixed by Klaus Schulze and Funky Ebby; engineered by Funky Ebby.

The Pictures

Audentity head design by Mediagraphics.

The Plastic

Released on elpee on February 1, 1983 in the US (Illuminated, JAMS 25) and Japan (Music Interior, JMI-28007). Japanese version features a different cover. Released on 2LP in 1983 in Italy (Innovative, K80025/6) and the Netherlands (Innovative, 9923) with gatefold cover.

  1. Re-issued on 2CD in Germany (Brain, 817 194).
  2. Re-issued on limited edition 2CD in Russia (Ars Nova, AN99-0374).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc on August 1, 1996 in the US (Magnum America, MACD 507).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc on October 21, 1997 in the UK (Thunderbolt, 505).
  5. Re-issued on compact disc on September 14, 2000 in the E.U. (Bertus, B189514).
  6. Re-released on expanded 2CD on July 5, 2005 worldwide (Inside Out, 30413) with bonus tracks.

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