Mittwoch, 21. September 2022

Re-read (from The KS Circle # 12, October 1996)

And now again for something completely different. People ask me, why KS uses often non-English titles. Yes, I can answer this. First, it was meant as reaction, a protest, because too many German musicians use English titles for their music. When they copy Anglo-American Rock or Pop, with (more or less) English lyrics, this maybe makes some sense, ...but with our homegrown electronic music? When I asked some of these "E.M." players: why English? ...they didn't know(!), or they told me: because the American market asks for it (they sell merely five or ten copies of their CDs to USA).
. . . . I think it's a normal thing that a German artist who's not doing Anglo-American rock or pop music but music that has its roots in Germany, gives his work German titles. A French chanson singer uses French titles, a Spanish flamenco musician uses Spanish titles, of course.
. . . . Because of the intended universality of Klaus' music, and because he's worldwide known, we use a variety of languages for KS' titles. Mostly we adapt German, English, French, Spanish and Italian, because this covers 99% of the languages that we and most KS fans speak or understand.
. . . . It's nice to observe that this policy, this return to normality, is meanwhile also copied by some other musicians. And it's a nice side effect that people from France, Spain and Italy write KS and me and thank us for this practice.


Because I had to read most bizarre stories about it, here's something from our department "Old Instruments of KS": Yes, KS used in the seventies a "Schulte" phaser, "Schulte" with a "t" in the middle, like in: Tallahassie-Lassie. "Schulte" was a Berlin company that built and sold these little (approx. 20 x 20 x 5 cm) phase shifting effect tools, and they had nothing to do with our "Schulze" with a "z" in the middle like in: Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.
. . . . For those of you living outside of Germany, let me explain again, that "Schulze, Schulz, Schultze, Schultz, Schult" are most common names here. In fact, they are second after "Müller" or "Mueller".

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Freitag, 9. September 2022

Wiedergelesen (from The KS Circle # 135, March 2008)

There are a few of you who cannot read the text on the back page of KONTINUUM's booklet. [The album was released in June 2007]. Because the designer had chosen to print a very small lettering in dark green on black (!). KS and I, we are members of this helpless club. I was asked to reprint it in The KS Circle. Also there were some who had asked me for a German translation. Both I will do, of course, gladly, here, and in a readable size and lettering:

''All you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.'' This easily and loosely expressed statement was valid at the old times of Bach (who had said the above ...says a dubious but amusing rumour), but... technology was moving on. Today's musicians use not just a pianoforte but computer programmes. Side effect: a laptop is smaller than the Grand Piano, so it leaves more room for the artist to walk around thinking about what to compose, play and record. Hopefully, I say :-)
. . . . I myself am not a musician. But, as most boys of my generation, in younger years I dreamed to be a member of a band. For reasons unknown to me I always wanted to be the bass player, the solid backbone of a gang of four or five. Sadly, I never made it. Maybe because I never really tried (PS: except as the rhythm man on washboard in a Skiffle trio that existed for one day, around 1958). Instead, and meanwhile, there is a branch of music at which I truly excelled. The area I mean, at which I consider myself of Olympic standard, is ...listening! Listening to many different music. Thanks to Stephen Fry who put my nose on the obvious truth that listening is an important part in the wonderful but also huge world of music. Important it must be, just because there are more listeners than players of music.
. . . . But we are here in a booklet of a Klaus Schulze album. When I write this it's still ''the new'' album by Klaus. And at the moment I am one of the few who have heard the music of KONTINUUM in advance, means: before release. People who know me also know that I'm not a ''fan'' of KS but a critical partner and friend. And that I'm not always happy about each and every piece of sound that he had released in the past; which is normal if you look at the huge output of KS. If I think a few seconds about it, the albums which I don't like 100% were often the ones he did not make as soloist. Or, the other way around: I prefer Klaus Schulze pure. As soloist. Alone.
. . . . KONTINUUM is such a pure solo album. And I like it. But not just because there is no singer or a second (and third) player on it (who all too often are just happy to have a chance to play with the ''great master'' ...but often have no own style, or they forget it because of Schulze's prominent presence).
. . . . I like KONTINUUM as it is, as a whole, as a perfect album. Yes, I mean it and I repeat the word: perfect. Klaus proves again, as with Moondawn, Mirage, or Are You Sequenced? that he's still the master. He even shows that he is the master of reduction; he must not do everything all the time. What I hear: not one note or sound or rhythm is too much.
. . . . The album starts with the best from the past, yes I mean the wonderful sequencer: wonderful in sound and rhythm. KS is not the best in finding melodies, but with sounds and rhythm he's unbeatable. And, sometimes it has to be stated: the best of the past isn't getting bad just because it's not the newest trend. You will also learn this when getting older, my friend.
. . . . On KONTINUUM Klaus also avoids kitsch and pathos (of which he is not always free). Easily he could have added some of it here or there, in these three long tracks of KONTINUUM. The temptation was surely there. But Klaus followed the musical rule that I like so much: Less is more. He just touched the right key at the right time. Which is the most difficult thing to do, in music and else.

In Deutsch: auf den Seiten 12 und 13 dieser PDF: 131351 (pdf, 267 KB)

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Dienstag, 16. August 2022


. . . .Der konsequente politische Kampf mit allen Mitteln führt zum Terrorismus, ebenso wie die konsequente Verteidigung der Staatsicherheit.
. . . .Die reine Lehre der Ökologie, die nicht den Menschen vor der Umwelt, sondern die Umwelt vor dem Menschen schützen will, landet beim Pfahlbautentum.
. . . .Der Aufbau des Kommunismus endet, wenn man ihn ohne Wenn und Aber betreibt, in dem mit Recht so genannten ''sozialistischen Lager''. (H.M. Enzensberger, 'Das Ende der Konsequenz', 1981)

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Sonntag, 14. August 2022

From an older issue of "The KS Circle" ... (Nostalgic recollection, pt. 36)

Seit weit über 20 Jahren bekommen wir Anfragen, welche Instrumente KS spielt, welche man braucht um auch sowas machen zu können, wie man diesen oder jenen Effekt hinbekommt... Neben der Industrie leben einige Magazine ("Keyboards" etc) davon, dass sie diese Instrumente im Umfeld der großen Namen anbieten. Und die Amateure draussen glauben oft tatsächlich, dass sie auch n u r diese Instrumente bräuchten. Ich erinnere mich an manch traurige, zornige oder bettelnde Zuschrift in der Art, dass, wenn der Absender doch auch so viel Geld haben würde wie (vermeintlich) KS, und sich dann auch all diese Instrumente zulegen könnte, ja, dann würde er auch solch tolle Musik machen können. Ich habe das nicht erfunden, Georg. Mit solch Aberglauben müssen - und können - wir leben. Seit einem Vierteljahrhundert.
. . . .Ich habe in meinem ganzen Leben keinen einzigen professionellen Musiker oder Komponisten kennengelernt, dessen Ehrgeiz es gewesen wäre, zu spielen wie irgendein anderer, zu klingen wie irgendein anderer. Wenn sich Kollegen Kollegen anhören, wenn also KS ein Album von Vangelis, Kraftwerk oder Madonna hört, denkt er keinen Augenblick daran, dieses oder jenes zu übernehmen, sondern ihm fällt auf der Stelle ein, was er ganz anders machen würde. Verstehst du was ich meine? Verstehst du den wichtigen Unterschied?
.(Antwort an einen fragenden 'Georg', in: The KS Circle # 52, Dezember 2000)


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Donnerstag, 11. August 2022

kurz & knapp (LX)

''Jeder hält sein eigenes Zeitalter für das der wahren Veränderungen.''(Stephen Fry)

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Dienstag, 9. August 2022

Heute ist es genau ein halbes Jahrhundert her...

...dass wir in Bern das Album SEVEN UP aufgenommen haben (Ash Ra Tempel & Timothy Leary). Untergebracht hatte man uns außerhalb auf 'ner Alm; ich erinnere gerne und vor allem den nächtlichen Sternenhimmel (ohne Lichtverschmutzung!) & das mannigfaltige Läuten von Kuhglocken.


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Montag, 8. August 2022

Gewagte Thesen, pt. 1

"Es gibt nur zwei Arten von Musik - deutsche Musik und schlechte Musik."(H.L.Mencken, ...wer sonst?!)

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Freitag, 5. August 2022

Andreas Grosser

Auf dem Friedhof in Hohen Neuendorf bei Berlin haben wir uns heute von unserem Freund verabschiedet.

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Dienstag, 2. August 2022

Wiedergelesen (14)

"... Am Ende wird sich vielleicht herausstellen, dass die Gaunerei unerlässlich ist für das Regieren, ja sogar für die Zivilisation schlechthin - dass die ganze Zivilisation im Grunde nichts ist als ein kollossaler Schwindel. Ich weiß es nicht; ich sage nur: Wenn die Deppen gut parieren, ist das Schauspiel durchaus belustigend. ..."(H.L.Mencken, 1926)

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