La Vie Electronique, Vol. 4
Volune Four in this series of triple-CD sets reissuing the contents of the deleted Ultimate Edition box set focuses on live recordings from the years 1975 and 1976. It was a highly creative period in Klaus Schulze's career, one where he found and fully developed what is now referred to as his "classic sound," the era that spawned albums like Timewind and Moondawn. It was also a time when he toured regularly, and he used to record every show, which he listened to later the same night. Most of the room on the three CDs is filled up by long continuous live sets: four of them, ranging from a half-hour ("Make Room, Make Room!") to a whopping 73 minutes ("Just an Old-Fashioned Schulze Track"). There are also three shorter pieces (8 to 14 minutes long), probably encores. Sound quality is very good, though the tapes show occasional wear and tear. The music is very strong, but generally less inspired than the live material found on La Vie Electronique 3. "Just an Old-Fashioned Schulze Track" is far from perfect, but it definitely has its classic moments. Its first half is marred by a bad sequence that runs too fast to set an appropriate mood, but later on comes a magnificent organ section. "I Sing the Body Electric" (49 minutes) uses the beginning of "Mindphaser" (from Moondawn) as a springboard for some beautiful spatial explorations -- that one is the highlight of this collection. Get volumes two and three first -- and the expanded reissue of Live, but don't pass over this one if you can help it.