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La Vie Electronique Vol. 3

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La Vie Electronique Vol. 3
La Vie Electronique Vol. 3


Re-Launch of Klaus Schulzes successful La Vie Electronique series (Vol. 1 to 16). La Vie Electronique first was published as a strictly limited 50 CD-Box and later it was released in chronological order in 3CD-sets including some material never released before. Do Synthesists Dream of Electric Bleeps? Thanks to volumes like this one, no longer can newcomers (or even diehard enthusiasts) desiring Klaus Schulzes music use the excuse of its unavailability to deny themselves the pleasure of experience. Already, the glut of this singular musicians back catalog has been revived in full, beautifully reissued and repackaged; all of his original, notoriously hard-to-find (well, at least for those of us living on the other side of the Atlantic pond) recordings, most containing additional tracks, are now easily obtainable, and instantly collectable. The ear can become reacquainted with the vast expanse of Schulze music from its earliest beginnings right up and into its modern incarnations, robust with the now-patented lengthy irises, numerous kaleidoscopic events, and still-innovative breadth of tonalities that have become the artists stock-in-trade. Despite the musics technological carbon dating, theres nary a wasted sequence, motif, or idea throughout; some of Schulzes exploratory beginnings are in fact witnessed in full bloom. This, the third volume culled from the original massive Schulze boxset Ultimate Edition, represents much of the artist in a live setting, featuring many an improvised piece in addition to his site-specific epic undertakings. Trading the dry air of the studio temporarily for the manifest rush of live performance always seemed to evoke great drafts of creativity in Schulze that continues unabated to this day. Certainly theres no doubt that being able to slowly unwind your ideas in the comfort of the studio and its massive banks of electronic equipment naturally informs the very font of creation. But on stage, Schulze, whether bringing readymade ideas to the party or working it out right there on the fly, seems to channel the latent energy of a live gathering directly into his viscera, the resulting electricity splayed out in to the audience in great zaps of molten synthetic energy. Schulzes work, like most musicians, wasnt always forged in studio isolation; across the wealth of his catalog, many of his grand statements were recorded right on the front lines of many a chosen performance space. A good portion of this three CD set well-illustrates Schulze working his otherworldly mojo out in the limelight. What is it about the pulsing cascade of interlocked synthesizer keystrokes that make for such enthralling listening? Though his music can scarcely be labeled minimalist,- much of the same mantra-like hypnotism that buttresses his music shares more literal definitions of the style. The two half hour-plus works that nearly inform the totality of CD One (in addition to the zoological sequencer figures that temper Well Roared Lion!) are prime explorations into the metallic voids of mid-70s synthesizers and the science-fictional worlds they evoke. The interstellar winds blowing through Alles ist Gut could have soundtracked any legion of futurist troopers dispatched by starships; many of Schulzes superbly crafted pulses and arcane tautologies sometimes reincarnate soundcrafters like Louis and Bebe Barron or Oskar Sala. Allowing his pieces to unfold in studious, gradual, supple manners is to get wholly lost in the sounds virtual imaginarium, whether its sinking deep into darkening, velvety atmospheres or thrust headlong into a pretzel logic of notes. Considering the shelf date of these works, what makes their impact even more extraordinary is that in spite of being created by the instruments of their day, Schulzes deft hand still engenders in them an utter contemporaneity. Now that analog synthesis and formerly ancient rhythm programming has been enjoying something of a modern renaissance (by both enthusiast and musician alike), Schulzes expansive sonic architecture is suddenly in vogue. Not that hes a man content to rest on his laurels: recent works such as Moonlake and 2007s Kontinuum flex ingrained methodologies to exercise new wrinkles out of his system. Those recordings maximized the limitless potential of his digital arsenal, an extension of the sampling techniques he has mastered to galvanizing effect over the last 10-plus years, but somehow the purity of his earlier analog experiments not only hold his recorded corpus in better stead, it bespeaks of an imagistic vitality thats hardly diminished decades down the road. Immersing oneself wholecloth into the coiling sequencer workout of CD Threes sole live track, Zeichen meines Lebens, with its starshine dazzle, rocket thruster boost, and serpentine trajectory suggests nothing less than circuitry thrust into maximum overdrive by the mad synthesist hovering over his mainframe. This image persists in photos of Schulze of the period: setting his controls for the heart of the sun, he often looks like the penultimate air traffic controller, balancing incoming/outgoing sonic cargo with a poised hand and finely attuned muse. Consider the supernatural phantasias that imbibe Fourneau Cosmique, or the deepcore event horizons glimpsed throughout the aforementioned Zeichen, and its not difficult to understand where in fact the origins of spacemusic (rather than the horrid appellation krautrock) arose in both genre and concept. This is by no means negating the importance, relevance, and sheer wealth of invention on display throughout this sets included studio pieces. Extracted (like all the music collated for this current set of reissues) from the massive (and long out-of-print) collections Historic Edition, Jubilee Edition, and the original Ultimate Edition 50-CD opus, CD Threes five studio works also originate from Schulzes mid-70s golden era. Though part and parcel with the sets then-burgeoning syncopations, they nevertheless provide glimpses into some of Schulzes future directions. So, although heavily vested in the electronic vocabularies of its period, tracks such as Semper idem and Wann soll mann springen? actually embrace strongly the classical foundation on which Schulze insists his works are built upon. In the yards of oscillating patterns and vaulting textures can be discerned where Schulze would later avail himself to the wonders of digital sampling, springboards from which he would eventually devise some of the most different and difficult music of his storied career. A far cry indeed from his days as the drummer with Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel, yes, but those formulative years spent at the traps led to a seemingly inexhaustive vortex of ideas wrestled deep from the silicon innards of his trusty machines.


  1. Name
  2. I Scent The Morning Air
  3. Le Roi S'amuse
  4. The Rest Is Silence
  5. Well Roared, Lion!
  6. La Vida Es Sueno
  7. Tant De Bruit Pour Une Omelette!
  8. Allumer
  9. Lueur
  10. Die Lebendige Spur
  11. La Présence D'esprit
  12. Tutto Va Bene
  13. You Don't Have To Win
  14. Für Vaterland Und Menschenfresser
  15. Paternoster
  16. Es War Ein Sonnenstrahl
  17. Il Dolce Dar Niente
  18. Semper Idem
  19. Wann Soll Man Springen
  20. Experimentelle Bagatelle
  21. Kurzes Stück Im Alten Stil
  22. Gewitter
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