Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Klaus Schulze & Lisa Gerrard - "Big In Europe 2009 Vol. 1 - Warsaw" 2xDVD+CD

Wonderful live collaboration from 2 legends

This live document of electronic pioneer Klaus Schulze features his sometime-collaborator Lisa Gerrard (she of Dead Can Dance and soundtrack fame), and it's a wonderful combination of Schulze's cinematic textures and Gerrard's evocative, ethereal vocal stylings.

Opening with the Schulze's moody, string-laden "Voices Of Weilun", and continuing into the uplifting, aerial textures of "Kampania Wrzesniowa", Gerrard joins in for the 28-minute "Selbsterkennede Ganzwerdung", where she takes the forefront among Schulze's ambient sounds and synth percolations. "A La Recherche Du Printemps Perdu" again showcases Schulze's classic Berlin-style sequencer work, before Gerrard rejoins for the solemn 10-minute closer, "The Da Varsaw Code".

The first DVD is simply a pro-shot video of the same concert, recorded during the duo's 2009 European tour in Warsaw. It's a well-done video capture, and shows the pair's brilliance in their respective fields -- Schulze the synth pioneer and analogue wizard, and Gerrard's unearthly, mystical, glossolalia. Together, they blend their respective talents into a cosmic ambiance that could only come from these pioneers.

DVD2 is "A Moogumentary", produced and directed by James L. Franchon, (the same videographer as the concert). But rather than being a documentary about the Moog synthesizer itself (as I somehow expected initially), this is a look behind the scenes of this unique concert, and we get to meet the forces behind the show, from Schulze's road crew to the concert organizers. In-between, interviews with both Schulze and Gerrard give insights into their collaborations. It's 50 minutes of fascinating visuals and sounds, and a perfect nightcap for viewing after the show.

My only complaint is the awful, bootleg-looking cover design. What's up with all that big, intrusive, off-balance lettering? That aside, "Big In Europe Vol. 1" is a lovely, warm and inviting set of Schulze's famous electronic textures with Gerrard's unmistakably unique voice.

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