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Satz Exil Sils Maria, heet-ie.
Schulze's solo debut is a masterful album featuring some of the most majestic instances of space music ever recorded, all the more remarkable for being recorded without synthesizers. "Satz Gewitter," the first of two tracks and the highlight here, slowly progresses from oscillator static to a series of glowing organ lines, all informed by Schulze's excellent feel for phase effects.
The album's complete title is: Irrlicht: Quadrophonische Symphonie für Orchester und E-Maschinen (German: "Will-o'-the-wisp: Quadraphonic Symphony for Orchestra and Electronic Machines"). Its atmospheric drone music tone is similar to Tangerine Dream's album Zeit (released the same month) as it stemmed from a common idea that Schulze and Froese couldn't agree on and parted ways over.
In 2005, Schulze said, "Irrlicht still has more connections to Musique concrète than with today's electronics. I still never owned a synthesiser at the time." Schulze mainly used a broken and modified electric organ, a recording of a classical orchestra rehearsal played backward, and a damaged amplifier to filter and alter sounds that he mixed on tape into a three-movement symphony.
Irrlicht, despite its highly unconventional nature, was originally released on the prestigious krautrock label Ohr. Because Schulze was signed to them while a member of Tangerine Dream, the label asserted that his solo album belonged to them too; Schulze's reaction was, "I was just glad that Irrlicht was released at all. Any other company would have probably turned me away with this record."
All tracks composed by Klaus Schulze.
No. Title Length
1. "1. Satz: Ebene" 23:23
2. "2. Satz: Gewitter (energy rise—energy collaps)" 5:39
3. "3. Satz: Exil Sils Maria" 21:25
4. "Dungeon" (reissue bonus track) 24:00
On vinyl, "Ebene" and "Gewitter" were combined into one 29:00 long track.
"Satz" is the German word for the musical term "movement", therefore "1. Satz" is German for "1st Movement". Translated, the titles mean:
1st Movement: "Plain" (as in the flat plains of Sils)
2nd Movement: "Thunderstorm"
3rd Movement: "Sils Maria exile" (possibly a reference to Nietzsche)
The 3rd Movement "Exil Sils Maria" was recorded backwards. The recording can be heard the way it was originally recorded by being played in reverse.