Synth explorer Klaus Schulze has spent 50 years traversing space and time with his electronic experiments. To mark the release of a rare new recording he reflects on his cosmic career. By Phil Freeman
Manife sto ido Harari
Klaus Schulze likes to be left alone. He has made close to 60 albums since launching his solo career in 1971, and the overwhelming majority of them were created solo, at a keyboard or a bank of keyboards. There have also been numerous collaborations, of course, most notably the 11 volume Dark Side Of The Moog series with Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell, and multiple archival sets gathering up previously unreleased live and studio recordings, some featuring guests. But for the most part, he’s been a one-man show for close to half a century.
During the 1970s and 80s, and with decreasing frequency afterwards, Schulze toured throughout Europe, though he never performed in the US. In 1983 he played almost 70 concerts between February and July. His final gigs were his first outside Europe, in Japan in March 2010. These days, he potters around his house deep in the German forest, sitting down to play almost every day and releasing music when the mood strikes. Latest disc Silhouettes is his first nonlive recording since 2013’s Shadowlands.
He lives in the woods outside Hambühren, a town of just over 10,000 people in Germany’s Lower Saxony region. His house, purchased in the 1970s, also contains his elaborate home studio. He has been married for over 30 years, and has two adult sons from a previous marriage. He almost never discusses anything but music in interviews, and journalists don’t bother prying. As a consequence, he is essentially a being of pure music, from a media standpoint: “I did not decide that consciously but I am happy that my personal life belongs to me alone,” he admits. “I want my music to reach people, which is most personal anyway! I really don’t need public discussions about my person.”
In recent years, though, some personal information has emerged which has distressed some fans. Due to chronic illness, he is now unable to tour, and is
Klaus Schulze | The Wire | 29