Klaus Schulze—
Deus Arrakis

Released 2022 on SPV Recordings
The Seth Man, July 2022ce
With gravitas and a sense of permanence left behind, DEUS ARRAKIS is Klaus Schulze’s final release in his lifetime. A flawless requiem deftly emphasised by its austere sleeve design and etched gold vinyl limited edition that even outclasses the SETI Pioneer Voyager record, it’s a sonic summation of nearly every approach Schulze had mastered since his first solo album, IRRLICHT in 1972. Present are the sustained drone, sequencers, and even a direct nod to the past with an insertion of a decades-old Wolfgang Tiebold cello passage, it’s in every sense a recording whose elements and Frank Herbert-inspired theme recombine to complete a thought first imagined long ago.

Taking its name from the desert planet in Frank Herbert’s DUNE trilogy, Schulze constructed three massively extended tracks. These exercises in deep, expansive chill out reveal greater and alternating aspects upon repeated listening due to their immense detailing. The moods are separate but interrelated, constructed as interlaced firmaments of reality as desert, as death, and as renewal. In DUNE, Arrakis was the source of spice, a substance that imbued its users with a sharpened sense of energy and awareness. Schulze did not have to acquire a briefcase of said material for himself in order to record this album (as well as saving a stash for his travels into the underworld) because there was already a force residing inside of Schulze that made his syntheses something more than just second nature. It was something true, with great spirit, and a chess master’s foreknowledge in terms of placement and balancing the elements as they appear chronologically.

The first piece, “Osiris,” opens with horizontally-inclined languidity. Arid winds blow gently as Osiris surveys his domain. Those of death, resurrection, and fertility are all under his ruling, as is order. All is ordered. All is at peace -- for the moment. Clouds hang low, casting slow moving shadows across empty plains as interior mysteries evolve within. A wedge of ibises take to flight as all else is stillness. After a period of some dynasties later, a sweeping finale erects itself out from the calm...then falls away.

The freaky opening of “Seth” is set as swirling sands of time and space amid the circling of birds of prey. Quietly dissipating into a series of drones that wipe the expanse of all colour, pulsating sequencers emerge, firing patiently as though pistons in the internal combustion engine of the underworld, framing figures flat on the frieze of life and death like some Rube Goldberg machine of predetermination. Odd that the lightest moment of the album would be named for the Egyptian god of desert, storms, and disorder, while a Wolfgang Tiebold cello passage comes to the fore to reminisce. In all probability recorded around the period of Schulze’s DUNE (1979), this cello will surface several times in “Seth,” against a fluttering of circular electronic patterning that hints at melody in between its crossing waves of silence and sound and finally, dueling against drones that swell with darkness.

The ethereal and beautiful “Der Hauch des Lebens” (“The Breath Of Life”) issues forth in delicate tissues that float and wave on the air, in the water, and on the earth. Drones airily recall the echo of life while skittering metallic accents are cast to the four winds, sparkling as they cast on breezes. They then retain rigidity to reorder and coalesce into a mosaic work illustrating opposing forces of the universe, its immense dust clouds soon swept away by the appearing drone. At some point, the voice of one Eva-Maria Kagermann can be found layered into the proceedings, yet to be found among the eternal ebb and flow. Reassuming shape and maintaining its flow, it continues in its organic reassembly effortlessly until a final swelling of organ tones, hinting at some of Schulze’s earliest expositional keyboard work, brings the piece to its end after nearly half an hour. Even at that length is far too short. Like life itself. That rare spark of life: so precious, so brief and…so long. Schulze himself said of DEUS ARRAKIS that it was a “salute to Frank Herbert and to that great gift of life in general” and with the passage of time, it will certainly remain as one of Schulze’s most enduring works.

You can purchase these glorious 77 minutes and 23 seconds of eternity here.