Disc 1, "Machine de plaisir": The original tape of had the working title "Meditation 2" and this long track was also recorded in 1993 for the "Guttemplers", same as "The Music Box" in LVE 12. The feeling for time is so basic for Klaus' work. His beat is as alive as his breathing. His rhythm is both, continually attentive and exceptionally well integrated, as you can hear in large parts of this track. There is a feeling of unhurriedness in his work and yet there is intensity underneath and through it all.
Disc 2: "Arthur Stanley Jefferson" was recorded in February 1993 in KS' studio. Originally, it was the third free tape for the "Guttemplers". "Himmel und Erde", recorded by Klaus in January 1993, was first released on a Russian limited edition CD sampler in the same year, and seven years later I put it among the "Lone Tracks", the last of the fifty CDs of The Ultimate Edition. Also from1993, "Vas Insigne Electionis" was especially done for a planned sampler, but not used then. One year later it was given for free to the Dutch KLEM organisation, who did a limited edition CD sampler for their members. Six years later I also added it to the "Lone Tracks" of The Ultimate Edition. The very short track "Tag des offenen Denkmals" (Heritage Open Days) was done as tv trailer for a tv documentary on account of the European Heritage Days. Klaus recorded it on the 21st of July 1993. This small piece was first included in our Jubilee Edition set in 1997.
Disc 3: "Borrowed Time" was played and recorded by Klaus in 1993 and completed and mixed in April 1994 at his studio. The reason for doing this long music was because of the work on the soundtrack for the American-Hungarian movie "Living on Borrowed Time". Just a few minutes of the music were actually used in the film (as well as some special - shorter - cuts, released as "Angry Young Moog" in Jubilee Edition). Normally, Klaus is not a man for short tracks, so for "Borrowed Time" he started to play, and as so often, he got lost, forgetting completely about the movie and its need for short pieces. Luckily he had not just played but also recorded the whole thing, and then he mixed and stored it... and three years after I could use it in Jubilee Edition.
"Today, technology is a permanent part of our folk music." (Steve Reich, 1996)
In a magazine I have read: "The impact of movies is invariably linked to the progress of the prevailing cinematographic technology". This is quite true. It also applies similarly to music, particularly in the 20th century where musictechnological progress has been stronger than in the past. Previous to this, I can only think of the pianoforte and the saxophone as true "newcomers".
The music of the 20th century has profited from a number of important technical innovations and most musicians of this era have gladly embraced every useful one. Needless to say, KS has always fought on the front lines for the acceptance of useful new musical ideas. Of course there will always be those stickinthemuds who live their lives in the past, finding fault with his
striving, claiming that the music he produces is only good and new because it is supported by the latest hardware, or some such gossip. Oh well...
Chronology: The nineteen 20s and 30s saw the introduction of a variety of novel instruments from the Trautonium to the Theremin, and other instruments (with a similar aura and success like the Musical Saw for example). The mid30s saw the introduction of the electric guitar, an innovation which paraded in a triumphal procession through the following 4 decades. Think of the Hammond organ (introduced 1934/35, actively used into the 60s but used primarily in the movie houses of the 30s and 40s), magnetic tape recorders (introduced in the mid40s and actively used more than 50 years later, until the digital revolution), and the associated multichannel recording techniques (although the Beatles recorded the Sgt. Pepper album with a grand total of 3 tracks). At the end of the 1960s came the revolution of complete soundsynthesis: first synthesizers, and shortly thereafter drum machines (the first chip memory), and then MIDI and samplers. Finally, the use of computers and complete digitalization brings us to the present.
Indeed, as remarked by Steve Reich, an age of folk music has come about once again: many kids are tinkering with their home computers and software to produce their own "modern music". I'm still not sure whether this is easier than actually learning how to play the trumpet, flute, piano or guitar, but whatever the case may be, it's happening. An increase in this trend can be expected. (PS in 2011: it happened. This is today's pop music)
Parallel to these developments, it must also be noted that there's a retromovement afoot that consciously employs the first useable synthesizers of the 1970s, and even considers these machines "historical". Perhaps this makes a trumpet or an electric guitar prehistorical. As with many "old" things, like the LP for example, these antique synthesizers are often surrounded by a mysterious aura which completely belies reality. As amusing as all of this is, it does seem a bit dogmatic.
I knew then and I still remember how KS worked in the 70s. After all, I was there. I assembled and disassembled his hardware at home and at concerts, including all of the associated cables. I even fixed the stuff when needed (my specialty was a good swift kick in the appropriate spot, this usually helped). But during the 80s, the technology became a little more nebulous for me. As is evident from photos of this era, Klaus had acquired quite a mountain of hardware. It was the chaotic transitional period from analog to digital. The manufacturers were still messing around trying this and that, throwing all kinds of new machines on the market since they were unsure what the future held. A few multifunction effects machines were available (I remember the "Publison Infernal Machine") at astronomical prices (starting at $ 7,000). Today such machines don't cost much more than the average video recorder (PS in 2011: or a better CD player)
And then there were the first computerized synthesizers. These were programmable boxes that came with a keyboard, usually had 8 tracks or channels, and also functioned as a mixer. Klaus' "G.D.S." very quickly achieved "dinosaur" status, along with many others of this sort like the Fairlight.
There were rhythm machines that were far more complicated to program than a video recorder of that era, and that's saying something! But the resulting music produced by these machines and the added effects were still mixed down using a multichannel mixing board and were recorded on a conventional 8, 16, or 24channel recorder. After a short intermediate period in which video recorders were used as digital audio recorders ("PCM"), the Digital Audio Tape - DAT -, format was introduced. DAT cassettes and DAT recorders and players function like a conventional cassette player, but record and play back using digital video recorder technology. In other words, they do not employ fixed heads, but rather use a head attached to a rapidly rapidly rotating cylinder which scans the tape in long diagonal slashes. This digital technology was soon available in an 8track DAT version that rapidly became the standard in small and medium-sized studios. It was also possible to couple two or more 8track DATs together, and besides, they were much smaller than the conventional multitrack tape machines.
Computers... first the Commodores and Ataris, then also the Macintoshes and PCs could be found in more and more homes. For quite some time, the best musical software was available only for the Atari, and KS worked exclusively using this machine for a long time, right up until about the mid1990s. Unfortunately, the tiny 12" monitor really got on his nerves, but it was not possible to get a larger one. It was with heavy heart that Klaus was finally forced to switch. Unfortunately, really good music software was still not available for the PC (which dominates about 90% of the market here in Germany), but only for the Macintosh which is not widely available here. But at last Klaus could have larger monitors: 17", 19", and then even 21". He still uses the small old Arati for his stage shows, primarily to control some of the rhythm sections.
The hard drive in Klaus' first Mac crashed catastrophically in early '97, taking a few weeks worth of work with it. I reported this in the Circle at that time. Today, Klaus uses the big "G3" Apple Macintosh, to run Steinberg software ("Cubase") and "Logic 4.0" by Emagic. (PS in 2011: Klaus replaces and renews the computers as well as the software regularly, until today)