Paul Schütze

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Deus Ex Machina (1989), 7.5/10
The Annihilating Angel (1990), 6.5/10
Invisible College: The Luxury Of Horns (1991), 5/10
New Maps Of Hell (1992), 8/10
The Rapture Of Metals (1993), 7/10
Regard (1991), 5/10
The Surgery Of Touch (1994) , 7/10
Isabelle Eberhardt - The Oblivion Seeker (1994), 5/10
Uzect Plaush: More Beautiful Human Life (1994), 5/10
Apart (1995), 7/10
Seed: Vertical Memory (1995), 6/10
Fell (1995), 5/10
Abysmal Evenings (1996), 6.5/10
Narratives (1996), 5/10
Site Anubis (1997), 5.5/10
Shiva Recoil (1997), 5/10
Second Site (1997), 6.5/10
Driftworks (1997), 6/10
Nine Songs From The Garden Of Welcome Lies (1997), 7/10
Green Evil (1998), 5/10
Third Site (1999), 6/10

Australian composer Paul Schutze was inspired by Brian Eno's ambient music, Miles Davis' jazz-rock and Pierre Henry's musique concrete for the one-hour collage of Deus Ex Machina (1989) and for the claustrophobic Topology Of A Phantom City, off New Maps Of Hell (1992), perhaps the best formulation of his "chaotic minimalism", a psychological puzzle of dissonance, trance, jazz, psychedelia, tribal frenzy, raga and ambient melodrama, The Rapture Of Metals (1993), which bridged musique concrete and ambient music and exuded the same subterranean tension reverberating with urban neurosis, the colossal collages of The Surgery Of Touch (1994), and Apart (1995), an imposing summary of his techniques.
Paul Schütze (Melbourne, 1958), who began his career playing percussion in the Fourth Stream Percussion Ensemble and with the experimental quartet of the Laughing Hands, is an Australian electronic composer. His early works Ledge (Adhesive, 1980) and Dog Photos (Adhesive, 1981), reissued as Ledge/Dog Photos (Extreme, 1991), were devoted to cacophonous collages.

The one-hour suite Deus Ex Machina (Extreme, 1989) for floating electronics, samples (of both voices and instruments) and percussions, originally a soundtrack for a multimedia performance, fully introduced the high-brow and sophisticated persona of Schutze. Haunted by a sinister and obscure vision of the technological era, the album was his philosophical as well as artistic manifesto. and melodic fragments, After an eerie overture, it indulges in gothic overtones (bells, ghostly electronic winds, distorted voices, desolate trumpet notes) until it explodes into a Morton Subotnick-ian dissonant bacchanal. A duet for pipe organ and jet planes leads to relaxed jazz-rock jamming. The mood keeps changing rapidly, via an exotic ballet and a joyful trumpet fanfare and countless other events (more voices, more planes). It ends on a note that is both magniloquent and desolate. This collage did for ambient music what Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells had done for progressive-rock.

The neo-ambient strategy of this piece straddled the border between Brian Eno's ambient music, Miles Davis's jazz-rock and Pierre Henry's musique concrete.

That program continued with the subtle futuristic jazz of The Annihilating Angel (Extreme, 1990), that recast Jon Hassell's pan-ethnic and urban spirit into a graver, emphatic and even apocalyptic context.
Cities Of The Plain collects ethnic references to evoke the vision of imaginary lands. Schütze is not particularly original in mixing ethnic instruments and electronic sounds, but a more intense and dramatic take on the same idea, The Falls, yields far more rewarding results: the ethnic sources are wild and chaotic, the electronic sounds are ominous. The Torture Garden further dilutes the ethnic sounds, selecting the timbres that best resonate with the collective primitive, and then spreads a layer of drones over the landscape.
Reign Of Ashes ups the ante by mixing natural sounds and by introducing a funky rhythm. A thick orchestral texture and undulating dissonances add a tragic tone to the dance. The theme of the "futuristic cafe`" continues with Dead Roads, a nocturnal trumpet exhaling lazy jazzy melodies.
The idea gets completely abstracted in Cities Of The Red Night, an elegant and lugubrious fanfare in which exoticism, funk, jazz and electronics coexist without either prevailing, as if Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Soft Machine and Klaus Schulze jammed together.
Unfortunately, too many of these vignettes are short and predictable. Schütze is still in his formative stage.

The Laughing Hands later released Nights (Rash, 1991) and The Welders Bible (Adhesive, 1991).

The Luxury Of Horns (Rash, 1991) was credited to Invisible College.

Paul Schütze (Melbourne, 1958) è un compositore elettronico dell'Australia che iniziò la sua carriera suonando percussioni nel Fourth Stream Percussion Ensemble e nel quartetto sperimentale dei Laughing Hands, i cui Ledge (Adhesive, 1980) e Dog Photos (Adhesive, 1981), ristampati come Ledge/Dog Photos (Extreme, 1991), contengono qualli che sono fondamentalmente dei collage cacofonici.

La suite di un'ora Deus Ex Machina (Extreme, 1989), composta di electronica, campionamenti e frammenti melodici, originariamente a corredo di una performance multimediale, mise in luce l'individualità colta e forbita di Schütze , che a quel punto iniziò a disegnare una strategia al confine fra Miles Davis, Brian Eno e Jon Hassell. Il disco e` anche offuscato da una torbida e sinistra visione dell'evo tecnologico. E` il suo manifesto sia artistico sia filosofico.

Un risultato temporaneo di questo programma fu il subdolo jazz futurista di The Annihilating Angel (Extreme, 1990), che lascia intravedere lo spirito panetnico e urbano del tardo Jon Hassell in un contesto più enfatico, e talvolta addirittura apocalittico.

I Laughing Hands hanno poi pubblicato Nights (Rash, 1991) e The Welders Bible (Adhesive, 1991).

A nome Invisible College e` uscito The Luxury Of Horns (Rash, 1991).

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Schütze perviene a una formulazione matura del suo "minimalismo caotico" con New Maps Of Hell (Extreme, 1992 - Big Cat, 1996), ispirato al senso di claustrofobia generato dal caos urbano. La suite Topology Of A Phantom City, in particolare, si trascina all'insegna di frasi jazz d'organo, di chitarra e di trombone distese con nonchalanche su un violento e sincopato incalzare delle percussioni. Doubts About Waking, è scossa da turbolenze tribali, con gli interventi degli strumenti che si fanno sempre più dissonanti fino all'infernale baraonda finale. Su un versante più sereno si snoda invece la trance leggera e dinoccolata di Velvet Horizon, più raga-psichedelica che ambientale. Vertice drammatico dell'opera è A Soul Reports, la cui pasta timbrica, priva di ritmo, sembra aver raffinato tutte le tragedie dell'umanità, attraverso foschi sibili e rimbombi, pause tracolme di suspance e battiti irregolari di un vicino oltretomba.

The Rapture Of Metals (SDV, 1993), also known as New Maps Of Hell II (Big Cat, 1997), was the natural continuation of the chaotic-minimalist program of New Maps Of Hell. It exudes the same subterranean tension, that reverberates with urban neurosis, athough this time it originates from structures that are much colder and sinister, almost gothic. The Rapture Of Concealment is all about subliminal beats and noises, like a blurred version of industrial music. The percussions test a vast primitive soundscape scoured by agonizing winds. Rapture Of The Drowning is even more lugubrious: the beats have liquefied into anemic and colorless reverbs, that can't find enough strength to become full-fledged drones. This "rapture" resembles a paralysis due to fear. The calmer and warmer ambience of The Rapture Of Ornament lulls the listener into the rarified jungle of The Rapture Of Metals, a tinkling gamelan-like piece. The quiet, hypnotic loop of Rapture Of The Skin, reminiscent of both ragas and psychedelic music. The longest track, Sites Of Rapture On The Lungs Of God (21 minutes), is a solemn stasis of cosmic breaths, a sequence of muted drones that evoke tiny signs of life within eternal silence.
This new map of hell is one of the most subtle works of musique concrete of all time.

Regard (Multimood, 1991) collects film music.

The Surgery Of Touch (Extreme, 1994) contains three colossal tracks that deliver some of the most violent music of his career. The 24-minute electronic nightmare of Tears is cosmic music filled with angst and terror. Klaus Schulze's was cosmic music of the psychedelic age, when humans looked to the skies, whereas Tears is cosmic music in the age of information science, when computers dialogue with the skies. Towards the end, percussions and vocal samples bring back the vision to Earth in an emotional way, linking the universe and the human condition, a link which finally gives meaning to the unbearable tension.
Distorted electronics and deformed voices seem tear apart the fabric of the universe in Sweat, but the "concrete" collage slowly fades away in a long looping coda.
The 26-minute Blood brings the nightmare to its emotional apex, as chaotic waves of music and noise follow each other, feeding on each other and continuously rearranging themselves. After about ten minutes, they begin a disintegration process that feels like a descent into a black hole.

More Beautiful Human Life (Apollo, 1994), released under the moniker Uzect Plaush, was Schütze 's foray into ambient techno.

Apart (Virgin, 1995) is a double album that provides a temporary summary of his career. Its centerpiece, the three-movement suite Sleep, is a much darker, sinister, cryptic work. It sounds like the soundtrack for a descent into hell, not just a survey of the urban landscape.

The kinematics of Vertical Memory (Beyond, 1995), credited to Seed, attempts to replace images with sounds.

Fell (7 Degree, 1995) is a collaboration with Andrew Hulme (O Yuki Conjugate). The Ulm Concert (7 Degrees, 1997) is a collaboration with Simon Hopkins. Narratives (Manifold, 1996) is a collaboration with Voice Of Eye and Robert Rich, each of which pens a piece inspired by a literary work. Driftworks (Big Cat, 1997) is a four-CD collaboration with Pauline Oliveros and others: Stateless is Schütze 's disc and sounds indulgent at best.

Site Anubis (Big Cat, 1996) inaugurated a new trilogy, dedicated to architectural wonders. The suite was composed by Schutze but played by a "virtual" ensemble, named Phantom City: Bill Laswell on bass, Lol Coxhill on saxophone, Julian Priester on trumpet and Alex Blues on clarinet, Dirk Wachtelaer on percussion, Raoul Bjorkenheim on guitar. They never met, but simply improvised over Schutze's electronic score. The result was a solemn form of cosmic jazz. Raoul Bjorkenheim's guitar and Dirk Wachtelaer's drums steal the show in the twelve-minute jazz-rock workout Future Nights, molding a form of dreamy jazz reminiscent of Peter Green's instrumental album. The rhythmic foundation is disproportionate for the duel of deformed horns in The Big God Blows In, but the aim is similar. There is no instrument that stands out in Blue Like Petrol, just a convoluted sense of restlessness. The standout is probably the feverish twelve-minute orgy Eight Legs Out Of Limbo, with Lol Coxhill's saxophone and Julian Priester's trombone submerged by a volley of dissonant sounds. But mostly this is a disappointing "supergroup" that is not cohesive enough to deliver a unified aesthetics, or any aesthetics at all.

Eventually, Phantom City became a real band, as documented by the live Shiva Recoil (Virgin, 1997), with Toshinori Kondo's trumpet replacing Coxhill.

Following solo albums refined his avantgarde music by introducing subtle destabilizing elements, such as ethnic instruments, jazz and spoken texts.

Abysmal Evenings (Virgin, 1996) concocted a mixture of ambient world-music a` la Jon Hassell, cosmic jazz a` la Site Anubis and his own old urban ambience (Bob Neil on trumpet, Robert Hampson (Main) on guitar, and Andrew Hulme),

Nine Songs From The Garden Of Welcome Lies (Tone Casualties, 1997) employed organs instead of synthesizers to improvise soundscapes halfway between Monet's abstract impressionism and Tibetan mantras.

Green Evil (Tone Casualties, 1998) collects rarities and unreleased material of the last 14 years.

Second Site (Virgin, 1997) is a colossal undertaking for electronics, spoken-word and percussion, that stands as a most daring testament to his sonic research.

With Third Site (Rykodisc, 1999) Schütze achieved a form of very quiet chamber world-music, with narrating voice, dedicated to architectural works.

He started scoring film soundtracks with The Sealer and continued on Isabelle Eberhardt - The Oblivion Seeker (SDV, 1994), Assault on Firebase Gloria, Driving Force, Earth Bound, The Valley.

The Gazing Engine (1999) Plasma Falls (2002) Partial Site (2002) Writing On Water (Gasometer Oberhausen, 2002)

The six-CD box-set Sound Paintings (Tone Casualties, 1998) includes Deus Ex Machina, Regard, Isabelle Eberhardt, The Annihilating Angel, The Surgery Of Touch and Green Evil.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Stefano Iardella)

The Rapture Of Metals (SDV, 1993), noto anche come New Maps Of Hell II (Big Cat, 1997), fu la naturale continuazione del programma caotico-minimalista di New Maps Of Hell. Trasuda la stessa tensione sotterranea, che riverbera di nevrosi urbana, anche se questa volta ha origine da strutture molto pi fredde e sinistre, quasi gotiche. The Rapture Of Concealment incentrato su ritmi e rumori subliminali, come una versione sfocata della musica industriale. Le percussioni mettono alla prova un vasto paesaggio sonoro primitivo spazzato da venti agonizzanti. Rapture Of The Drowning ancora pi lugubre: i beat si sono liquefatti in riverberi anemici e incolori, che non trovano la forza sufficiente per trasformarsi in veri e propri droni. Questo "rapimento" assomiglia a una paralisi dovuta alla paura. L'atmosfera pi calma e calda di The Rapture Of Ornament culla l'ascoltatore nella giungla rarefatta di The Rapture Of Metals, un tintinnante pezzo in stile gamelan. Il loop tranquillo e ipnotico di Rapture Of The Skin, che ricorda sia i raga che la musica psichedelica. La traccia pi lunga, Sites Of Rapture On The Lungs Of God (21 minuti), una solenne stasi di respiri cosmici, una sequenza di droni smorzati che evocano minuscoli segni di vita nel silenzio eterno.
Questa nuova mappa dell'inferno una delle opere pi sottili di musica concreta di tutti i tempi.

Regard (Multimood, 1991) raccoglie musiche da film.

The Surgery Of Touch (Extreme, 1994) contiene tre tracce colossali che riproducono alcune delle musiche pi violente della sua carriera. L'incubo elettronico di 24 minuti di Tears musica cosmica piena di angoscia e terrore. Quella di Klaus Schulze era la musica cosmica dell'era psichedelica, quando gli umani guardavano al cielo, mentre Tears la musica cosmica nell'era dell'informatica, quando i computer dialogano con il cielo. Verso la fine, percussioni e campioni vocali riportano in modo emotivo la visione sulla Terra, collegando l'universo e la condizione umana, legame che d finalmente senso all'insopportabile tensione.
Elettronica distorta e voci deformate sembrano lacerare la trama dell'universo in Sweat, ma il collage "concreto" svanisce lentamente in una coda con un lungo loop.
I 26 minuti di Blood portano l'incubo al suo apice emotivo, mentre onde caotiche di musica e rumore si susseguono, nutrendosi a vicenda e riorganizzandosi continuamente. Dopo circa dieci minuti iniziano un processo di disintegrazione che sembra una discesa in un buco nero.

More Beautiful Human Life (Apollo, 1994), pubblicato sotto lo pseudonimo di Uzect Plaush, fu l'incursione di Schtze nella techno ambient.

Apart (Virgin, 1995) un doppio album che fornisce un riassunto temporaneo della sua carriera. Il pezzo forte, la suite in tre movimenti Sleep, un'opera molto pi oscura, sinistra e criptica. Sembra la colonna sonora di una discesa agli inferi, non solo un'indagine sul paesaggio urbano.

La cinematica di Vertical Memory (Beyond, 1995), attribuita a Seed, tenta di sostituire le immagini con i suoni.

Fell (7 Degree, 1995) una collaborazione con Andrew Hulme (O Yuki Conjugate). The Ulm Concert (7 Degrees, 1997) una collaborazione con Simon Hopkins. Narratives (Manifold, 1996) una collaborazione con i Voice Of Eye e Robert Rich, ognuno dei quali scrive un pezzo ispirato a un'opera letteraria.
Driftworks (Big Cat, 1997) una collaborazione di quattro CD con Pauline Oliveros e altri: Stateless un disco di Schtze e risultato indulgente, nella migliore delle ipotesi.

Site Anubis (Big Cat, 1996) inaugura una nuova trilogia, dedicata alle meraviglie architettoniche. La suite era composta da Schutze ma suonata da un ensemble "virtuale", chiamato Phantom City: Bill Laswell al basso, Lol Coxhill al sassofono, Julian Priester alla tromba e Alex Blues al clarinetto, Dirk Wachtelaer alle percussioni, Raoul Bjorkenheim alla chitarra. Non si sono mai incontrati, ma hanno semplicemente improvvisato sulla partitura elettronica di Schutze. Il risultato fu una forma solenne di jazz cosmico. La chitarra di Raoul Bjorkenheim e la batteria di Dirk Wachtelaer rubano la scena nel workout jazz-rock da dodici minuti di Future Nights, plasmando una forma di jazz sognante che ricorda l'album strumentale di Peter Green. La base ritmica sproporzionata per il duello di corni deformati di The Big God Blows In, ma lo scopo simile. Non c' nessuno strumento che risalti in Blue Like Petrol, solo un contorto senso di inquietudine. Il pezzo forte probabilmente la febbrile orgia di dodici minuti Eight Legs Out Of Limbo, con il sassofono di Lol Coxhill e il trombone di Julian Priester sommersi da una raffica di suoni dissonanti. Ma soprattutto si tratta di un "supergruppo" deludente che non abbastanza coeso da offrire un'estetica unificata, o qualsiasi altra estetica.

Alla fine, i Phantom City divennero una vera band, come documentato dal live Shiva Recoil (Virgin, 1997), con la tromba di Toshinori Kondo al posto di Coxhill.

I successivi album solisti hanno perfezionato la sua musica d'avanguardia introducendo sottili elementi destabilizzanti, come strumenti etnici, jazz e testi parlati.

Abysmal Evenings (Virgin, 1996) invent una miscela di world-music ambient alla Jon Hassell, jazz cosmico alla Site Anubis e la sua vecchia atmosfera urbana (Bob Neil alla tromba, Robert Hampson alla chitarra e Andrew Hulme),

Nine Songs From The Garden Of Welcome Lies (Tone Casualties, 1997) impiegava organi invece di sintetizzatori per improvvisare paesaggi sonori a met strada tra l'impressionismo astratto di Monet e i mantra tibetani.

Green Evil (Tone Casualties, 1998) raccoglie rarit e materiale inedito degli ultimi 14 anni.

Second Site (Virgin, 1997) un'impresa colossale per l'elettronica, il parlato e le percussioni, che si pone come la pi audace testimonianza della sua ricerca sonora.

Con Third Site (Rykodisc, 1999) Schtze realizza una forma di world-music da camera molto tranquilla, con voce narrante, dedicata alle opere architettoniche.

Ha iniziato a comporre colonne sonore per film con The Sealer e ha continuato con Isabelle Eberhardt - The Oblivion Seeker (SDV, 1994), Assault on Firebase Gloria, Driving Force, Earth Bound e The Valley.

The Gazing Engine (1999), Plasma Falls (2002), Partial Site (2002), Writing On Water (Gasometer Oberhausen, 2002)

Il cofanetto da sei CD Sound Paintings (Tone Casualties, 1998) comprende Deus Ex Machina, Regard, Isabelle Eberhardt, The Annihilating Angel, The Surgery Of Touch e Green Evil.

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