Electronic Music Innovator Klaus Schulze Dies at 74

Electronic Music Innovator Klaus Schulze Dies at 74

Klaus Schulze, one of the pioneering figures of ’70s electronic music, died this Tuesday (April 26). A message posted on Schulze’s Facebook account (from son Maximilian Schulze on behalf of his family and team) this Wednesday explained that his passing came “after a long illness, but yet suddenly and unexpectedly.” He was 74.

Schulze emerged from Berlin at the turn of the ’70s, when Krautrock was first starting to come to international prominence, as drummer for eventual cosmic greats Tangerine Dream — then with his own group Ash Ra Tempel, formed alongside future proto-electronic trailblazer Manuel Göttsching. Shortly after, Schulze launched his solo career, releasing his debut LP in 1972 with the drone symphony Irrlicht, hailed today as a classic of its genre.

The composer-producer would continue to release acclaimed early electronic sets throughout the ’70s, including 1973’s Cyborg and 1976’s Moondawn, with his layered, atmospheric work from this period ultimately proving hugely influential on later genres like ambient, new age and trance. He also performed as part of the loose collective The Cosmic Jokers, whose recorded jam sessions would be released on a series of full-length records in the mid-’70s.

In the ’80s, Schulze moved from analog synths to more digital compositions, and in the ’90s, he started working more heavily with samples. He slowed down somewhat as a recording artist in the 21st century, but still released a series of collaborative sets with Dead Can Dance singer Lisa Gerarrd in the late ’00s, and continued to perform until 2013, when he retired from the stage.

“His music will live on and so will our memories,” read the statement released by Schulze’s family and team. “There was still so much to write about him as a human and artist, but he probably would have said by now: nuff said!”

Read the full statement below:

Electronic Music Innovator Klaus Schulze Dies at 74 Klaus Schulze, one of the pioneering figures of ’70s electronic music, died this Tuesday (April 26). A message posted on Schulze’s Facebook account (from son Maximilian Schulze on behalf of his family and team) this Wednesday explained that his passing came “after a long illness, but yet suddenly…