In 1973, Schulze was a barely-known solo artist who had collaborated with ambient-music pioneers Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel before going solo. But even being somewhat familiar with Schulze's work, I had never heard Cyborg until the 2006 reissue. The reissue improves greatly on the original disc – which is tough to find – by coming in a double-disc digi-pak with 50 minutes of bonus material and an informative booklet in which Schulze describes the origins of the project.
And what of the music, I hear you ask? Cyborg is four songs long, all of which have very rich texture and plenty of orchestration, which blends effectively with Schulze’s primary instrument, the Moog synthesizer. The four songs tend to put the listener into a deep, spiritual state of mind, almost a trance, but at times the gentle sounds give way to blasts of ear-shattering noise. This ability to simultaneously soothe and startle is unique and very appealing.
Long, flowing electronic songs like this enable the listener’s imagination to flow, helping you to create pictures in your mind. Whether winding through difficult soundscapes, moments of beauty or harsh electronica befitting the cold, robotic album title, Schulze proves here why he is considered a founding father of both new age music and electronic music.
These four 24-minute songs aren’t just challenging, disturbing and different. They are spaced-out overtures for the mind. Cyborg presents an innovative sound that’s worth checking out for the musically adventurous.