The German electronic music pioneer has died aged 74.
Klaus Schulze’s family confirmed that he passed away, following a long illness, on 26 April. In a statement shared to Facebook, Schulze’s son wrote: “In deepest sorrow we have to inform you that Klaus has passed away yesterday on April 26, 2022 at the age of 74 after a long disease but all of a sudden.”
“Not only does he leave a great musical legacy, but also a wife, two sons and four grandchildren,” the post continues. “On behalf of him and the family, we would like to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout the years – it has meant a lot!”
Frank Uhle, the managing director of Schulze’s SPV label imprint, has shared a tribute to the artist. “We were shocked and saddened to hear the news of Klaus Schulze’s sudden death. We lose and will miss a good personal friend – one of the most influential and important composers of electronic music – a man of conviction and an exceptional artist,” Uhle wrote. “Our thoughts in this hour are with his wife, sons and family. His always cheerful nature, his innovative spirit and his impressive body of work remain indelibly rooted in our memories.”
The Berlin-born musician emerged as an early member of influential German krautrock outfit Tangerine Dream in the late 60s, and also played drums in Psy Free and Ash Ra Tempel. Following his brief involvement in these groups, Schulze went on to forge a legacy as a synth and drone innovator with his solo work, and his early use of synthesizers and samples earned him the title “the godfather of techno”.
Schulze’s upcoming album Deus Arrakis, inspired by Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune, will be released posthumously on 10 June via SPV.
Read a selection of tributes to the late electronic music composer below.
RIP to Klaus Schulze. This day was inevitable and it was always a horrifying prospect. “Moondawn”, “Timewind”, and “Cyborg” etc defined the Berlin School sound – totally far out and acid damaged music made with gear from the future. Rest in power pic.twitter.com/M60p6sPWMj
— John Elliott (@MineralDisk) April 27, 2022
— Harald Grosskopf (@synthecist) April 27, 2022
oh man. some of the first droney synth stuff I ever heard along with early tangerine dream. Rheingold, from later one, with Lisa Gerrard singing, is a masterpiece and one of the great long-drive records of all time. rest cosmically Klaus Schulze https://t.co/KUpGlqOfUE
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) April 27, 2022
— Suren.eth (@mypandashallfly) April 28, 2022