|4||In The Absence Of Angels|
|5||The Rapture Of Metals|
|6||The Velvet Horizon|
A boundless creative spirit, Australian artist Paul Schütze has worked for over forty years as a musician, photographer, visual artist and perfumer. He has exhibited at institutions such as the Hayward Gallery, the V&A and Madrid’s Arco, held residencies at the Cité des Arts in Paris and has works in collections worldwide. He has collaborated with musicians from Jah Wobble to Toshinori Kondo, from Bill Laswell to David Toop, and worked both as a filmscore composer and music critic in print.
A new, remastered compilation of key works from Schütze’s catalogue, The Second Law, collates music from various periods and albums. Represented here are tracks from 1990’s The Annihilating Angel, an album of blissed-out fourth-world mystery; from the transcendent homage to traditional Indonesian gamelan music The Rapture of Metals (1993); from the ethereal, spiritual, Nino Rota-esque melancholy of 1991’s Regard: Music by Film. It is occasionally dark, industrial and begrimed; occasionally paradisiacal and breathtakingly elegant. There are works of celestial, astronomic grandeur alongside microscopically detailed miniatures. Empty, deserted spaces of man-made abandonment contrast with studies of ornate natural beauty.
Born in Melbourne, Schütze's musical life began as a composer of filmscore, winning the AFI award for best score for his first feature The Tale Of Ruby Rose in 1987, while 1985’s Deus Ex Machina (the sound design for an eponymous exhibition co-curated by Schütze) is now considered the first true solo work in the sizable Paul Schütze canon. Now beginning to focus on his own expression alongside commissioned work, Schütze relocated to London in late 1992, welcomed by a burgeoning community of artists and musicians at a time of immense creative fertility. The stream of releases that followed, under his own name and under various pseudonyms and aliases, began to confirm an important new voice in experimental music, in Australian electronic music, and in early ambient music.
It was a voice that, surprisingly enough, caught the attention of Virgin Records, in the middle of 1995. Then a huge, multinational company and a deeply ingrained cog of the major label machine, Virgin’s interest in an avant garde electronic / ambient composer from Australia was made yet more perplexing by their decision to release Schütze’s 100-minute, spoken word opera Second Site on double CD in 1997. As the label was contractually obligated to include a complete tracklisting in their printed catalogue, Second Site’s 102 tracks (the opera’s libretto written out in full) occupied two whole pages.
Such pure, eloquent artistry is difficult to distill down to a single statement, but The Second Law offers a wide-ranging picture, held together with the music’s immense emotional depth. Though it is far from an exhaustive collection - Schütze has released some thirty albums over his extensive career - it looks to capture an overarching theme, a bird’s eye view, of Paul Schütze singular creative energy. His unique ability to bind disparate elements into a powerfully intentional voice. To hold the delicate and the intense together as one.