Driven relentlessly by a trippy, whimsical, almost childlike desire to create soundscapes and themes to movies that run only in the listener’s mind, Frankfurt, Germany based studio wizards Worsel Strauss and Schani Wolf—collectively known as Schleusolz—created on their compelling 2009 debut Running Out Of Time, a fascinating modern “Retronica” vibe with a swirl of colorful melodies, beats and sounds that hailed from the outskirts of spaceage/electronica.
The band have now returned not with one but with two albums. On 10 Movies, a sweeping electro-symphonic 12 track collection that is one of the two very different recordings, Schleusolz creates a powerful, cinematic album with strictly instrumental themes to non-existent films, many with fully orchestrated scores. Wolf came up with the idea to do a movie album as a platform to do longer film-like soundtracks and pieces that needed time to develop, expand and run deeper than their eclectic rock-electronica music. The duo is joined on this album by rock performer Antes Zeppelin, a part time member of the collective.
The goal was also to create music for a symphony orchestra because, as Strauss says, “The only time these days that kids will listen to orchestra music is when they go to the movies.” 10 Movies will be released along with the group’s other new album The Weinheim Experiment on June 28. “This album is probably a bit more serious than our usual stuff, but for obvious reasons it better delivers on the movie in the head concept.”
Though certainly the visuals accompanying these pieces can be left up to the listener’s wild imagination, Schleusolz is only too happy to provide snippets of inspiration for the richly textured, often dramatic journey. “The Perfect Pitch” finds two small criminals planning a big time crime. The moody and ambient “Nights at 4 a.m.” would star an old bar owner and the sadness of the nightlife. Strauss’ personal favorite is “Palmer Is In The System,” which Wolf composed for their vintage Yamaha CS-80 that was at some point Vangelis’ main synth. “It’s a beautiful song that sounds like it is from the Blade Runner Soundtrack,” he says. Fans of movie romances will be happily seduced by “This Is The Time,” a bittersweet romance that lasts for one summer before each love retreats to his and her respective continents.
From the quirky-cool and ridiculous to the sublime: “Service Non-Existing” was penned by Strauss using a Schoenhut toy piano (it’s a piece for toy piano and orchestra), while “Because It Is There” is Wolf’s Richard Wagner-styled, storytelling response to a request to write a piece for orchestra only. More drama comes on “Calling A35” which takes place in a village on the coastline of Scotland at the end of WWII, and “Clean and Raw” which finds a young man willing to sacrifice his life to get revenge.