Conrad Schnitzler is a grand maestro of electronic music. Considered by many as the grandfather of EM, he is accredited with convincing Tangerine Dream and Kluster to go electronic during his brief membership in both bands during the early Seventies. Since then, he has forged an impressive career as a solo performer which continues even today.
Conís output is staggeringly numerous, and CDRs of his music are available direct from the man himself. Here are reviews of a few of those releases...
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/512 (Electric Connection) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 60 minutes of flowing electronic music.
While presented as 15 pieces, the music on this album flows together, creating a seamless excursion through exotic realms of electronic tuneage.
A moody ballet of opposing pulsations opens this release, leading to a contrast of sighing tones punctuated by gurgling diodes. The drones swell and diminish, generating a semblance of temperate motion. The mood lies somewhere between eerie and soothing, frequently edging in one direction then the other as auxiliary noises nudge the flavor back and forth. Airy textures evoke pacific relaxation, then buzzing oscillations attribute a haunting sound to the drifting sonic tableau.
Amid this textural pastiche, sharper electronics establish a livelier presence with blooping chords, vibrating pulsations and seemingly random high notes whose overall structure only becomes apparent over time. As the music streams along, hidden patterns emerge, hiding among the more dominant punctuations.
While generally harmonic in character, this tuneage exhibits traces of melody as the electronics unfold, revealing melodic passages of crisp subtlety lurking beneath the parade of quirkily bubbling cybernetics.
Although some reverberating impacts occur in one section toward the end, no rhythms exist in this flowing opus, unless one wants to attribute tempos to the erratic definition achieved by the scattered electronic bloops that blink on and off throughout the languid progression.
A stately sedation exists throughout these smooth electronic expressions. The nature of the sounds may be artificial and often unearthly, but a sense of contemplative beauty is accomplished, as if the listener is eavesdropping on the dreams of cosmic machines.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/557 (Piano-Bass-Schlagwerk) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 60 minutes of freeform jazz.
With this album, Schnitzler switches his instrumentation to piano, bass and percussion and adopts a style of freeform jazz.
The piano meanders through a succession of upbeat melodies, often edgy in their wanton structure. The notes are crisp and slippery, sliding through eccentric chords to produce a constantly changing melody of understated urgency.
The bass establishes a bouncy presence with its nimble-fingered notes. A liquid mood is generated as the basslines slither through the mix with sinuous demeanor. Their definition is fragile, often immersed in the keyboard dominance.
The percussion is wild and unrestrained, but never overbearing. The rhythms adopt a chaotic structure, maintaining a resolute presence yet never falling into cyclic repetition. These embroiled tempos serve as an auxiliary instrument instead of providing stable beats. Their irregular nature enhances the overall passion.
A feeling of old school cafe jazz is achieved with this music. While possessing melodic properties, this tuneage perseveres a classic quality with its unpredictable nature. While one never knows what to expect, a sense of flow is accomplished by the steadfast adherence to studied randomness, yet the surprises are hardly jarring, relegated to an evenly streaming creative process.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/577 (Electric Con-struction) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 60 minutes of industrial electronic music.
Although pauses are found throughout, most of these tracks run together to form a uniform flow of entrancing industrial electronics.
Harsh buzzings counterpointed by remote impacts mark an intro that leads to more auspicious substance as the buzzing noises escalate and command the stage with their swirling gritty presence. The rate of their whirling motion varies, generating a tension of glittering quality. Eventually, a sense of clarity is applied to these buzzing sounds, revealing them to be constructions of twinkling synthetic chimes. Their glittering collisions are embellished by distant sounds akin to erratic drops of water falling inside a vast echoing chamber of noble metal.
As the tuneage progresses, the clatter evolves into a series of diverse rhythms embodying a distinctly mechanical character, as if antique computer toggles have been harnessed and directed to produce a steady sequence of changing tempos.
An artificial hiss rises, approximating a cybernetic wind seasoned with an expansive perspective. The wind enters a pulsating phase in which a reprise of the toggle clatter functions as a swaying accompaniment. Eventually, the clatter becomes a clanging as velocity increases, transforming everything into a jangle of almost calming intensity.
Shrill tones force their way into the mix, mutating the flow into a zone of piercing electronic definition. Ultimately, all of the previous elements resurge with bluster to achieve a climax of complex severity.
From an external vantage, this music is highly industrial, yet retains a gentle disposition, resulting in a dose of gritty ambience punctuated by instances of euphoric stress.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/582 (Roofconcert) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 61 minutes of eerily atmospheric electronic music.
Letís join Schnitzler as he moves his sonic milieu to the rooftops, where an expansive scope enters the mix.
Growling rotary sounds establish a soft tension that is tastily flavored by remote bloops. The rotations evolve a sidereal clang reminiscent of gears undergoing controlled interaction. Meanwhile, those distant bloops muster into ephemeral radio signals in which each pulse is separated by gaps, transforming them into a sinuous series of pulsations. An image is conjured of huge mechanical whales swimming through the air, their normally organic songs converted into vast expressions of electronic cadence.
An eerie proportion is achieved as the airwhale songs merge with ambient textures, becoming a sigmoid structure of softly grandiose oscillations. The continued presence of those rotary gears lends the atmospherics an industrial flair.
Eventually, a fluid demeanor enters the mix in the form of glutinous pulsations, attributing everything a subtle density, as if the air has coalesced into liquid form. Sweeps of sighing hisses burrow through this viscous environment, creating windy tunnels in the cohesive auralscape.
Tenuous electronics embellish this atmospheric milieu, providing traces of definition in the overall gaseous harmonic flow. Among them, familiar clatterings and portentous tones serve to generate a cloud of mechanical insects passing high overhead, followed by denser creatures whose nature never becomes readily discernible. The next batch of airborne passersby exhibit a ringing character, heralding the approach of entities of cosmic inclination who inspire awe and cerebral speculation.
This parade of mysterious sounds continues, peppering the atmospheric flow with mild diversions whose effects are more felt on a subconscious level. Gradually, a feeling of density is created, thickening the mix while retaining an airy aspect to the music.
Despite the numerous industrial traces, this is a decidedly ambient outing for Schnitzler.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/601 (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 60 minutes of brisk electronic music.
Livelier sentiments are expressed on this album, utilizing a bevy of electronics of buoyant and grim characteristics.
Bell-tones conspire with wobbly sounds to achieve a curiously melodic passage. A series of sharply ascendant electronic effects serve to liven the sequence. Vibrating xylophonic rhythms meander through the mix, adding quirky animation to the dreamy flow.
The introduction of deeper tones and pulsating sounds evokes a taste of classic Schnitzler tuneage, flavoring his new style of ambience with some traditional elements. Singsong electronics wander among a miasma of cleverly arranged pulsations. Some of these tonalities possess a brassy quality that communicates a regal grandeur.
Enter some recognizable keyboards, electric and piano, creating a series of melodies that seem determined to resist any effort to congeal...but over time a coalescence is reached, creating a delicate complexity seething amid the persistent effects.
A sense of urgency rises as the elements increase their pace. The separate cycles achieve a whimsical sashay, swimming in constricting patterns to produce a lavish interplay that swells into a thrilling jubilation.
Things reach a more pensive passage in which twinkling piano coexists with dire pulsations to achieve a mood of dazzled contemplation. Growling sounds enter the mix, countered by shrill tones of a glittering nature and chittering effects that remain just at the periphery of the music.
The introduction of clanging aspects brings a return of xylophonic embellishment to the flow. A piano grumble provides a somber undercurrent. Jangly loops sweep in and conquer the musicís definition, bringing with them a celestial host of blooping noises.
A searing resonance forces a tension into the flow as cyclic electronics sway into position alongside nattering sounds that combine rhythmic and keyboard origins.
Softer electronics abolish the tension, producing a nocturnal flair that is swiftly influenced by insistent effects. The music streams into a denser passage seasoned by overt weirdness as unearthly tones shudder into play...leading the music into grittier territory for the astral finale.
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