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: 00/606 (Effi) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 61 minutes of embroiled electronic music.
As with many of Schnitzlerís current releases, short passages flow together to form a unified composition made up of electronic effects commingling to produce a steady flow of entertaining weirdness.
Roiling electronics muster stamina while a piano pitters in their midst. Swishing diodes rise from the miasma to provide arbitration between the contentious sounds. Every once in a while, the piano releases a crashing chord to maintain a grounding effect while the electronics pursue their artificial cacophony.
Still mired in a sea of churning effects, the piano succeeds in expressing a melodic presence that, despite its valiant efforts, remains buried in the seething mix. Eventually, a vibrating electric keyboard riff emerges into dominance and joins forces with the piano to generate a surging harmonic flow.
But the chaos infects things, transforming that keyboard riff into a fiercely thrashing cadence that bullies through the music, sending the other effects scurrying into retreat. The triumphant influence swells, drawing everything into its contagious sway until all the sounds adopt an aggressive tendency. Piercing pitches swamp it all aside and herald a new stage of crafted strife, pitting shrill tones against softly meandering chords to achieve a gripping contest of wills between tradition and abstraction.
As the music progresses, new clusters of synthetic sounds rise into prominence to express their energetic fervor, only to be beaten down by the next wave. What keeps the music engaging is the bewitching character of the sounds. Selected for their synthetic charm and unearthly nature, these noises mesh together with novel appeal, transforming chaos into an urgent pastiche of delightful weirdness. Flashes of melody occur as the elements efficiently congeal.
Transitions from phase to phase within this music are often immersed in their own hyperactivity, resulting in an even flow of engaging surprises.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/614 (Einblick) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 61 minutes of dark electronic music.
An assortment of lively electronics strive to violate a ponderous dark ambience, but moodiness invariably holds sway.
Growling drones establish an ominous foundation for rising pulsations that lead to more animated electronic eruptions, as if cybernetic units were exploding on a vast terrain of darkness. As the explosions subside, ponderous tones swell into dominance punctuated by sparkling rotary noises and blooping sounds.
Notes embodying the promise of melody appear and vanish amid the churning miasma of rotors and dark texturals. Hissing notes zoom through the sonic fabric, tearing holes in the music and allowing additional dissonant elements to enter the mix. Subsequent meteoric passings of shrill tones blend with the blooping electronics to create a flow that is rich with unexpected pinnacles.
Throughout, a sense of haunted introspection is maintained behind these harsher comings and goings.
Pulsating chords appear as if coalescing from the eerie foundation, taking form and cavorting like demonic spirits amid an environment of lively effects.
Each emergence of electronic activity is ultimately conquered by the dark ambience that swells to engulf everything, washing away the stage for the next series of sonic entities struggling to escape the gloom. Despite each waveís puissant nature, though, the murky demeanor always wins.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/622 (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 62 minutes of industrial electronic music.
A zone of austere atmospherics features a series of electronics and rhythms that enliven the severe panorama.
Mechanical impacts conspire with lesser beats and chirping diodes to generate a lead-in to a realm of spry machinery where electronic eruptions resound on the horizon while grinding pulsations cavort nearby. The plucking of guitar strings achieve a melodic presence amid this electrified metal domain, but this definition is eventually mired by and lost among a rise of gurgling electronics.
As with prior releases, a parade of effects establish a variable flow of entrancing sounds, this time in an environment of harsh metallic disposition. Surging chords loop so fast that they achieve percussive characteristics. Bongos appears in tandem with wobbly pitches that are contorted to form diverse resonances. Crisp keyboards adopt a harpsichord manifestation while aliens wail in the background. Flipping toggles create slapping tempos, marking the approach of a dark drone that unfolds to expel a series of twinkling effects. A sudden increase of velocity overwhelms some factors, producing a phase of hyperactive urgency. A resurgence of dire texturals swamps everything, leaving the sonic beach awash with glittering notes as the dark surf recedes. Ricocheting effects establish a bouncy shroud over a ground-vase of grumbling bass tones.
This music is quite unique in that it combines industrial noise with solid melodies. Animated riffs persist throughout the grinding environment, sashaying into focus and then relinquishing the spotlight to the next sprightly sequence.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/628 (Beton) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 61 minutes of mysterious electronic music.
A masterful excursion into improbable depths of darkness. The passage from one layer to the next is marked by a characteristic change in peripheral electronic elements.
Dire consequences are harnessed into textural firmaments that vibrate with auspicious temperament. A mood of inky murkiness is conjured, then peppered with growling effects and metronomic keyboard strikes that drive the listener deep into a territory of expansive tonalities glittering with auxiliary electronics.
An attitude of eerie sobriety is achieved, ponderous and awe-inspiring in its delicate density. Keyboards pursue quirky riffs that penetrate this haunted realm, marching resolutely through regions of textural twilight. Each electronic pulse serves to provide fleeting illumination along the way. Deeper and deeper we go, burrowing into oscillating strata to reach subterranean layers of mysterious pulsations.
This descent continues, delving to depths unimagined by mortal ken, where darkness adopts an optimistic emotional nature rich with the promise of release from this claustrophobic medium. Yet the journey persists in unearthing fresh nadirs of ominous resonance.
Fulfilling that promise of escape, the auxiliary electronics adopt a brighter demeanor toward the end of the piece. Clanging tones and pulses tinged with urgency hint at the end of darkness, culminating with an ascension of celestial deportment.
CONRAD SCHNITZLER: 00/630 (Invisible) (CDR on Schnitzler Music
This release from 2009 offers 61 minutes of sanguine electronic music.
After all the darkness of the prior release, this one indulges in a display of glistening exhilaration with upwardly-mobile noises and spiraling effects.
The listener is plunged into a sea of pulsations that sound like violins twirled until theyíre too tight for their own good. Robotic percussive rolls provide an undercurrent of mobility through this region of shrill definition. The tempos grow more complex, more lively, as the environment transforms into a vista of pensive tones.
Twitchy notes provide sparkling radiance, swarming until the illumination is quite dazzling, almost blinding. Deeply buzzing tones establish a ethereal foundation that rises to meet the feet of the sonic travelers. In marked contrast, a ceiling of glittering bells descends, immersing everything in their vibrating timbre.
The percussion grows erratic, going freeform, while growling electronic sweeps punctuate then fill the mix. The air thickens with these pulsations as chords crowd together, jostling for dominance. A sense of tension is accomplished with the introduction of dramatic atmospherics, settling the mood of the piece into a contemplative expanse of rarefied vapors.
The composition gradually resumes its activity as beats and riffs reprise themselves, building to a swirling climax
It should be noted that while some sounds a featured on more than one disc, the majority of sounds are refreshingly idiosyncratic and exclusive to each release. The sheer volume of these unique sounds shows Schnitzlerís relentless creativity as he invents new effects with ease, then arranges them into startling vibrant compositions.
Visit CON-tribute to learn about Schnitzlerís doings and releases.
Visit CON-tribute to learn about Schnitzlerís doings and releases.
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