Conrad Schnitzler — Blue Glow
(Art Gallery AG 003 CD, 1979/1994, CD)
Conrad Schnitzler — Charred Machinery
(Art Gallery AGCD11, 1980/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01
Herr Schnitzler is probably the most prolific synthesist (we might as well say musician) on the planet. He has been around since the early days of Kluster and Tangerine Dream (he was a member of both), started a solo career in the early 70s with 3 unbelievably rare LPs and literally exploded in the 80s, releasing just about everything he recorded. I mean here's a guy who released a cassette for every month in a year, and now states that since 1990 he has over 60 DATs of music that you can order directly from the composer! Exposé most likely will not be covering these. These two CDs are only the first two of Art Gallery's archive series from Schnitzler. Art Gallery has been quite prolific of late in releasing his CDs and their total is growing exponentially. Both of these CDs draw music from the Container cassette box set, a compilation released on Broadcast in 1983 with a total of 12 "tracks" entitled "T1" - "T12."
Blue Glow is the entire "T2" and part of "T4." Schnitzler's song titles in the past have often been numbering systems, yet with this reissue the individual tracks within the "T" series have been named. Schnitzler's music is not your average electronic fare and is really not comparable. His music is experimentation in statis, nothing like the Teutonic, romantic, or ambient styles. The results seem like reflections of the cold machinery that analog synthesizers can be. Taken from 1972-79, at times the stark atmospheres are listenable, yet often the oscillator fluctuations are harsh and disturbing – some of them make me afraid for my speakers!
Charred Machinery ("T1" and half of "T6") is very similar yet possibly more mechanical and industrial; on both CDs there's barely anything resembling melody. The three tracks are all about 22 minutes in length each and have cold metallic grating synth tones and insistently dissonant sequencer patterns. I assume they will be reissuing more from Container as there is some more spacier and less cathartic music (and some really bad stuff as well) on it. There's better and worse music from Schnitlzer, yet either CD acts as a decent starting point – although you better like it bleak.
Related artist(s): Conrad Schnitzler
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more