Conrad Schnitzler

Con 84

Bureau B • 1984

Originally issued as a self-release by Conrad Schnitzler in 1984, »Con 84« is dedicated to euphony rather than musical excess. This is made quite clear by the sacral opener, in which strangely beautiful sound unfolds. Schnitzler’s sound designs nevertheless walk a fine line between nerve-robbing dullness and a compelling red thread. »28.6.84 Blasen« is one of the numbers – and with a playtime of over seven minutes the longest – which makes concentrated listening difficult, but at the same time radiates the dusty mysticism of those first science fiction films. It is on precisely the shorter productions however where Conrad Schnitzler demonstrates his sensitivity for the picturesque soundscapes of experimental electronics. Warm, slowly swelling tones from the synthesiser put their stamp decisively on this record. The basic tenor of »X18 # I«, for instance, has something of Boards of Canada’s »Roygbiv«, and the bell-like tones above it blend into the pattern of sound in a leisurely way. »X18 I« sounds more like a one-man classical orchestra for synthesiser, a tendency that can be observed again and again on this album. There is always a hint of humour, whether in moments of silence, in which Conrad Schnitzler seems to urge his listeners to pay heed, or in exuberant cascades of sound, in which the gravitas of classical music is taken to an absurd extreme.