Conrad Schnitzler / Pole


Bureau B • 2017

The composer and conceptual artist Conrad Schnitzler, who died in 2011, was a student of Joseph Beuys and Karlheinz Stockhausen and in the late 60s and early 70s worked with the Krautrock bands Cluster and Tangerine Dream. The sound collector not only released a host of electronic solo albums after that, but also amassed a large sound archive for his live performances over the years. As part of the »Con-Struct« series, Pyrolator and Schneider TM, among others, have taken on the material and its processing thus far. Now the Berlin-based musician and producer Stefan Bethke alias Pole is expanding the concept for the series and adding his own beats and sounds to the original material. An old synthesiser, converted rhythm machine and modular system are being used for this, which process several of Schnitzler’s complex sounds and allow chance to play an influential role in the process. During the recordings, this resulted in almost improvised jam tracks from Bethke’s minimal sound events, grooves and pulses as well as Schnitzler’s sound library, which only needed to be dubbed using a mixer. The results sound sometimes relaxed, ponderous and Cluster »krauty« (»Wurm«), sometimes like Pole’s dub techno (»Lullaby for Cats«, orchestral soundtrack-worthy (»Und fängt den Vogel«) or light-footedly percussive (»Lacht«). Stefan Bethke gives Schnitzler’s sounds a careful push towards the dance floor with his arrangements. By doing so, he places them in a completely new and exciting context beyond avant-garde sound experiments, which befits them exceedingly well.