Conrad Schnitzler: Con 3 – Review
With Con3 , originally released in 1981, now comes the reissue of the late Conrad Schnitzler´s sixth regular, and probably most commercial, album. So, maybe this is the very occasion for those who have always found the works of this prolific experimental musician not easily accessible. Conrad Schnitzler, composer and concept artist, student of Joseph Beuys, founder member of the famous Kluster (with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) and the even more famous Tangerine Dream (with Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulze), creator of the legendary Zodiak Free Arts Lab in late Sixties’ Berlin, in short: one of post-war West Germany’s most important artists in electronic music avant-garde, had recorded countless solo albums – many of them only privately released, now to be re-discovered among his legacy.
Con3 was Schnitzler’s excursion into electropop, and his “examination” of the then upcoming German New Wave, the Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW). With Wolfgang Seidel, aka Sequenza, he programmed rhythm machines and sequencers, and so created a distinct mix that sounded a little like NDW, a little like Kraftwerk’s commercial successes, and very much like Schnitzler himself. You can even hear him singing on this record, something he had never done before!
Thereby the catchy Komm Mit Nach Berlin has lost none of its relevance, both in lyrics and musically, even after 30 years. Wer Sind Wir Denn and Seemannslied seem to have the typical “Düsseldorf sound”, Schnitzler’s hometown, although he lived and worked in Berlin. Das Tier is a great NDW tune, surely the original for many imitations yet to follow in the early Eighties. The quiet and beautiful Tanze im Regen was the ninth and last piece on the original album – with the reissue come six bonus tracks: four very interesting instrumental tracks, hinting at what was about to come in the experimental / electro / minimal techno department, as well as the alternative mixes of Seemannslied and Wer Sind Wir Denn.
Conrad Schnitzler was quite an idiosyncratic musician, associating with many prominent members of the Fluxus movement (although he never called himself a Fluxus artist) and performance art. His life’s work is not easily understandable, not even to music heads who are accustomed to a certain level. However, Con3 is great fun to listen to, and a suitable introduction. Highly recommended.
Key Tracks: Komm Mit Nach Berlin, Wer Sind Wir Denn, Tanze im Regen
Label: Bureau B
CD / Download / LP
Release Date: 19 October 2012