All tracks written by Conrad Schnitzler.
- Stealth passage [7:54]
- Moving by standing [2:08]
- City blur [1:44]
- Eerie station [3:56]
- Across the DDR [3:47]
- Old bike... passing by [3:13]
- Zolljagdhund [3:30]
- Silent siren [3:10]
- I belive part 1 [3:33]
- Steam snow [3:21]
- Hundred eleven semaphores [3:46]
- New stanger [3:05]
- Gleis 13 [1:52]
- Close by Berlin [2:21]
- Torque10 [2:16]
- Imperial gate [2:27]
- I believe part 2 [3:35]
- Conviction [4:32]
If you know Conrad, then you know that his electronics are not easy to listen to at times. This release is a selection of his contemporary works from 2006, and I will say that the music will keep the listener interested IMO. Some strange stuff recorded here, but in the classic style of Conrad Schnitzler, that enigma from Berlin. This release is limited to 300 and should sell well since many of his other re-releases (esp. from Japan) are being snapped up by fans around the world. It also seems that the Japanese have a keen liking to Conrad.
2006. Press Information
"Conviction" is a limited edition cd of only 300 copies, released on the American label Ricochet Dream.
It’s my first encounter with the hypnotizing, industrial sound experiments of Mr Schnitzler, also known from the Krautrock days of the German band Cluster.
Although the cd-sleeve lists 18 different tracks, the music actually consists of one ongoing track of eery, darkening and experimental/industrial electronics (which features no drums), in which weird effects, percussive soundings and sequencing take center stage.
The overall impact of the abstract music is cold, foreboding and at times even gloomy and almost scary.
So beware before you tap into this strange pool of quirky sounds…
2011. Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion
It's true - very good electronic music but . . . BEWARE - the music is THE SAME with the music appeared on TRIGGER TRILOGY Vol. 2. (titled Mix Solos) (the number appeard on the inlay of the digipack - 00/341 - reffers also to this fact)!
2007. Robert / Hungary
Conrad Schnitzler was a member of Tangerine Dream during arguably one of its most adventurous periods, and he continues to make electronic music of an experimental nature to this day.
Conviction begins with "Stealth Passage," a quirky dichotomy with both light chirps and dark choirs, with both hints of melody and sections that seem atonal. Playful crisp sequencing reminds me of old Kraftwerk. It’s a rather clever, engaging piece to start things off.
Though most tracks are short, the album plays like a single overall piece of music. For example, "Moving By Standing" seems a very natural continuation of the opener. Though somewhat more atmospheric and stripped down, it is no less idiosyncratic.
Likewise, "City Blur" adds back in another layer or two, but seems to occupy similar sonic ground.
The first comparison that comes to mind is Otso Pakarinen, who records as Ozone Player, although Schnitzler’s music is somewhat more accessible and considerably more cohesive despite its adventurous nature. In fact, I rather like this CD, which I didn’t quite expect given my limited past exposure to his work. There is a pulsating quality that runs through the whole album that I find enjoyable. Besides, it is refreshingly different, and although I do tend to keep coming back to my favorites, it is nice to try something new now and again.
2008. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
This release from 2006 offers 60 minutes of bewitching electronic music.
Schnitzler's customarily quirky electronics undergo a stately, almost haunting transformation with this release. His erratic and urgent bloops and unexpected direction changes are present, but immersed in a fluid stream that enhances their eccentricity by placing them in stark contrast with flowing surroundings. Determination rises through the shimmering pastiche, resulting in tuneage of a compelling nature.
Cybernetic outbursts flutter through the mix with birdlike personality as auxiliary electronic pulses chitter and warble from all sides, dogging the harmonic nucleus with their diverse expressions. Muted percussives rumble from a far distance, providing an expansive feel to the churning foundation.
Keyboards are employed some of the time, but the majority of the electronics are triggered by dials, establishing an unpredictable motif for the music's temperament. These whimsical elements coalesce with remarkable ease, achieving a mesmerizing cohesion brimming with enchanting appeal.
Inventive diodes often provide synthetic rhythms, harnessing strange noises into non-impact tempos that waft just underneath the compositions' central threads. Synthesized cello and orchestral strings lend a classical undercurrent that roots the songs with a touch of humanity submerged in a sea of modern design.
While frequently uplifting and bouncy, these compositions possess a dire sensibility full of subtle portends and burgeoning tension.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Conrad Schnitzler is a bona-fide krautrock legend. Born in Dusseldorf in 1937, he went on to study sculpture with Joseph Beuys in the 1960’s, helped to form the Zodiac Free Arts Lab in Berlin, and in 1969 played on Tangerine Dream’s epochal debut album Electronic Meditation. He then went on to form Kluster with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. They made two LP’s together - Klopfzeichen and Zwei Osterei (both 1971) - before Schnitzler left, and Kluster became Cluster. Schnitzler’s first solo release was Schwarz in 1972, and since then he’s barely let up from a hefty release schedule (his catalogue runs to over fifty albums.)
And so to Conviction, Schnitzler’s first for the label. The digipak cover shows a bleak scene of a steam-belching locomotive moving through a snow-covered landscape, and the eighteen track titles - ‘Eerie Station’, ‘Across the DDR’, ‘Close by Berlin’ etc. - mostly refer to an imaginary journey from the the former East to West Germany. However, despite eighteen tracks being listed on the cover, this is really just one hour-long track which doesn’t vary hugely from beginning to end. Schnitzler’s signature sound of rhythmic electronics chugs away throughout - there are no drum sounds and no basslines at all, yet the music is intensely rhythmic due to the percussive sounds and repetitive sequences employed.
It’s tempting to compare this album to Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express - but whereas Kraftwerk’s train journey seemed rather quaint and charming - passing by the "parks, hotels and palaces" of ‘Europe Endless’ - Schnitzler’s journey takes place in an endless night illumined by flourescent arc lights, moving through soulless conurbations and blasted, ravaged countryside (like the Zone in Tarkovsky’s Stalker.)
At times there are echoes of Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream, but this music is colder, and less programmatic. Conrad Schnitzler is not an artist who seeks to draw you into his world - you have to make the effort to go to him. Is it worth it? I’d have to say yes. There is something undeniably hypnotic and deeply pleasing about his endlessly coiling, spiralling, morphing sequences and gloomy, industrial ambience.
This CD has been released in a limited edition of 300, so be quick if you want one.