- Record Label
- Bureau B
About this item
Conrad Schnitzler (1937-2011), composer and concept artist, is one of the most important representatives of Germany's electronic music avant-garde. A student of Beuys and Stockhausen, he founded Berlin's legendary Zodiak Free Arts Lab, a subculture club, in 1967/68, was a member of Tangerine Dream (together with Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese) and Kluster (with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and also released countless solo albums - The red album from 1973 was Schnitzler's first solo LP.
There was a particular type of artist who could only have emerged in the legendary early 1970s. Few musicians fit the bill better than Konrad Schnitzler. Revolution, pop art and Fluxus created a climate which engendered unbridled artistic and social development. Radical utopias, excessive experiment- ation with drugs, ruthless (in a positive way) transgression of aesthetic frontiers were characteristic of the period. The magic words were "subcultur", "progressivity" and "avantgardism". West Berlin, with its unique political status, was a crucible of turbulence. Founded in 1968, Zodiak was the ultimate point of convergence for subculture in West Berlin, with Konrad Schnitzler the driving force behind it. It was also here that Tangerine Dream and Kluster first met up to perform in public.
The red album ("Rot") was Schnitzler's first solo effort. As a member of Tangerine Dream, however, he had participated in the band's debut release "Electronic Meditation" some three years earlier (1970). He, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius had also already founded Kluster, whose first album "Klopfzeichen" attracted a wealth of attention. On "Rot", meanwhile, Schnitzler uncompromisingly pursued his very own vision of electronic music. As an acolyte of action and object artist Joseph Beuys, Schnitzler embraced the former's "extended definition of art", in which controlled randomness assumed an important role. Schnitzler actually extended the concept of "music". Or to put it another way: he cared not one iota for existing rules of music, preferring to create his own or conceptualizing a certain degree of lawlessness. Improvisation grew in importance. The most exciting aspect of Schnitzler's music is not the fact that he only used synthetic sound and noise; the apparently chaotic movements of his microscopic particles of sound draw the listener into a paradoxical, yet also crystalline and vibrant artistic world. It doesn't get much more outlandish than this. Schnitzler's debut surpassed virtually every other pioneering artist of the day in terms of radicalness. Not content merely with making psychedelic soundtracks, he turned these on their head with his defiant artistic will. The rigour of his approach has never been matched. Schnitzler's inimitable cascades of sound and their transparency were, and remain, unique.