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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CONRAD SCHNITZLER: Conviction (2006)

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

For those who are not afraid of metal twisted on rhythms with harmonious antipode

1 Stealth Passage 7:54

2 Moving by Standing 2:08

3 City Blur 1:44

4 Eerie Station 3:56

5 Across the DDR 3:47

6 Old Bike... Passing By 3:13

7 Zolljagdhund 3:30

8 Silent Siren 3:10

9 I Believe Part 1 3:33

10 Steam Snow 3:21

11 Hundred Eleven Semphores 3:46

12 New Stranger 3:05

13 Gleis 13 1:52

14 Close by Berlin 2:21

15 Torque19 2:16

16 Imperial Gate 2:27

17 I Believe Part 2 3:35

18 Conviction 4:32

(CD 60:06) (V.F.)

(Abstract, Electro, Experimental, Ambient)

Here we are at the doors of avant-gardist art with a more contemporary vision. A very special character in the world of electronic music (EM), Conrad Schnitzler has a legion of fans who have followed his evolution since he left Tangerine Dream after the album Electronic Meditation in 1970, and then Kluster a few years later. Thereafter, he begin a long solo career with as many albums as possible scattered among different labels. There are about 180 of them, many of which are reissues or tapes found in studios after his death in 2011. CONVICTION is a first CD on the Ricochet Dream label. A strange album, or fascinating if you will, with nearly 20 tracks that follow each other in a long sonic mosaic where the musical aspect has little to do with this purely experimental approach conceived in a pool of sound effects with many of them, I'm more than convinced, that you have not heard. It's with a heavy industrial mechanics that this album opens.

A heavy reverb full of metallic bird calls accompanies a damaged hammering in a strident sound panorama. Half-beast and half-robot, Stealth Passage moves on with an anvil bang on a growing rhythm where metal courts a strange android harmony on rhythms as incongruous as dynamic. Strident techno where the robotic frenzy pierces the wall of rhythms in a copulatory way without pouring into the incestuous phase. Like a metallic thorn stigmatized by a thousand and one sonorities and as many blows of club, CONVICTION adopts a structure to the juxtaposed rhythms which can find brief moments of quietude which are interspersed with an iconoclastic madness which is the panacea of the one that we affectionately nickname the Con Man. Metal on metal, not like in Kraftwerk, it rubs and it rocks! As if the musical instinct was a pretext for a stuffing of insipid sounds. However, everything fits together! We notice the progression of the album through its cacophonic maze but also some elements of a jazzy but rarely ethereal sweetness. The sonic violence always picks up to stun the listener with the metallic and mechanical din that envelops this abstract structure. There are strange, eerie moments where even the so-called ambient phases are tinged with a barely restrained violence that removes all sentimental proportion from this extremely mechanized work by Conrad Schnitzler.

For those who are not afraid of metal twisted on rhythms with harmonious antipode, CONVICTION is the perfect choice. For the others, pass go without asking for your 200$! You will have understood that this umpteenth album of Mr. Schnitzer requires a huge understanding of the abstract sound art. And even there...

Sylvain Lupari (May 9th, 2009) *****

Available at Ricochet Dream

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