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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CONRAD SCHNITZLER: Rektifikation (2006)

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

As unbelievable as it may sound, I liked the alienating strangeness of this CD

1 Alternate Currents 4:03

2 Zener Diode 2:25

3 Mr. Thyristor 2:44

4 Shunt Switch 3:09

5 Bahn Boarding 3:16

6 Avalanche Breakdown 2:44

7 Acceleration 3:34

8 Spandau Fast Track 4:19

9 Ducks of Dawn 3:41

10 Quantum Well 3:38

11 Electron... Tunneling 4:20

12 Galena 6:14

13 Thermions 3:11

14 Mercury Arc Valve 5:20

15 Zwrotnica 2:12

16 Excitation Electrode 1:49

17 Pentograph to Catenary 3:19

(CD 60:08) (V.F.)

(Abstract, Experimental, Ambient)

Conrad Schnitzler's universe is always as structured with a richness of sound that pushes the limits of harmonies to the borders of a fertile imagination in musical designs of all kinds. Being like a suite to Conviction (Ricochet Dream RD014 in 2006), REKTIFIKATION is a pleasant surprise for me. Finally, I unravel the mystery of the Con Man who presents a long track segmented into 17 parts where continuous rhythms and eclectic harmonies intertwine in a mosaic of sounds as avant-gardist as ever.

Alternate Currents opens with a soft synth line with stereophonic echoes. Arcade sounds, Pac-Man style, besiege this intro which now swims in full sound mystery guided by a hypnotic clock. Alternate Currents goes through a sonic maze on a linear movement that continues beyond Zener Diode. Although the beat is sclerosed in a prism of diverse composite tones, one senses a gentle evolution in the rhythmic structure that becomes more accentuated in the acidic world of Mr. Thyristor. The percussions fall and roll in a perfect disharmony, whereas the initial structure is enriched with each title of an element either harmonious or multicoloured. The soft layers of mists and the striations of a metallic synth that envelop Shunt Switch confirm the minimalist uniformity of a heterogeneous movement that changes its color and its depth with each new track. Thus, fine resonant pulsations light up Bahn Boarding, while the tangent of the CD continues its audacious mixing of sounds of all kinds, like these scattered piano notes and xylophone strokes that intertwine in the caustic universe of Avalanche Breakdown. Modifying by the same fact the master structure of REKTIFIKATION which forsakes its minimalist approach to sink in a din of percussions hammered with a frenzy of stubborn automaton under aggressive strata which blacken the soft madness of an oversized rhythm. The madness screams from its metallic strata in Spandau Fast Track which strangely declines the rhythm to penetrate a sphere where the noise is king and where the harmony dissipated behind these unbridled strikes which prevail since Avalanche Breakdown, and which continue to nourish the apocalyptic Ducks of Dawn which embraces the total madness of Con until the last breaths and movements of metallic percussions of Pentograph to Catenary.

As unbelievable as it may sound, I liked the alienating strangeness of REKTIFIKATION. Beyond the disparate and innovative sounds and noises, the unique and peculiar sounds of Con Man's ideas, this album continues its strange evolution torn by avalanches of noises but recovered from time to time in a din that is matched only by Conrad Schnitzler's limitations. But does he have any? I don't really know all of his works, but I've heard several of them, and I believe that this album is the gateway to his universe, which is extremely more experimental than musical. But this one is worth a listen.

Sylvain Lupari (November 15th, 2010) ***½**

Available at Ricochet Dream

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