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Conrad Schnitzler - Constellations CD (album) cover

CONSTELLATIONS

Conrad Schnitzler

 

Progressive Electronic

3.00 | 3 ratings

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Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 1989's 'Constellations' is unlikely to be hailed as one of Schnitzler's more substantial achievements.

It's basically a bunch of squiggly, tuneless synthesiser doodles laden with echo and huge decay. It's also similar to a many of 1960's electro-acoustic artists as heard on the Icelandic 'Creel Pone' label.

'Constellations' has no real intention of pleasing anyone but good old Conrad himself. He simply didn't give a monkeys about stardom and fame. Instead he played exactly what he wanted on his own terms. He was 'Heap Um Big Chief Boss Man' ready to shoot arrows at any cowboy in sight.

The liner notes reveal a bald Conrad looking like a doppelganger of ambient egg-head Brian Eno. Both being instrumental electronic wizards, Schnitzler's approach was entirely different and is a lot more difficult to absorb. There's a certain scatter-gun approach that won't endear many first time listeners. Those bleeps, squeaks and discordant piano keys will try the durability of the most open minded of listeners. It's all very confusing, holds no meaning and presents no message. Just a barrage of electronic stabs played at ninety degrees awkwardness to one another.

The intriguing sleeve depicts that infamous 'face on Mars' pyramid that many people went hysterical over in the belief that it was created by an intelligent civilisation millennia ago. Conspiracy theories abound and poor old NASA scientists were left scratching their scrawny beards at how absurd the whole thing was. Unfortunately human beings create patterns in their minds and see faces everywhere - particularly in cloud formations. It's difficult however, trying to create patterns in this recording.

'Constellations' sounds willy-nilly and random with no thread of continuity whatsoever. The main problem is that it sounds digital and therefore loses that weird, dark malevolent sound that Schnitzler masterminded during the 70's. It's just a random gaggle of electronic warblings which, whilst sounding pleasant to my ears, doesn't have any real direction or motive.

If you keep 'Kluster' in mind while listening it actually solves a lot of the problems, as it then sounds like a logical progression from those early 70's recordings.

This just scrapes a three star rating by a nanometer. I much prefer the dark and noisy 'Kluster' recordings from '71. 'Constellations' is ok in itself but doesn't have a single sequence of musical harmony throughout its 68 minute duration.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |

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