Conrad Schnitzler / Schneider TM: Con-Struct

Con-Struct proves that messing with some so-called gospel materials can lead to marvelous things.
Conrad Schnitzler / Schneider TM
Bureau B

The idea behind the Con-Struct series is a novel one, fitting snuggly with the musical genre it represents. Put simply, an electronic musician is given permission to manipulate past recordings of the late Conrad Schnitzler in any way they see fit, as if they were collaborating with the electronic/industrial/krautrock/musique concrète pioneer in real time. Dirk Dresselhaus, aka Schneider TM, takes to this third installment of the Con-Struct series with some degree of reverence: “I wanted to get as close to the spirit as possible”. Of course, where Schnitzler’s source material stops and Schneider TM’s tweaks begin isn’t that clear since the former never saw an official release. But that’s never important, not even on Con-Struct‘s first spin. The weird sounds surrounding you are all the reward you’ll need from a release such as this.

For the most part, the tracks on Con-Struct get right to the point. This isn’t one of those weird releases where 60 to 90 seconds go by before any noticeable changes happen within a track. A majority of these tracks hover around three or four minutes, meaning that all of the essential elements are out in the open from the start: the static-driven rhythms, the burbling backdrops, the weather-warped tones, and the clanging noises. Schneider TM rarely relies on dramatic fade-ins or any other filler techniques to set the stage. The album’s two longer tracks, “Parabelflug” and “Wurmloch”, are allowed a few more liberties. “Parabelflug” in particular is a striking work due to its menacing, gurgling background and something that, on a particular day, could sound like an upper-register keyboard melody. At 23-plus minutes, “Wurmloch” takes up almost half of Con-Struct‘s running time and probably deserves a great deal of discussion here. The trouble is, it’s rather difficult to discuss a track that distills ice age glacial movement into an era of ambitiously futuristic music through the sheer power of mood—and a chilling mood at that. There are moments in “Wurmloch” when the sounds become frighteningly unfamiliar.

On the other hand, you can grow accustomed to works like “Doozer”, “Dabb”, and “Inspektion” in the same manner one grows accustomed to pop songs. Not that they operate in the same way, mind you, but the combined powers of Schnitzler and Schneider TM have a mysterious way of unlocking the mind that’s not always prevalent in electronic experimental music. But Conrad Schnitzler has remained a legend over the years for a reason. You don’t log time with Tangerine Dream or Kluster without learning a few tricks on how to reach people through the power of music, no matter how strange that music may be. No matter who was behind what sounds, Con-Struct is the sound of such philosophies in action.

RATING 8 / 10