Release date: March 31st, 2017
Who is Conrad Schnitzler?
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 Joseph Beuys, 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.
Who is Pole?
The Düsseldorf-native musician, producer, remixer and mastering engineer Stefan Betke looks back on a steady two decade career in abstract electronic club music. Together with Barbara Preisinger he created the label „scape Records” and his own mastering studio „scape-mastering”.
What is the concept of the Con-Struct series?
Conrad Schnitzler liked to embark on daily excursions through the sonic diversity of his synthesizers. Finding exceptional sounds with great regularity, he preserved them for use in combination with each other in subsequent live performances. He thus amassed a vast sound archive of his discoveries over time. When Jens Strüver, the producer of the Con-Struct series, was granted access to this audio library at the outset of the 2010 decade, he came up with the idea of con-structing new compositions, not remixes, from the archived material. On completion of the first Con-Struct album, he decided to develop the concept into a series, with different electronic musicians invited into Schnitzler’s unique world of sound.
A few words from Pole on his con-structions
To be honest, in earlier times I never quite warmed to Conrad Schnitzler’s work. Back then, in the middle of the 80s, we were still occupied with traditional band projects. We played hip-hop, jazz, avant-garde, but with guitars, drums, etc. We still asked ourselves the question: “How can we actually get away from these instruments and structures?” They seemed so outmoded. Then came my first contact with Conrad’s productions: a Tangerine Dream album that he co-produced and on which he played violin, synthesizer and typewriter. It wasn’t a good start. I didn’t much like the album. Nevertheless, something had happened. I made a unilateral decision for the band, brought a TR-808 and a Minimoog to rehearsal and announced: “We’re going electronic.” After that, everything happened all by itself. I found out more about this Schnitzler from Berlin who always impressed me with his complexity, his humorous nature and almost absurd variety. So years later, when I was asked if I would participate in the Con-Struct series, there was no way I could refuse. His influence had since become too important for me. Contrary to the original Con-Struct concept, however, it was my idea to do it half and half: 50 percent sounds from Conrad and 50 percent from me. The collaboration went according to the following rules: I myself use four things – a modified old rhythm machine, two old synthesizers, and my modular system. From Schnitzler come four complex sounds, which are always run through a modular patch. Coincidence should play an important role. Then I sent everything through my mixer – for dubbing. It worked almost automatically. His sounds led and I joined in. It felt a little bit like we could understand each other. The two of us. I would have liked to have met him.