Conrad Schnitzler, "Conal 2001" Having recently attended an electronic music concert which left me rather cold, I approached this album with some trepidation. Conrad Schnitzler is of course an electronic music pioneer who was responsible for the founding of both Tangerine Dream and Kluster. I adore the brilliant work such groups did in the 70's and occasionally beyond, but it seems that electronic music in the 90's and beyond has lost its wonder, the elements of danger and exploration now replaced with gimmickry and formula. However, I'm happy to say, Conal 2001 does not succumb to these vices - and gives me hope for electronic music in the 21st century. The album consists of three 20-minute pieces (each named after their duration) which all have a raw, intense (even chaotic at times), and yet paradoxically slow-motion quality to them. Against backdrops of ghostly (and adjective used too freely for this kind of music but really applicable here), vague musical and noisy impression, rhythms appear and disappear as quickly as a shooting star, and synthesizer riffs straight out of classic prog-rock appear and disappear equally suddenly. Sometimes rhythm takes over (the end of "20:33"), but mostly it just struggles against the vastness that seems to inhabit each piece. All in all, a surprisingly virile album from an old master. Recommended. ~ Adam Murphree
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