Schnitzler, Conrad - Blau (expanded)
"On the Red Album Rot, Conrad Schnitzler laid down the direction his musical artistry would take. His second solo , The Blue Album Blau, originally released in 1974, offered confirmation of his intent. Maybe the "Red" and "Blue" tracks were recorded in the same session. The structure, sound and timbre of both LPs are so similar as to suggest that this was the case (an unverified assumption nevertheless!). Far more important than this historical pedantry is the fact that Schnitzler included two brand-new compositions on Blau which followed on seamlessly from the previous album. Quite simply, he had found his way, a course from which he would not stray as long as he lived. The so-called Berlin School (Berliner Schule) -- with Conrad Schnitzler one of their number -- had developed its own style of minimalist music. Clearly distinct from Anglo-American pop music, and no less removed from the minimalist art music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass, the focus here was on electronics and elementary rhythmics. The Berlin musicians showed no great interest in instrumental or vocal virtuosity, nor were they in thrall to exuberant interleaving of rhythm. With the aid of synthesizers and studio technology, they were bent on breaking into territory hitherto considered the province of a privileged elite, clouded in mystery and secrecy, resonating with uncharted sounds and noise. Blau is an archetypal example of this very phenomenon. Courage, the pioneering spirit and artistic brilliance can be detected in each part of the album's two infinite sequences. Inspired by Joseph Beuys, Schnitzler propagated those very tones beyond the musical realm, detached from tradition, the only tones capable of catalyzing the utterly stagnant pop music and new music scene of the day, injecting them with fresh impulses. Questions of harmony, melody and strict form were well and truly rejected by Schnitzler. His aural crystals shine like pearls on a string. Schnitzler uses his ropes of pearls to weave new, fantastic patterns which constantly shift like kaleidoscopes to reveal unexpected facets; they are sign-posts to spatial and temporal infinity. Schnitzler's style was really too idiosyncratic ever to set a precedent, but he was, and still is, one of the most significant inspirations for pop music in more recent times. Digipak reissue with liner notes by Asmus Tietchens, rare photos and six bonus tracks."