Friday, 9 September 2016

Conrad Schnitzler - Contempora (1981)

Time for some more Con artistry.  For the follow-up to Consequenz, Schnitzler clipped back the track lengths even more and generally showed that he had his ear to the ground for what was happening around him in the burgeoning  Neue Deustche Welle.  Contempora was one of the purest expressions of his DIY aesthetic, offering thirteen untitled tracks in a plain white sleeve, self-released with only the album title stamped on the front.

As mentioned above, the first eight tracks on Contempora were Schnitzler's most succicnt yet, with none lasting over two and a half minutes.  These upbeat, quirky pieces suit their reduced length well, and make for a hugely satisfying blast of Schnitzler's inimitable style.  After this, we're treated to five longer tracks that are more like a natural development from Consequenz.  The longest of these (B2 - I've titled each track to correspond with where it sits on the original LP, just because I like knowing where I am on an album like this) is the most interesting, and the highlight of the album for me.  It's so uncannily close to '78 era Throbbing Gristle that if someone played me it blind and said it was a studio recording of what they were playing at, for instance, the Goldsmith's College gig, I'd have been near-as-dammit convinced.


Previously posted at SGTG:  Con | Consequenz | Grün
 Oh, and going back to grab those links has reminded me that I said I'd post Kluster 70-71, so expect that next week.  Schnitzler will feature heavily, but accessible brevity most certainly will not.


  1. No credits given, but I'd guess Ton Steine Scherben/Eruption member Wolfgang Seidel ("Wolf Sequenza") was a musical contributor, since the arrangements sound very close to those on Consequenz. There are several great tracks here, including one that recalls the X Files Theme. For anyone wondering where the inspiration for that came from, or the synths in Joe Jackson's hit "Stepping Out", all signs point to Schnitzler.

    Additionally, anyone who passes on your 3-album Kluster post is a complete idiot :) Peace

    1. Interesting thought! Some of this stuff might well have been sketched out circa Consequenz; Schnitzler's early 80s were certainly so ridiculously prolific that there's bound to have been some overlaps like that. I notice Seidel gets an unspecified 'thanks' at the end of the CD booklet on my Bureau B version - perhaps a belated credit?