Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Conrad Schnitzler - Congratulacion (1987)

Must confess I didn't give this one nearly as much attention as all the others that I picked up when getting into Schnitzler - big mistake.  The stark difference in the sound can be initially off-putting if you've just become accustomed to the barely-controlled EMS-Synthi blooping of earlier albums.  But far from being "Schnitzler sells out", Congratulacion should be considered "Schnitzler tries something new" - which he'd keep on doing, right up to his passing in 2011.

In August 1986, when these 16 little minatures (none longer than 3:12) were recorded, the Yamaha CX5M was still fairly new, and notoriously difficult to program (although most of its contemporaries were too, compared to today).  Schnitzler created some great little melodies with this fresh gear, in a mostly mellow mode, letting the clean tones bubble away in an almost baroque manner.  Only the lead-in tracks (on each side of the old vinyl) are more strident, pulsing along like 70s sci-fi series themes.  The overall effect is akin to a cleaner, early-digital-era version of Switched On Bach that swaps out the warmth of the Moog for the relatively clinical (but still charming) Yamaha.



  1. Most of these tracks are gems, and seem to be actual musical compositions (I don't know anything about Yamaha synthesizers but I assume they don't write music by themselves). So apparently Scnhitzler evolved beyond being just the greatest synth-noise maker of all time. Just curious, how were the bonus tracks on this edition?

    1. They're ok... I tend to snip off any bonus tracks on my uploads unless they're really outstanding.

      See what you think:

    2. I know what you mean, these ones pretty much fit the maxim of outtakes being outtakes for a reason. I generally find the most worthwhile bonus tracks are B-sides and obscure officially released that weren't included on the main album but were released by the artist in the same general time period. Thanks for sharing these extras though.

  2. ya I've seen some online griping about this latter day stuff, but I'm with you...different and worser. Really great, thanks