Conrad Schnitzler - Endtime

His vision is at once open for immediate inspection, delineated through a concise structure and in this case a clear narrative, but also one that is completely wild...

 

 

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Let’s say right now that Conrad Schnitzler’s Endtime is a pretty astonishing record before we go any further. And there’s no doubt that you should try to give it some time. I can appreciate that, despite us raving about it, these sorts of LPs can be a bit of a head-fuck and you may be wary of actually taking the plunge to listen, but you should. Described by the record label as a 70 minute “walk through his entire work” (you can hear echoes of Kluster, Electric Garden and Zug in here for sure) and finished days before his death last year, this is hypnotic, mesmeric stuff.

This is a career résumé, the whole lot thrown at you, and all in one go. As such it’s a massive, symphonic undertaking. And what strikes you - as with all Conrad Schnitzler’s output - is the immense power of his discipline in keeping the overall structure and balance of his music cogent, despite the varying elements within. His vision is at once open for immediate inspection, delineated through a concise structure and in this case a clear narrative, but also one that is completely wild; in that there’s a total lack of “easy”, crowd pleasing cop outs such as hooks or melodies.

In keeping with the conceit, the work is split into movements, though you wouldn’t really notice as the changes in tone and pace are subtle and I’m going to need to listen a bit more to ascertain their true provenance and power. This is an ultra-smooth, sensual and refreshing experience, allowing the listener the luxury of just letting it all go, to float through the trip without worrying about any demarcation points. You can say the same about the atmospheres he creates – not only do they sound huge and exist somewhere in outer space, but for all its avant garde stoicism and lack of any human emotion or ego, it is light on the palette. Indeed, the lightness of touch in the balancing of sound and beats is extraordinary; there are modulated sweeps of synths, blurps, bleeps and bubbling sounds, pulsating synth notes and at times beats: the Zug section is very noticeable as is the spacey marimba (or something similar) rattling about in a sort of void like some space junk from a satellite round the nineteen minute mark.

Frankly, there’s no point waffling on, as this is a record to be experienced not over analysed. It’s magnificent. And given time it will blow your funky minds.