<    main menu    news    latest catalogue    UT releases    Audion    retail    mail-order    address    email    gig news

CON-HERTZ / HISTORY

Conrad Schnitzler & Wolfgang Hertz
Krautrock electronic old-school meets new-wave no school!


 

After Conrad Schnitzler left Tangerine Dream & Kluster (pre-Cluster) in the early 70's, he went on to be one of the most prolific explorative synthesists, and made dozens of albums, mostly as small private editions. In the 1980's he established numerous other projects, Con-Hertz was the duo of Conrad Schnitzler and Wolfgang Hertz Heusmann (ex-Aussenminister, Model 81), who made two very different tapes: "Face On Radio" consists of extracts (chosen by Auricle) from six hours of Wolfgang's remixes of archive recordings by Con in the style of "Conal". Aptly different, "Contrasts" is a direct collaboration between the two musicians, presenting a good deal of Con's best formative computer-electronic music, both melodic and abstract.

From "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg"...

Konrad Schnitzler (born 27/1/1937), often quoted as the father of the Berlin Underground, Conrad Schnitzler actually originated from Düsseldorf, where he had been involved in the arts underground with people like Joseph Beuys, and only became involved in the Berlin scene in 1967 when he was 30. In these early days, Con had a fascination for chance music, for electronic devices. Famous for establishing the Zodiak Club, the birthplace of the Berlin avant-garde underground. It was also a regular gigging and jamming place for all sorts of people, like the musicians from Agitation Free and Tangerine Dream. Here the prototype Kluster and the super-session band Eruption were formed, and also it lead to Con joining Tangerine Dream for their debut album ELECTRONIC MEDITATION. Rock music though wasn't really Conrad's oeuvre, and so he went on to other things.

    Isolated from the music scene, Con took on his music as a way of life, constantly experimenting and recording. He was also often commissioned for performances at festivals and galleries. At this time he developed unique forms of concert performance, in which several cassettes were used at random together with live electronics, thus still adhering to his earlier passion for chance music. His first proper solo LP, housed in a plain red cover, and known as ROT, presented a vast sounding and very dark synthesizer music, full of rasping a twittering sounds, industrial electronics full of power - buzzing electricity - enough to fry the senses! Whereas red meant hot and angry, the blue album BLAU that followed, was cool and flowing, with more modulated tones, glissando guitar, and a quite ethereal air. Still weird, but with an underlying melodic context. For the next few years Conrad recorded very little, mostly doing street performances with tapes and a megaphone helmet.

    Conrad Schnitzler worked quite a lot with the younger wave of Berlin musicians in the early-1980's. The duo of Con-Hertz had an unusual beginning, as original tapes issued by Wolfgang Hertz were actually sessions he'd worked on together with Con, and thereafter had remixed, cut-up and manipulated, creating something new without Con's knowledge.

    The resultant music was bizarre, abstract and floating electronics, some of it successful, some less so, often akin to Conrad's own album CONAL. Many of the best pieces were later compiled onto the Auricle Music cassette release of FACE ON RADIO. With those previous sessions resulting in a successful release, the duo later tried working together again. The resultant project CONTRASTS was a document of several months collaborative work between the two musicians working with sound samplers and electronics, after they had collaborated on the MICON IN ITALIA album, with a varied collection ranging from complex neo-classical music onto totally abstract soundscapes.

 

Discography...
FACE ON RADIO - MC Auricle AMC 016 (1986), CDR Auricle AMCDR 131 (2008) CDR inc. 2 bonus tracks
MODULAR 87 - MC private (1987)
CONTRASTS - 2MC Auricle AMC 028 (1988), 2xCDR private (2016)

Con-Hertz also have tracks on...
HISTORICAL AURICLE - CDR Auricle AMSCDR 002 (2001) track: Other Face
THE COSMIC AURICLE & OTHER EGGSHELLS - CDR Auricle AMSCDR 015 (2007) track: The Fourth Reich
 KRAUTROCK - DL Auricle UTCE BC1 (2018) track: Face On Radio

original Conrad Schnitzler tracks on other Auricle releases...
 
A CAGE WENT IN SEARCH OF A BIRD (1985) - CDR Auricle AMSCDR 006 (2002) track: 1·11·84

For other Wolfgang Hertz works see Aussenminster

reviews in Audion...
Con-Hertz - #3/11, #11/23
Conrad Schnitzler - #1/6, #4/7+19, #5/22, #6/3, #7/3+14, #9/11+12+15, #11/29, #12/26+32, #13/8+11, #17/24, #21/35, #22/34, #31/12, #32/21, #34/9, #40/37, #45/4, #46/36, #51/17, #54/28+35, #55/28, #56/34

 

web site designed and managed by Alan Freeman © 2000-2018 Ultima Thule, Leicester, UK   -   constantly work in progress, advice welcome, please report broken links   -   E&OE