Conrad Schnitzler & Andreas Reihse: Con-Struct (m=minimal)
Andreas Reihse is perhaps best known as one of the founding members of experimental electronic act Kreidler, but he’s also released dance music as April among other projects. The vaguely Krautrock leanings of Kreidler are at play here as Reihse takes his hand at reworking and reinterpreting the last recordings of founding Kluster member (before they became Cluster later, without him) Conrad Schnitzler before he died in 2011. The first track on Reihse’s take on Schnitzler’s material is a cycling, mechanical hum under and over which harmonics and drones fade in and out. It’s mesmerizing as an intro to this collection of interpretations and reworkings. The second track changes it up completely with something far more krautrock influenced, or at least so it seems at first. Its motorik synth bass repetition is not an intro so much as the main idea, which begins to waver and be manipulated over time, with filters and effects. There’s almost always a cyclical sense of rhythm in each track, but it varies in dynamics and style. “Con-Struct 17” is overtly percussive and rhythmic, bridging the divide between Kraftwerk and Cluster, while “Con-Struct 15” takes it somewhere more disorienting with extensive chorus/flanger effects. My favorites are the more out-there excursions that move away from musicality into something entirely other; these close out the release as a trio. “Con-Struct 12” is a swirl of atonal synthesis that would sound right at home on Editions Mego, while “Con-Struct 11” sounds like vintage computer music writing itself. Closer “Con-Struct 10” is like the mellower companion to “12” with its shimmering, upfront synthesis clouds of sound, a nice hazy finish to the release. I prefer the less predictable abstractions that complete the album, but they work especially well as the epilogue to the more rhythmic experiments that precede. I would say that I don’t find it as personally satisfying as Borngräber & Strüver’s take on Schnitzler’s recordings that kicked off the series in 2011, but it’s still an interesting and handsome collection of ideas, textures and treatments that pay tribute to the legacy of such a legendary talent.