Conditions Of The Gas Giant
Compact Disc (Audio)
No of Discs:
Imagine if you could listen to the nervous whirling of methane and helium, that's what this album sounds like - at least in the mind of experimentalist Conrad Schnitzler. The Berlin artist first released these recordings on a small American cassette label. An uncommonly rhythmical vortex, we would suggest. Now available for the very first time on CD and vinyl! Admirers of the seminal artist Conrad Schnitzler can be found all over the planet, including the USA, of course. Matt Howarth, illustrator and independent comic artist, is one of them. He has been following Schnitzler's music since the early 1970s whilst drawing offbeat science fiction stories. Both the comics and the music occupy a similarly out of space space. One day Howarth came up with the idea of making Schnitzler a member of a notorious band - The Bulldaggers - who featured in one of his comic series (Those Annoying Post Bros.). Not wanting to go ahead without permission, he got in touch with Schnitzler who readily embraced the idea. In fact, he posted a pile of photos by return so that the graphic artist could draw him properly. The Bulldaggers popped up repeatedly in the comics and Schnitzler was (repeatedly) delighted. A friendship soon developed between him and Howarth. In 1986 Howarth designed his first cover for a Schnitzler album (Concert) and the following year Schnitzler entrusted him with tapes which Howarth was able to bring to the notice of the small American label Bird O' Pray. Considering the label's predominantly punk and early garage leanings, Howarth and Schnitzler were as surprised as each other to see the album successfully released on cassette. Howarth and Schnitzler came up with the album title together. Conditions of the Gas Giant reflected the atmosphere they associated with the music, clouds of manifold colours, whirling nervously above a gaseous planet. A methane and helium tryst in sonic form - fireworks, pyrotechnics for the eyes, like the surface of Jupiter, just as Schnitzler's tracks are pyrotechnics for the ears. This is the image conveyed by Matt Howarth in the liner notes for the reissue - naturally designed by himself - based on the aborted 1990s CD release. He also called on his friend D. H. Kister for further assistance - the man who first introduced him to Schnitzler's music almost fifty years ago. Indeed, Conditions of the Gas Giant almost appeared on CD in the early 1990s. Schnitzler had already digitized the music (which has certainly made our life easier) but something happened and the project was not completed. Matt Howarth can't remember what that something was, but, as he says in the booklet, "Life tends to get in the way of life." No matter, the planets are favourably aligned and things are now as they should be.
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