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conrad schnitzler - Ballet Statique (CON)
Probably better known under its original title of Con, Ballet Statique was released on an unsuspecting world in 1978. Coming after Schnitzler's searching Colour series, it's one of his most perfectly realized and futureproof recordings, beautifully poised and ultra-minimalist in execution but wildly psychedelic in scope and implication. You can hear its influence on Chris Carter's recently revived The Space Between, with stately, repetitive analogue melodies suspended in a spacious, multi-directional sound design simply unbelievable for the era. Indeed, it's difficult to listen to Ballet Statique without thinking of modern equivalences: 'Electric Garden''s gloopy, melody and aquatic echo FX could've been peeled off a Zomby club banger, while the swarming synths and circular drum patterns of 'Zug' anticipate the post-d'n'b experiments of T++ and Rockwell, and 'Metall II's static noise assault wouldn't sound out of place in a Haswell & Hecker set. The title track is overwhelmingly beautiful, an-astro utopian reverie that Cluster, Monoton or even Kraftwerk would be proud to call their own, while the bass-heavy 'Black Nails' closes out the suite in droning techno noir mode. From Carlos Giffoni to Carl Craig, Mute to Minimal Wave, the DNA of this album can be found in virtually all adventurous electronic music that has followed in its wake. If you don't know, get to know. Essential!