COVER IMAGE
LP released: Aug 16, 2019

CONRAD SCHNITZLER
CONDITIONS OF THE GAS GIANT [LP]
Label: BUREAU B
Cat No: BB3201LP
Barcode: 4015698220391
Packaging: LP Regular

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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