Electronica pioneer Conrad Schnitzler dies

German musician and composer Conrad Schnitzler died of stomach cancer on August 4. Schnitzler (born 1937) was an institution in the German electronic music scene for thirty years. He studied with Joseph Beuys in the mid 1960’s, and in the late sixties joined the then fledgling German rock band Tangerine Dream. He added a bizarre, conceptual approach to Tangerine Dream that catapulted the band to legendary status, documented on the bands first album “Electronic Meditation”. Schnitzler left after that first album, forming the band Kluster with his friends Moebius and Roedelius.

Kluster recorded and released three albums before Schnitzler again left, this time to pursue his own work under his own name. Since the demise of Kluster, Schnitzler released hundreds of albums, both on his own, and on various labels around the world.

Allmusic.com writes: “One of the prime figures in the growth of Kraut-rock, Conrad Schnitzler made important contributions to the early history of Kraftwerk and Kluster. Like many in the Kraut-rock community, Schnitzler was greatly inspired by influences in the visual artistic world as well as the musical; he studied sculpture with Joseph Beuys, and composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen, also looking to John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer for inspiration. By 1969, he was working with Tangerine Dream, with whom he recorded Electronic Meditation. The album became one of the most distinctive in TD’s discography, and Schnitzler takes much of the credit for its chance-taking approach.”