The latest product of Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer’s ongoing studio partnership is an LP featuring two extended remixes of Conrad Schnitzler’s Zug.
The Berlin-based duo, who last year released an entire double-album of diligently re-worked material from the ECM catalogue, are collaborating on an increasing number of remixes: in recent months they’ve versioned individual tracks by Vladislav Delay, Shangaan Electro’s Tshetsha Boys and Tobias, and are reportedly at work on a more substantial project based around Bollywood soundtrack music.
Conrad Schnitzler, who died last year, was a truly visionary artist – the pulsating, minimal electronic music he made in the 1970s and 80s anticipated and influenced the sonic language of industrial, synth wave, techno and beyond, and simply refuses to age. He was a founding member of both Tangerine Dream and Kluster (who would become Cluster), but it’s for his solo work that he deserves to be most highly regarded.
Zug was originally released on a privately-released cassette, known as The Red Tape; it received a limited vinyl release in 2006 on the Italian label Qbico, but the best wax version available is the 2010 pressing on M=minimal, which was mastered beautifully by Stefan ‘Pole’ Betke and Kassian Troyer, and featured remixes by Pole and Borngräber & Strüver.
Recently M=minimal invited Villalobos and Loderbauer to have their own wicked way with Zug, and they’ve come back with two typically elongated (both remixes, like the source material, clock in around the 20 minute mark) and engrossing remixes. The ‘Aktion’ mix is designed for club use, and for all its hypnotic power, never really feels like anything more than a tool – albeit a fanatically detailed one. However, the ‘Sorgenkind’ mix on the B-side is a piece of deep, eerie, 21st century dub driven by Schnitzler’s strafing synth tones and easily one of the finest, most beautifully sculpted productions that either Villalobos or Loderbauer have put their names to. You can listen to it on The Wire‘s most recent Adventures In Modern Music radio show.
The album – it’s more than long enough to be called an album – will be available on vinyl LP, CD and download on May 14.