Conrad Schnitzler is as unpredictable as he is true to himself. If this sounds paradoxical, he reconfirmed the assertion in 1987 with an album which posed many questions and offered few answers — his music more extraordinary than ever. The indefatigable Schnitzler still leaves anyone listening to Congratulacion today rather baffled. Those well-acquainted with his music might search in vain for familiar landmarks. Instead, new and unexpected features can be heard, unlike anything in Schnitzler’s previous works. The reason for the album’s uniqueness lies in the technical advancements of electronic music-making. Schnitzler never shied away from any kind of innovation. On Gold (BB 150CD/LP) and Silver (BB 149CD/LP) he had masterfully deployed a new Palm synthesizer. Congratulacion saw Schnitzler introduce the Yamaha CX 5, a combination of digital and analog sound generation, lending the album its distinctive quality. This machine enabled him to program the most complex of rhythms and strange harmonies and, if necessary, completely unforeseen melodies. ‘21.8.86’ (track 8), for example, could easily have been composed by his old Kluster colleague Hans-Joachim Roedelius. This must have given him, this oh-so rigorous concept artist, no end of pleasure. Why else would he have composed 22 short pieces with the aid of the CX 5 instead of fewer, lengthier tracks? –Asmus Tietchens; Features six bonus tracks and an essay by Asmus Tietchens.