Outside The Dream Syndicate, originally released in Europe only in 1973, is a stunning debut. Two side-long tracks – “The Side Of Man And Womankind” and “The Side Of The Machine” – show just how far Conrad had moved beyond his minimalist peers. Werner Diermaier’s repetitive drum beat and Jean-Hervé Peron’s stripped-down bassline conjure a tense, ascetic groove, while Conrad‘s seamless violin, initially so controlled, reveals a surprising adaptability. The music shifts almost on a subliminal level, pushing and pulling to the drone’s internal pulse.
It is hard to imagine Conrad‘s trajectory from downtown Manhattan to a farmhouse in the German countryside that ultimately resulted in “Outside The Dream Syndicate”, yet no other record captures – so completely and instantly – the intersection of avant-garde and rock forms. “Outside The Dream Syndicate” remains ahead of and bracingly outside of its time.