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Günter Schickert - Überfällig CD (album) cover


Günter Schickert


Progressive Electronic

4.11 | 31 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Uberfallig" means "Overdue" in English and since his debut was released in 1975, and this his second one wasn't released until 1979 it seems like an appropriate title. I'd like to quote the liner notes for important background info then comment briefly on the four tracks.

"Stylistically, Gunter Schickert's music belongs to the Berlin school. Lengthy pieces with complex layers of rhythmic-harmonic sequences, expansive echoes and reverberation, extrapolated improvisations and naturally the cosmic touch of the 70's makes this ascription an easy matter. Not really a surprise, considering Gunter Schickert was Klaus Schulze's technical assistant and roadie at the time. And of course he was familiar with TANGERINE DREAM, ASH RA TEMPEL etc. It was only natural that his musical enviroment and personal contacts would influence him decisively."

"This influence did not lead him to copy anyone, however. Schickert concentrated on pursuing his own ideas and pushing the boundries of his remarkable aural creations. He is at pains to emphasize that, unlike almost all of his contemporaries, he did not use any synthesizers; his instruments are the electric guitar, his own studio with a multi-track tape machine and a comfortable arsenal of effects. Similar experiments had also been attempted by Manuel Gottsching("Inventions For The Electric Guitar") and Achim Reichel("Die Grune Reise"), but without stretching the multifaceted nature of their music to the point of microtonality, as Schickert dared to do on "Uberfallig".

Schickert's use of concrete sounds-field recordings as they are now known-and his completely autonomous way of working in his own studio presaged a stage of development more readily associated with the early 80's. Splicing preproduced noises into his music was almost too daring, too way out for Schickert's listeners to fathom. And working on his own , without a record company or expensive studio was a privilege enjoyed only by the "stars" of the scene at the time. In 1979 the album was a statement of the level of expectation of a potential audience, detached from the electronic mainstream. Gunter Schickert was one of the protagonists who furthered the development of experimental pop music from the outer margins."

Up first is the almost 15 minute long track called "Puls". Not a surprising title given that we get this relentless pulsating beat almost from the start. Man this has this catchy and repetitive rhythm along with the sound of water dominating the soundscape. In fact it's those water sounds that open the song before the beats kick in. Great stuff. The drumming really adds to this as well, no drum machines are used on this record. "In Der Zeit" opens with different sounds before we hear the birds chirping then the guitar joins in a minute in. Female vocals sung in German also join the guitar and birds. She's almost speaking the lyrics. Atmosphere before 3 1/2 minutes as she stops. It almost sounds like the tide coming in along with heavy breathing then spoken male words in German. Such a cool tune.

"Apricot Brandy II" is eventually overtaken with the sounds of waves and wind while that heavy breathing comes in. Percussion joins in and then the guitar 2 minutes in as the waves, wind and breathing stop. Male vocals echo after 3 minutes as guitar and drums help out in this very psychedelic setting. The vocals get passionate after 8 minutes but it's the instrumental work that blows me away here. Fantastic track ! "Wanderer" opens with guitar, nature sounds and more. This is so good. This is adventerous yet melodic.

I am completely blown away by this album. I must admit that when it comes to Electronic music I prefer guitar to be in it like HELDON and RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL, but it's the melodic yet adventerous compositions that impress me the most. Gunter Schickert is an incredible talent which I knew already from his GAM project.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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