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Wolfgang Riechmann - Wunderbar CD (album) cover

WUNDERBAR

Wolfgang Riechmann

 

Progressive Electronic

3.01 | 9 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars A lost talent?

I have owned this album for quite a long time, but it was not until recently that I got interested in exploring it. This is the first and last release of Wolfgang Riechmann, a musician that was thought to have a great future after releasing an album with the Dusseldorf group STREETMARK and embarking on a solo career at the end of 1977. The main influences for his compositions are said to be deriving from the Berlin school (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze etc.) and the Düsseldorf School (Kraftwerk) of electronic music.

Having limited knowledge of progressive electronic, I can indeed identify some elements in this album that clearly bring Kraftwerk to mind. As described elsewhere in his biography, the melodies in this album are simple, even simplistic, but they are solid and reveal the artist's personality. Quite distinct and beautiful at times, though following repetitive patterns, the sounds of the album create a unique atmosphere. The title track that kicks off the album follows a mid-tempo pop rhythm based on a single (but attractive) melody accompanied by a solid bass background and sounds that resemble to music of American westerns... one of the highlights of this release. 'Abendlicht' follows on a slightly different pattern, in a more 'dreamspace' atmosphere with 'torturously' slow changes in the notes.

'Weltweit' introduces more eastern sounds and gradually turns to a completely modern electronic track in the vein of Kraftwerk, leaving Riechmann to improvise on the keyboards - while the flow is smooth, the track failed to impress me, mainly due to repetition. 'Silberland' flows more or less on the same pattern, however, this time, the harmonies take a more dramatic and 'majestic' approach, filling the sound in this track beautifully, revealing the true potential of Riechmann to create solid, 'brimful' melodies. While the previous tracks sounded sad and danced on dark tunes, 'Himmelblau' flows on an 'otimistic', slightly cheerful mid-tempo (accompanied even by 'happy' vocal sounds on the background), returning to the electronic pop rhythms set at the beginning of this record. Not far off its predecessors, the longest track of the album does not escape from repetition, leaving the short 'Traumzeit' to sum up the album, with a similar melody to 'Silberland' which possibly represnts the most interesting moment.

I believe that prog-electronic fans would agree that there is an unfulfilled potential with this album, as Riechmann was not allowed to prove his abilities in further releases. I have the feeling that these melodies had formed the basis for something better than just a good album...

aapatsos | 3/5 |

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