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Günter Schickert

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Günter Schickert Samtvogel album cover
3.59 | 28 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Apricot Brandy (6:06)
2. Kriegsmaschinen, Fahrt Zur Hölle (16:58)
3. Wald (21:35)

Total time 44:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Günter Schickert / guitar, echo Fx, vocals, composer & producer

Releases information

Artwork: Günter Schickert

LP self-released (1974, Germany)
LP Brain ‎- BRAIN 1080 (1975, Germany)
LP Wah Wah Records ‎- LPS082 (2010, Spain) Remastered

CD Important Records ‎- IMPREC 380 (2013, US)

Digital album

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GÜNTER SCHICKERT Samtvogel ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

GÜNTER SCHICKERT Samtvogel reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars An album considerably closer to the krautrock sound and very early Tangerine Dream albums than Gunter Schickert's second album.

Samtvogel is a bit more electronic sounding than the follow up album, but also displays much more of a krautrock type of compositional development. "Apricot Brandy" and "Kriegsmaschinen, Fahrt Zur Hölle" both echo the Can album Future Days mainly because of the repetitive traditional krautrock guitar playing and dreamy incomprehensible vocals that sounds more like another instrumental touch than true vocalizing. Almost the entire first half of "Kriegsmaschinen, Fahrt Zur Hölle" is mostly Conrad Schnitzler-inspired experimental industrial gurgling that gradually builds up into an explosive guitar loop that has a somewhat avant tone.

The main attraction of Samtvogel is the 21+ minute long closer track "Wald" which is exceptionally aquatic in nearly the same way that Edgar Froese's Aqua except with Schickert's delayed guitar loops. It's quite a proggy track with plenty of development while remaining hypnotically repetitive, maintaining it's under-water adventure type of atmosphere that fans of Boris' Flood should find comforting. An aura of mystery surrounds the rather gloomy intermittent build-ups with dark melodicism in the guitar loops, until the track eventually gives way to lonely delayed staccato guitar plucking.

To pick a favorite between Gunter Schickert's two albums, I would have to choose Samtvogel for its much more mysterious and slightly avant electronic approach to krautrock styled early electronic music. It contains everything that I'd expect and hope for from a German electronic artist in the '70s, plus the incredibly soothing aquatic elements and the chord choices made result in an extremely delightful album and one I've the best I've experienced in a while. While I hesitate to call it a masterpiece, this is definitely an album to be recommended to all fans of this type of music and I'd personally place this album beside Edgar Froese's best work in terms of quality.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Gunter Schickert was always one of the more mysterious figures in the German musical counterculture: a solo artist operating somewhere on the fringe of a very crowded, very creative landscape. So it made perfect sense that his homemade (and originally home-released) debut album charted a unique course parallel but unconnected to the work of his more celebrated Krautrock contemporaries.

Minimalism was the hot ticket in Germany during the 1970s, and despite his low profile Schickert was an honor student in the Berlin School of electronic music. But his own experiments with tape delay and repetition evoked more of an inner disquiet compared to the now familiar outer space explorations in vogue at the time. The overlapping rhythms and shifting, hypnotic patterns throughout his music recall the sound of early TANGERINE DREAM or KLAUS SCHULZE, but were achieved using only his guitar, voice and two tape recorders instead of the usual synths and sequencers (imagine TD's groundbreaking "Phaedra" LP performed entirely on multi-tracked guitars).

The off-kilter opener "Apricot Brandy" is the closest thing here to an actual melody, but don't start tapping your toes too soon: in just six uneasy minutes it gradually builds into an ideal song for anyone who likes their freakouts especially freaky. The same tune would become a signature of sorts for Schickert, revisited in a more dynamic version on his "Überfällig" album, and also with his band GAM, where it would morph into a full-throttle Krautrock head-trip.

Few artists outside Germany could have written a chugging 17-minute noisefest named "War Machines, Go to Hell", and performed it with such aggressive conviction. And the 21-plus minute "Wald" (Forest) was one of the more unassuming side-long Krautrock epics ever made, following a path similar to Manuel Göttsching's equally spellbinding "Inventions For Electric Guitar" (recorded the same year), but with a more unpolished, uncanny extremity of style.

His subsequent "Überfällig" would enjoy a wider release (on the always trustworthy Sky Records), and mark a notable transition from raw craftsmanship to refined artistry. But Schickert would remain a cult figure, and today his mystique is akin to some arcane mage in one of H.P. Lovecraft's forbidden books of knowledge: the Krautrock equivalent of "Unausprechlichen Kulten", maybe. Dig up a musty copy of "Samtvogel" and hear why.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Gunter Schickert is criminally unknown when it comes to the German underground scene. He truly is a pioneer when it comes to the echo guitar and is a multi-instrumentalist who in the 60's played Free Jazz before fronting many bands and also playing in concert with Klaus Schulze. His band GAM created one of my all time favourite Krautrock albums called "Eiszeit".

For this his first solo album he had only two tape recorders at his disposal so he would play one track and while listening to that he would add a second one, this he would do 4 times. When he mixed it he borrowed a third tape recorder and so added the last track to the master. I can't imagine how frustrating and stressful this must have been because if he wasn't mixing fast enough with changing the tape he had to start all over. He had a small mixer with 2 stereo and 1 mono but it was possible to pan tracks. No equalization though and it all came out of his G2000 Dynacord guitar amplifier. If he made a mistake on track one he had to start all over again. Three months later "Samtvogel" was born.

Up first is the six minute "Apricot Brandy" which has some pretty trippy English lyrics. Gunter never did drugs but he certainly had an imagination. This is a slow paced piece with the focus on the almost spoken lyrics. Things get freaky after 3 minutes. "Kriegsmaschinen Fahrt Zur Holle" is my favourite tune on here. At 17 minutes this song describes a wish that Gunter had since he was young. That all killing materials such as weapons etc. would take a journey to hell along with the thoughts that stand behind them. He talks in the liner notes about his home city of Berlin where the German army was not allowed to go after WWII(once Germany was allowed an army in 1954) and that a lot of artists and free-minded people came there to escape military duty. This song is very Electronic as it trips along with the odd outburst. Sounds echo and we get some German words around 4 1/2 minutes in. It all turns louder 5 minutes in and man this is good. More spoken German words are added here and there. Everything seems more focused after 9 minutes and the words that are added really sound cool here. 11 minutes in more sounds are added like earlier. This is catchy but very bizarre. It settles down 16 minutes in to the end.

"Wald" is the final track clocking in at over 21 1/2 minutes. There are no lyrics and Gunter says this song initially was a protest to the increase in vehicles in his city. When he was young growing up in the fifties he could play on the streets without worry of cars but that changed of course. Anyway he changed his idea of this song from describing a walk through peaceful landscapes when suddenly it is crossed by a huge noisy highway to just describing a walk through a dark forest with strange creatures crossing his path. Man this is almost as good as the previous track and sort of similar in sound. It's such a cool trip regardless as sounds echo seemingly forever as other sounds come and go.

I really enjoy this album and if you like the style of A.R. & THE MACHINES with all of those echoing sounds then you probably will love this one as well. A solid 4 stars. Thanks Gunter !

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