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Günter Schickert

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Günter Schickert Überfällig album cover
4.13 | 33 ratings | 5 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Puls (14:39)
2. In Der Zeit (5:10)
3. Apricot Brandy (11:50)
4. Wanderer (9:50)

Total time 41:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Günter Schickert / guitar, vocals (3), composer & producer

- Brigitta Nabucet / vocals (2)
- Biene Krüger / speaking voice (4)
- Charles M. Heuer / percussion, voice

Releases information

Artwork: Leigh Koch (not confirmed)

LP Sky Records ‎- SKY 032 (1979, Germany)

CD MI Records ‎- CSP 00101 (1998, Germany)
CD Bureau B ‎- BB096 (2012, Germany) Remastered by Willem Makkee
LP Bureau B ‎- BB096 (2012, Germany) Remastered by Willem Makkee

Digital album

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

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

GÜNTER SCHICKERT Überfällig reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Interlocking electronic repetitive guitar work from the mysterious and legendary Gunter Schickert. This second record slightly neglects the weird freaky-kraut epxerimentations of Samtvogel in favour of a gorgeously hypnotic / hallucinatory trip dominated by a treated / looped guitar. Puls is a static / ecstatic guitar piece that recalls some Manuel Gottsching's circular guitar motifs and eternal cycles in Inventions for electric guitar. This opening composition is an unique minimalist electronic reverie, physically strong and haunted. The guitar leading theme is accompanied by chaotic repetitive drum pulses, various aquatic noises. The last minutes contain spacey / serene e-guitar solos. In Der Zeit is an oniric excursion throw acoustic guitar sequences, concrete noises taken from human respiration. The song is accompanied by murmured, fragile female narratives. Side B is less impressive but still captivating for the ears. It always features cloudy natural sounds, dark guitar echoes within a lethargic ambience. Surely the trippiest song of the album and a more difficult listening, including bizarre voices (which seem to be on drugs) and an obvious psychedelic approach. An intensive, expressive, imaginative musical voyage that can't be ignored, unless you dislike moody, tranquil and melancholic progressive music. Absolutely essential for fans of Manuel Gottsching's Inventions for electric guitar and Achim Reichel's echo.
Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Few people outside of a small fraternity of German music specialists probably even remember the name Günter Schickert, and it's no exaggeration to call his 1979 album "Überfällig" one of the lost treasures of late '70s Krautrock. For me, Schickert has remained an enigma for close to thirty years, ever since I gave up trying to decipher the dense, illegible scrawl of notes on the back of the LP (a pointless exercise anyway: it's all in German).

But he was certainly a unique talent, even within such a wildly creative music scene. Schickert's style, at least on this one album, employed multiple guitars to do (more or less) what KLAUS SCHULZE and EDGAR FROESE were at the same time doing with synthesizers and sequencers: building layers of sometimes dreamy, sometimes tense ostinato patterns over a subtle, shifting backbeat of driving percussion. The rhythms are often provided by a heavy application of echo to some unusual sound sources, transforming a single splash of water or a labored gasp of breath into a repetitive loop of hypnotic pulses.

The effect is especially striking on the two longer tracks here, the aptly titled album opener "Puls", and the almost 12-minute long "Apricot Brandy". The former has the cinematic momentum of a high-speed Hollywood chase; the latter is a psychedelic rocker accelerating from a semi-conscious dreamscape to a hyperkinetic rush of overlapping guitars and voices.

Relief is provided by the ballad "In Der Zeit", sung in an ominous half-whisper over an unadorned acoustic guitar, and in the album's haunting finale "Wanderer", a brooding piece of music perfectly matched to the empty autobahn pictured on the back cover.

Altogether the album is somewhat reminiscent of (ex-NEU!) guitarist MICHAEL ROTHER's early solo work, and in fact was originally released on the same label (the always reliable Sky Records). Schickert shared a similar approach to pristine guitar minimalism, but with a darker, more malevolent edge: he might have been the turbulent yin to Rother's more angelic yang.

It's reassuring to find that Günter Schickert hasn't been completely forgotten. And, by a funny coincidence, a translation of the album's title (Überfällig = Overdue) perfectly describes his status as a true Krautrock legend.

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars A darker and more aggressive alternative to Manuel Gottsching's guitar-based electronic hypnotism.

Since the well known master of looping soothing guitar runs against a blissful electronic backdrop is Manuel Gottsching, and he barely delves into the darker side of what these methods could become, it makes sense that someone else would have to do it instead. On Uberfallig, Gunter Schickert employs the same type of dreamy guitar looping but does it in a manner that sounds like some of the gloomier post-rock schema from modern artists like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Russian Circles, but much more despondent.

The composition of "Puls" is similar to Morton Feldman's Piano and String Quartet in that it initially seems overly repetitive but reveals many subtle changes occurring constantly throughout, though this tracks is obviously profoundly sped up and in a rock format. The pace is quite fast and, because of the guitar tone, this track would feel very comfortable to anyone who is well-acquainted with modern Japanese math-rock. The track eventually explodes near the end into a very dense electronic trance complete with Pinhas-esque guitar soloing with a dreamy reverb effect that equally matches the dreaminess of the electronic base it rides inside of.

"In Der Zeit" is a lot more electronic and experimental sounding, while also being a lot denser and krautrock-inspired. Much less hypnotism is found here, but an increased amount of psychedelia and nightmarish prog-rock sensibilities are a welcome contrast to the first track. Echoes of Dzyan's music are strong. Sometimes this track can get disorienting as it waves almost randomly with ghostly vocals and tinny harpsichord-toned guitar.

As with most of the German electronic and krautrock music of the '70s, Schickert's Uberfallig will appeal mainly to people who are already established fans of these two genres, but specifically fans of Gottsching's music that want something to listen to when they aren't feeling so dreamy and optimistic.

Review by admireArt
5 stars After years of having acquired once and lost later, this Gunther Schickert's "Uberfallig" work on a cheaply manufactured European "original" cassette tape, I am now, the proud owner of the remastered CD edition, at last and again. If it had to do with me, Mr. Schickert's work could be figured in both, " Progressive Electronic" and 'Krautrock" Prog sub-genres.

Anyway, how 2 minutes of a lower inventiveness, can affect an almost 'masterpiece" is my only regret. And this, I remember, was like that, since my first owning of the tape. But do not feel discouraged, I am talking about an almost flawless "jewel". To pinpoint the flaw (IMO), the last 2 minutes of the awesome and dynamic first song, are this work's only underachievers (the guitar riff is quiet silly and boring).

The rest is pure gold, as the first song could have been if it had been cut short. Each song is unique in its own way and yet, it all feels like a single structure. (In a far- fetched comparisson, like a highly, "reloaded" Steve Hillage's 'Rainbow Dome Musick' , of course with Schickert´s own musical idiom.)

Gunther Schickert's main "feature" is the electric guitar work, which then and now, still sounds daring and way ahead of the times, music-wise, without any, really any, kind of "flash" or "speed racing-fireworks". No, no!.

Every inch this project ascends, is achieved by great song writing and inventive experimentation, which in fact, creates the "uniqueness" of all the songs, by fierce and dynamic "soberness" in the approaches of the performances. This may sound eventually, quiet "un-Kraut" and closer to the droning effect of early "electronic music" as such. That is why, it is really hard to sit him only in one chair.

The songs are well written, but also are openly experimental, very "Kraut" like, and the "apparent" simplicity they display, in the long run, will turn out to be a "lesson" in a electronic/ Prog- guitar/drums/tapes/voices, compositions and performance. Way ahead in many ways and as "valuable" as the first "Ash Ra Tempel" project, (which sits comfortably in the "Krautrock" sub-genre). A perfect blend of both "worlds" into one unique project.

98% *****5 PA´s stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

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