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GURNEMANZ

Prog Folk • Germany


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Gurnemanz biography
GURNEMANZ is a prog folk band from Germany, Bergheim, east of Aachen in Rhineland, who formed in May 1972. They began as an acoustic folk troupe with band members John Cremer (autoharp); Lukas Wolfgang Scheel (guitar, vocals, mandolin, banjo, lute); Manuela Schmitz (vocals, tin whistle, percussion, recorder, kazoo); Siegfried Bushuven (double bass, lyre, kazoo) and Wolfgang Riedel (guitar, vocals, percussion, harmonica, bouzouki. Occasionally they were joined by Georg "Köbi" Köberlein on Electric Piano, and Bernie Schacht on Percussion.

Their first LP in 1973 was "Fair Margaret and Sweet William" and "spielmannskinder" followed in 1975. "No Rays Of Noise" was then released in 1977 on EMI's Songbird label. The band were dextrous playing a number of different instruments to complement the sound such as flutes, harmonica, lute, lyre, mandolin and kazoo. They sung mainly in English, though incorporated German from time to time. Their brand of music might be likened to traditional troubadour folk, though "No Rays of Noise" had a more progressive approach. In 1979 GURNEMANZ had planned to release "Blue Moon" but it was not to happen, though some live versions of the tracks exist.


UPDATED---AtomicCrimsonRush (Scott Tuffnell)---

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Buy GURNEMANZ Music


Fair Margaret and Sweet William +3 Bonus TracksFair Margaret and Sweet William +3 Bonus Tracks
Garden Of Delights
Audio CD$22.89
No Rays of NoiseNo Rays of Noise
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$22.90
$17.97 (used)
SpielmannskinderSpielmannskinder
Limited Edition · Import
Missing Vinyl 2012
Vinyl$29.14
$25.00 (used)
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GURNEMANZ discography


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GURNEMANZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Fair Margaret and sweet William
1972
3.00 | 4 ratings
Spielmannskinder
1975
2.74 | 8 ratings
No Rays Of Noise
1977

GURNEMANZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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GURNEMANZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No Rays Of Noise by GURNEMANZ album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.74 | 8 ratings

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No Rays Of Noise
Gurnemanz Prog Folk

Review by Peter Baumann

5 stars This is an awesome album of progressive folk rock from German group Gurnemanz. No Rays of Noise music is much in the style of UK folk rock bands like Fairport Convention or even Steeleye Span. The female singer, Manuela Schmitz, has a beautiful and peaceful voice that fit perfectly in the pastoral acoustic folkish general atmosphere. I think that the version of "John Barleycorn" is among one of the best I have heard. The acoustic musicianship is stellar and the songs are most sung in English but sometimes in German by a male singer. The songs are of same level (high level). An overall excelent gift from Garden of Delights that includes a lot of bonus tracks from live performances. These are a few different from the album as include percussion. The album is obrigatory to fans of psyche folk albuns with UK favour.

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 No Rays Of Noise by GURNEMANZ album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.74 | 8 ratings

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No Rays Of Noise
Gurnemanz Prog Folk

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

3 stars This late 70's german semi-acoustic ensemble is a curiosity maybe too rapidly eclipsed by great bands of the progish folk scene. The music is not as ambitious / adventurous as pagan-medieval acid folk combos from Germany (Ougenweide, Parzival...) nevertheless it is constantly relaxing, intimate and pleasantly sunshiney. No Rays of Noise combines subtle-profundly emotional female voices (sometimes helped by some others vocalists) to pastoral blues-folk guitar sequences. The atmosphere tends to be pop-ish with hippie-like accents but it's efficiently poetical and beautifully dreamy. The bonus tracks include nice live performances, not wonderful or transcendant but warmly vibrant with an inspired charming flavour. Generally the live parts feature a rockier instrumentation. Some tracks provide a dancing-forest like atmosphere for primal flutes (Mattelotte/Kupferschmied...). Some others develop a discreet tripped out kraut-folk ambience (Tra Na Rossan...). Difficult to choose one or a few best songs because the level is rather equal all along the album...it contains no real surprise but the natural-ceremonial folkish atmosphere keeps the listener's attention. Recommended to those who enjoy the most introspective-fragile moments of prog folk.

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 No Rays Of Noise by GURNEMANZ album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.74 | 8 ratings

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No Rays Of Noise
Gurnemanz Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This isn’t a very interesting album really, although kudos to Garden of Delights for the effort they put into its reissue. The booklet detailing the band’s bio and the story behind the bonus tracks from their unreleased third album ‘Blue Moon’ make for interesting reading, but the music on this album is not much more than contemporary folk; there is little about it that’s progressive or innovative.

One thing that does distinguish the German band is the presence of English vocals on several tracks, as well as the cover of “John Barleycorn”. The band was clearly influenced by British folk singers of the late sixties, with nary a Krautrock characteristic on any track.

Vocalist Manuela Schmitz has one of those archetypal folk voices, not wide-ranging but rich in tone and one that fits this style of music quite well. She also contributes a number of reed and percussion sounds to the record.

The instrumentation is also pretty prototypical folk stuff: tin whistles, flute, kazoos, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo and acoustic guitar - but no drummer. Actually the band did add a drummer (and electric guitarist) late in their career, and both of them appear on the live bonus tracks. But the original twelve songs on the album are completely acoustic.

Nothing stands out here; like I said, this is really more contemporary folk than anything else. Some of the bonus tracks (and particularly the banjo and drum-laden “Another Morning” and “Among the Rice Fields”) show indications of some promise in the band’s development, but like I said that album never made it to release and the band ended up fading away around 1979.

This is clearly a two-star album. Nothing exceptional here at all, although fans of pastoral, acoustic and British-leaning folk may find it somewhat charming. Otherwise this one should be reserved for any fans the band may still have, although I suspect anyone falling into that category already has the record.

peace

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 No Rays Of Noise by GURNEMANZ album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.74 | 8 ratings

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No Rays Of Noise
Gurnemanz Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Not all German musicians were doing kraut or space rock in the 70s. A handful gravitated towards somewhat psychedelic folk, while not always staying there for long. Examples included early Hoelderlin and Emtidi, which form a closer point of reference for the work of Gurnemanz than the Bavarian/celtic Ougenweide or the overtly progressive Carol of Harvest. Of course, we can easily find British progenitors such as Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Spirogyra.

The original album consisted of 11 songs of pretty basic psych tinged acoustic folk consisting of Manuela Schmitz's reedy voice and strummed acoustic guitars. Unfortunately, while the simple beauty of "Libelle" and "Der Schwartenhals" cannot be denied, the later tracks do not distinguish themselves so well. Even the emergence of a male voice in German on "Die Auswanderer" doesn't help much because the musical style is not altered much, and the kazoo was such a 70s instrument.

The bonus tracks are all live save "My Friend" which sounds like an outtake from the album. The live recordings show alot more variety and adventurousness, particularly "Tra Na Rossan I" , although the lead guitar on II is a bit too acidic for the general tone of the album and the style of the song. The whistles and banjo really give a lift to "Another Morning", while "November Tea" is augmented by the combined voices and a certain suave swing. But, in the end, the end just never seems to come, so "No Rays of Noise" barely rates a blip.

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