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Günter Schickert - Nachtfalter CD (album) cover

NACHTFALTER

Günter Schickert

 

Progressive Electronic

3.98 | 6 ratings

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TCat
4 stars At first glance, Gunter Schickert's discography might seem a bit strange. This Progressive Electronic artist released solo albums in 1974, 1979, and 1983, these being Krautrock and experimental albums. The next full length solo album was not released until 2018 with another following in 2019. In reality, this artist has worked with several other musicians from time to time, including Klause Schulze and Nurse with Wound, and also working in theater productions, so he's always out there, it's only his solo albums that have been released in a spotty fashion.

His 5th album is called "Nachtfalter" (Moth in English). The story has it that a moth flew into the recording studio while this album was being mixed and sat on the wall as a silent witness to what was going on. In the morning, the moth was dead on the floor. Gunter took a picture to pay homage to the moth and it ended up on the album cover.

Gunther provides soundscapes of some varied types on this album using guitars, synths and shell horn. The only other musician credited on this album is Andreas Spechti who provides drums, and producing loops and mixing. Spechti culled some of the best of Gunther's guitar to mix the album with special effects, drums and loops to create the tracks. The album's run time is just under 45 minutes stretched across 7 tracks that vary from 1 ½ minutes to 10 ½ minutes. The music has an avant-garde sound, but in reality is electronic and very experimental.

"Nocturnus" begins with a dark, almost industrial feel with heavy metallic effects and drones that come and go. The tone is deep and dark with the loops and effects providing a dark and apocalyptic atmosphere. "Ceiling" utilizes the echo-guitar effect that Gunter has made famous with dark sounds and ringing metallic sounds. There is an electronic beat to this one that actually sounds the most similar to his older Krautrock style. There is a definite pulsating sound with this track. Being the most accessible track on the album, it really isn't that accessible, but that is okay because that makes it more interesting.

"Flugelschlag" (wing beat in English) is the longest track at over 10 minutes. While it still has dark undertones, it is actually a nice, shimmering example of Gunter's guitar work and is a nice reprieve from the darkness that permeates the rest of the album. There is a rolling drum beat that pushes the tempo along while effects, loops and improvised guitar layers make this track stand out while it pulsates along. The rhythm breaks down and the track becomes atmospheric for the last 2 minutes.

"Floor" is a short track is a drone created probably by the shell horns I'm guessing with rattling percussion. "Wohin" (where in English) has bent guitar sounds layered over each other with a pounding drum. The result is a chiming layer and a micro- tonal layer making for a unique sound that's appealing in its own strange way. "Light" has a main rhythmic beat surrounded by other percussive effects and a heavy, dark guitar improvisation. Later, things turn really eerie with screechy effects and heavy echo on the guitar parts. Things lighten up a bit later and there is an almost surf rock style played with heavy echo in the guitar part. "Reflection of the Future" begins dark and forboding. Gunther almost mimics a warped train whistle with the conch shells. High pitched effects squeal around this sound. There is a slow thumping percussive noise that adds to the spookiness of it all. A wash of synth erases the slow rhythm, but soon is replaced with a heavy wall of droning guitar layers. Things continue with a dark atmosphere, but it all becomes rather spacey as layers add upon layers of effects keep getting added.

Except for a few of the tracks, this is quite an interesting collection of dark and experimental soundscapes. Even if most of it is not really melodic, it is still quite enjoyable, unique and intriguing. Some may find it a bit too experimental, but I find that I enjoy electronic music when it is more mysterious and unique like this. There is a bit of variety here too, with a couple of the tracks providing a break from the dark tones and venturing into a krautrock or space rock style. This is definitely a four star album because of it's ingenuity and some nice surprises. Excellent album.

TCat | 4/5 |

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