by Wolfgang Riechmann


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The tragic end of Wolfgang Riechmann's life before his solo debut was released inevitably colors how to listen to Wunderbar, but taken on its own merits, the album is an enjoyable if not necessarily classic effort in experimental '70s German music, a blending of rock and synth instrumentation at once playful and slightly spooky. The opening lope of the title track sets the tone, sounding like it should soundtrack some odd sci-fi series of the time, with a lead melody alternately played on flanged guitar and serene keyboards as a steady beat chugs. From there, the musician explores a variety of familiar-from-the-time styles as he goes -- rhythmic synthesizer pulse and drones on "Weltweit," stately keyboard melodic ambience on "Abendlicht," and the strong march of "Himmelblau," one of two songs featuring Riechmann's wordless chanting. Perhaps the strongest song is "Silberland," at once a chilly, alien-sounding arrangement and a stirring melody suggestive of a lost national anthem. It's odd to think, though, that in the end Riechmann might best be remembered for Wunderbar's striking cover photo, with the musician covered in blue and white makeup that Gary Numan would later completely reuse for his Berserker album.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/21/2009
Label: Bureau B
UPC: 4047179303620
catalogNumber: 27
Rank: 82194

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