BUREAU B (GERMANY)
release date: 7/21/2009
LP version. Bureau B reissues Wolfgang Riechmann's Wunderbar, originally released in 1978 by Sky Records and an absolute gem of German electronic music. This album, however, is beautiful and tragic in equal measure, as Riechmann became the random victim of a knife attack just three weeks before the LP went on sale. Wolfgang Riechmann's career as a musician went all the way back to 1969, which was roughly when he met Michael Rother (Neu!, Harmonia) and Wolfgang Flühr (Kraftwerk), who would be his colleagues in the Spirits Of Sound Group. Later on (1973 to 1976) he played with Phönix, before going on to record two albums with Streetmark, who enjoyed great popularity at the time. From November 1977 onwards, he devoted his full attention to the Wunderbar LP. On his first and, regrettably, last recording as a solo artist, Riechmann went eclectic. Distant echoes of the so-called Berlin School (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and the like) can be detected on Wunderbar, as well as the clear influence of the so-called Düsseldorf School (Neu!, Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf) -- not that Riechmann was attempting to copy their styles in any way. While contemporary influences need not be denied, Wunderbar hints at the direction he would take in terms of sound and composition, reflecting a powerful, independent musician's personality, one which would have caused quite a stir, had it been given the chance to unfold. This optimistic music is characterized by simple sequencers and drum patterns, with Riechmann adding his own individual layers of harmony. And then there are the melodies: simple, sometimes to the point of being simplistic, but never naive. Wunderbar is modern, electronic pop, perfectly and permanently frozen in time. Printed inner sleeve featuring rare photographs and liner notes by Asmus Tietchens, one of the original pioneers of electronic music.