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Uploaded on Mar 31, 2009

Wolfgang Riechmann / Wunderbar 1978 Germany

Wolfgang Riechmann (* 19. Mai 1947 in Düsseldorf; † 24. August 1978 in Düsseldorf) war ein deutscher Elektronik-Musiker.

Official Website:

Wolfgang Riechmann biography:

Wolfgang Riechmann's short career 'officially' began in 1969, when he met Michael Rother (NEU!, Harmonia, Kraftwerk) and Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk, Yamo) to form the Dusseldorf band, THE SPIRITS OF SOUND. Phönix was another band he played with, before joining another Dusseldorf group, STREETMARK, recording ''Eileen'' in 1977, the band's second album. Sky Records re-released "Eileen" in 1979 with the new title "Wolfgang Riechmann and Streetmark" with one bonus track. Later on the record was renamed "Dreams".

From November 1977 onwards, he started working on a solo career and Wunderbar, his first (and only) solo LP, took up all of his time and attention. In this LP, which was released from Sky Records in 1978, the influences of the so-called Berlin school (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze etc.) and the so-called Düsseldorf School (NEU!, Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf) can be recognised. The main elements of his compositions are simple sequencer and drum patterns, filtered through Riechmann's personal harmonies and simple (even simplistic) but mature melodies. The music in Wunderbar has been described as ''modern, electronic pop, in a league with Kraftwerk and NEU!''.

Sadly, Riechmann did not live to see his LP released, as three weeks before the release date he was the random victim of a knife attack, stabbed when a drunken man in Düsseldorf's Altstadt ''burst'' after a dispute with the landlord of his local pub.

Allmusic album review (Wunderbar):

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.
(Ned Raggett)


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