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Günter Schickert - Samtvogel CD (album) cover

SAMTVOGEL

Günter Schickert

 

Progressive Electronic

3.58 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gunter Schickert is criminally unknown when it comes to the German underground scene. He truly is a pioneer when it comes to the echo guitar and is a multi-instrumentalist who in the 60's played Free Jazz before fronting many bands and also playing in concert with Klaus Schulze. His band GAM created one of my all time favourite Krautrock albums called "Eiszeit".

For this his first solo album he had only two tape recorders at his disposal so he would play one track and while listening to that he would add a second one, this he would do 4 times. When he mixed it he borrowed a third tape recorder and so added the last track to the master. I can't imagine how frustrating and stressful this must have been because if he wasn't mixing fast enough with changing the tape he had to start all over. He had a small mixer with 2 stereo and 1 mono but it was possible to pan tracks. No equalization though and it all came out of his G2000 Dynacord guitar amplifier. If he made a mistake on track one he had to start all over again. Three months later "Samtvogel" was born.

Up first is the six minute "Apricot Brandy" which has some pretty trippy English lyrics. Gunter never did drugs but he certainly had an imagination. This is a slow paced piece with the focus on the almost spoken lyrics. Things get freaky after 3 minutes. "Kriegsmaschinen Fahrt Zur Holle" is my favourite tune on here. At 17 minutes this song describes a wish that Gunter had since he was young. That all killing materials such as weapons etc. would take a journey to hell along with the thoughts that stand behind them. He talks in the liner notes about his home city of Berlin where the German army was not allowed to go after WWII(once Germany was allowed an army in 1954) and that a lot of artists and free-minded people came there to escape military duty. This song is very Electronic as it trips along with the odd outburst. Sounds echo and we get some German words around 4 1/2 minutes in. It all turns louder 5 minutes in and man this is good. More spoken German words are added here and there. Everything seems more focused after 9 minutes and the words that are added really sound cool here. 11 minutes in more sounds are added like earlier. This is catchy but very bizarre. It settles down 16 minutes in to the end.

"Wald" is the final track clocking in at over 21 1/2 minutes. There are no lyrics and Gunter says this song initially was a protest to the increase in vehicles in his city. When he was young growing up in the fifties he could play on the streets without worry of cars but that changed of course. Anyway he changed his idea of this song from describing a walk through peaceful landscapes when suddenly it is crossed by a huge noisy highway to just describing a walk through a dark forest with strange creatures crossing his path. Man this is almost as good as the previous track and sort of similar in sound. It's such a cool trip regardless as sounds echo seemingly forever as other sounds come and go.

I really enjoy this album and if you like the style of A.R. & THE MACHINES with all of those echoing sounds then you probably will love this one as well. A solid 4 stars. Thanks Gunter !

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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