Friday, March 25, 2011
RIECHMANN - WUNDERBAR
I suppose if I were to stay true to what I has actually listened to today this would be a review of the majesty of Irene Cara's 'Flashdance'. Luckily it is not because it's a terrible song that I can't defend but also one that I am more than happy to listen through as and when it appears at 'random' on my MP3 player. (Kind of like the whole of Erasure's glorious 'POP' album)
This had been on a fair bit at home though so I thought it was worth talking to.
The images that the name 'Riechmann' conjures up do not necessarily tally with the picture used for the front sleeve. Was I the only one expecting our man to be dressed like he was in the Waffen SS? Anyway, 'white face' with blue lipstick and dusted hair is also good. Kind of Klaus Nomi style utter cod but also good.
Luckily the similarities with the previously mentioned late castrato pop-opera idiot end there. This is high-quality late 70's electronic music fresh from the Fatherland. 'Wunderbar' is not a concept album about a late night drinking establishment, what it is is a strangely fluid and metallic sounding collection of almost timeless songs. It's chock-full of gliding synth work and washes the kind of sound that has become very en-vogue of late (this might go some way to explaining this album's recent re-issue.)
This said it's not without it's faults. The opener and title track desperately needs the 'Doctor Whoisms' sucking out of it. It plods, sounds derivative. it has a sleeve that screams 'second rate Kraftwerk, These moans aside it's a very solid entry into the genre and the remaining tracks bring to mind the highlights from Vangelis' 'Blade Runner' score at times confidently out-doing it.
Riechmann was from the same Dusseldorf school as Klause Schulze which goes some way to explaining away the sound. I have to come clean and admit that whilst I understand the sound of 'Dusseldorf school' music I am still unsure as to whether this is an actual school (all blazers and ties) or if it's a conceptual school as in 'school of thought'. Either way.
Sadly our man Riechmann was stabbed to death weeks before this was released (leading me to believe it was an actual school as this is a pretty standard occurrence around such places London) meaning that aside of the hooky looking 'Riechmann/Streetmark' album this is his only recorded solo output. So to conclude, it's good. It's well worth buying. It's also worth going the extra few quid and getting an original copy as they go for around the 20 mark. In theory it should sound better and if it doesn't you at least have an original that smells of that electronic time of wonderment.