Released on the legendary label ‘Brain’, Günter Schickert’s debut “Samtvogel” (1975) was one of the most significant guitar albums of the Krautrock era. Points of comparison from today’s perspective are Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd’s more adventurous early recordings. Schickert’s follow-up “Überfällig” of 1980 was released on the equally legendary ‘Sky’ label. Once again a milestone recording, it showcased Schickert’s hypnotic echo guitar which developed into one of the hallmarks of the Krautrock sound. What followed, from his collaborations with Klaus Schulze, Jochen Arbeit and Schneider TM, to his latest solo works – “Labyrinth” on Marmo Music and “Nachtfalter” on Bureau B – spans a large spectrum of music styles, always through a distinctive and personal aesthetic, that is deeply linked to the one he firstly crafted back in `74, when Schickert pioneered the use of echo effects applied to guitar playing.
Schickert’s new album Nachtfalter, translating as ‘moth’ in English, carries on from these beginnings, making it hard to believe that he has in the meantime reached pension age. Recorded during the scorching hot summer of 2018, Nachtfalter shows the pioneer of the echo guitar sound his very best. Here Schickert was assisted by Andreas Spechtl (‘Ja, Panik’) who recorded the album and played the drums. They form a truly winning team: Spechtl selected the best moments of Schickert’s guitar tracks, mixed them while also supplying some own loops. Even though the album was conceived as an instrumental, it inadvertently developed into a concept piece. The music could serve as soundtrack to a horror movie, with guitar sounds being complemented by strange noise resembling a train whistle, plus the squealing and humming of a tormented analogue synthesizer.
“I was born in Berlin and am a true city child”, explains Schickert, “When I was young, I often travelled on the bus or the underground train. The awesome rhythm of the engines has indelibly imprinted itself on me. My music has been the expression of this experience.” Listening to Nachtfalter, one can only conclude that on his captivating album, Günter Schickert has created a perfect synthesis of the hectic, motoric rhythm of the big city and the gentle beat of the wings of a moth.
20.06.19 Klunkerkranich, Berlin (De)
07.09.19 Meakusma Festival, Eupen (Be) - feat. Andreas Spechtl