Riechmann Wunderbar

Riechmann Wunderbar
For those captivated by the recent spate of electronic reissues, Hamburg's Bureau B imprint has been doing an enviable job of breathing new life into obscure and underappreciated albums from the post-Krautrock/pre-techno era of German music. Wolfgang Riechmann was one such figure, though his obscurity now has more to do with the timing of his unexpected death in 1978, when he was killed in a knife attack in the weeks leading up to the release of Wunderbar, his debut outing as a solo artist. A frequent collaborator of Neu's Michael Rother and Kraftwerk's Wolfgang Flühr, Riechmann's Wunderbar still sounds poignantly on the mark 30 years after its original release, drawing on synthesizers, sequencers and drum patterns to construct six instrumentals that are at once fluidly minimal and heavily oscillated. The opening title track predates Michael Mayer's production techniques by a few generations, while the rest of the record matches and at times, even surpasses what better-known contemporaries like Cluster and Tangerine Dream were up to in the late '70s. This is an unearthed gem of electronic history. (Bureau B)