As rock'n'roll tragedies go, Wolfgang Riechmann is right up there. He was the singer in Spirits Of Sound with Michael Rother (Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia) and Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk) in the 60s and had some success with Streetmark in the 70s. He was well enough known that, when he made a solo album, they only needed to put his surname on the album cover.
Wunderbar was unlike everything Riechman had done before: a gorgeous
electronic symphony that took the work of Tangerine Dream and Cluster
one step forward. Then, two weeks before the album was due to be
released, he was murdered by a lone, knife-wielding nutter in a bar. It
was as pointless a death as can be imagined. Would Wunderbar be a
diversion from his rock career, or the first step on a new electronic
career? We'll never know.
Even so, taken on its own merits,
Wunderbar is a delicious swarm of symphonic synth-pop: delicate yet
optimistic, without the portentousness of Tangerine Dream and looking
forward to the British synth-pop of a few years later when the Human
League and others synthesised electronic music into a music for the
masses. This is some of the warmest electronic music out there.
There are no bonus tracks. This album was perfect the way it was made.