Cover picture of Norbert Krueler aka Shamall from his latest release "Schizophrenia"

Shamall – the official pages

Aller Weser Publishing House: “A record is like a long journey”.

New double CD by “Shamall” has been released / Videos on YouTube

Natural phenomena like wind, rain or maybe a little stardust at the beginning of a piece of music are not uncommon. Probably the most famous example is “Riders on the storm” by the Doors, in whose opening sequence thunder and lightning compete for attention in addition to rain. The atmosphere of the song is therefore given. The band “Shamall” also uses sound elements of this kind. On their new double CD “Schizophrenia”, however, no heavenly floodgates are opened, but all the more rocking, emotional, psychedelic and spiritual ones. Sound designer Norbert Krüler, who has been the musical head of the band for more than three decades, creates a large musical spectrum, which in some of its suspense moments ranges from Pink Floyd to Mike Oldfield, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Amon Düül, Jean Michel Jarre to the Swiss natural voice catcher Andreas Vollenweider.

Title track of the album “Shamall – Schizophrenia”

It’s an intriguing mélange, in which the quite independent musical ideas and entries of Krüler and singer Anke Ullrich assert themselves sovereignly. In a period of six years, the new album was created in the recording studio in Etelsen. Lead guitarist Matthias Mehrtens, a longtime Shamall collaborator, is once again an integral part of the production.

The video for the track “Schizophrenia” is dominated by long passages of true color explosions. They seem like an homage to the commercials of the 1960s. Charles Wilp and the Africola lemonade he advertised come to mind. Ice cold and quirky. But it also reminds us of music shows like the Beat Club directed by Mike Leckebusch. The images back then seemed colorful, out of context and somehow confusing; but today almost soothing compared to the rapidly cutting clips of today.

For Shamall’s content and thematic explorations, however, music and lyrics are the most important. “Schizophrenia” is a musical description of the current state of the world, and therefore not a comforting one. Many things seem to be out of control. Global shocks vibrate down to the private microcosm. Norbert Krüler finds catchy images and harmonious lines. The music of the author, his singing and that of Ullrich often strive for higher spheres and in the best case overcome the conflict between earthly feasibility and fairy-tale possibilities.

The title track “Schizophrenia” is followed by pieces like “All the Answers,” “The inconvenient Truth,” “Foolin’ myself,” “Yearning Moments,” “Meet me by the water,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Always livin’ in a Lie,” “Eyes of a Stranger,” “We are all in the same boat” and “Supernatural Dream.” Instrumental tracks and songs are given equal weight on Schizophrenia. “First comes the music, then the lyrics,” says Norbert Krüler, adding, “I also write for Anke’s voice.” She manages high notes and holds her own even against orchestral soundscapes.

Krüler, who in his younger years was supposed to learn a profession in the dairy trade but clearly saw his future in night work as a DJ, became famous and acclaimed as such at Bremen’s “Aladin” (“I knew how to do it”). Subsequently, he focused entirely on music. As a composer, he is uncompromising: “I work until a piece or a record completely satisfies me.”

He doesn’t make any concessions: “I really have to love it, so if others love it, too – all the better.” Shamall’s fans, who also live in North America and Russia, among other places, can hardly wait for new works. Pirated copies of “Schizophrenia” circulated in no time after its release in Russia.

“A record,” says Norbert Krüler succinctly, “is like a long journey.” The end of Shamall’s journey is not in sight by a very long shot.

c/o Aller Weser Publishing House, Bernd Hägermann, December 2019





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