Wolfgang Riechmann’s Wunderbar unearths an absolute gem of German electronic music. This album, however, is beautiful and tragic in equal measure, as Wolfgang Riechmann fell victim to a knife attack just three weeks before the LP went on sale.
He was stabbed in the chest in a chance encounter with a drunk in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt, the perpetrator “letting off steam” after a dispute with the landlord of his local pub, as he later recounted in court.
Wolfgang Riechmann’s career as a musician did go all the way back to 1969, which was roughly when when he met Michael Rother (NEU!, Harmonia) and Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk), who would be his colleagues in the Spirits of Sound group. Later on he played with Phönix, before going on to record two albums with Streetmark, who enjoyed great popularity at the time. From November 1977 onwards, he devoted his full attention to the Wunderbar LP.
On his first and, regrettably, last recordings as a solo artist, Riechmann was in an eclectic mood. Distant echoes of the so-called Berlin School (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and the like) can be detected on Wunderbar, as well as the clear influence of the so-called Düsseldorf School (NEU!, Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf). Not that Riechmann was attempting to copy their styles in any way. Whilst contemporary influences need not be denied, Wunderbar hints at the direction he would take in terms of sound and composition, reflecting a powerful, independent musician’s personality, one which would have caused quite a stir, had it been given the chance to unfold.
This unmistakably optimistic music is characterized by simple sequencer and drum patterns, with Riechmann adding his own highly individual layers of harmony. And then there are the melodies: simple, sometimes to the point of being simplistic, but never naive. »Wunderbar« is modern, electronic pop, in a league with Kraftwerk and NEU!. 

JOSKUS 80-luvun alussa löysin tämän levyn - Riechman: Wundebar - ja sitä tuli soitettua paljon. Jossakin vaiheessa monien muuttojen seurauksena lvey katosi ja unohdin tämän artistin kokonaan. Jokunen viikko taaksepäin törmäsin tähän levyyn Facebookin kommenteissa ja heti tuli mieleen kuinka vingutin tätä silloin aikoinaan. Piti lähteä katsastamaan löytyisikö tätä vielä, ja kyllä: uusintapainos löytyi CD:nä. Ei muuta kuin tilaukseen. Tavara oli myymälästä lopussa, ja tukkurikaan ei ihan kaikkein nopeimmin toimittanut, mutta tuli kuitenkin lopulta. Nyt on levy soinut viikolla, ja tänään se soi nyt tuossa taustalla. Voipi muistella niitä 80-luvun alkuaikoja. ■