SamtvogelSchickert was active through much of the '60s in the Berlin free jazz scene, though it wasn't until 1974 that his first album, Samtvogel, came out, self-released by Schickert in a small batch. The album was unique enough that it was quickly snatched up by the legendary Brain label, and they reissued the record the next year. Samtvogel is quite similar to Manuel Göttsching's solo-guitar album, Inventions for Electric Guitar, where guitar sounds are layered and layered on top of each other to create new hypnotic textures.
In 1973, Schickert founded the trio GAM, with guitarist Axel Struck and percussionist Michael Aleska, and with Schickert on guitar, vocals, and trumpet, this group created a unique sort of freaked-out space rock. GAM recorded some jam sessions in 1976, which were finally released on cassette in 1986 and titled Gam 1976, and an unreleased album called Eiszeit in 1978.
ÜberfälligAt this time Schickert was also creating music for a theater company, and even performing live on-stage in some of the productions. He also served as a roadie for electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze, and sometimes played live with Schulze as well. Schickert's second solo album, Uberfallig, came out in 1979 on Sky Records, this time with Charles Heuer on drums to augment Schickert's echoed guitar textures.
In the '80s, Schickert's work in theater production continued, and he also took part in a couple of bands, No Zen Orchestra and Ziguri Ego Zoo. A third album under his own name, this one a completely solo effort with him on guitar, tapes, vocals, percussion, and trumpet, 1993's Kinder der Wildnes only came out on cassette, though it showed that Schickert was expanding into a wider range of musical styles. Another collection, Somnabal, was released in 1995 on CD with music from throughout the decade-and-a-half before that. Though his recordings are few and hard to track down, especially the debut Samtvogel, Schickert is an innovative music creator who deserves more notice.... by Rolf Semprebon......~
At that time, Schickert worked in the environment of Klaus Schulze , whom he occasionally supported as a sound engineer on record productions (e.g. on the albums of the Far East Family Band produced by Schulze ) or at concerts. In addition, Schickert played in the trio GAM , a spacey-electronic jam band, in which he developed his own guitar style.
Guitar sounds also determine "Velvet Bird". With the exception of Schickert's voice, which now and then gives a few mostly spoken interludes, all the tones heard on the album come from - as noted on the back of the LP cover (quote: "The tones and sounds were made with electric guitar, voice and Echo device generated. Other sound generators were not used. ") - from an electric guitar. Schickert layers their sounds in many layers, sends them through repetitive loops, mixes them up, alienates the sound with various studio effects and adds a lot of reverb. The result are very intense masses of sound that are reminiscent of the guitar album by Manuel Göttsching, which was written practically at the same time (see " Inventions for electric guitar "), especially the numbers "Echo Waves"
However, Schickert is a bit more varied, weird and also more aggressive. In the expansive numbers the guitar (s) staple angularly, now and then cosmically floating, but mostly quite hectic, overlaid by further drawn, pulsating, pinging and howling guitar lines. With this, Schickert creates strange, hypnotic-machine and repetitive effects. Achim Reichel had a similar approach at the beginning of the decade (you can listen to Reichel's album " Echo ", for example - if you can find it anywhere), but his music is much more relaxed and meditative.
"Samtvogel" is one of the most interesting records from the Berlin electronics school and should appeal to every fan of edgy electronic sounds. Unfortunately the LP has not yet been released on CD. I can only hope that this will change in the not too distant future.
Addendum: At the beginning of 2013, "Samtvogel" was finally reissued on CD by Important Records after there had already been an LP reissue (Wah Wah Records). The album comes with Schickert's original cover in an elegant folding digipack. There is no bonus material. Nevertheless, all electronics and krautrock freaks should definitely grab it !......By: Achim Breiling...babyblaueprog.....~