The Webzine "Music Waves", France reviewed the newest Shamall album "Is this human behavior" and recommended it to its audience. Now, they did an interview with Norbert. Below you find the translated version. The original interview is here: Music Waves.
22.11.2009: First review of the new album "Is this human behavior"
Norbert Krueler alias Shamall has been hard-working again. Fans of longtracks will get one's money's worth entirely with this double-cd. The single tracks respectively parts flow smoothly into each other, that it may give the impression of a sole composition (of 78 minutes in case of CD 01).
The first CD starts with mellow e-piano and heavy e-guitar sounds - Shamall creates slowly and with a lot of breathing space a kind of atmospheric space-prog, which reminds often at the seventies' Pink Floyd era. Chanting synths like in "Wish you were here"- or "Animals"-days arise a - high-class - kind of futuristic "Picture Music", where the listener evolves his own mind movie.
Thematically this album deals with the ignorant behavior of the mankind towards their environment - similar to the current album of the german krautrock band eloy. Krueler knows to stage a thunder-storm of epic and space-sounds - even better than on his previous releases. So it's worth to go for an expedition here and despite of a few single redundancies, it's always a true pleasure to listen.
The second CD "Living incommunicado" is more rock-oriented with a lot of guitar parts and soli. Bonus-tracks perfect this album.
related bands: Pink Floyd, Eloy c/o "eclipsed rock magazine", Walter Sehrer, issue 12/09-01/10
Shamall's album "questions of life" is in the TOP 50 charts 2008 of "eclipsed" rock magazine !
This album does not answer the nagging questions about the cosmos and life itself. But it easily establish the connection of electronic long tracks, Floyd-Guitars and keyboards. Rating: "extremely trippin!". Top Track: "What will happen".
Reviews and Shamall feature in the rock magazine Eclipsed!
The October issue of the rock magazine "Eclipsed" contains the track "what will happen" from the current Shamall album "questions of life" on it's audio compilation - next to tracks from Marillion, Yes, IQ and Martin Orford. The November double issue shows a feature of Shamall:
Shamall feature in Rock Eclipsed Magazine, Issue 12/08-01/09:
"The music idol"
Norbert Krueler is fan of progressive music and Krautrock, around Bremen he's well known as a DJ and as an excellent expert on the alternative rock scene. As a musician he applies himself to his alter-ego Shamall. "Shamall is an arabic term for 'hot desert wind', Norbert reported. I was looking for a timeless expression, which makes curious, without to hint at something particular".
Under that name, Norbert recorded all eleven studio albums so far. While he was guided by trance and electronic sounds on his earlier releases, he was driven by vocals, strong guitars and floydian sound spheres on his latest three releases (all concept works). "I am from the old school, where particularly in the seventies anyone aspired to be as much experimental and innovative as possible and that's why I adore David Gilmour as the solely guitar hero. Nothing against Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, they are both awesome, but I personally prefer musicians, who hit the famous one note instead of projecting themselves in an egomaniac way".
"music as a passion"
Norbert Krueler is fan of progressive music and Krautrock, around Bremen he's well known as a DJ and as an excellent expert on the alternative rock scene. As a musician he applies himself to his alter-ego Shamall. "Shamall is an arabic term for 'hot desert wind', Norbert reported. I was looking for a timeless expression, which makes curious, without to point at something particular".
Under that name, Norbert recorded all eleven studio albums so far. While he was guided by trance and electronic sounds on his earlier releases, he was driven by vocals, strong guitars and floydian sound spheres on his latest three releases (all concept works). "I am from the old school, where particularly in the seventies everyone aspired to be as much experimental and innovative as possible and that's why I adore David Gilmour as the solely guitar hero. Nothing against Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, they are both awesome, but I personally prefer musicians, who hit the famous one note instead of projecting themselves in an egomanic way".
Krueler's latest trick "Questions of Life" continues this journey, measured again by suggestive, mantra-term rhythmic patterns, which settle Shamall between progressive and electronic music. Apart from some extended guitar solos, which he relinquishes to Matthias Mehrtens, Norbert plays everything himself.
How did it came on the unique concept to mix extended electronic sounds with floydian spacerock? "Referring to this 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' was my crucial experience", said Krueler. "Since then I am a friend of long musical tracks, which I can lavishly embellish." In that, he's a master indeed.
Shamall's vibrant longtracks develop hypnotic qualities. But either you address on Shamall's mantra rock fully or you feel rather boredom in view of his similar song structures. The shadow of being a DJ, who hates nothing as much as unnecessary breaks, becomes a blessing or a curse of Shamall. Shorter tracks, interludes and more acoustic instruments could possibly force Krueler's hermetic cosmos open and remove some of his ambivalence. But to bend himself to a certain flow or to bow to public taste, is contrary to Krueler's creed: "I would never make music just because of making money. And I don't work with musicians, who are ticking that way. Incidentally 'Questions of Life' raises this subject, because this album deals with the superficiality of the people. In my music there is no room for shallowness. For me is music like religion." --- c/o Walter Sehrer, Eclipsed
Review "questions of life", rock-magazine 'Eclipsed': Issue 11/08:
Shamall - 'Questions of Life'
related: Pink Floyd, Maxxess, Alan Parsons, Krautrock
The album 'questions of life' is already the eleventh studio album from Norbert Krueler alias Shamall. The german musician and dj is exploring the cosmic sound universe, accompanied with rapid Floyd guitar and vibrant electronic sounds and inspired by thousands of unsolved mysteries of life (as you can read on the booklet). As a fan of spacerock, melodic guitars and worshipper of Pink Floyd you may happily flow on Shamall's long, hypnotic tracks from galaxie to galaxie. In the song 'what will happen' Shamall wonders, what might happen after the dissolution of the universe. The artwork of the album, which is evocative of the movie '2001 - space odyseey', illustrates Shamall's cosmological philosophizing. This album contains numerous long guitar solos from 'Gilmour's textbook', but sometimes - as in 'what will happen part III', synth melodies, which evokes wonderful memories of 'shine on you crazy diamond' in particular and to the blessed art of Richard Wright, in general. The whole album is like an unbridled frenzy of happiness. Either you fly with or you won't take off.
Rating: 8/10. --c/o Eclipsed, Walter Sehrer, Nov. 2008
Review "ambiguous points of view", rock-magazine 'Eclipsed': Issue 10/08:
Shamall - 'Ambiguous points of view 2 cd'
related: Pink Floyd, Eloy, Planet P, Orbital
The music project of the german musician and dj Norbert Krueler has developped continuously from pure italo-disco on electronic ambient to a progressive space-rock act.
With this concept album Krueler delivers a longtrack on each cd, subdivided in 14 respectively 15 parts, each one affected by Shamall's very hypnotic handwriting.
Friends of extended spacey improvisations will find a lot of addictive drugs here. A competently psychedelic and 'gilmouresque' played guitar invites you to take off. In 'everything has two sides' the musician takes his time to let his sounds drifting along. And always there are clear Floyd-reminiscences, such as when the oscillating rhythm of 'another brick in the wall' appears or when the 'sheep-intro' is taken up. The extremely dynamic blend of electric guitars, electronic sounds and vocals is always compact and coherent.The only drawback: sometimes the constant overlapping songs get too homogeneous. On the second disc Shamall's weaves more acoustic guitars and synth solos in the meandering sound snake of 'far away from reality'.
Rating: 8/10 --c/o Eclipsed, Walter Sehrer, Sept. 2008
Rezension 'Questions of Life':
The musical style of Shamall alias Norbert Krueler has evolved from italo disco in the eighties across ambient electronic music in the nineties and changed once more to melodic progressive rock with lots of psychedelic elements according to Pink Floyd and the german progressive band Eloy. With the double release "ambiguous points of view" Shamall produced a milestone in the band's history yet. Besides the absolutely outstanding quality of music artwork and packaging were just excellent. Not easy to create a worthy successor for "ambiguous points of view".
Almost two years passed since Shamall's last double cd. The new album "questions of life" came out as a very appealing digipak with a 12-page booklet. Musically, Norbert continues on the new album from where he stopped on "ambiguous points of view". Just like Shamall's recent work, the new album is composed as a concept album. The 18 tracks on this album are musically and thematic strongly affiliated with each other, so you should listening to this album as a whole.
It starts with the five-part track "what will happen". In the first instance, part I is very psychedelic and reminds strongly of Pink Floyd. Superb melodies and intriguing sounds fill the atmosphere, as you know it from Shamall. That gives you the heebie-jeebies right from the start. Alongside to the soundscapes electric guitar enters the stage, which dominates thoroughly on this album. This creates a very fascinating progressive rock sound. Admittedly Norbert's vocals and his german accent need getting used to, similar to those from Eloy's singer Frank Bornemann, but if you let the music do its magic, the vocals will burn into your mind because they fit perfectly to the music. The sophisticated drum programming is amazing, just like on Shamall's recent work. This is the proof, that he has a distinguished sense of rhythm next to his ability to create excellent compositions. Shamall combines new sounds with warm synth sounds from the 70's and 80's, which should appeal each fan of classic and melodic rock of that era.
Relaxing atmospheric soundscapes and pounding rhythmic parts afford an enthralling interplay. Melodies, surprising ones and variations of previous ones are smartly arranged to build a recurrent theme. Stilistically this album bears resemblance to Pink Floyds "Division Bell". But tracks like "prospective waves", "life part II" or "running and falling" are evocative of Pink Floyd's "the wall". "Exegesis", which is redolent to Pink Floyd's "on the run" from the outstanding album "dark side of the moon" with its moogsound at the end of the track. The synths in "resurge" sound slightly like "the who" in their "who are you"-phase. And in spite of everything Shamall is not another Floyd-Clone but he's a musician and a very creative mind who brings a lot of own ideas to his music. "Questions of Life" is an awesome, worthy successor for his killer album "ambiguous points of view". Everyone who loves his work from his 2006' release or every Pink Floyd fan will gorge "questions of life" as well. I will recommend this album totally unlimited - in my collection it deserves a very special place (next to "ambiguous points of view").
Absolutely brilliant work, which is definitely one of the best albums of the year by now!!!
Stephan Schelle, July 2008 -- music-circus magazine
Here's the complete tracklist:
1. what will happen part I 4:37
2. what will happen part II 4:06
3. what will happen part III 4:14
4. what will happen part IV 4:14
5. what will happen part V 4:09
6. prospective waves 1:53
7. life part I 6:26
8. life part II 6:13
9. exegesis 4:50
10. running and falling 5:47
11. resurge 2:05
12. about a totally freakin' out moment in life 3:21
13. adage part I 5:00
14. adage part II 5:36
15. the power of life part I 8:47
16. hall of 1000 strings 1:10
17. the terpsichorean frisk of creepy crawlies 3:46
18. the power of life part II 3:28
Double CD - special edition!
Mediabook with 28-page booklet
release date: 15.12.2006
32 tracks, ca. 156 min
"...Ambiguous Points Of View" is the 10th release from Norbert Krueler aka Shamall, who demonstrates his ability to produce progressive rock and krautrock as well as electronic music. The incipiencies of becoming more progressive were shown on Shamall's previous releases "The Book: Genesis" and "who do they think they are". With the new album "Ambiguous points of view", the metamorphosis from an electronic artist to a progressive rock project has been completed. The double-cd comes up with a first-class digibook, which could easily match with the state-of-the-art releases from the progressive label "Inside Out" [...] And the music matches the extraordinary visual appearance as well, because both musical themes "Everything Has Two Sides" and "Far Away From Reality" attract your ears instantly. On both epic titles, which consist of several parts, Shamall performs a mixture between Pink Floyd and Eloy, combining this with his very own musical style. Everyone, who grew up with Pink Floyd's music from "Dark Side Of Moon" up to "The Wall" and with the early works (70's-80's) of the german krautrock band Eloy, will feel at home with "Ambiguous points of view" [....]
In my opinion, this album is one of the musical highlights of the year 2006. Both visual appearance and music are first-class and I could recommended this release without any restrictions. This album is available as limited edition only, so don't miss it...." Stephan Schelle, January 2007
Report of "Weser Kurier", July 2008:
Music with lyrics about the meaning of life
Norbert Kruelers project "Shamall" releases his eleventh album "music is not a cheap non-durable good, but something sacred" believes Norbert Krueler, who just released the eleventh album with his music project "Shamall" (hot desert wind). The musician and music producer entitles his latest work "questions of life". "The lyrics are about the meaning and purpose of life," says Krueler, "because I realized how many people are wasting their time while occupying themselves with lambencies."
Krueler achieves his ideas not only in his lyrics. When working on a new album, he tries to avoid copying himself. "I try to avoid repetitions", Norbert says "and I take it for granted to bring out the best in my music." Influences of famous bands from the alternative rock scene of the eighties and seventies are apparent in Shamall's current work. Their pleasure to create musical experiments and their audibly LOVE to play were trademarks of those bands in their era. These remarkable signs are abound on 'questions of life'.
"But my fans need not to fear too experimental debaucheries," laughs Krueler, because he remains with the Best: "The melody itself is still in the foreground and may not disappear behind too much technology or extensive technical skills of single musicians, who ends in themselves. Heart, culture and brainpower shall always be consistent with each other. Shamall is just a child of the colourful flower-power-hippie-era..." smiles Norbert.
Norbert, who was born in Emsdetten (near the Dutch border) plays guitar and piano since his childhood. After his three-year apprenticeship as a dairy expert Norbert jobbed in a discotheque, before he filled in the diseased resident dj. "My boss was thrilled about my first appearance as a DJ so that I kept the job," recalls Krueler. About 30 years ago the same boss established the big rock club "Aladin Music Hall" in Bremen and took Krueler with him, who is still working there until today. 1986 Krueler founded the project "Shamall" with two friends. "We started with Italo-Disco quite successfully," he says. After a year both friends quit Shamall for family reasons. Krueler, who doesn't relate to disco music, reconsidered his musical ambition and was looking for an intellectual challenge. Influenced by musical heroes of his childhood like Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Alan Parsons and Tangerine Dream he created the first Shamall longplayer, which gave direction to Shamall's musical future. His electronic music with rhythm and vocals made him popular internationally, Shamall received two golden records, which dazzle on the wall of the recording studio. Shamall brought new elements in the following works and various musicians accompanied him over the years. The recent album "Questions of Life" is available in every well-stocked record store. -- Inka Sommerfeld, July 2008
Report of "Kreiszeitung", July 2008:
From the spirit and purpose of being
Shamall releases his eleventh album "Questions of Life" / Norbert Krüler lives in Langwedel
"Questions of Life" - this is the title of what has become the eleventh studio album of Shamall, the musical project of the resident DJ from the rock club "Aladin Music Hall", Norbert Krueler. Norbert composed and produced the entire album independently and except for two guitar solos, which originate from his friend Matthias Mehrtens, he plays all the instrumental parts in his recording studio on his own. He arranged the tracks, wrote lyrics, vocalized and even designed the cover art. Since Shamall was founded in 1986, its musical direction changed several times. Shamall's latest albums show a melodic blend of progressive and psychedelic rock. Although "Questions of Life" is a pure studio album and - less or more a one-man show - it's particularly surprising that a real band feeling arises - like on its predecessor "Ambiguous points of view". This album features enthusiasm, vitality and creative ideas.
What about the motivation for Norbert to create "Questions of Life"? "I make music for music's sake and I could say: "This album is innovative, brilliant and not to beat. But what should I say about my next cd? Every serious musician strives to do his best to give, so for me. This is a matter of course for each of my works. Naturally I try to avoid repetitions by bringing in new influences."
Inspiration for this album are cognitions and worldly wisdoms. Musically the reflections on the meaning and purpose of being are presented impressively. "Questions of Life" is also about sayings, which could be very helpful in spite of its ostensible simplicity. Norbert: "My attitude towards life is altering with every day, because of new experiences, new impressions. Meaningful lyrics in my music are just as important as the music itself."
How could the musical change be explained? Norbert: "In the early days of Shamall I was about 25 and produced italo-disco. In the nineties I was inspired to produce solely electronic music. Today I am older, my music is grown up. Bands like Pink Floyd, Rush and Alan Parsons play an important role in my musical history. Alternative, cross-genre music has always been and will ever be a reflection of my life. My personal ambition is to create thought-provoking music, which doesn't need any pictures."
The album "questions of life" is available in record stores and in the online-shop of Shamall's record label "2L Productions" (http://www.2lp.net).
official press kit of "Ambiguous points of view"
Shamall - Ambiguous points of view, 2cd, digibook (2006)
Over almost three decades Norbert Krueler has formed the alternative rock scene by his work as resident DJ in a big Rock Club in the northern part of Germany, as he decided to focus exclusively on his music project Shamall three years ago.
Since the foundation in 1986, Shamall has produced biyearly a new album. Especially in recent years, his creative power was as inexorable, that the latest 4 albums were released as full-length double discs. He was accompanied by considerably different musicians over the past years. On conceiving a new album, Norbert tries to dissolve mentally from his respective previous work: "...when I'm working on a new album, I always bring to mind my latest work to avoid copying myself. Furthermore I want to meet an intellectual challenge with every new album and get over a musical barrier, which I hadn't managed before..."
Since Shamall has successfully produced italo-disco in the eighties and made formidable electronic music in the nineties, his musical ambition has been changed. As following his own motivation, not to be musically pigeonholed he always tries to bring in new musical elements to his music. On "ambiguous points of view" different guitars and vocals play a decisive role together with monumental sound. Due to the manifold interaction of these elements the last step of the metamorphosis from an electronic artist to a progressive / psychedelic rock project has been done effectively.
So "ambiguous points of view" is a musical augmentation, but goes also back to the roots: the double album contains only two themes, which expands over the whole album in the tried and tested way of the 70's and 80's. Musically the influences of some well-known bands of the alternative / psychedelic rock scene of the 70' and 80' era appear on the new album. A trademark of those bands was their pleasure to create musical experiments and their audibly LOVE to make music. These remarkable signs are omnipresent on "ambiguous points of view".
But the fan of Shamall's earlier works hasn't got to fear too extreme experimental debaucheries: "...The melody itself still represents the cultural heart of Shamall. It mustn't pale beside the overload of equipment or by technical abilities of individual musicians. Heart, culture and brainpower should always be the well-balanced backbone of Shamall. Shamall is just a child of the colourful flower-power-hippie-era..." (Norbert Krueler)