JPF Music Award 2017: Shamall is nominated 3 times AGAIN !

“Music, that moves….”
JPF Music Award – 3
nominations for Shamall album “TURN OFF”!!

Just Plain Folks Music Awards started in 1999 as a simple way to recognize the best music submitted by members. JPF Founder Brian Austin Whitney felt the music made by the “other 98%” of the music world often ignored by the mainstream televised music awards shows deserved its own recognition.

For the JPF Music Award of 2017 artists from all over the world submitted more than 17.400 music albums and 240K+ songs. No easy job for the jury, who have to nominee the best albums and songs.The judging criteria is based around one basic concept: Does the music move you? Shamall seems to move AGAIN – the double Album “TURN OFF” is nominated 3 times in two categories (Alternative Album Nominees, Alternative Song Nominees and Modern Pop/Rock Song Nominees).

JPF Awards 2017 Album Nominee

Song Nominee Alternative & Modern Pop / Rock



Review of “Continuation” from Progwereld

(free translated from Dutch language)

Once in a while I’ll find that I’ve been sleeping and a band / musician remained completely under the radar. That was the case with Shamall. Shamall is the project of the German musician Norbert Krueler which is active for about thirty years and already released fifteen different studio albums in that period. “Continuation” is their latest release and is also an integral part of the compilation “History Book” along with four other CDs which provide an overview of thirty years Shamall.

Krueler is a multi-instrumentalist and does a lot himself, including the production, but also works frequently with guest musicians like Matthias Mehrtens (guitar). This is the the case on “Continuation”. There is also a singer from the party (Anke Ulrich), but overall the emphasis is focussed on the instrumental level. “Continuation” takes 79 minutes and contains mostly compositions that no longer fit on the previous release “Turn Off”, because it had already reached its maximum playing time.

As well as “Turn Off” is “Continuation” an indictment of nuclear power with the Fukushima disaster as the main source of inspiration. “Oh dear”, I can hear you, dear reader prog, all the thinking: “This is a musical “atomic power – no thanks” – happening”…? Will depart the musicality of the message? I assure you that this is not the case. The message is of course justified, judging by the nuclear disasters, but nowhere the music is subordinated to the message. In fact, I rarely had owned a socially committed album that led to such great compositions.

According to Wiki the musical style of Shamall is best described as a mixture of Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd. The following names came to my mind when listening: (indeed) David Gilmour (Random Walker), Lee Abraham (Fragments P. IV) Enigma (Linolenic Acid), Peter Baumann’s early solo work and even Manfred Mann (Floating Subatomic Particles and Solitary Life). Multi-variant, merged into a style in which the listener can drift on a sonic trip that holds the attention without interruption for seventy-nine minutes and let the listener enjoy.

The whole is produced “German at it’s Best”: wonderful spaciousness, balance and definition in full harmony; the ears are spoiled. To make it short: this album is a must for electro prog fans in the corner of Tangerine Dream / Loom, Ashra and F. D. Project.

c/o Clemens Leunisse, Progwereld 2016

Rome wasn’t built in a day – Interview with Norbert Krüler and the newspaper publisher “Aller-Weser-Verlag

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” says Norbert Krüler and settles back.
The internationally known musician has obviously taken this wisdom (for the last 30 years) to survive with Shamall in the fiercely contested and fast-moving music market for three decades.

Editor: “The music production has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. There has been a rapid technical development. Did the things become easier for you?”

Norbert Krüler: “When I started 30 years ago, it was much easier.”

Editor: “Why?”

Norbert Krüler: “Because I had to manage with less. The less you have, the more you have to force your mental activity. In the past I built certain sounds in my head. But the technical capabilites were limited. So I needed several days to realize a sound like that one in my head by combining the output of different synthesizers.
Today I power on a box and press a key. Then there are so many sounds that superimpose the whole thing, that I don’t know how many sounds I have to mute, to get the output I want… ”

Editor: “So you spend a lot of time by limiting and muting sounds?”

Norbert Krüler: “Yes, I am more concerned with turning off than with turning on. Because I would also like to leave more room for other instruments. I find it rather disturbing, when I press just one key and get a whole orchestra including arpeggios, timpani, brass and strings….all that stuff, you know..?.”

Editor: “How would you describe your own music style? Is it Neo-Prog rock with a touch of space rock? ”

Norbert Krüler: “Music magazines always like to pigeonhole music to give their readers an understanding of new artists and unheard music. My inspiring example still is and remains Pink Floyd. This is the kind of music I create, but with a personal note. The music of Pink Floyd is a pretty good inspiration and  foundation for my own work. I think it’s a good idea to keep their music alive in modern way, because the band does no longer exist in their original line-up.”

Editor: “What do you do to make your music more popular?”

Norbert Krüler: “Progressive music has a very special fanfare. Most of them are true collectors of discs and vinyl with lavish artwork and packaging, because they simply perceive progressive music as a kind of art. They don’t own illegal downloads or pirate copies, because they want to support their bands.
When you have a new recording, you will post some news or maybe a trailer in forums with music enthusiasts, spread the word within the social media, then the music will go it’s way – assuming that the music on the record is good. Shamall is lucky to be more known after 30 years. Retrospectively, it was a good decision to change the musical style different times.”

Editor: “Who do you make music for?”

Norbert Krüler: “First and foremost for myself. When I make music, I do not think of money, not even a second. When you put pressure on yourself, you won’t produce any creative output. Rather you can expect, that your music will get better if you break free from these constraints. You should be less concerned with the daily grind and just take care of making music. When I get goose bumps from my own playing, then I know, that I have done everything right.
Sometimes I leave the studio and go to bed with goose bumps of my new composition, but sometimes I am annoyed with my daily work. But always I know, another “goosebumps day” will come – and this is my personal motivation for making music. My creative work should be authentic. 90 percent of those who listen to Shamall, listen to the complete works and their main concern is that the music should be authentic.”

Editor: “Have you ever thought of remastering your old tracks completely?”

Norbert Krüler: “No, because my earlier works are at a different technical level, if I would remaster them, they would loose their original retro charm. The fans of these old tracks have special memories with the titles in their original sound. Most of them are simply fused with the original. With remastering “their” tracks, I would take something away from people instead of giving them something. Because those songs reflect their youth.”

Editor: “In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Shamall, the 5 CD-Box “History Book” has been published a few weeks ago. Did you have to edit your older tracks a little bit?”

Norbert Krüler: “That’s right. I did some very subtle modifications on the tracks because I didn’t want to destroy the “zeitgeist”. I was focussed on a balanced volume, because the albums from the nineties were recorded with different volumes. But in a compilation this issue would be fatal for the listener. He constantly has to change the volume.”

Editor: “A total of 18 albums has been released in 30 years. From your point of view – how much time may pass between the releases?”

Norbert Krüler: “Each album needs a certain time to develop. If you make a record every year, one could say quickly, that’s assembly line work, that’s too commercial. But the time-lag between two releases must not be too big – otherwise you run the risk to be forgotten. I think I’ve done everything right so far with Shamall.
I published the 5 CD-Box “History Book” to say a big “Thank You” for the longtime loyalty of my fans. The fifth CD “Continuation” contains new tracks combined with unpublished material of the 2013 album “Turn off”. “Continuation” is also available as a single CD.”

Editor: “Why?”
Norbert Krüler: “I had corresponded to the request of some fans. They had written to me that they had already collected all other Shamall albums and that the new album “Continuation” would be the only one, that would be missing. That’s why “Continuation” is also available as a single CD.”

Editor: “When will you publish the next new Shamall album?”

Norbert Krüler: “The next CD is scheduled for the end of next year. Because after finishing an album it’s always before the next album to come….and Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Band Shamall around the musician and producer Norbert Krüler exists for 30 years / Always further developed “Would do it all again”

© Marius Merle 15.10.2016 – free translation from German language

Langwedel-Etelsen. From zero to one hundred, so the start of the band Shamall could be described 30 years ago. In 1986 the first single went directly into the top ten of the German charts. Bandleader at that time: Norbert Krüler. And the musician, who has been living in Langwedel, Lower Saxony since 1994, continues the project for a long time as a lone fighter. Norbert published more than a dozen recordings by changing his musical style  several times. After a bumpy start, Shamall is now celebrating its 30th anniversary – which nobody would expect retrospectively.

Center of creation: Norbert Krüler, Head of Shamall, in his studio. © FOCKE STRANGMANN

Center of creation: Norbert Krüler, Head of Shamall, in his studio. © FOCKE STRANGMANN

Norbert Krüler, who already played guitar on major stages in the North Rhine-Westphalian homeland back in the day, started his DJ career in the Aladin-Music-Hall in Bremen in the mid-1970s. “At that time the biggest rock club in Germany with later one of the largest laser systems in Europe”, he underlines the particular importance of this music hall. At the beginning, over a number of years he set up the pieces of other musicians before he began to make his own music again. So his first compositions were “special, effective, dynamic and pulsating music”. Norbert’s compositions went down well with his audience with the result that “shortly afterwards I got attendance from a record company in the music hall”. And then everything went quickly.

From out of nowhere into the top 10
Under the band name Shamall, Krüler produced with two other musicians the first single “My Dream” in 1986. But first of all there was still a problem to solve. “The record company wanted songs with vocals, but nobody from us wanted to sing. So we pulled matches and the choice fell to me ultimately” remembers Krüler. Just like the first single the second release “Feeling like a stranger” succeeded a good chart placement. “My dream”  went through the ceiling and hundred thousands copies were sold worldwide. But financially the group had bad luck with contracts – so “nothing remained”. Also the music sequence of the first single “my dream” was used for the console game “Katakis”, which was sold more than a million times – as Norbert would have known many years later. “There simply someone else has turned out to be the composer,” says Krüler. So he didn’t receive any money from his first hit single.

Besides the setback that the success did not bring the expected money, Krüler had also other concerns. “After the second hit single, we were hard on the border to get a stamp as a disco project” he explains. So he wanted to meet new challenges and left the way of “music for the masses”. Norbert decided to go new ways – again without singing and alone, because meanwhile his two initial collaborators had left Shamall. “I started to make music, which I liked and which I could test in the Aladin Music Hall – a perfect way to find out the quality of the music” explains Krüler the advantages of his DJ-job. For his first album CD, entitled “Journey to a Nightmare”, he didn’t find a record company at first, but later, in 1989, he was able to publish it on an independent label. Musically, this album was  classified as electronic music with classical, psychedelic and krautrock elements.

Even one year later the following album “Moments of Illusion” appeared, that was Shamall’s most successful album of the electronic era. The song “Physical Visions” was  used for some international TV commercials, such as from Telekom. Five other albums were following in the style of electronic music – meanwhile with his own record company.  Krüler felt again, that it’s time for another musical change. Now more guitars and vocals should build the musical base. The first CD in this style “The Book: Genesis” was released in 2001. In the meantime Matthias Mehrtens joined the band, and Shamall made a definite change to the Neo-Progressive Rock genre. Krüler had always taken up critical themes with his lyrics, starting with the double album “Who do they think they are” (2003) – a conceptional album about the Gulf War.

Until now Shamall continues this musical path and CDs are published regularly. The band become established in this musical genre of neo progressive rock with many fans around the world. “Russia, Japan, France, United States, Canada”, Norbert cites only a few countries in which the albums always find good sales – as well as the five-CD box with songs of three decades that came to the market on Shamall’s 30th anniversary. Meanwhile, Anke Ullrich also has become a singer of Shamall.

But what does the bandname actually mean? It is derived from the desert wind shamal. “The name sounds good and is timeless,” explains Krüler, who loves to look back on the previous 30 years. “I would do it all again,” he emphasizes. “It is also necessary to make mistakes and learn from them”, says Krüler – alluding to the commercially successful start-up period, from which one could hardly make any financial profit. “But I think if everything had gone smoothly, Shamall would not exist any more,” says the 58-year-old, who is simply happy to be able to work at his age in this job. “Of course, I also know that I am making music for a dying generation,” adds Krüler. But still, the musical path of Shamall is not yet at an end even after three decades.

New video from the brandnew album “Continuation”


New video from Shamall’s current releases “History Book” – 30 Years Anniversary Edition“. You’ll find this track “Fragments part III” on “Shamall – Continuation” as a separate cd or on the 5 disc compilation “History Book”.

New video of Shamall – History Book (CD 5) // Continuation


New video from Shamall’s current releases “History Book” – 30 Years Anniversary Edition“. This track “Fragments part I and II” has been released on “Shamall – Continuation” as a separate cd.

Click here for more pre-listening of Shamall – Continuation:

New Releases Shamall – History Book (30 Years Anniversary edition) and Continuation – ready for pre-ordering!

Shamall---History-BookThe name of this album says all about it. “History Book” – is a review of 30 years of epic musical creation from Shamall. It was a long way from the first mainstream-releases of the eighties to the current, timeless neo-progressive rock hymns.

The “History Book” contains 5 CD’s. It musically traces the career of Shamall and illustrated the musical development of the project in an impressive way. The musical output is arranged chronologically in this 5-piece CD-Box.

CD 1 will start with the first longplayer release „Journey To a Nightmare”, which came out in 1989. The disc contains the title theme of this album as well as the audience favorites “Turning Point” and “Nothing to say”. „Physical Visions” and “Moments of Illusion” were taken from the same-named album from 1990, which was the first album going around the world, because the companies German „Telekom“ and „Time Life“ have used it’s music for movies and commercials. The B-Side „Caligula 2009“ from Shamall’s first hit single „My Dream“ (charts rank Nr. 9) which came out in 1986 has been modified especially for the fans of Shamall’s very early works. This edited version is now a minute and ten seconds longer than the original version and the last track on CD one.

CD 2 is devoted to the albums „In Search of Precision“ (1994) and “Mirror to Eternity” (1993) with it’s same-named title. Even the unforgotten track “Mission Hussein” with it’s extended drum solo is not missing. The following tracks “Ambrosia”, the equally successful “Time Machine” and “In Search of Precision” make this CD to a varied experience.

CD 3 continues with the highlights of the albums “This Island Earth”, “Influences” and “The Book: Genesis”. The well-known WDR-radio show „Schwingungen“ voted the title „New Age Krautrock Symphony“ as „best title of the year 2002“.

CD 4 celebrates the musical turnaround of Shamall. Starting with the album „Who do they think they are“, where guitars and vocals found their way into Shamall’s music. Altogether the music style became more native and more rocking. Political and socio-critical lyrics that accompanied the vocal parts of the concept albums from now on, aroused the interest of international music fans. With this new neo progressive music concept Shamall celebrated his first bigger success in the US, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and especially in Russia. Therefore the tracks “Hey You” from the album “Who do they think they are”, “The Difference between” from “Ambiguous points of view” and “What will happen” from “Questions of Life” are an absolut must on this cd – as well as “Don’t get your panties in a bunch”and “Is this human behavior“ from the same-named album. The jury of the JPF Foundation awarded „Ambiguous points of view“ in two ways – the whole album and 3 tracks were voted as best releases of the year in the category “Progressive Rock”. In a competition where 560,000 attendees from over 90 countries with 42,000 albums took part.

CD 5 includes exclusively unreleased songs based on the double album “Turn Off” from 2013. It’s basic theme fascinated Shamall so intensely, that it left a lot of recorded ideas for a third CD. So the 5th CD of „History Book” completes the compilation as a CD with absolute new music.

This fifth CD will certainly delight the fans, who are waiting for a musical sign of life from Shamall. Because of many inquiries CD 5 is also available as a regular album under the name „Continuation“.