Young Norbert wanted to learn to play guitar at all costs. He even didn‘t loose heart, when his leader at the boy scouts, who showed him the first chords, told him „you‘ll never learn it with your stubby fingers“.Even as a child, „giving up“ was not in his word pool. So he took his chord book, and kept on training to play…hours, days, weeks, months….until he was bored of the technical limitations of his acoustic instrument.That was in the early 70s, at the age of 13 or so, when he started listening to Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. And of course he loved german „Krautrock“.Because of no money for an electric guitar, Norbert used his acoustic instrument in many different, experimental ways, hardly trying to sound like his new heroes.
Plugging in a microphone inside the body of his acoustic guitar by often overloading the fuse with his home-made amplifier was only one of many attempts to make new distorted noises.Until the foundation of a band project several years gone by since Norbert‘s first psychedelic excursions. Before he wrote his own first songs, he covered tracks from other bands to learn more about lyrics and arrangements. After a while he began composing and writing lyrics for his first own tunes. One of them was „Don‘t get your panties in a bunch“, which was released more than 30 years later in a contemporary version on his album „Is this human behavior“(2009).
With some gigs in youth centers and pubs he gained his first live experiences. After a while, with growing popularity, he shared the stages with famous german rock bands like Eloy, Birth Control, Guru Guru, Kraan, Grobschnitt, Kin Ping Meh and many more on festivals and concerts.
For a time Norbert‘s musical adventures were very exciting. But as he realized, that his future wouldn’t be very promising without a record deal, he changed his guitar with a dj console, because music clubs became popular in the mid-seventies.
Norbert‘s shows started in a midsize club, but after a while he moved up to become the „resident DJ“ of the Aladin-Music-Hall in Bremen – a big rock club near Hamburg – where he arranged and presented different rock and alternative events. Because of the fact, that – at that time – there was no other club in the same dimension with thousands of guests each night in whole Germany, his work had a strong influence on the progressive alternative rock and pop Music scene.
Because of his passion for progressive music, Norbert used his popularity as rock dj for more than 30 years to campaign for new, innovative bands in his club. There he played their music to present it to a wider audience. He described his work as a comprehensive, neverending voyage of discovery, where he was always looking for new variations of rock and pop combined with psychedelic and progressive elements. That way he helped a lot of innovative bands to become more popular. Music fans of multiple generations nationwide liked his unique, commercially not available re-mixes of awesome songs from many previously unknown bands.
Since the seventies, Norbert created various styles of mixes: short versions, extended versions and special versions from each record he bought. Everything began with a remix in 1976 with Jimi Hendrix‘s „Who Knows“ (still with tape at that time), followed by The Doors, Mike Oldfield and lots of others. But after hundreds of remixes he realized, that they are all exciting to listen indeed – but he didn‘t create anything really new.In the middle of 1984, Norbert started with making his own music again. He was fascinated of the new technical capabilities to make music with extraordinary sounding synthesizers. With the same euphoria as he learned to play guitar in the cradle, he now eagerly discovered this new technology with addiction. From the beginning artists like Pink Floyd, Eloy, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Mike Oldfield and Manfred Mann‘s Earth Band inspired him.
At that time the laser system in his club was the biggest of it‘s kind in whole Germany. So Norbert got the idea to make special effective music for this incredible kind of light. For that he availed himself of the technical progress and added rhythms with experimental wide pads, strings, sequences, storms and thunder to mesmerize his club audience with an awesome and unique light and music performance. These compositions were available only live for his audience and have never been officially released.
Finally a record company became aware of Norbert’s work. But his long, experimental musical journeys were not suited for airplay, so Norbert had to add vocals and to shorten his tracks for commercial reasons.Under the pseudonym Shamall he finished the 12“ single „My dream“ in 1986 together with the musicians Michael Jaspers and Detlef Reder. In 1987 Shamall produced „Feeling like a stranger“. Both releases climbed the music Charts – „My dream“ achieved even rank 9.Shortly after Norbert realized, that Shamall would ran the risk of winding up as an „Italo-Disco-Project” if he would produce another release in this style. But that wouldn‘t meet the original spirit of Shamall.
At the end of the eighties Shamall released his first longplayer called „Journey to a Nightmare“ (1989). Likewise it was Shamall‘s first release in the style of electronic music with psychedelic elements and a milestone for the fans of his music.
Even one year later „Moments of Illusion“ (1990) came out. It was Shamall’s most successful album of the electronic years. The track „Physical Visions“ was used by German „Telekom“ and the music company „Time Life“ for promotional purposes, which was broadcasted on many TV channels for a long time. The following electronic music albums „Mirror to Eternity“ (1993), „Collector‘s Items“ (1993), „In Search of Precision“ (1994), „This Island Earth“ (1997) and „Influences“ (1998) have a community of faithful electronic music fans worldwide.
„Influences“ was Shamall‘s final release in the musical genre of electronic music.
After being „crazy on electronic and synthesizers“ in the whole nineties, Norbert made a trip down the memory lane and reflected his work to date. The result of his selfreflection was, that he now felt the urge to embellish his creative work again. From now on his intention was to enrich Shamall‘s music with vocals and guitar to let it Sound more native, more progressive and with more psychedelic elements. Inside his mind he heard music with wide pads fighting with hard but melodic and effective guitars going with expressive vocals with a deep message.
„The Book: Genesis“ (2001) was the first release, where elements of psychedelic and progressive rock took a leading part. The main theme „New Age Krautrock Symphony“ was awarded by the audience of German radioshow “Schwingungen” as “best song of the year 2001”.
In 2003 Shamall released „Who do they think they are“, the first album with vocals and rich guitars. A concept album about the gulf war and a major step in Shamall‘s Career.
In 2006 the second concept album “Ambiguous points of view“ came out.
With the help of excellent musicians all over the years Shamall created passionately 18 albums to date. Shamall‘s latest concept albums „Questions of Life“ (2008), „Is this human behavior“ (2009) and „Turn Off“ (2013), a blend of neo-progressive and classical rock with psychedelic elements enjoy worldwide popularity. Norbert‘s personal motivation is to meet an intellectual challenge with every new Shamall album and to get over a musical barrier, which he hadn’t managed before.
The jury of „Just Plain Folks Music Organization“ (JPF) nominated Shamall in 2017 again – the album “Turn Off” and 2 titles are finalists in the categories “Best Alternative Album”, “Best alternative song” and “best modern rock/Pop song”.
1986: My Dream (12 “Single)
Fact sheet of Norbert Krueler: