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Shamall Mixes Energized Electronics with Global Politics

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Shamall (which loosely translates as "hot desert wind") is Norbert Krueler.

A fusion of electronic, rock, pop, and classical, Shamall's music is structured to maximize the full potential of each melody, exploring the complexity and depth of each riff before diving off into variations which embellish the arrangements. decorative rule

SHAMALL: Who Do They Think They Are (double CD on 2L Productions)

This release from 2003 features 155 minutes of exciting electronic music.

For this release Krueler is joined by Matthias Mehrtens on additional guitar, Martin Bornhausen on bass, Mike Bach and Frank Schroder on drums, and Markus Jackel on voice.

With this release, Shamall adapt their electronic stylings to political social consciousness with a tinge of rock undertones, examining the Middle East crisis with humanistic sentiments that challenge the validity of an economic war being fought with bombs and guns, where young, naive soldiers are dying to further the political ends of fat cats who sit safe and secure in their high castles. Five of the twenty-one songs on Disk 1 feature vocals that elucidate this theme.

As usual, Shamall's music is richly passionate. Demonstrative electronics fashion emphatic melodies that are powerfully embellished by dynamic guitar and lively percussion. Versatile keyboards belt out feverish riffs that bridge heaven and earth with grand aspirations.

As lead guitars squeal and scream, tearing holes in the fabric of space, rhythm guitars establish a lush, lamenting edge to the blazing sonic glory. Nimble fingers evoke searing chords of complexity and fiery emotion.

Basslines rumble like liquid serpents swimming across sun-parched soil, providing a dire undercurrent that enlivens the rest of the mix with their gritty compliment.

Besides providing engaging rhythms, the percussives often indulge themselves in superlative extracurricular activity, adding triumphant definition to the melody.

While contemporary electronics are the foundation, this music is cleverly spiced with rock touches that generate an uptempo disposition, not unlike Pink Floyd mixed with primo Tangerine Dream. The tunes convey a melodic urgency that masterfully extols the anguish and outrage implied by the overall meaning of the songs.

The second disk is exclusively instrumental. While reprising certain melodies from the first disk, the music here is pointedly more uplifting, expressing optimism in the face of adversity.

The electronics chug with enthusiasm, swaying and bouncing like a jubilant child. The basslines pop with exuberance. The drums pound with vigor, establishing intricate rhythms that are thoroughly thrilling. And the guitar soars with ecstasy. The use of quasi-flamenco guitar adds an appealing edge to several songs, while synthetic bagpipes evoke a highland quality for one track. A host of other instruments lend a fullness to the tunes, from church bells to woodwinds to saxophones.

This release exudes energy and gripping composition. Krueler's performance is slick and dazzling, superbly capturing lofty intensity and forcing it to bop with foot-tapping influence.

To read more reviews of Shamall releases, go here, and here, and here.

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