Achim Reichel


Achim Reichel

LP DIE GRUNE REISE (AR 1)                                                POLYDOR DE   2459 057

1971 10 TRKS re-issue

LPx2 ECHO (AR 2)                                                                        POLYDOR DE   2633 003

1972 5 TRKS

LP AR 3                                                                                       ZEBRA DE         2949 006

1972 9 TRKS

LP AR 4                                                                                       ZEBRA DE         2949 008

1973 2 TRKS

LP AR 5 (“AUTOVISION”)                                                         ZEBRA DE         2949 016

1974 6 TRKS

LP ERHOLUNG                                                                         BRAIN DE          BRAIN 1068

1975 4 TRKS ‘AR 6’

I am reasonably certain I first heard of German guitarist Achim Reichel via my friend Greg Stewart, on KPFK-FM, about ’73 or so.  My older brother actually sent me the LP for “Autovision” from Germany, when he lived there.

Mr. Reichel’s “pre-history” is that he was once guitarist with The Rattles, a famous German 60’s band.  I can only guess that his transition from ‘beat music’ to ‘space rock’ coincided with an adoption of hippie values, incl. meditation, chemical refreshment etc.

For those who have never heard the above mentioned works, Achim Reichel is a guitarist from Germany who utilized his superlative studio skills while recording his contemplative instrumental albums of hypnotic space guitar (with rhythm or orchestra).  Wikipedia likens his work to that of Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream – think pre-’74 on these groups!

While there is a CD collection of Reichel’s 70’s work, there aren’t actually any legit CD’s of any of his ‘numbered’ albums.  If there were legit CD’s of all of the above in front of me for $20 each, I would instantly plunk down for “AR 4”, “Autovision (AR 5)” and “Erholung”.  “Echo (AR 2)” is the one with an orchestra, and while good – it was a very expensive double LP in the early 70’s – maybe $10.99, when any singly import LP would’ve been $4.99 or $5.99) – so I can only imagine that the legit German CD of it would cost way more than $20!

“AR 4” is when things really start to get interesting (minus the orchestra).  Side Two is particularly interesting (“Aqua”).  “Autovision (AR 5)” is as close to ‘rock music’ as Reichel ever got in the 70’s, with a few interesting shorter songs (as opposed to AR 4’s side-long works).  “Erholung” was recorded perhaps not with the budget of the Polydor / Zebra albums – it sounds “home made”: to me, but Reichel’s guitar playing is mesmerizing nonetheless.

It really is surprising that there aren’t legit CD’s of all of these titles.  I thought they were more known / popular in the progressive rock community – surely the Japanese should’ve made little paper album covers of these albums by now?

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