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 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“.



5 CD-Set “Shamall – History Book” and Shamall – Continuation will be available on July 5th!!

+++ +++ Update:
Actually a 4-CD set was planned, which should reflect the musical development of Shamall from the beginning until today. As 30 years musical work does not fit on 4 CDs because it would draw an incomplete picture of Shamall’s musical history. Some important titles would omit for reasons of physical limitation of a compact disc. Therefore, we have now decided to bring out a CD-Set with 5 discs as a Capbox with the title: Shamall – “History Book”.
The first 4 discs contain not only a selection of remastered earlier works but also some titles of Shamall’s more recent CDs.

The compilation of the “History Book”, which appears exactly 30 years after the release of the 1st Shamall maxi single “My Dream” (1986), traces the musical career of Shamall from his early electronic works to the current progressive / psychedelic rock. The 5th CD contains new music, based on the “Turn Off” theme with unreleased material, early versions and rehearsals. Because of many inquiries from fans we decided to release this 5th disc as a separate digipak with the titel “Shamall – Continuation”.

Both releases are available on JULY, 5th in our Online-Shop.
Please stay tuned for more information.




Excerpt from Kinesis Progressive Rock page – “Turn Off” sounds like Eloy featuring special guest Edgar Froese…

The Shamall albums offered here are after the band’s transition to progressive rock and so are their highest-rated on Prog Archives: Turn Off (2CD, 2013, digipack), Is This Human Behavior (2CD, 2009, digipack), Questions of Life (2008, digipack), Ambiguous Points of View (2CD, 2006, digibook),Who Do They Think They Are (2CD, 2003, jewel box), and The Book Genesis (2CD, 2001, jewel box). Ambiguous Points of View counts as 1.5 CDs for shipping.

We’re devoting most of this space to the latest album Turn Off, because that’s the one we’ve listened to. It seems that the major influence present on the Shamall albums has been Pink Floyd. But Turn Off sounds much closer to Eloy, themselves Pink Floyd influenced but quite distinct. Shamall doesn’t just sound a little like Eloy here — if you didn’t know any better, you’d think this was a new Eloy album. More specifically, it sounds like Eloy featuring special guest Edgar Froese.

That’s one of the remarkable qualities of this album, how well Tangerine Dream style sequencers and synths are integrated into progressive rock. There are male and female vocals (in English), though the music is heavily instrumental. It turns out that Shamall is primarily the work of one man, Norbert Krueler, but you’d probably never guess. This is one amazing album, perhaps with slightly too narrow a style given its 150-minute length, but you won’t feel shortchanged on this or any of the other Shamall albums. Most are double-CDs, and each disc is nearly full. There is a lot of music here.