ERNST SCHULZ - Paranoia Picnic

Ernst Schulz was the guitarist/vocalist with German political band Ihre Kinder, and when he left to release his first solo album in 1972 the band folded. He lost none of his passion for social and political problems on this album, with many of the lyrics dealing with similar subjects to Ihre Kinder. Musically it is much more varied, though, with folk-rock rubbing shoulders with electronic pieces, a sitar led folk track, and a piece played on two typewriters! Although the lyrics are in German the music on here is much more accessible to a UK audience than that of his band, and 'Der Traumtänzer' even has a bit of guitar boogie in there. The sitar-led 'Synthetischer Orient Nr, 1' is particularly successful, and the typewriter track '10 Finger Blind' is not as bad as you might think. 'Nur Ein Spanier' and 'Kirchenlied' both have some nice acoustic guitar and a folky feel to them, while the title track is a sound collage which is perhaps not quite as interesting. Certainly one of the most varied German albums that I have come across, and one which is hard to categorise, but it is mostly successful in what it is trying to achieve and so it is a shame that it is not yet out on CD.