A.R. & MACHINES - The incredible journey in a crazy machine

13. December 2017

Achim Reichel A.R. & Machines

A.R. & MACHINES - The incredible journey in a crazy machine

He calls himself an old bag. Achim Reichel, 73, looks back to the seventies, not without pride, but with the awareness of having been lucky too. Growing up in St. Pauli, a stone's throw from the neighbourhood, the hamburger talks like his beak has grown. That is amusing and makes him sympathetic, this guy without airs and graces, but with a lot of charisma. In his answers he sometimes digresses, but that doesn't matter, because the man has something to tell. Anything but a sailor's yarn.

eclipsed: In your musical life you didn't necessarily take a straight path stylistically. You've always done what you just made sense of. You don't compromise?

Reichel: Not always. With increasing age less and less. As a green boy I somehow got into the music business by chance, because I grew up around the corner at the Star Club in Hamburg. At the beginning we just thought: Oh, that's awesome, now we already have a record. It's even played on the radio.

eclipsed: How did you get to A.R. & Machines after the Rattles and Wonderland?

Reichel: When I realized with my old Akai-X330D tape machine that it could be used for looping, it was a coincidence. I had somehow pressed the wrong button. I wanted to record a guitar motif, and suddenly it was always repeated in my headphones. Dong, dong, dong... And I think: It's crazy, you can do something with it. Recognizing this was actually my creative achievement.

eclipsed: How were the reactions to A.R. & Machines?

Reichel: I went to Polydor with my recordings, and thank God there was one who said: "You, Achim, this is somehow quite interesting. But you do know that no radio station plays that." I said, "Yeah, but it's kind of awesome." Winfried Trenkler wrote in 1973 in the "Kölner Stadtanzeiger": "From teeny to top musician". That's when I thought: That's awesome. After all, if you really want to claim to be an artist, you also have to stand by the ideas that go through your head. I had a US sound engineer visit once. He's going through my record box and he says, "That's a great record!" There he holds "The Green Journey" by A.R. & Machines in his hand. I say, "I made these once, about 1970." He says, "What? That's you? It's not pop music anymore, it's art! You anticipated the looping."

Lest mehr im eclipsed Nr. 196 (12-2017/01-2018).