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Sambo MambaWolfgang
00:00 / 06:04

art by wolfgang schalk


Label: Frame Up Music / Street Date: October 11, 2019
Wolfgang Schalk - guitars, voice 4/10, Andy Langham - piano, fender rhodes
Carlitos Del Puerto - bass, Gene Coye - drums, Luisito Quintero - percussion, voice 3. Recorded at United Recording, LA, CA.

“Obsession is my tribute to the dedication to music and art. It is also a mantra for the responsibility which comes attached to it. It is something you have in your veins and something that is always with you, no matter what you are doing. And the process itself is about the creating because it needs to be done. It is not about what the result will be or could be. Of course, the more fun the doing is, the more fruitful the music might become. In this case, making this recording was one of the most joyful experiences I ever had - in composing and recording the music as well. This is also a result of the great chemistry and fun with Carlitos, Andy, Gene and Luisito.” - Wolfgang

Wolfgang Schalk’s new recording ”Obsession” features ten original pieces written by the Austrian guitarist, his eighth album as a leader. The music is driven by Wolfgang’s distinctive sound and edgy conception, demonstrating his virtuosity on both, arch top and on nylon string acoustic guitar. Downbeat magazine has noted “...A guitarist’s guitarist. No matter how frenetic or soothing his playing may become, Schalk always plays with a master improviser’s sense of quest.”

The execution of the music from Wolfgang and his stellar band strikes a strong chord -- Andy Langham (piano), Carlitos Del Puerto (bass), Gene Coye (drums), and Luisito Quintero (percussion). These players sound so good together on this album that a spiritual chemistry was formed!

Schalk’s original pieces are solid and thought provoking. Whether his melodies are serene as on “Darkment of the Light” or the hard swinging title track “Obsession”, or skittering funk and textural layers as on “Next Time P22”, there is no drop-off in intensity. Schalk makes sharp turns, whether it be in his writing or his playing. He can be grooving the meditative thing in one moment or cutting the sharp edge in another or jumping in a Latin groove. To him, there are no categories - only music. “I don’t believe in genres,” he says.

Wolfgang’s technique is an interesting study. Arch top, electric and acoustic guitars are of equal weight. “The sound is a mind thing”, Wolfgang states. The

secret is in the touch. The sterling “Sambo Mamba” is a perfect example of this approach. On first listen, it may take a few measures to figure out which instrument he is playing, yet his methods never overshadow the results. By the time you may figure things out, you are lost in the music anyway.

Wolfgang Schalk has shown the constant growth of a musician aspiring to go beyond limits. It takes an all-consuming passion to overcome those obstacles, something he strives for every day.

Obsession can be a good thing. True artists know that without it, great art cannot be created. Obsession is the next highest rung on the musical ladder for Wolfgang Schalk and affirms his status as one of the most talented guitarists of today.

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