Karl Ritter

„Solo“, Tunnel Vienna Live, Austria 20190117


One of the most welcoming (concert) places hosts one of the most overwhelming guitarists. He is part of Soundritual with e.g. Christian Eigner, plays exhibition openings like “Luther – Burning for the Faith” or shares the stage of the Stadthalle F with Willi Resetarits.

The “Guitar Driver”, as the latest documentary about Karl Ritter is called at this evening does everything one could think of is possible with two guitars, two amps, two effect devices and two bottlenecks. “I think I have already greeted everyone”, he says in the beginning. He then starts with a strange melody of hammer-ons and pull-offs that leads into an incredible set. It scratches, clashes and crashes. At some point it seems unbelievable, that the guitar strings hold all of what’s happening. The floor quakes, as Karl Ritter appears to follow his intention, which sound suits the best for the very moment.

Therefor it is hard to realize how much actually is improvised and how much really planned. There is obviously a structure in it, which parts get knotted with the feedback of the amps. One time the feedback even stays for a whole “song”, building a kind of rhythm. In the calmer parts Ritter reminds of Peter Ratzenbeck, even though their sounds are miles away from each other. He doesn’t begrudge himself and his audience a break but plays through till he rips away the bottleneck from under the strings.

He then plays one short tune more before he ends this intense and outstanding show. “That was it from my side”, he simply tells smiling friendly. The audience applauds, and for sure needs some time to work on what they experienced on this wonderful evening, that made one looking forward for more.