Mild Maniac Orchestra

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Volker Kriegel, founder of the Mild Maniac Orchestra

The Mild Maniac Orchestra was a German jazz-rock band founded in the 1970s around guitar player Volker Kriegel. It existed until the beginning of the 1980s. The band was named after Kriegel's record "Mild Maniac" from 1974. Another founding member was keyboard player Rainer Brüninghaus, although he does not appear on the published recordings.

From 1975 on Kriegel appeared with his band as Mild Maniac Orchestra. Between 1976 and 1980 he published four records under the name Volker Kriegel & Mild Maniac Orchestra. Concurrently as well as from 1980 on he published under his own name.

Band members on all recordings were:

The music of the band was characterized by Kriegel's distinctive guitar playing and the orientation on improvisation patterns of fusion music as well as by the intensive use of percussion instruments, for which usually an additional musician was employed.


  • Octember Variations (1976)
  • Elastic Menu (1977) with Nippy Noya (percussion)
  • Long Distance (1979) with Hans Behrendt (percussion)
  • Live in Bayern (1980) with Hans Behrendt (percussion)


  • 1982 Deutscher Schallplattenpreis (German Record Award), "Künstler der Jahres 1982" (Musician Of The Year 1982), category Ensemble Pop National