martes, 5 de enero de 2010

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel (1971)

One of the most formidable of the German Krautrock groups, ASH RA TEMPEL were a powerful force led by guitarist Manuel GÖTTSCHING, and also included former TANGERINE DREAM drummer Klaus SCHULZE at various points. Their music is very spacy and psychedelic, in the manner popularized by early HAWKWIND and AMON DÜÜL II. The early albums all had basically one track a side, one more powerful and dramatic, the other of a more atmospheric nature.

Their albums are all classics; those with Klaus SCHULZE ("Ash Ra Tempel" and "Join Inn") are the best. ASH RA TEMPEL's first release is a classic of the space/cosmic genre. This is definitively the one to start with if you're not familiar with this band. "Schwingungen" is a vastly underrated album even by ardent fans of the band. Basically, "Join Inn", along with the two albums, are supposed to be the essential woks from ASH RA TEMPEL, and I certainly haven't been disappointed by any of the three. GÖTTSCHING's later work varied between solo albums and those within a group format.

Later, after recording the dreamy soundtrack "Le Berceau de Cristal" (1975 unreleased until the 90's) ASH RA TEMPEL changed name to ASHRA, making a more melodic synthesizer based music. In the year 2000 the ASH RA TEMPEL moniker was reborn. Joined by long-time colleague Klaus SCHULZE, the appropriately titled "Friendship" was released. This is the best release by Manuel since "Blackouts" and shows that he hasn't lost his touch. ASH RA TEMPEL is probably the best known band of the German space scene. A SPACE JOURNEY FROM START TO FINISH...!


1. Amboss (19:40)
2. Traummaschine (25:24)

Total Time: 45:04

Line-up / Musicians:
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, voice, electronics
- Hartmut Enke / bass
- Klaus Schulze / drums, electronics

Releases information
LP Spalax 14244 / Spalax 14144 (1971)

"Brain-melting" is the first thing that comes to mind when attempting to describe this music. For me, I need servings from both sides of the progressive coin: structured 'European' type stuff, as well as the unhinged cosmic slop which Germany spilled forth so graciously. This album falls firmly in the "cosmic slop" category -- actually, it may just be the finest example of unadulterated psychedelic mayhem that I've ever heard. Guitar, drums, bass -- two instrumental tracks; equal time is spent drifting serenely in space and going noise explosion. "Amboss" is especially intimidating, with an amp-torturing frenzy in the middle that always leaves me bewildered. If you need to lose yourself in some classic Kraut space-mush, this is the place to do it.


Ashra Website

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