Jun 7, 2015

Sundaze 1523

Hello, so Barca picked up the Champions League trofee tonight, it wasn't Messi's game yet Barca dominated as expected 3-1. In Canada the females started their worldcup with Canada against China, the hometeam got gifted a penalty in extra time 1-0,  boring game. Also in Canada this weekend the  F1 Grand Prix, Mclaren Mercedes poled 1,2 againn as the expected challenger Vettel got some mysterious electronic problem all of a sudden and qualified 16th, he'll have one hell of a job tomorrow, to score some decent points.

Today more fromthat band that has exerted a relatively large influence on later space rock and krautrock bands.  .... N'joy

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Along with Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel (later Ashra) was one of the first bands to convert the trippier side of late-'60s psychedelia into the kosmische rock of the '70s. Most Ash Ra titles were solely the work of Manuel Göttsching, plus any other additional players who happened to be around during the recording of his ten albums. Göttsching trained in classical guitar and studied improvisational music plus electronics at school. In 1970, he formed Ash Ra Tempel with no less than Klaus Schulze (fresh from a brief stint in Tangerine Dream) and Hartmut Enke. All three founding members had previously played together as part of the short-lived group Eruption founded by Conrad Schnitzler. Prior to that Schnitzler and Schulze had worked together in Tangerine Dream.  After a self-titled album in 1971, Schulze left for a solo career; Göttsching continued on with a variety of bandmembers and guests, including Timothy Leary on 1973's Seven Up (and Schulze again, for Join Inn).

Ash Ra Tempel released its self-titled debut album in June 1971. This release is considered by critics to be a classic of the genre; Schulze temporarily departed for a solo career shortly after its release. Schwingungen (1972), Seven Up (with Timothy Leary) (1972), and Join Inn with Schulze again (1973) are all considered key works from the band. The pop-oriented 1973 album Starring Rosi was thus named because it featured lead vocals by Rosi Mueller.

Their music is widely characterized as cosmic and atmospheric. The early albums were more psychedelic-oriented and all had one lengthy track per side: one more powerful and dramatic, the other of a more atmospheric nature. Instead of writing English lyrics, since German language was not popular in rock music at the time, Ash Ra Tempel more or less decided not to have lyrics in their songs.

By 1975, Göttsching had released his first solo album (Inventions for Electric Guitar) and though Ashra returned the following year, the next two records by the "group" were Göttsching-only albums, the brilliant New Age of Earth in 1976 and Blackouts one year later. For the 1980s, most Ashra LPs were band-setting albums (with the assistance of guitarist Lutz Ulbrich and drummer Harald Grosskopf) while Göttsching solo records (like the landmark E2-E4) were, truly, solo records. He also reunited with Schulze to work on Alphaville's 1989 LP, The Breathtaking Blue.

Later, after recording the soundtrack Le Berceau de Cristal (1975; unreleased until 1993) Ash Ra Tempel shortened its name to Ashra, making a more melodic, synthesizer-based music. In 2000 the band was reunited in the line up of Manuel Gottsching and Klaus Schulze. The pair had previously worked together on Schulze's album In Blue.

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Including more vocals (from guest Rosi Mueller) than any early Ash Ra LP, Starring Rosi spans guitar-virtuoso experimental rock (on "Laughter Loving") fairy-tale acoustic pop (on "Day Dream"), and kosmische philosophy (on "Interplay of Forces"). Though it smacks of a school lesson (with Göttsching showing off his skills in a number of different styles), the album holds together surprisingly well.

Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi (flac 187mb)

01 Laughter Loving 8:01
02 Day-Dream 5:22
03 Schizo 2:49
04 Cosmic Tango 2:06
05 Interplay Of Forces 8:57
06 The Fairy Dance 3:08
07 Bring Me Up 4:35

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This album is sometimes credited to Ash Ra Tempel, but the music was composed and performed by Manuel Göttsching alone. All sounds were created with guitar, but Göttsching's use of echo, delay, and assorted treatments give these pieces the flavor of sequenced synthesizer music, occasionally reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's work from the period. The opening "Echo Waves" is a trance-inducing space guitar masterpiece, with repeating rhythm figures and gradual phase shifts creating a warped sense of time. The first 14 minutes of the track consist of short, subtly changing melodic phrases, until Göttsching questionably chooses to close with a searing, acid-fried guitar solo. "Quasarsphere" is much more contemplative, with Göttsching processing his guitar to sound like a synthesizer in the vein of Robert Fripp. The closing "Pluralis" consists of endless variations constructed around a simple guitar sequence; it possesses a structure similar to "Echo Waves" (down to the late-breaking blast of psychedelic soloing) with a bit more space and a slower tempo. In some respects a precursor to the groundbreaking proto-techno of E2-E4, Inventions for Electric Guitar is an essential document for space rock enthusiasts.

Ash Ra Tempel - Inventions For Electric Guitar (flac 220mb)

01 Echo Waves 17:45
02 Quasarsphere 6:35
03 Pluralis 21:35

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Although not released until 1993, Le Berceau de Cristal was originally the soundtrack to Philippe Garrel's 1976 film of that name, providing an appropriately hallucinatory backdrop to Nico's musings and her oneiric encounters with various pseudo-mythological characters. Le Berceau de Cristal shows continuity with 1975's Inventions for Electric Guitar, enveloping listeners in analog ambient-minimalist soundscapes that anticipate the work of subsequent generations of electronic musicians. This time, however, Manuel Göttsching is joined by Agitation Free guitarist Lutz Ulbrich and expands his instrumental palette slightly to include Farfisa organ, synth guitar, and rhythm computer. Working within the seemingly limited parameters of minimalism, the pair infuse this material with a diverse range of dynamics, moods, and textures: "Silence Sauvage" blends drones, magma-like bubbling, and subtly shifting rhythmic figures while "Le Sourire Envolé" sustains a warm, blissful pulse that's metronomic but utterly mesmeric. The most compelling track, "Deux Enfants Sous la Lune," attains a heady, hypnotic complexity evoking Terry Riley's "A Rainbow in Curved Air." While these tracks emphasize detailed repetition, with sparse patterns of notes weaving through intricate sonic canvases, the album also has a more expansive dimension as Göttsching and Ulbrich paint in more bold, sweeping strokes: lulled by austere, atmospheric washes of sound, the 14-minute title track takes listeners on a cosmic journey; similarly epic, the fusion of throbbing drones and spectral, ringing keyboards on "L'Hiver Doux" gathers momentum and urgency. These longer numbers are very much of their time and don't hold up quite as well decades later, yet they stand alongside the best of early-'70s Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Many soundtrack albums aren't as effective without their accompanying visual imagery, but that's not the case with Le Berceau de Cristal, which conjures up its own imaginary film as it bridges the gap between inner and outer space.

Ash Ra Tempel - Le Berceau de Cristal  (flac 236mb)

01 Le Berceau De Cristal 14:15
02 L'Hiver Doux 12:49
03 Silence Sauvage 5:53
04 Le Sourire Volé 6:05
05 Deux Enfants Sous La Lune 6:37
06 Le Songe D'Or 4:25
07 Le Diable Dans La Maison 2:54
08 ...Et Les Fantômes Rêvent Aussi 7:56

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The title was more prophetic than most -- though Earth thankfully isn't quite so bathetic as any number of releases on Windham Hill, by this point Gottsching was well into his electronic phase, the jam freakouts of the earliest albums replaced by a clean, crisp electronic bed. Unlike the rigorous pulse of fellow Krautrock pioneers Kraftwerk, though, Gottsching generally favored a more consciously playful and simply beautiful approach, aiming to create pleasant music to just enjoy and relax to. If not as serious and avant-garde as other artists, Gottsching was still coming up with the goods, so quite why his later albums have been generally ignored in comparison remains a mystery. Opening track "Sunrain" sounds like it could soundtrack a narrativeless documentary on just that, or at least some sequence of nature photography; bright and sparkling, the synths and drum machines blend together nicely. "Ocean of Tenderness" has a similar sense of film accompaniment, being a gentle, minimal flow of keyboard shading, electronic chirps deep in the mix, and a soft lead melody that carefully unwinds throughout the lengthy track, with a low-key bass pulse appearing a few minutes in as contrast. "Deep Distance" lives up to the title nicely, combining sweetly spaced-out drones with minimal percussion that sounds like raindrops as much as anything else as lead melodies slowly come to the fore. "Nightdust," which takes up the original second side of the album, captures the original psych-jam feeling of Ash Ra Tempel more than anything else. A lengthy Gottsching guitar solo, heavily processed and extremely trebly, begins the piece over a series of soft synth shadings, leading to a marvelous composition with chilly, spectral keyboards and, later, deep electronic pulses and more straightforward guitar. It's a spectacular performance, showing that even on his own Gottsching's fire was still present, though aimed in other directions.

Ashra Temple- New Age Of Earth  (flac  222mb)

01 Sunrain 7:28
02 Ocean Of Tenderness 12:36
03 Deep Distance 4:46
04 Night Dust 21:50

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Anonymous said...

Dear Rho, would it be possible for you to re-upload Ash Ra Tempel - Inventions For Electric Guitar?
Once again, thank you kindly for all of your lovely, admirable work!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rho, thank you kindly for your for re-uploading Ash Ra Tempel - Inventions For Electric Guitar, very much appreciated.