Jun 21, 2015

Sundaze 1525

Hello, I'm off enjoying the shortest night on this most ancient of festive days..the solstice

Today the final posting on Ashra (Temple) it proved to be an unexpected success as in there's been lot's of interest for the founding exponent of  space rock and krautrock.   .... 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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After a prolific run in the 1970s, Manuel Göttsching's '80s output with Ash Ra Tempel was greatly reduced and the quality of his work was uneven: Belle Alliance flirted with contemporary synth pop with mixed results; E2-E4 proved influential, resonating with subsequent electronic artists. Recorded in 1988, Walkin' the Desert struck a tasteful balance between Göttsching's experimental inclinations and a more mainstream techno sensibility. The album is an edited version of a performance given with Lutz Ulbrich in Berlin for the Desert Sounds event series (part of the Berlin: European Capital of Culture festival). In its original context, the music was accompanied by readings from works by Otl Aicher, Albert Camus and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and, in keeping with the event's thematic focus on the desert, the record displays recurring Middle Eastern and Asian nuances and motifs. The minimalist influence of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, who inspired some of Göttsching's strongest mid-'70s material, is still evident on "First Movement: Two Keyboards," an arrangement of rippling piano patterns with subtly changing intensities. "Second Movement: Six Voices" initially trades sparse, mantra-like rigidity for expansive synth textures and an austere symphonic gravitas, although the track gradually coalesces with ornate percussive chimes. The album's Eastern dimension is most explicit on the epic "Fourth Movement: Twelve Samples," which weaves a hypnotic tapestry of vocal loops and concludes with what sounds like a muezzin's voice. Despite the emphasis on keyboards, synths and samples, Göttsching doesn't completely forsake his signature cosmic guitar sound on Walkin' the Desert: "Dessert: Eight Tracks" combines soaring guitar lines with plucked strings. This album comprises a sort of musical travelogue -- happily, however, Walkin' the Desert takes listeners on a pleasant and compelling journey.

Ashra - Walking' the Desert (flac 223mb)

01 First Movement: Two Keyboards 8:18
02 Second Movement: Six Voices 8:42
03 Third Movement: Four Guitars 10:29
04 Fourth Movement: Twelve Samples13:50
05 Dessert: Eight Tracks4:28

Ashra - Walking' the Desert (ogg  95mb)

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Manuel Göttsching made the transition to the '80s seemingly without a hitch, his 1984 album E2-E4 proving foundational for subsequent electronic dance music. However, Tropical Heat (recorded in 1985 and 1986 but not released until 1991) was a rare misstep. Accompanied by Harald Grosskopf (electronic drums) and Lutz Ulbrich (guitar, keyboards), Göttsching dabbles in new age musical tourism, infusing excruciatingly clean, synthetic rock with vapid Latin and Caribbean nuances. Unfortunately, this record supports the sort of uninformed criticism often leveled against electronically oriented music: it really is lifeless, soulless, and cold, and while Göttsching might have conceived of Tropical Heat as the soundtrack to some imaginary exotic voyage, it doesn't travel at all well beyond the mid-'80s. "Pretty Papaya" has all the charm of cruise-ship Muzak, with some faux-Hawaiian guitar thrown in; the gratuitous horn samples and synth-drum rolls on "Nights in Sweat" conjure up images of a supper-club band covering Kid Creole; and "Don't Stop the Fan" falls somewhere between limp white reggae and "La Isla Bonita." There's a faintly beautiful melody on "Monsoon," but it gets lost amid the clutter, the main culprit being Grosskopf's antiseptic synth drums, which are irritatingly omnipresent throughout the record. One of the stronger numbers, the busy and bouncy "Mosquito Dance," almost achieves one of Göttsching's signature mesmeric grooves, but after nearly nine minutes, the track ultimately fails to go anywhere, demonstrating the huge difference between hypnotic and plain repetitive. The 1980s really were the great leveler. The era's burgeoning electronic innovations allowed a new generation of artists to make catchy mainstream pop with a relatively small outlay and, often, only a modicum of talent. Nevertheless, many pioneering artists of the '70s struggled in that new environment. More a-ha than Ashra, Manuel Göttsching's uncharacteristic lapse with Tropical Heat is evidence of that.

Ashra - Tropical Heat (flac 251mb)

01 Mosquito Dance 8:44
02 Tropical Heat 4:51
03 Pretty Papaya 6:07
04 Nights In Sweat 8:33
05 Don't Stop The Fan 5:26
06 Monsoon 5:14

Ashra - Tropical Heat (ogg 94mb)

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Recorded in 2000, Friendship marked the return of Krautrock pioneers Ash Ra Tempel, though founding member Manuel Göttsching had been making music under the name Ashra on and off with a host of other players a few years after the 1973 breakup of the band's original lineup. Friendship saw the reunion of Göttsching and fellow Ash Ra Tempel founding member Klaus Schulze, who had spent much of the '70s, '80s and '90s amassing an impressive body of his own solo work. Working as a duo, Göttsching's fantastical guitar leads and Schulze's trademark synth pads are joined by more digital drum programming (also the handiwork of Schulze, who had originally served as the band's drummer back in their earliest days). The album is made up of three lengthy compositions somewhere between trance, deep house, and hints of the early Krautrock experimentalism the band forged in the early '70s.

Ashra - Friendship  (flac 485mb)

01 Reunion 30:40
02 Pikant 21:40
03 Friendship 26:30

Ashra - Friendship  (ogg 186mb)

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Anonymous said...

hi rho-xs i have a special request :Wavetrain, 7-7-7 avanti especially thomas leer contradictions maybe remastered. thanx

Request said...

Thanks for Friendship

Request said...

Walking the Desert - Also cool - Thanks