Downtown, Power Drive, Right Hand Lover, Velvet Genes (Medley)
Review: Back in 2015, Ash Ra Tempel co-founder Manuel Gottsching was booked to play a solo live set at Melbourne's Supersense Festival. Instead, he turned up with a trio of musicians - drummer Oren Ambarchi, synth wizard Stags Chamberlain and lo-fo pop hero Ariel Pink on bass and vocals - and performed reinvented versions of tracks from Ash Ra Tempel's first two albums, Schwingungen and Seven Up. This album presents highlights from that performance, of which the third track - a superb, stretched-out medley featuring superb solos from Gotssching and hazy, out-there vocals from Ariel Pink - stands out. Of course, it's all wonderfully evocative in that now familiar Ash Ra Tempel Sound; chiming closer "Schqingungen", a proto-ambient classic re-born, is majestic.
Review: The legendary Manuel Gottsching restarted his seminal Ash Ra Tempel project upon invitation to the Supersense Festival of the Ecstatic on August 8, 2015 at the Arts Centre of Melbourne in Australia. He had quite the supporting cast too: not his original bandmates, but current heroes of experimental rock in the form of Ariel Pink (on vocals and bass) and Melbournians Oren Ambarchi of Editions Mego (gong) and Shags Chamberlain on keyboards and synths. It was Gottsching's wife, Ilona who came up with the idea of performing some Ash Ra Tempel classics and that is when the idea for the 'Experience' was born. He decided to perform pieces from the albums 'Schwingungen' and 'Seven Up' (both from 1972) and contacted the aforementioned artists: who much to his surprise were very familiar with his work and happily agreed to the project.
Review: You'll probably already be acquainted with the name Manuel Gottsching - and you should be - but just in case you aren't, he was a pillar of Ash Ra Tempel's golden years and, among other of his contemporaries, was a pioneer of the genre that is often dubbed 'new age'. E2-E4 was a 1984 solo album from the man, and is certainly up there with the likes of Steve Reich's best minimal material, although it has often gone relatively unnoticed. MG Art from Germany have done us the favour of reissuing this monumental release, and we're utterly awestruck by how contemporary and fresh this album still is. In fact, one could say that a tune like "31'38" is the basis for the sound championed by new labels like Mood Hut, where a significantly danceable beat is laid above placid, warm harmonics. Similarly, "23'00" is just as balearic and phased out but, once again, we just can't believe how great this music still sounds more than thirty years later. Warmly recommended.