Friday, July 11, 2008


Some Ashra stuff in the museum

Manuel Göttsching Tokyo Wax Museum (2008)

Modest, quiet, bad with self-promotion and with answering the phone, composer and multi instrumentalist (he's one of the best on guitar :-)) Manuel Göttsching is instead content to stay at home meditating on his next project by painting his Berlin's flat windows, but yet, he is prominently exhibited as a wax model in Asia's largest Wax Museum, in the Tokyo Tower:, showcasing him as a world class musician.

This legendary guitarist of the 70's funky Germany has profoundly influenced today's electronic music, and his compositions are performed by contemporary ensembles like Zeitkratzer, by classical pianists as well as jazz musicians.

Beginning as Ash Ra Tempel, later Ashra, then solo as Manuel Göttsching, creating and originating the German music scene together at a time when groups like Tangerine Dream, Agitation Free, Kraftwerk and Can, to name a few, put music made in Germany on the map.

While there has always been and still is an Anglo-American musical influence, this new musical movement did not try to reproduce what they heard, but to make something new!

Since at the time the German language was not popular in rock music, most performers wrote lyrics in English, and as Ash Ra Tempel refused to play that commercial game, they more or less decided not to have lyrics at all!

Manuel Göttsching enjoyed a creative environment, surrounded by painters, musicians, film makers and fashion designers. He composed and performed live music for various fashion shows by Claudia Skoda and customized runway show music for fashion designer Wolfgang JOOP!

If you still cannot put your finger on the person that I am presenting here, one of the most celebrated pieces he recorded is the 1981 E2-E4, which has also been remixed as "Sueno Latino".

“Ain’t no time for Tears”, sees the classic Ashra line-up go all funky and latin. A steel drum intro
builds to a powerful groove, before the band slowly fades in – a great beginning to a composition which has a lot in common with Santana’s early recordings and again is highlighted by a playful and melodically flowing Göttsching guitar solo.
On both compositions, Claussell has apparently left the tapes intact and merely added some beats and an organ – his organic approach is a welcome diversion from the egoistic and unrecognisable remixes of most techno acts. BY TOBIAS FISCHER .
Ain't no time for tears

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