Ashra Tempel / Manuel G?ttsching / Astra - The Best Of The Private Tapes

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Manikin Records
Catalog Number: MRCD 7036
Format: CD
Total Time: 144:51:00

The path of a musician is often beset by dangerous traps, both real and imagined, that stand in one's way of achieving things with integrity and of maintaining that elemental sense of curiosity which allows for continual improvement, change, and excitement. Technical hedonism, money, a lust for fame, and other similar lures await those who have chosen to spend their lives dedicated to music, and the number of fallen ones is certainly not few. Even amidst those who constantly avoid the bait, however, there are some that are a bit more predictable than others, and thus will fail to generate the same levels of excitement for some listeners. Manuel Göttsching, on the other hand, is one of the select few that seem to have an unending stream of surprises up their sleeves, and his history as a solo artist and with Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra, partly illustrated via The Best Of The Private Tapes, will leave him standing as an innovative legend in his own right when the dust of popular music finally clears.

This two-disc record is basically a summary of the six-volume The Private Tapes series; a comprehensive guide to the sonic experiments of Göttsching and occasionally his cohorts' as well, and thus is an excellent starting point for those unfamiliar with this man's forays into rock and electronic music. Gliding softly into scope with the guitar gentility and melancholic ambience of "Bois De Soleil," moving through the deliciously funky pseudo-disco Ashra track "Club Cannibal," and floating in a beautifully placid state of reverie on "Ultramarine" is, with all honesty, a pleasure that perhaps should be forbidden. As it has not been though, and since no one will probably assume the odious task of prohibiting something so engaging, the listener is allowed to witness the fluent guitar vocabulary of Göttsching in several backdrops, which could be brutally divided into more rock-oriented suites and electronically gorgeous pieces.

Stunningly lavish in their emotional gorgeousness, the latter constitute the more spiritual segments of The Best Of The Private Tapes, floating with a soft musical aura that betrays the sprinkled electronic tones of a lullaby-like "Begleitmusik Zu Einem Hörspiel (pt.5)" or the consistent hypnosis that "Niemand Lacht Rückwärts" signifies. It would be far too easy for Göttsching, however, to remain constrained by the remarkable sense of etherealness that his experimentation with electronics allowed, and therefore he presents the listener with the haunting "Gedanken" and the ominously menacing "Lotus," both a warning that one is to remain alert and awake to the endless possibilities that await untouched. The funkier rock nature of tracks such as "Ain't No Time For Tears" and "Phantasus," meanwhile, denote an edgier Göttsching blessed with a fluidity akin to that of Carlos Santana and bring the listener into a more immediate plane, in which reality just starts to gain some sense of solidness when one is fired again into the distant realms of electronic unconsciousness.

At the very core of this illustrious journey, however, is not necessarily Göttsching's sense of adventure or of electronic manipulation, but rather the manner in which his hands bring the life out of his guitar and into the open. Perhaps that is the reason why the tracks on this album that also feature the talents of Lutz Ulbrich acquire an increased sense of vibrant energy, as the two players' notes intermingle and create some of the most absorbing moments in Göttsching's entire career. If that is the soul of the parade, may it be blessed and cherished, for what is technology without a heart?

Similar artists: Klaus Schulze, Tim Blake, Tangerine Dream

Released in the US by Purple Pyramid (CLP 0299-2)

Disc One: Bois De Soleil (3:12) / Halensee (Excerpt) (6:28) / Ain't No Time For Tears (7:10) / Der Lauf Der Giraffen (3:16) / Niemand Lacht Rückwärts (11:53) / Begleitmusik Zu Einem Hörspiel (Pt. 5) (4:44) / Wall Of Sound (12:02) / Ultramarine (Excerpt) (13:04) / Whoopee (3:17) / Hausafgabe (Excerpt) (6:59)

Disc 2: Ice Train (6:26) / Phantasus (5:17) / Deep Distance (Excerpt) (13:42) / Begleitmusik Zu Einem Hörspiel (Pt. 5) (4:23) / Ivresse De Soleil (2:58) / Lotus (Excerpt) (9:35) / Club Cannibal (14:45) / Gedanken (7:32) / Bois De La Lune (7:24)

Manuel Göttsching - guitars, keyboards, machines
Other musicians on various tracks

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel (1971)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Seven-Up (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn (1973)
Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi (1973)
Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975/2002)
Ashra - New Age Of Earth (1976)
Ashra - Blackouts (1977)
Ashra - Correlations (1979)
Ashra - Belle Alliance (1980)
E2-E4 (1984)
Ashra - Walkin' The Desert (1989)
Dream & Desire (1991) (recorded 1977)
Ashra - Tropical Heat (1991) (recorded 1985/86)
Ash Ra Tempel - Le Berceau De Cristal (1994)
Ashra - Sunrain: The Virgin Years (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 1 (recorded 1970-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 2 (recorded 1970-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 3 (recorded 1971-1975) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 4 (recorded 1973-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 5 (recorded 1973-1989) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 6 (recorded 1971-1979) (1996)
Ashra - Sauce Hollandaise (1998)
Best Of The Private Tapes (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn/Starring Rosi (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen/Seven-Up (1998)
Ashra - @shra (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Gin Rose: Live (2000)
Ash Ra Tempel - Friendship (2000)
Ashra - @shra Vol. 2 (2002)
Ashra - The Making Of (2002)
Die Mulde (2005)
Concert For Murnau (2005)
E2-E4 Live (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin DE

Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 718
Language: english


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