Ash Ra Tempel
Since the interest in the movement was reignited during the 1990s and early 2000s, the reissue market has taken countless deep dives into krautrock and kosmische. This movement, emerging in Germany during the late 1960s and extending across the 1970s and '80s, was simply a loose constellation of artists and bands - often working with little or no awareness of each other - that fused avant-garde approaches with elements of rock (in addition to sometimes prog, psychedelia, jazz, and any number of other touchstones) to create remarkably unique forms of countercultural music. Over the last twenty or so years, much of the reissue market has focused its energies toward the more obscure projects within the movement, often overlooking the early output of seminal projects like Kraftwerk, Cluster, Can, Faust, and Amon Düül. Among the most notable of this later group is Ash Ra Tempel, one of the great efforts in experimental psychedelia to emerge from Germany during the decades following the Second World War. For years, the band's discography - created between 1971 and 1976 - remained almost entirely out of print. Thankfully, having already delivered stellar vinyl reissues of the band’s seminal albums “Schwingungen”, “Seven Up”, and “Join Inn”, MG.ART returns with a long awaited (and slightly belated) 50th anniversary vinyl reissue of Ash Ra Tempel’s towering 1971 self-titled debut. Pressed in two editions, respectively on black and clear vinyl, with its remastering and recutting carefully overseen by Manuel Göttsching, housed in a Quadro Fold Out Sleeve - exactly replicating the original Ohr die-cut jacket - and accompanied by an A2 Poster, and a bilingual A4 Inlay with original bio sheet written by Göttsching in 1970, this swirling force of radical sonority has long been regarded as one of the greatest LPs ever produced by the krautrock / kosmische scene. Absolutely amazing and essential as they come!
Founded in 1970 by the guitarist Manuel Göttsching, the drummer Klaus Schulze, and the bassist Hartmut Enke, Ash Ra Tempel was born from the ashes of Conrad Schnitzler's short-lived group Eruption, within which all three of its members had played. Regarded as pioneers of German cosmic rock - incorporating the radical temperaments and techniques of avant-garde and electronic music into its creations - in their short-lived, original incarnation - only appearing on its 1971 self-titled debut - the trio shunned conventional composition and songwriting, in favour of free-improvisation and wild free form jams. Following Schulze’s departure later in 1971, the band would embrace a rotating cast of drummers and musicians, producing six more full-length, before morphing into a solo venture for Göttsching under the shortened title of Ashra.
Regarded as a landmark and founding document of the krautrock and kosmische scene, Ash Ra Tempel’s self-titled debut - recorded by Conny Plank and originally issued by the legendary imprint Ohr in 1971 - is an astounding gesture of cosmic psychedelia that lays crucial German counterpoint to the roughly contemporaneous efforts by Pink Floyd, Gong, and Hawkwind, as well as laying the significant groundwork for the development of ambient music and later shoegaze and projects like Spacemen 3, Acid Mothers Temple, and Bardo Pond. Comprising two side-long guitar heavy jams - “Amboss” and “Traummaschine” - which set up a conversational structure that would be pursued across many of the bands subsequent releases.
Considering its towering creativity and historical importance, it’s confounding to think Ash Ra Tempel’s self-titled debut has remained out of print on vinyl for decades, making MG.ART’s long awaited, brand new 50th anniversary that much more important, necessary, and exciting.
Pressed in two editions, respectively on black and clear vinyl, with its remastering and recutting carefully overseen by Manuel Göttsching, housed in a Quadro Fold Out Sleeve - exactly replicating the original Ohr die-cut jacket - and accompanied by an A2 Poster, and a bilingual A4 Inlay with original bio sheet written by Göttsching in 1970, this is easily among the top ten krautrock / kosmische / cosmic records every laid to tape. Truly incredible and as essential as they come.