Friday, March 27, 2009

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel

Ash Ra Tempel, "Amboss" (YSI link) 320

Time to fly our German freak flag, as we begin to dip into the krautrock pool. I want to first have us worship at the Ash Ra Tempel, one of the most influential of the genre. Formed in the 1970s from the ashes of the Conrad Schnitzler's short lived group Eruption, the band featured Manuel Gottsching on guitar, Hartmut Enke on bass and Klaus Schulze on drums and keys. Those are some serious names, so it's not surprise that they would create some of the spaciest, most cosmic music ever made.

This track is the A side to their first self-titled LP, released in 1971. The only word that comes to mind is epic. Or is it massive? Or is it psychedelic? Ah, who cares? This is an amazing 20 minute journey that takes you through various stops, from quiet contemplative to loud shredding. It starts off with a drone-y soundscape that slowly but surely builds, as the drums get more active. You're nearly 6 minutes in until Gottsching's guitar starts to take the lead with some jams. I'm not gonna say too much more about this, other than to say that some of the most amazing moments come after the 15 minute mark, when the heaviest, sludgiest rock band ever shows up. Put it on, head to the park, lie down and drop out.

Go immediately and cop this album at Forced Exposure, as I promise it will be out of print soon. It's already gone at Aquarius and these krautrock gems come quickly and disappear for long stretches. Much more to come on this front, please send along any recommendations you have for me, as I am far from an expert.

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