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Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn CD (album) cover

JOIN INN

Ash Ra Tempel

 

Krautrock

3.92 | 114 ratings

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Certif1ed
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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Can the Can

A pair of extended jams forms this late-night session backing track of an album.

The first is not unlike any garage band, in terms of guitar and bass work - right down to the musicians apparently not noticing that the instruments drift out of tune - and why would they, with the level of concentration that's required to keep a jam going for 20-odd minutes.

This album was clearly made for the musicians' own entertainment, and contains nothing particularly experimental or progressive - nothing, in fact that you might not already have heard on albums released years earlier.

The most remarkable thing about the first jam, "Freak'n'Roll", is Schulze's drum work, which is desparately on edge the whole way through, perfectly carrying the somewhat lost and aimless guitar and bass noodling giving an overall impression of something that Can might have produced in their free time. Most of the guitar is either pentatonic or modal bluff, or simple 2-chord rhythms, and the bass tries hard to settle into a simple groove at every given opportunity, but completely lacks the flair of Holgar Czukay.

The biggest problem with it is that it builds to a climax around 2:20 - and, having given everything so early, has little to contribute in the remaining 17 and a half minutes. As I said, Schulze's drumming holds most of the interest, so if you can ignore the annoying, buzzing gadfly of a guitar, and the lethargic and lugubrious bass, keeping them in the background of your mind, then this piece is reasonably engaging until the end. The re-introduction of the oscillator in the closing few minutes, over the hideously extended burn out, apparently based on "Born to be Wild" adds a light early Hawkwind touch, but by now the bass is too out of tune for comfort!

Jenseits is the best part of 25 minutes of the same, but different. Tremulous synths and Rosi Müller's space whispers conjure up a Gong-like soundscape, mercifully free of Davied Allen, and a Waters style bass, still suffering from intonation issues, predictably drives the soundscape towards, well, a much more unpredictable section in which the bass is dropped!

Here we're more in Tangerine Dream territory - until the painful bass returns. It's so bad that I find this track very difficult to listen to - which is a shame, as there are plenty of rich synth sounds, all drifting along nicely and painting a nicely lysergic watercolour of sound to the closing minutes.

In summary, a reasonable addition to an existing Kraut/Komische collection, but not one for people who are sensitive to intonation issues. There are plenty of better examples for those new to the genre - and plenty of earlier examples for historians. For example, Freak'n'Roll is a bit like Cream, but without the heavy and fuzzed-up bits, or Can without the composed minimalism - "Monster Movie" would be a better alternative album to own.

**Collectors Only**

Certif1ed | 2/5 |

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