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Ashra - Walkin' The Desert CD (album) cover

WALKIN' THE DESERT

Ashra

 

Progressive Electronic

3.55 | 21 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The desert has unexpected resources

In 1988, West-Berlin was the european culture capital. During this event, ASHRA performed a concert without Harald Grosskopf, who was not available. Manuel Göttsching and Lutz Ulbrich created a stylistic exercise with different instruments. The compositions were later reworked by the two musicians and released as an album.

"Walkin' the desert" is quite unique in ASHRA's discography. Heterogeneous, its style is completely different from their albums records, and even from what other 70's electronic bands were doing at the same time. No new-age, pre-techno, or accessible melodic synthetizer music here; the approach is more similar to the minimalistic genre developed by pioneers such as Steve Reich. An evidence: each track names the instruments used and their number.

"First Movement" has reminiscences with "New Age of Earth", in the minimalistic style. My least favorite passage of the disc. "Second Movement" displays a relaxing ambiance consists in interlaced atmospheric synth textures, with javanese influences. Its mysterious mood makes you wish to explore an ancient temple.

"Third Movement" can remind a little "Inventions For Electric Guitar", as the guitar plays the role of the electronic sequence. Once more, it shows Manuel Göttsching's mastership with this instrument. The last track, "Fourth Movement", is the most original and "desert"-ic. A good inspired collage of short samples of middle-oriental instruments and songs. The first part is melodic, while the second half is rather ambient. Very refreshing. The 1990 CD edition contains a bonus track, "Dessert". More accessible than the other compositions, it's a pleasant slow melancholic tune.

"Walkin' the desert" is a good surprise compared to most electronic music of the same period. Recommended if you want to discover another facet of ASHRA, and especially if you're into minimalistic genre and Steve Reich.

Modrigue | 4/5 |

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