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Ash Ra Tempel - Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up CD (album) cover

TIMOTHY LEARY & ASH RA TEMPEL: SEVEN UP

Ash Ra Tempel

 

Krautrock

3.19 | 96 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A step back to the sixties

Whereas ASH RA TEMPEL's first two studio efforts - their self-titled debut and "Schwingungen" - were quite adventurous and innovative at the dawn of the 70's, this third album marks an half-decade step back. Why? A possible cause may be that "Seven Up" was done in collaboration with drug pope Timothy Leary. The music is less risky, less trippy, and for an important part, consists in 60's bluesy psychedelic rock'n'roll. Tracks named "Space" and "Time" look promising though, but there are unfortunately no real relation. As always since the debut opus, one side of the disc is more rock-oriented, whereas the other is more ambient and spacey.

One word on the curious title: vocalist Brian Barritt suggested the name "Seven Up" after someone gave the band a bottle of the well-known lemonade mixed with LSD.

Contrarily to what its title may suggest, "Space" is the 'rock-y' track. It's also the least interesting one, as well as one of ASH RA TEMPEL's weakest compositions. The slow and bluesy psychedelic beginning is enjoyable, reminding "Light: Look at your Sun" from "Schwingungen". However, it then fades out and continues with a noisy radio interruption featuring Timothy Leary at nonsense speaking. These useless odd breaks will occur several times during the track... The other parts are unrelated and alternates energetic spacey rock with average basic rock'n'roll. "Space" resembles more an incoherent patchwork from the sixties than a structured suite. Not very original and clearly lacking unity...

A little more convincing composition is "Time", the spacey track. Starting on a tone resembling the self-titled debut's, the music then become either floating, hesitating, weird or atmospheric. Anyway, not much genuinely remarkable. Nonetheless, the biggest surprise of the record is the ending part, simply identical to the finale of "Such and Liebe" from "Schwingungen"! Göttsching and Enke thought they found the soundtrack of heaven, but this is no reason to reuse this section here. What happened to the musicians' creativity?

So, to sum things up, the best part of the disc was already released one year earlier on the previous record... "Seven up" is undoubtedly the least personal effort from ASH RA TEMPEL, as well as the only weak opus from the band. Don't pick this one if you want to go on a musical journey through the deep cosmos.

Fortunately, a former colleague will join on the next album...

Modrigue | 2/5 |

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