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Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel CD (album) cover


Ash Ra Tempel



4.15 | 451 ratings

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3 stars ART's self titled debut is a strong 3-star album composed of two psychedelic jams which sound very spacey and atmospheric. In fact, there isnt a hook or a melody to be found this album; just fluid intermeshings of moody and mysterious electronica and guitar accompanied by some solid percussion courtesy of Klaus Schultz in this, his only album with the band. The powerful guitar jamming of Manuel Gottsching is the real highlight as he is a master of a searing tone accentuated by plenty of distortion and reverb.

The first track is the appropriately titled Amboss (Anvil). Im not totally sure what that signifies but this music certainly strikes you like a hammer as it features an absolutely ferocious and mind-blowing guitar freakout by Gottsching. It starts out very light with some simple cymbal runs and some menacing electronics. By around 3.50 the drums kick in and then at 5min the guitar comes in and tears through the remaining 15 min of the track barely pausing to breath. The interplay between drums and guitar on Amboss is great and both build towards a powerful climax by the end of the track. Strong stuff but you can be forgiven for drifting off at times.

The second epic is the much more mellow Traummaschine (Dreammachine) which drifts through 25 min of dark cosmic ambiance punctuated with soft choral wailing with some languid guitar coming in after 10. The track is very.... well dreamy and winds up quietly bringing the album to a close. Its a better track than the previous largely due to it's lack of chaos.

As I said above, overall a strong 3-stars for this debut by one of Krautrock's trippiest bands. Of course, depending on your state of mind, this could easily be a 5-star masterpiece given its sheer power. However, sobriety finds all this jamming directionless and, quite honestly, boring at times. Taken as a whole, this album resembles a psychedelic soup with one soundbite sounding nearly similar to the next. Also, the sound quality isnt the greatest here and the music comes across as feeling rather dated. That being said, this should still be part of any space-rock fan's collection simply due to it's dark intensity.

cohen34 | 3/5 |


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