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Ashra - New Age Of Earth CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.02 | 172 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Entirely Manuel

When German pioneers Ash Ra Tempel decided to call it a day in 1973, guitarist Manuel Göttsching took some time to decide how to further his career. A solo album ("Inventions for Electric Guitar") appeared in 1975 then a couple of years later Göttsching decided to resurrect an abbreviated version of his former band's name, and Ashra was born. By this time, Göttsching's attention had shifted away from lead guitar, his interest in the keyboard opportunities band mate Klaus Schulze had been exploring leading him to incorporate such sounds in his next project. Rather than put a band together, Göttsching decided that he and he alone would be Ashra, with everything you hear on this Ashra's first album being played by him.

The album and track titles and also the lengths give a good indication of what to expect here, the album perhaps reflecting the new age nature of these four pieces. There are strong echoes of fellow travellers Tangerine Dream and their various offshoots to be heard throughout, the album being firmly rooted in electronica. Göttsching does not give up on guitar completely though although it is by no means a key part of the sound of this album (the cover picture is of Göttsching with guitar in hand though).

The opening "Sunrain" is a fairly lively affair, the lush, melodic synth ambience being supported by a strong electronic rhythm. Göttsching avoids the pitfalls sometimes associated with such music by varying the melody on a regular basis throughout. The 12˝ minute "Oceans of tenderness" initially takes us deep into new age territories, with liquid effects drifting over swirling synth. A gentle, tidal rhythm gradually invades the ambience, the overall effect having a slightly Celtic flavour.

"Deep distance" is really a continuation of "Sunrain", the sound and pace being virtually the same; it is highly addictive though. The fourth and final piece is the (almost) 22 minute "Nightdust". The track is very Tangerine Dream like in structure and sound. The first half or so is given over to meandering spacey sounds and drifting electronics. As a defined rhythm is brought in a more organised mood is captured. As a whole, the track is over-long, but pleasant nonetheless.

In all, a relaxing, enjoyable album which, while never pushing the boundaries of electronica or Krautrock, remains a commendable album in either genre.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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