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Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi CD (album) cover

STARRING ROSI

Ash Ra Tempel

 

Krautrock

3.30 | 54 ratings

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4 stars As can be seen, this album is made of shorter tracks that don't venture directly off into space but instead present a range of styles, in shorter not always very developed tracks that possess song-structure characteristics to mild and varying degrees. A broader variety of instrumentation here (sometimes acoustic guitar, synthesizer, female and male vocals, hand drums and shakers, psychedelic effects, mellotron...) and a generally mellower sound. Drums are not always present and jam qualities are less overt, though they do permeate the album. The album is bit inconsistent in quality, as well as fairly short at about 35 minutes. Definitely worth a listen for fans of Krautrock, and different in interesting ways from the better albums 'Join Inn' and 'Ash Ra Tempel'.

The album sounds a bit like a precursor to some Ashra albums ('Blackouts' and 'Correlations') in guitar/melody territory, and indeed the only instrumentalist present on any of the other Ash Ra Tempel albums is Manuel Gottsching (Rosi Mueller, Gottsching's girlfriend, did provide vocals on "Jenseits" on 'Join Inn'). Only "Day Dream," "Schizo" and "Interplay of Forces" really contain much resemblance to prior albums, and while generally less accessible than the rest of the music on this album, they are much more accessible than earlier material. Harald Grosskopf's drums are unsatisfying at times (e.g. "Bring Me Up"), because they can be a bit too minimal and dull in that way, and feel stilted. Some of the songwriting is amateurish and sounds a bit naive. Dieter Dierks, while a good producer, doesn't seem to be a great bass player though he was certainly capable.

My favorites are "Schizo" (a sad and compelling spacey almost Floyd-like trip out) and "Interplay of Forces" (a nice melodic rhythmic kraut jam). Of the others, "Laughter Loving" is good but too light-hearted (sounds a bit like stereotypical Hawaiian music) and begins with Rosi's overtly trippy and annoying echoed pseudo-laughing. "Day Dream" presents a reflective psychedelic melody/mood and has potential but gets a bit old from lack of song development and has silly lyrics (about a gypsy queen who lives in rainbow land who is sad because she doesn't know what's going on in the world, but learns from Achilles to look into a crystal ball), as well as poor male vocals. "The Fairy Dance" is a mellow and flowery melodic track and "Bring Me Up" is somewhat dull but decent enough to sustain interest.

All in all, a good krautrock album (and better IMO than the somewhat dull 'Schwingungen' and the hopeless 'Seven Up').

3.65

listen | 4/5 |

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