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Manuel Göttsching - E2-E4 CD (album) cover


Manuel Göttsching


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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Enterely composed, played and produced by Mr Gottsching, this album is really more electro than prog but keep the listener in very bright & innovative compositions. The guitarist follows his first experiences in minimalist, ambiant sounds but his music is more and more dominated by electronic structures... sometimes lacking of humanity ,giving frozen but still fascinating musical background to the compositions. E2-E4 can also be considered as a master work made by a pionner for those who are in modern electro musical's legacy.
Report this review (#23826)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the most important record in the development of electronic music

Recorded in 1981, 7 years after his first masterpiece, E2-E4 (a chess move) consists in one continuous musical theme with variations of nearly one hour composed and played by Manuel Göttsching. The listen is pretty interesting as it mixes 70s' pure "kosmische" german electronica and break-beat sounds emerging at the beginning of the 80s' from the United States, prefiguring house music. The whole tune is built by superposition of spacey repetitive soundscapes.

The song starts slowly with smooth echoes, to become more and energic with rising pulsing rythms. Then appears the main musical riff, both very trippy and dancing. The whole tune features arrangements around this theme. Some hypnotic passages reminds minialistic works by Terry Riley and Steve Reich in a spirit not far from Klaus Schulze's Audentity, which will be released two years later. Sometimes some musical textures dominate, sometime others... There are also quite welcomed floating and calm guitar solos. Although a bit too long, the whole record is pretty enchanting.

Very relaxing and futuristic, both spacey and energic, E2-E4 shows once again that Manuel Göttsching is clearly a true inventive guitarist and a groundbreaking musician ahead of its time. Strongly recommended to electronic ambient music and Klaus Schulze listeners !

Report this review (#111043)
Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The record of existence and the activity of Ash Ra Tempel and Manuel Gottsching can be caught as a very important point in the band in active Germany in the 1970's. And, this album was announced as the first solo album of Manuel Gottsching in 1984. In the part of the music character expressed in this album, the directionality that had to be expressed exactly as the part of the richness of the creativity of Manuel Gottsching might have been established. And, it is necessary to consider the existence of Klaus Schulze who is the old friend of Manuel Gottsching as one of the details of the method of expressing this album.

Expression of music character in synthesizer that Klaus Schulze established it as flow of this situation. Or, the method of the expression concerning music from another angle in Tangerine Dream. Of course, the flow of "Inventions For Electric Guitar" from the music character that contains an initial element of psychedelic for Ash Ra Tempel from which the creation of Manuel Gottsching is splendidly substantially expressed will be evaluated as establishment of one field.

This album is recorded in the studio of Manuel Gottsching on December 12, 1981. The theory said production as the theory actually by the time of about one hour with the recorder material of 2Track remains. However, if the entire content of the album is considered, it is a melody and a rhythm of the repeated synthesizer. And, it is guessed that it was recorded partially separately for the part where Solo of the guitar in the latter half was added to be in most short time. And, the tune will be able to be caught as a composition of almost one though it divides into the part of nine for convenience' sake as a distribution of the name of a song.

This album is recorded in 1981. However, this sound source is said at that time that the shade of meaning of the demo tape was strong according to the theory. Therefore, this sound source is said that Munuel Gottsching had kept it for about three years after it is recorded. However, Manuel Gottsching and Klaus Schulze that had met again in 1984 had details announced at once as an album with some stories it adhered to the sound source.

It was said that this music character that had been announced as an album of Manuel Gottsching had not been so evaluated at that time. Music's expressed one construction with the album. Exhilaration one feels for repetition and rhythm to make good use of synthesizer. And, the melody with some coming in succession. These are by contraries fields of techno and minimal. And, it is recognized again by the height of the evaluation by DJ. It is said that Sueno Latino of House Team of Italy actually formally takes charge of Remix of this album and some Version exists.

"E2-E4" is a repetition of the rhythm that catches the age. And, the sound of the part of Bass and the decorated upper register. Flow of obbligati to consider strings. The part of minimal and techno is splendidly put on a complete rhythm and it expresses it. The melody of the repetition that shines further when five minutes are passed comes in succession in the tune. The flow that gradually gives the change to the melody and the sound of the decoration while stabilizing a basic rhythm is reminiscent of the kaleidoscope by the sound. The tune changes gradually in facing ten minutes. The rhythm and the melody that flows in the space increase the anacatesthesia and exhilaration one feels. The change in the program by rhythm Box might be indeed splendid. Construction of flow that more electronic element is emphasized from the first part of 13 minutes delimited by convenience. The melody and the transparent feeling expressed by the sketch change one after another every about five minutes. When 20 minutes are passed, a steady melody increases the anacatesthesia further for 25 minutes. The element of techno and the part of the transformer might be the gaga parts that Manuel Gottsching exactly produces. A glossy guitar appears when 30 minutes are passed. The rhythm of techno and minimal with a steady melody runs about the space with solo of the guitar. When 35 minutes are passed, the rhythm receives the top further emphatically. Part where cutting of guitar came in succession and part where melody combines with rhythm. The tune that progresses with various respects is decided for 40-45 minutes. 55 minutes from the last 50 minutes advance in the reverberation of the tune and the part of reverberations. However, the emphasized construction of the rhythm, techno, and the part of minimal are consistently united.

I might feel the establishment of the music character that this album expressed different as a situation. However, this album that Manuel Gottsching expressed might be a historical page caught from another angle as one of the music characters with an electronic element of Germany.

Report this review (#264871)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Göttsching's second album released under his own name. It was one of the pieces he sent to his friend Klaus Schulze when asked if he had anything fit for release on Schulze's new InTeam label. At 58 minutes it's a challenging listen but it's certainly the first relevant Göttsching/Ashra release since New Age of Earth.

E4-E2 is one continues electronic piece that marks a transition from progressive electronic to a sort of proto-techno. A persistent but not overtly prominent break beat is fleshed out with trancey synth arpeggios that remain largely unchanged for 58 minutes. Halfway in Göttsching adds brilliant clean guitar soloing that lends a lush and spacey feel and makes the song engaging all the way through. Well, at least to this electro-fan.

An important and delightful album and one of the better electronic albums of the 80s, right before the 90s would see an explosion of bands inspired by the 70s progressive electronic pioneers.

Report this review (#380377)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
4 stars A giant leap for electronic music - Out of Time

Folks around here should definitely be cautious when approaching this highly original effort from Manuel, because unlike what he did with Ash Ra Tempel, Ashra or even on his first solo album - you can actually dance to this. I have been a part of the electro underground in Copenhagen for some years now and therefore also been introduced to several of the founding fathers - the head honchos of the genre, but never ever come across anybody who knows Manuel Göttsching. Well this avid listener feels obligated, whenever he meets like minded spirits, to broaden their repertoires and views, and I´ll tell you that this particular record struck a chord within these electrified beings, who normally only pay attention to b-b-b-beats and bas. One actually grabbed a hold on me with tears in his eyes and told me, he had been searching for this record all of his life...

E2-E4 is a precursor of what would happen 10 years after its release - remember this album was made in 1981, well before The Orb, Prodigy, Future Sound of London etc. The music is loops upon loops, with rhythmic orgasmic synths that squeek and squak just like your momma when she´s jumping on mice in sheer terror. In the background there seems to be giant oceanic waves of sound that slowly and very controlled lap up against the small myriad of melodies that feed off each other to form new melodies. An ever moving mosaic of sound with minuscule changes, which makes you feel as if you were floating on a river raft all according to the flow of water beneath you - and when Manuel finally whips out his guitar, you could swear that you were attached to a trillion helium balloons flying on warm summery breezes high above the earth. The way he plays is so gentle and warm - he sort of makes you feel at ease and welcome inside his floating universe. There are times when I get goosebumps - and to be quite honest, that is something of a new experience for me when I am dancing...

This record is a voyage then, and one you need not be afraid of. It inspires dancing, meditation, thoughtfulness, relaxation and the act of love - with this album being one of the only prog ones I own, that I successfully put on when I´ve been lucky enough to bag a female creature, without them saying something along the lines of: Turn that crazy [&*!#] off - I am going insane!!! Had this been the Progressive Electronic Archives, I´d give this shining jewel a five.

Report this review (#385446)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I read from AllMusic that this is regarded as an Electornic Music masterpiece, and also here it has very good rating. I'm sad to say I don't really get the greatness. I've heard a Manuel Göttsching track called 'Time' on a various artists compilation (on the Innovative Communication label which has long ago been my major source of education in the Electronic Music field), which is very nice. And when I listened to this CD I immediately recognized the music, not exactly one-to-one but almost.

But then two things baffled me. First I was disappointed to see that the disc had just one track, 59 minutes long, even if the music is divided into 9 parts on paper. And the music... it continued... and continued... more or less the same for the whole hour. Per se it is very fine music, extremely fresh-sounding and bright, produced by guitars and electronics. But you see, when I have already a tight (6-minute or so) version of it, this CD was an anti-climax for me. I confess I didn't bother to listen to it for a second round completely, to see how much the music exactly progresses (how notable changes between the section), but it seemed to be quite minimal and therefor not justifying to have 59 minutes of it, without a possibility to pick up the highlights from the one single continuum. So, only three stars.

Report this review (#416029)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars My husband never stops in his attempts to expose me to different types of prog. Lately it's been a bit uphill (Cluster 71? eeek!) but I was somewhat pleasantly surprised when he popped this into the cd player of the car.

I admit to a bit of A.D.D. with music, and around the 8 minute mark I chirped out "OK, well time to hear the next song..." The husband laughed out loud at me, when it circled around to the beginning of track one again. /blush

I don't claim to know a whole lot about music, but I know what I like. And that's why I'm bothering to submit a review. This was one of the most fun and upbeat cds I've heard in a long time, mixing a somewhat repetitive electronic section with guitar melodies. I'd recommend this for a long car drive - especially if a stop for ice cream is involved.

Report this review (#804039)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars After leading Ash Ra Tempel through several albums worth of cosmic krautrock German multi-instrumentalist Manuel Gottsching pursued a highly-experimental solo career that produced, amongst others, this proto-techno marathon from 1984. Essentially one enormous fifty-eight minute long electronic composition spread over nine different 'sections', 'E2 - E4' seems to be the missing link between Klaus Schulze-style synthesized psychedelia and modern, beat-based dance music. Its a whole world away from Gottsching's early-seventies work with Ash Ra Tempel, yet for those with an interest in the Berlin School sound, Schulze's solo material and the classic krautrock of both Neu! and Kraftwerk 'E2 - E4' should prove a real treat. Repetition is the order of day here, as Gottsching navigates a course through what can be best described as psych-techno, the bouncy, synth-dusted melodies pinned to a cyclical groove that maintains its constant rhythm throughout the album,whilst the latter stages find electric guitars and silky keyboard washes added to the equation. If you can take the head-nodding groove and deliberate lack of variation, this epic electro-mix should find you tapping your toes deep into the night. But is krautrock? Is it dance? That's for you to decide... STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Report this review (#820789)
Posted Friday, September 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Perhaps because he already had an ample musical outlet in the form of Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra, Manuel Göttsching didn't really put out many solo albums early on in his career - he only managed one in the 1970s, and this is his sole effort of the 1980s. It's a decent enough effort, Göttsching adapting gracefully to the incorporation of 1980s synthesisers into his music and producing a nearly hour-long composition that feels like the missing link between sprawling Krautrock electronic visions of the 1970s and sleek ambient and dance efforts of subsequent decades, though the extra shine and polish makes it feel soulless compared to the psychedelic space trips of Gottsching's earlier work. If you're only going to put out one album in the 1980s, it might as well be a good one; this one is decent enough not to be an embarrassment, whilst also standing as a reminder why Gottsching doesn't put out more solo work.
Report this review (#1076353)
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The culmination of many years' work, Gottsching produced a masterwork that left it's fingerprints all over new wave and popular 80's house and dance music. On a listenability scale, this may rank low for some. The loping beats and trancing flourishes are prone to lulls, yet remain exciting for the seasoned listener. The influence factor is off the charts for this one though, as progressive clubs in from Munich to Casablanca to London incessantly played this music, eventually morphing it into dancepop in the New Order Depeche Mode style. Progressive in every sense, the reach far exceeds the grasp. I can see how the Phideaux, Genesis, Anekdoten crowd wouldn't appreciate this album, but it's a progressive masterpiece in the true sense of the word. A fine cover and a rare release under his own name make two cherries on top.
Report this review (#1434422)
Posted Friday, July 3, 2015 | Review Permalink

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