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ASH RA TEMPEL

Ash Ra Tempel

Krautrock


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Ash Ra Tempel Ash Ra Tempel album cover
4.14 | 264 ratings | 31 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Amboss (19:40)
2. Traummaschine (25:24)

Total Time: 45:04

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, voice, electronics
- Hartmut Enke / bass
- Klaus Schulze / drums, electronics

Releases information

LP Spalax 14244 / Spalax 14144 (1971)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ASH RA TEMPEL Ash Ra Tempel ratings distribution


4.14
(264 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
37%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ASH RA TEMPEL Ash Ra Tempel reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by corbet
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Brain-melting" is the first thing that comes to mind when attempting to describe this music. For me, I need servings from both sides of the progressive coin: structured 'European' type stuff, as well as the unhinged cosmic slop which Germany spilled forth so graciously. This album falls firmly in the "cosmic slop" category -- actually, it may just be the finest example of unadulterated psychedelic mayhem that I've ever heard. Guitar, drums, bass -- two instrumental tracks; equal time is spent drifting serenely in space and going noise explosion. "Amboss" is especially intimidating, with an amp-torturing frenzy in the middle that always leaves me bewildered. If you need to lose yourself in some classic Kraut space-mush, this is the place to do it.

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#23712) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 19, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If you love the old "Space Tripp?in" thing then ASH RA TEMPEL is just the thing the Doctor ordered. ASH RA TEMPEL?s 1st album is a classic in the genre of Space Rock led by guitarist Manuel Gottsching and a very young Klaus Schulze (percussion and electronics). Their 1st album really has a split personality and offers 2 very different landscapes for the listener from the chaos of the first 20 Mins epic "Amboss" (Anvil) to the tranquil "Traummaschine" (Dream Machine) which both seem to be born from the same cosmic voyage. Amboss is a heavy cosmic acid space journey which seems to draw the listener effortlessly into the wake of the TEMPEL. Along the way you are surrounded by Gottsching?s crazy guitar playing and Schulze?s frantic drumming and electronic smogasbourg. Track 2 (25 mins) is much less frantic and seems to by opposition draw the listener back inside the TEMPLE but this time into a very different region. "Traummaschine" relies much heavier here on the electronic meditation and instead builds into a very deep and slow space climax which seems very soothing and will send you off into another dimension. Overall this is a superior reproduction and sound is very well preserved considering the age offering nice speaker separation throughout. This is a great recording to sit back and put on the old headphones. Highly Recommended .

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#23714) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Simply one of the all-time great Krautrock albums, this is the original ASH RA TEMPEL lineup with Manuel Göttsching, Hartmut Enke, and Klaus Schulze (who just left TANGERINE DREAM following the release of "Electronic Meditation"). Still at this point, Schulze was handling the drums, rather than keyboards that he's most famous for. There are only two side-length cuts. "Amboss" is totally mindblowing guitar-oriented jam that's not unlike the most intense moments of "Electronic Meditation", I guess that shouldn't be any surprise as both were recording on Ohr, and Schulze was involved in both. "Traummaschine" (German for "Dream Machine") is a much more relaxed, spooky sounding piece, mostly relying on ambience, with the guitar only rearing its head occasionally. Another mindblowing piece for the total opposite reason as "Amboss".

This is truly one of the first ASH RA TEMPEL albums you should try, especially because there are no vocals (except for some wordless vocals on "Traummachine" which are rather pleasant). The original LP on Ohr comes with a fold-out cover, sorta similar to ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery" (but without the diecut), or that obscure late '60s Portland, Oregon act called Touch (the band that recorded for the Coliseum label, that is, as opposed to too many other bands with that name). Spalax in France also reissued this on LP, but unfortunately lacks the gimmick fold-out and instead includes a little booklet (the same kind of booklet used on the Spalax CD reissue as well). A true must have for all space rock and Krautrock junkies out there!

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#23715) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Recorded in March 71, ART is the debut of the second major group that Klaus Schulze managed to rise from the ashes and soon let it fly on its own to its great destiny. After Tangerine Dream, before the Cosmic Joker ventures (where he shall find Gottschinng again) and well before his own solo synth wizard career, KS was first a drummer and not a shabby by judging his playing on this album. With Hartmut Henke on bass and real leader Gottsching on guitar, ART's first album is another milestone in Krautrock's history among the early TD albums, Guru Guru's early tripped-out albums, Embryo's more world jams, ADII's utter-psyched-out folk and rock, Can's minimalist early 70's albums etc.

Just two tracks on this impressive space rock album, that somehow is much rawer than Guru's UFO album (if you can believe that), ART was recorded in Hamburg by producer Conny Plank and sported a stunning mythical Egypt artwork that opened down the middle and was release on the legendary Ohr label which makes it (in its original form) now an expensive item. While not really trying to reproduce it faithfully, the French label Spalax put out an excellent CD reissue in the early 90's and it is all you'll need for your space endeavours.

Amboss is one masterful number full of wild spacey guitars and solid drumming from Klaus Schulze, solid bass thumping from hence, Plank just content on recording it straight onto the master tapes under the principle that if you diddle too much in the studios, you end up taking all spontaneity from the recordings. The second side is as you might have guessed from the title (Dream machine) very dreamy and quite easier to adapt, even if some might get bored at the non-eventful ambient cosmic strut that takes its time developing. This second tracks is definitely more Floyd-ian.

This debut sets the standard blueprint for the next ART albums as the first side is a side long number full of energy and the second side is more reflective. Historically important, this Cd is a tough choice as are all ART albums as when considering the density of the music, this is relatively empty in terms of the usual "prog" canvas of constantly changing rhythms and very complex structures. Here we get the opposite, but it was certainly one hell of a groundbreaker. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#23716) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Review by Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album has a very primitive feel to it but it may be just a cover to scare away all you pop fans. Because if you really listen to this with full attention you will become lost in the music and begin to expereicne how truely gifted these musicians are. This cd is a jounrey that gets better with each passing listen as you develop a taste for the band and grow use to them. ART is a very unique band. I would consider them a mix between Jam Band, krautrock, space and psychadelic with some heavy elements thrown in on side one and more ambient sounds on side 2.

I also must add that as debuts go, this is amazing and even one of ash ra tempels better cds. Pick it up, good for newbies and veterns to ART and prog in general alike!

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Send comments to Carl floyd fan (BETA) | Report this review (#23717) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very spacey and atmospheric debut from Ash Ra Tempel, reminds me of early Pink Floyd mixed with Tangerine Dream, only even more interesting. There are only two songs here, both over the 19-minute mark, but the songs are never really boring, except for some parts that drags on for long sometimes. The mood on this album is dark and typically space rock-ish. It's a promising journey musically though slightly flawed, Otherwise a very interesting Krautrock album which represents the genre very well.

I give it a 4 out of 5. Recommended if you want to hear something different.

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#86294) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The career of Ash Ra Tempel begins with sorrowful, slow, quiet and soft drones, rising from void slowly and peacefully, full with yearning. As they reach out from the stagnant basic tune, drums start to escalate with primitive patterns, and soon the calm space starts to resemble the instrumental part of Jimi Hendrix Experience's song "I Don't Live Today". This is not the most successful of their improvisations, but maybe they were still learning here, and the jam has very good parts in it still. Especially in the end of "Amboss" Manuel Göttsching truly shines along with Klaus Schulze.

The second song "Traummaschine" begins with Tangerine Dream reminding surreal and ethereal wall of sounds. This large calm space has also probably some Mellotron choirs in it, which paint an aural fresco of pure harmony. There are very delicate movements here, and it's a beautiful contrast to their chaotic and atavistic rock element, as these two opposing styles create wonderful and imaginative patterns when clashing. Later a surrealistic, mysterious rock improvisation arises. This is not as aggressive voyage as the first side of this LP, and after about ten minutes the sounds slowly fade back to the emptiness where they came.

Overall this is quite similar album as their forthcoming "Join Inn" record, as they both have only two tracks filling both sides of the album. Also in both cases the first song is more aggressive beatnik rock improvisation, and the second one is an ethereal realm of sounds. This is a very good album, but "Join Inn" menaces my mind still as a much better LP.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#86385) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is a significant Krautrock album from 1971. No this is a monster Krautrock album from 1971. You have to love the dynamic duo of Schulze and Gottsching, and it's interesting to hear Schulze on the drums instead of on the keyboards as he was with TANGERINE DREAM. Manuel Gottsching's guitar work is perfect for this style of music, I never tire of his melodies that go on and on.

This record is made up of two side long suites.The first song "Amboss" evolves slowly with the sound pulsating in and out while the drums create the hypnotic rhythm that builds in strength. The guitar leads are great in this song. The song gets experimental 13 minutes in before we get back to some incredible guitar melodies around the 16 minute mark.

The second song "Traummaschine" is far more tranquil and it opens with a spooky and spacey soundscape of electronics. Percussion comes in later that I really like.There is a brief guitar outbreak after 14 minutes upsetting the ambient atmosphere. This is pushed even further after 18 minutes with some scorching guitar solos.Yes !

I love this band and this album along with "Join Inn" are my favourites from them, but please check out "Schwingungen" and "Seven Up" two other classic Krautrock records.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#113227) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Apologies to all Prog-heads who yearn for melodicism, structure and mathematical complexity in what they listen to, this one may not be for you.... Originating from the 'Krautrock' movement of early 70's Germany, ASH RA TEMPEL was a phenomenal band of 3 free-thinking figures - two of which were to make many highly respected and important contributions to the burgeoning experimental electronic scene that was to take the world by storm (so to speak) in just a few years time from this release. Manuel Gotsching (guitars/vocals/electronics), Klaus Schulze (drums/perc./electronics) and Hartmut Enke (Bass). The electronics here are not synthesised, more so referring to reverb, echo, vibrato etc. effects. This debut self-titled record features 2 side-long compositions - one heavy and relentless (Amboss), the other serene and atmospheric (Traummaschine, which tends to be regarded as the stronger piece ) - I'm sure most reviews will state this... This is a typical 'Krauty' production, i.e. primitive sounding with a less-than-perfect mix on the instruments - Hartmut's Bass is virtually relegated to a subtle rumble in the background, but when it's discernable, it can shred, at least, it sounds like a Bass ripping alongside Gotsching's guitar during the later part of Amboss. I can also notice his Floydian (rather Waters-like) octaves about half-way through Traummaschine - along with the celestial oooh-ing of Goettsching, it's hard not to be reminded of Careful With That Axe, Eugene. Of course, it only lasts a minute or 2. Guitarist Manuel is on fire, absolutely blistering all over Amboss, restrained beauty on Traummaschine, and Schulze's percussion skills becoming more focused and effective - his hand-Percussion adds so much depth to Traummaschine that I find it difficult not to be totally absorbed by these wonderful rhythms, especially when accompanying the warmth of Manuel's shimmering guitars and ethereal volume-swells. In contrast to the lower ratings this album receives, it isn't for everyone, but it can mean so much to others. One of the crowning achievements of Spacey psychedelia.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#206818) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 13, 2009

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This debut album from Ash Ra Tempel offers two distinctive facets. Two epics, two styles.

From the chaotic and jamming "Amboss" which features furious guitar play after a soft start to the beautiful and harmonious "Traummaschine". The latter has my preference for these reasons.

It is very comparable to the early TD and leans more on what KS will release as a solo artist later on. The man is in charge of drumming and percussion and he is much more in evidence here than he was on TD's debut album. Still, he made a good choice in orienting his musical abilities towards synths and keys (which he also investigated here).

What is really a winner in this album, is the famous guitar play from Manuel Göttsching. He can play real wild ("Amboss") or be more relaxed ("Traummaschine"), but both of his attitudes are impressive. Fröse will show the same abilities within TD.

I wouldn't rate this work as a masterpiece but it is a very good album indeed. Fans of prog electronic, this should really please you (especially the second epic as I have already mentioned).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#255831) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Ash Ra Tempel is was the brain child of Manuel Göttsching, a unique guitar player who handled soaring noise as easily as fluid harmonious bliss. The band was one of the pioneers of the German kraut scene and up there at the top of the scene with the mighty Can. Ash Ra Tempel explored the sonic and rhythmical experiments of psychedelic rock to a much fuller extent then bands like Guru Guru, Amon Düül had done.

Ashra Tempel is not very likely to please fans of harmonic delight, but it has many stunning moments and there's a very raw and pure power emanating from it. While the album is guitar oriented, it touches the spirit of Progressive Electronic. The fact that Klaus Schulze handles the drums and some of the electronics sure had its influence.

The debut album is divided into two distinct parts, the wildly raging experimental space-rock of Amboss and the cosmic ambience of Traummaschine. Schulze handles the drums on the first track and though he pulls it off most convincingly, I must say I'm glad he switched to keyboards, as he proved to have a more distinct touch in that field.

The creative gathering of Shulze and Göttsching results in pure delight on Traummaschine. With just guitar effects, electronics and percussion, this 25 minute track is a marvel of slowly flowing guitar melodies and tuneful electronic effects. On this track the dividing line with the pioneering works of progressive electronic is very vague. This music has the same organic flow and mesmerizing cosmic flares of Tangerine Dream's Alpha Centauri and Schulze's Irrlicht, but it is vastly superior to those works. The spirit of Floyd is felt heavily, especially halfway in when the guitars make room for a Eastern-tinged bass guitar loop with Göttsching's oohs and aahs whispering dreamily around it.

Excellent debut from this essential band.

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Posted Saturday, May 08, 2010

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars There must have been something in the air above Germany in 1971 (besides, presumably, a lot of residual LSD). Consider some of the music released that year: definitive albums by CAN ("Tago Mago") and AMON DÜÜL II ("Tanz der Lemminge"); debut efforts from CLUSTER and FAUST; key recordings by TANGERINE DREAM (playing synthesizers for the first time on "Alpha Centauri") and Florian Fricke (playing synthesizers for the last time on the POPOL VUH album "In den Gärten Pharaos"); and the initial studio collaboration of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother under the bold orange brand name of NEU!

And in June of that annum mirabilis came the now legendary first album from Krautrock's ultimate power trio of ASH RA TEMPEL, an acid rock masterpiece from its trippy Egyptian cover art and calligraphy to the inner sleeve quotation of Allen Ginsberg's visionary beatnik poem "Howl", and finally to the music itself: 45-minutes of non-stop cosmic power chords and interstellar jamming.

The line-up alone is the stuff of myth: guitarist Manuel Göttsching, at his most raw and untethered; ex-Tangerine Dreamer Klaus Schulze, playing drums with a ferocity never to be heard on his strictly synthesized forthcoming solo albums; and Hartmut Enke, handling the bass guitar with surprising nuance (either that, or his instrument is just too low in the mix). Add the intuitive touch of producer Conny Plank (one of Krautrock's founding fathers) and the result is an album able to make a stoner out of even the squarest establishment stooge.

The drifting ambient chords introducing "Amboss", the first of two side-long instrumental exercises here, set an ominous mood for the album. But it's an uneasy calm before the Beaufort Scale 12 electronic storm to follow: a loud, fast, and nearly twenty-minute long Jimi Hendrix-inspired one-chord guitar improvisation, captured in what sounds like a single spontaneous take, with no cosmetic gloss to soften the blow.

"Amboss" translates, appropriately, as "Anvil", but it's on the flipside of the album, during the 25-minute "Traummaschine" ("Dream Machine") where Ash Ra Tempel really shines, albeit with a dark fluorescent energy barely rising above the background radiation of deepest space. If "Amboss" was the guitar apocalypse of German underground rock, then "Traummaschine" represents its post-doomsday resolution, rising gradually out of the ruins in a steady but ecstatic mantra. (A quick note: it's probably not possible to evoke the otherworldly majesty of this music without sounding a little like Julian Cope.)

"Traummaschine" in the end achieves a sort of grace, if not quite peace, finally drifting away toward an unsettled, dreamless sleep.

It's true the album has a primitive, lo-fi aura around it, and deliberately so, giving the music a dated time-capsule quality when heard today. But this was heady and refreshing stuff for 1971, in retrospect exposing the filthy underbelly of the Summer of Love. Keep in mind it was recorded only twenty-five years after the horrors of Nazi Germany, still fresh in the collective memory of even those musicians too young to have experienced it firsthand. The rage and shame of an entire generation can be heard within its grooves, and still resonate nearly forty years later.

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Posted Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Sometimes I'm in the mood for a nice big slab of epic psychedelic jamming. Usually when that's the case, I know exactly which album to come to - Manuel Göttsching on guitar and electronics? Epic. Klaus Schulze on drums and electronics? Just as epic. Hartmut Enke on bass? Well, I don't know him quite as well, but he holds down the bass well. With their powers combined, we have the debut album from Ash Ra Tempel - and what a beast it is!

Side one of the album belongs to the fiery epic which is Amboss. Göttsching really gets to let it rip here. The track is a builder. It starts off calm, but builds into an epic maelstrom of guitar, drums and bass. Once it's built up it really rips your face off (figuratively speaking, of course) until it's over. Krautrock and prog electronic artists really excel at the buildups like this. As far as the styles of the tracks on the album, this one is basically the polar opposite of the (equally) epic side two.

Traummaschine is more heavy on the electronics and atmosphere than Amboss was. Whereas Amboss was a storm of sound, Traummaschine feels like floating down a river of reverberation and electronic sounds, or a journey through space, or a mixture of the two. It's a very meditative track, and on occasion (maybe thanks to the percussion, or to the way the track builds) it makes me think of Indian classical music.

I've already mentioned the skills of the musicians on the album, but I feel as if Göttsching deserves another mention. The things he does with a guitar (on this album and in the future) are just out of this world. It's fitting that he plays such "kosmische Musik". Of course Schulze goes on to be better known as one of the pioneers and visionaries of the synth world, but I don't think that his drumming should be overlooked at all - he's got a lot of energy behind the kit. I feel bad leaving the bass out of my praises, but the focus of the album is clearly on the guitar (and to a lesser extent, the drums in my opinion).

This is a true gem of spacey, psychedelic jamming. With such a personnel list, I doubt anyone who hears about this album now and knows a bit about the German music scene at the time would expect any less though. I would say that this album is a pretty good introduction to the Krautrock scene - it gives the listener a good idea of the louder, "freak out" type of music AND the quieter, spacier meditative type of music. This one is another album deserving of the masterpiece rating from me.

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Posted Monday, November 08, 2010

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars If Jimi Hendrix had been a member of Tangerine Dream, the result would probably have sounded a lot like this. Ash Ra Tempel was one of the first and best bands to fall under the Krautrock label, and this album really shows what a powerhouse they were. Comprised of members Manuel Göttsching, Hartmut Enke and legendary synth pioneer Klaus Schulze, the band blasts through two side-long psychedelic juggernauts.

The first track, Amboss, is a high energy mind trip, with tons of absolutely face melting guitar from Göttsching. Schulze,interestingly enough considering his later career, started out as a drummer, and predominantly occupies that role here,although he does dabble with electronics a bit as well.. His drumming is, however, extremely energetic and effective.

The second half of the record, aptly titled Traummaschine (German for Dream Machine,) has a much different vibe. Here we are treated to twenty-five minutes of subdued, trippy synthesizers that float gently around the occasional splashes of guitar and drums, all very tastefully done. The track does eventually pick up some steam towards the end and the album finishes on a high note.

As a whole the album does a terrific job of maintaining a good balance between its frantic and mellow moods, never relying too heavily on one or the other. Göttsching is a greatly under appreciated rock guitarist with far more chops than most "normal" rock bands could claim. Schulze is just as good on drums as he is behind a stack of synthesizers and the electronics (played by both Göttsching and Schulze) lend the perfect amount of atmospherics to this thoroughly psychedelic romp.

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Posted Saturday, January 01, 2011

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Definitive Epic (Like Light Years in Diameter Epic) Space Jam

Despite my love for tight, complex music, I do appreciate an escapist excursion in the clouds sometimes as well. ASH RA TEMPEL's self titled album is about as prototypic as it gets in that regard. The band combines two sounds: free form psychedelic jamming that reminds me of the bridge of "Dazed and Confused" taken much, much further and on the other end new-agey ambient electronics. (Given Tangerine Dream's Klaus Schulze's part of this band that's no surprise.) The album is two side-long pieces, with the first emphasising the guitar jam with just a little bit of ambient to open. The second side is the opposite, predominantly ambient with a little guitar jam as icing added in. The moods created are VERY different but the sound maintains a coherence and identity. It is strange, for the little bit of Krautrock I've heard aside from this did almost nothing for me. There's basically no melody, no key changes, no organization. But for some reason even someone like myself must give credit where it's due. It works. And it works well.

The reason it works so well is that despite the lack of traditional musical ideas, the sound is extremely emotionally provocative. The goal of both pieces is similar to that of post-rock. Intensity builds gradually from near stillness to all-out insanity. But ART, to my ear, succeeds at its task much more effectively. Sounds move in an out in a very organic way. Listening to ASH RA TEMPEL is like watching a fire, with the first side "Amboss" like watching a fire start and then blaze, wild and destructive, and the second "Traummaschine" like watch hot coals glowing with occasional tongues of flame licking up for a moment.

Similarly, I must credit Schulze's drumming. It is dextrous, intense, and full of life. Almost tribal in places, the drums evoke a sense of running, frenzy. Even the cadence of the electronic pads seems to be breathing with a deep life. So many times drums can be too mechanical, too precise in prog. Not here. And like the entire album, the drums sound and production primitiveness only enhances the experience.

I am tempted to give this album 5 stars, because I cannot imagine an album that quite does this type of music this well. Of all the new age albums I own when I'm trying to just chill, few journey as far and deep as this one. If ambient or space jams make you want to run, you won't like this at all. But if you appreciate anything of the sort, this will be an excellent addition to your collection.

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Posted Monday, January 10, 2011

Review by Guldbamsen
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Fighting back sonically

After W.W. II Germany wasn´t quite itself (Then again who was?). It had been bombed back into the stone age and you could walk all day through the streets of Berlin without ever seeing a proper building. Gravel and dust - and the money they needed to rebuilt their once cultural architectural mecca was indeed nowhere to be found. The picture was much the same on a nationwide scale - and the economical crisis was a real and terrifying threat. This particular issue of money and the lack of it, although sounding slightly mad, -had a big impact on the Kraut rock scene rolling across the country almost 25 years later. Due to lack of finance, the state was confronted with quite the dilemma surrounding the education system: Do we fire the old fascist teachers and start from scratch, or do we keep them because we do not have the resources to replace them? Well you can take a wild guess as to how things went... This meant that on most of the universities you were facing old teachers with old ideas. This also subscribed to music. Remember that Goebbels, when in power, changed the German face of culture completely, making everything that had to do with politics in music illegal. This led to the rise of the "Schlager" - which is easy digestible music you can sing along to, and really has no taste at all IMHO. Muzak. The Krautrockers knew this and to some extent, the music they started playing in the early 70´s was to be their revolution against the mindset, that music had to fit in boxes and it ultimately had nothing to say about anything. After all it´s just music right?

Ash Ra Tempel is no muzak, and if you think you can put this album on thinking it will be a prog rock record like say Close to the Edge, Foxtrot or even Birds of Fire - well then my friend you are sadly mistaken. Personally I´d like to think of these two separate pieces as giant handwoven Persian rugs that change color and pattern slowly as you unravel them. The experience of sounds that all together are individual, but in some rather ingenious way fits together like vanilla ice cream and black pepper. The first number Amboss sounds like a drunk Jimi Hendrix dropped by a mushroom tasting party in downtown Hamburg. Chunky Klaus Schultze drums alongside the somehow deranged sounding guitar from Manuel Göttsching makes this piece wild and rocking. The second track Traummaschine is more subdued and relies more on electronics and floating waves of almost ambient music.

There are numerous of high points on this debut - like the one noted guitar solo of Amboss - the naive sixties sounding drumwork of Schutze particularly on the first track, - or indeed the pulsating gloom of Traummaschine (Dream machine), which occasionally sounds like water seeping into water - or like turning your arms on fire waving them rhythmically around in the cold blackness of January. In other words: there is absolutely no "schlager" to be found here. The music is real unrehearsed improvisation from one of the biggest names from the Kraut rock scene, and if you are like me - unafraid of sticking your head into unknown shadows, you should definitely try this album, although it probably won´t be for everybody. If this album soothes your cravings and you find yourself itching and scratching for a fix more, but don´t know where to look - I´d like to recommend the Japanese band called Far Out and their record Nihonjin, which is the perfect musical phone call from the far east - retelling the story with other words, sounds and incidents.

This album is wild, droning, spacey, evil-sounding, uplifting, distraught, beside itself and in tune, experimental and first and foremost filled to the brim with unspoiled unchartered music that breaks every law imposed by Goebbels some years before. 4.5 stars.

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Posted Friday, January 21, 2011

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
4 stars In the UK, community studies indicate that one third of adults have tried illegal drugs at some point in their life. I missed the early experimentation with the role of LSD in psychotherapy, and its effects are apparently very situation and expectation dependent in any case. According to one medical dictionary, LSD can be ''used legally only for experimental purposes.'' I can think of one or two people who have ''experimented'', but I don't know how that explanation would hold up in court. The closest I've ever come to a psychedelic experience was looking at the patterns in a kaleidoscope tube, so to unlock the doors on the quest for knowledge and wisdom I have to sit with eyes closed, listen on headphones, and conjure pictures in my mind.

There are just two tracks here, both virtually structure free but by no means substance free and seemingly having the maxim that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Any in- depth analysis of the music would probably be antithetical to the experience itself, so it's probably best if readers simply listen to the tracks on YouTube. The title of the first of these is ''Amboss'' which is German for ''anvil''. Anvils have earned symbolic meaning in recent times and there are many musical examples involving these tools, including famous works by Richard Wagner. Listening to this album in the manner described above often brings on sleep, and transient false perceptions can occur at the beginning or the end of that sleep. In fact Wagner credited hypnagogic, and related, states with enhancing his own creativity.

''Amboss'' moves forward freely and grows with waves of sound, and as the piece develops it becomes powerful and unstable. There's no sense of fitting square pegs into round holes here though; everything seems very fluid and organic and not like umpteen disjointed musical suites I've heard. Images come into my head of gathering storm clouds, spreading up into the stratosphere. The picture gets hazy and there's a feeling of claustrophobia and anxiety in the music, and now I'm hurtling inexorably toward the point of no return of a black hole. According to Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher and father of existentialism, the experience of anxiety helps the individual recognise their true identity therefore I don't hold back from my imagined event horizon.

The black hole opens in my mind and I'm in the darkness, peering into the light outside through splayed fingers, and other images come into my head with ''Traummaschine''. This begins mysteriously with celestial choirs and moist sounds that produce more mental representations, ill-defined forms of aimlessly wandering lost souls. These ooze away and as the piece evolves there's a distinct feeling of isolation, which makes me think of Rama lumbering across interstellar space in its singular direction toward our sun.

Traummaschine is German for ''dream machine'', a stroboscopic flicker device that produces visual stimuli. William Grey Walter's book ''The Living Brain'' was the inspiration for the machine, and the same neurophysiologist's discoveries about electric responses in the brain brought into question the ideas of consciousness and free will. The ''viewer'' of the dream machine experiences bright, complex patterns of colour behind closed eyes, which may induce a hypnagogic state, and that notion brings this review full circle.

Henry Miller wrote that ''Music is planetary fire, an irreducible which is all sufficient; it is the slate-writing of the gods.'' Of course, he wasn't referring to Ash Ra Tempel but it's a fitting description nonetheless. If any readers are in two minds about trying this album... go on, be adventurous and take a chance.

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Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The debut Ash Ra Tempel is essentially an exploration and development of the space rock approach taken by Tangerine Dream on their debut album, Electronic Meditation - perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the presence of Klaus Schulze on both releases. This is most evident on the first track, Amboss, which begins with lush keyboard with percussion accents and then descends into a furious jam on the other instruments, with Schulze's drums and Göttsching's out of control guitar particular highlights. The second side is more calm and proto-ambient, much like the territory that Tangerine Dream themselves would explore on Zeit. On the whole the album, whilst good, merely visits various territories that would be exploited to greater effect both on subsequent Ash Ra Tempel albums and in Klaus Schulze's expansive solo career.

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Posted Friday, July 08, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Space rock meditation at the extreme end of the scale is what you find here on two delicious lengthy tracks full of violently sonic repetition and a sound that had huge influences on the up and coming Krautrock bands of the 70s. It is impossible to pinpoint how influential this 1971 album was and still is but it certainly impacted the early stages of prog rock. Basically the music can only be described as a journey through dark atmospheres and ominous moods. The existentialist frame work of things in order and the shadowy realm of the unseen may be the conceptual key to the album, but to others it may seem like a meandering drone designed for LSD users who desire an hallucinatory soundscape for their fix. The discordance or unmusicality will definitely turn many off though obviously others will indulge in the pleasure of the altered fractured sounds. It is almost impossible to describe the cinematic images that are engrained in the mind listening to "Traummaschine", as the sounds transport one to outer or inner space. It would make an intriguing soundtrack for "2001: a Space Odyssey" or "Moon".

The band members consist of Manuel Göttsching on guitar, vocal intonations and electronic effects. He is joined by the extraordinary talents of Hartmut Enke on pulsating bass. The member that brings all the spacey noise to some kind of order is Klaus Schulze, who is of course a legend in his own right, or in his own mind, and he is amazing on percussion and electronic embellishments; he reminds me of Christian Vander at times on this. Often there is no beat, no rhythm and no substance, rather an organic lengthy gradually building ominous cacophony of sound. At times there is a specific spacey squealing guitar over a driving beat that reminds me of classic Hawkwind's "Space Ritual". It feels very improvised as far as the lead guitar is concerned, similar to Hawkwind, especially on "Amboss", but the rhythms are broken with some sporadic drumming and splashing cymbals taking the sound into new directions. The unearthly psychotronic hypnotic music of Ash Ra Temple is quite unsettling at times, certainly is an acquired taste, and is likely to send you into a trance. For those with a proclivity for Tangerine Dream's 'Phaedra' or Pink Floyd's early phase with 'Careful With that Axe Eugene' or 'Interstellar Overdrive', there is no doubt the album will appeal. It is not the type of music I relish but it certainly is different and one may actually enjoy it's spellbinding magnetism. Personally it is a little too weird for my senses, but I am still in awe of the original approach and downright audacity of the band to generate such an extreme form of music.

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Posted Monday, October 10, 2011

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One of two early Ash Ra Tempel albums to feature ex-Tangerine Dream drummer Klaus Schulze(who would, of course, go on to become one of the foremost innovators of the burgeoning electronic music scene) this debut release from 1971 set out the Manuel Gottsching-led group's original sonic blueprint that would also shape both follow-up 'Schwingungen' and 1973's 'Join Inn'. Featuring two sprawling psychedelic opus' - one per each side of the original vinyl release - and plenty of shimmering psychedelic effects, breathless murmuring, ghostly percussion riffs and multi-layered instrumental drones, this self-titled effort belongs to that small group of densely-cosmic krautrock albums that take the term 'psychedelic' to musical planes as yet uncharted. The album's first piece, 'Amboss', proves soft and dreamy; 'Traumaschine', which features a more complex sound, weaves a darker, faster and much more discordant sonic journey that may well prove a test for some listeners. The overall effect of both pieces is certainly striking, yet there would be much better to come from the post-Schulze line-ups of Ash Ra Tempel, especially in the form of the group's excellent third album 'Join Inn'. Those who enjoy long and mystical instrumental epics in the mould of both Yatha Sidhra and Popul Vuh's earlier works and the tripper side of krautrock are urged to investigate; those who like a bit more punch to their music should stay away. You have been warned...rock music this ain't. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars I just discovered this album and this band and man oh man have I been missing out on some of the best music ever to be channeled. Ash Ra Tempel go where not many other records or bands dare go. Deep into outer space and deep into inner space. I didn't think a band could get more out there ... (read more)

Report this review (#1024742) | Posted by Tempel | Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now I get it! "Brainmelting" is right! Listening to Side One of this album for the first time made me feel like I was reliving the most psychedelic media experience I've ever been through--the theater version of the movie "The Doors." Then Side Two took me back to the most eery/harrowing movie e ... (read more)

Report this review (#569040) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album, even with only two tracks, is near perfection of the Krautrock genre. Manuel Göttsching got together with bassist Hartmut Enke and drummer Klaus Schulze to perform some of the most mesmorizing music played on the earth. The album is an acid trip or shroom trip without the acid or ... (read more)

Report this review (#306888) | Posted by Jazzywoman | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#282694) | Posted by cohen34 | Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Im really approaching this album, but i think there´s better albums than this "ART" in personal opinion i can only made a highlight for the intention and feeling of the songs, very introspective, very varied, but for my taste doesn´t provide many new things in musical question... With only tw ... (read more)

Report this review (#233010) | Posted by Diego I | Thursday, August 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the quintessential Krautrock album, full of spacey and atmospheric electronic sounds and masterful percussion/drumming that keeps the tempo going through out the two tracks on this album. This is not New Age music and not for the faint-hearted. The music is at once non-structured cacopho ... (read more)

Report this review (#207622) | Posted by valravennz | Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is Klaus Schulze's first appearance after leaving Tangerine Dream and he's got his drumsticks out!. As you know it's one track per side on this recording, side one being 'Amboss' which sounds a bit all over the place and 'not really going anywhere'. The usual Krautrock guitars, drums and ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#206761) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For most of the Space Rockin' sounds of Hawkwind, Gong, Acid Mothers Temple, and the pioneers of Space Rock Pink Floyd, there was a band from Germany that took the genre of Krautrock into Space and time. The band is Ash Ra Tempel. Released in 1971 on the Krautrock label OHR, Ash Ra Tempel's self ... (read more)

Report this review (#175370) | Posted by Nathanson | Thursday, June 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great album that you can easily lose yourself into......It sort of takes you off into a different place.... The music gradually flows and is almost ambient at times.......at others it is pretty loud.....but there are no sharp changes of tempo in this album......Highly recommended.... ... (read more)

Report this review (#165264) | Posted by digdug | Friday, March 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amazing album by a great band - the atmosphere they manage to create is incredible. The first song Amboss is heavier than the dreamy Traummaschine but both are equally good. They remind me of early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, mixed with the long improvised Krautrock improvised jams. I prefer thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#78120) | Posted by lordoflight | Sunday, May 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great album! Both songs start off quietly and build to a nice pinnacle. Very long and very smooth progression of sounds. M Gottsching is brilliant but so is everyone else in the band. This album is another krautrock classic and should be owned by any krautfan... ... (read more)

Report this review (#23711) | Posted by | Monday, December 01, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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