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Ashra Walkin' The Desert album cover
3.50 | 27 ratings | 3 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 1st Movement: Two Keyboards (8:18)
2. 2nd Movement: Six Voices (8:42)
3. 3rd Movement: Four Guitars (10:29)
4. 4th Movement: Twelve Samples (13:50)

Bonus track on 1990 CD release:
5. Dessert: Eight Tracks (4:28)

Total Time: 45:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, keyboards, producer
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Claudio

LP Navigator - NAV 8901-1 (1989, Germany)

CD Navigator - NAV 8901-2 (1990, Germany) With a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ASHRA Walkin' The Desert ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

ASHRA Walkin' The Desert reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Manuel Gottsching and Lutz Ulbrich combined talents in 1989 writing and performing live most of the music contained on this CD for Berlin's E-88 World Cultural Festival. On June 4th, 1988 this music was performed live at Berlin's Planetarium and finally we are able to hear the studio output created for this show. ASHRA combine multilayered guitars, keyboards, and sampled sounds producing a rich yet mesmerizing soundscapes. In the progressive tradition, "Walkin The Desert" experiments with a numerical mix of instrumentation used... ie. "1st Movement" uses only 2 keyboards, "2nd Movement" 6 voices, "3rd movement" 4 guitars, "4th movement" 12 samples and finally the last track "Dessert" employing 8 tracks. The powerful result is a startling, yet faintly familiar sound made up of arid keyboards, charming crystalline sequences and finally, the resounding bent-sustain guitar notes that ASHRA fans have grown to worship. Incredibly since the rise in popularity of today's "Electronica", the music of ASHRA is being currently re-discovered by the youngsters. More than simply satisfying, "Walkin' The Desert" is a stunning example of ASHRA's creativity and represents another breathtaking chapter in the expanding music output for this band.
Review by admireArt
4 stars To be honest, the only reason I figure out, for such a few and so-so ratings for this ASHRA's "Walikin' in the Desert" (1989), is that it is, at the time and now, completely "un-Kraut" or TD (by the way). That's it. Beyond that, there is no other "real" reason, I can figure out.

The first song "first movement - two keyboards", is a "minimalistic" composition, very much in the spirit of Steve Reich's "Piano Phase" (1967), but totally different in goal and successful by its own. Still very far, forget Kraut, even "P/Electronic" as such. The mere use of acoustic keys, marks the whole difference.

Next comes the second movement named "Six Voices", which are electronic, but also include a flute like voice and a subtle but impossing "dark' chorus. The melody is intelligent, kind of a "serious business", yet flows by the addition of a vibraphone which counterpoints the now clearer skies. It is sweet but not "sickening-sweet", a thin and very well respected approach makes it perfect. (to some it could sound like Mr. Oldfield, without honey) still not "Kraut" found as such.

The third movement, "Four Guitars", goes for the same approach as the first, but now with 4 simmultaneous lines of electrics, going alongside, playing against and with each other. This is one of the recorded reasons, why M. Gottsching (guitars/keys) was and is so relevant to the whole "Prog" scene. When he is good, he is great, this song is "shocking proof!". Close to "kraut" but not the "Temple".

Fourth movement - "Twelve Samples", is closer to "world" fusion music. As understood, these 12 samples run along, although they, as independent structures, will not stand alone. In the vein of middle Eastern music, without no big emphasis, beyond being a mere good electronic/experimental song. This one could be the 3 star owner.

The last track, "Desert - Eight Tracks", takes from its predecessor, the experimental tone, but its construction goes otherwise, this one is by all standards "pure', Lo/Fi, electronic- Kraut, or at least, its "future".

So, I will highly recommend to approach this "near-masterpiece", without pre-conceptions or prejudices, in able to "see" the "caliber" of this work. By all means 4****PA stars. Enjoy!

Review by Modrigue
4 stars The desert has unexpected resources

In 1988, West-Berlin was the european culture capital. During this event, ASHRA performed a concert without Harald Grosskopf, who was not available. Manuel Göttsching and Lutz Ulbrich created a stylistic exercise with different instruments. The compositions were later reworked by the two musicians and released as an album.

"Walkin' the desert" is quite unique in ASHRA's discography. Heterogeneous, its style is completely different from their albums records, and even from what other 70's electronic bands were doing at the same time. No new-age, pre-techno, or accessible melodic synthetizer music here; the approach is more similar to the minimalistic genre developed by pioneers such as Steve Reich. An evidence: each track names the instruments used and their number.

"First Movement" has reminiscences with "New Age of Earth", in the minimalistic style. My least favorite passage of the disc. "Second Movement" displays a relaxing ambiance consists in interlaced atmospheric synth textures, with javanese influences. Its mysterious mood makes you wish to explore an ancient temple.

"Third Movement" can remind a little "Inventions For Electric Guitar", as the guitar plays the role of the electronic sequence. Once more, it shows Manuel Göttsching's mastership with this instrument. The last track, "Fourth Movement", is the most original and "desert"-ic. A good inspired collage of short samples of middle-oriental instruments and songs. The first part is melodic, while the second half is rather ambient. Very refreshing. The 1990 CD edition contains a bonus track, "Dessert". More accessible than the other compositions, it's a pleasant slow melancholic tune.

"Walkin' the desert" is a good surprise compared to most electronic music of the same period. Recommended if you want to discover another facet of ASHRA, and especially if you're into minimalistic genre and Steve Reich.

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