Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Ash Ra Tempel


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ash Ra Tempel Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up album cover
3.19 | 110 ratings | 13 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Space (15:55) :
- a. Downtown
- b. Power Drive
- c. Right Hand Lover
- d. Velvet Genes
2. Time (21:37) :
- a. Timeship
- b. Neuron
- c. She (live *)

Total Time 37:32

* The Bern Festival

Line-up / Musicians

- Timothy Leary / voice, direction
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, electronics
- Dieter Dierks / synthesizer
- Hartmut Enke / bass, guitar, electronics

- Michael Duwe / vocals, flute
- Steve Schroyder / organ, electronics
- Dietmar Burmeister / drums
- Thomas Engel / drums
- Klaus D. Müller / tambourine
- Brian Barritt / voice, arrangements
- Liz Elliot / voice
- Bettina Hohls / voice
- Portia Nkomo / voice

Releases information

Artwork: Walter Wegmüller

LP Die Kosmischen Kuriere ‎- KK 58001 (1973, Germany)

CD Spalax Music ‎- MP 14249 (1991, France)
CD MG.ART ‎- MG.ART 113 (2011, Germany) Remastered by Manuel Göttsching

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ASH RA TEMPEL Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up Music

ASH RA TEMPEL Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ASH RA TEMPEL Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first classic album produced by R.U Kaiser for the Cosmic Couriers label. 'Seven up' is a medley of parodical free form rock with spacey electronic arrangements (Space) and floating psych instrumental soundscape (Time). Timothy Leary who was among others the Guru of the psychedelic philosophy added vocals parts and recitations, particularly in the first tune.Extremely rough and trippy this album is historically a must for those who are in psych rock and early days of German intergalactic music.
Review by Proghead
5 stars This album is so grossly underappreciated it's not even funny. I think this album is total genius. ASH RA TEMPEL was never known for a steady lineup, the band lost vocalist John L. from their previous album (I heard stories that John L.'s previous band, AGITATION FREE thought he was so far out there that they had to give him the boot, and apparently ASH RA TEMPEL felt the same). For an organist, they brought in Steve Schroyder, who previously appeared on TANGERINE DREAM's "Alpha Centauri" (and also Zeit, but only as a guest). And of course, it wouldn't be ASH RA TEMPEL without guitarist Manuel Göttsching, plus bassist Hartmut Enke is still here.

This album features none other than Timothy Leary, the famous LSD guru! He was in exile in Switzerland, and in fact, ASH RA TEMPEL had to record this album in Switzerland because Leary would have been arrested if he ended up in Germany. Anyway, this album really was done under the influence of LSD. Leary would spike the cans of 7-Up that the band members would drink with LSD, and then let them play. The first half of the album featured a bunch of blues songs, but never let that deceive you! After only a couple minutes, all hell breaks loose with the most relentless electronic effects that jut won't let up! Every time you think the band is starting to rock out or play the blues, it goes right back to LSD land just that fast! The second half of the album is more conventional ASH RA TEMPEL, keeping with the early '70s Krautrock sound (reminding me of early TANGERINE DREAM). Grossly underrated stuff, as far as I'm concerned.

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Last call for Ash Ra Tempel, in this form, during the 70s, is Seven Up, an album that rewards the creativity of the gesture with the quality and the sheer introspective madness that lies within the music and within its klautrock definitions, ones that seems rarely pushed to such extents in Ash Ra Tempel. The whole album is a very pretentious an eccentric thing, on one hand we have the incredible group of guests that Manuel Gottsching invited in order to compose and to create Seven Up's musicianship (yet somehow Klaus Schulze's again out of the picture); on another hand we have, once again, two compositions that by the looks seem serious business and important matter to be exposed, the long parts format of music being no doubt the definitory way for qualitative klautrock (I don't know any such piece that doesn't have at least a hint of magic, and that's pretty normal if you think about it, given the space and the time in which you can elaborate the descriptive musical act); and finally we have the essence of the music and the moment of listening to the repertoire, which in whatever shape the first impression will come, it'll reflect a well-done composition in a situation of high regards. To be as short and concise as I can in these first words addressed to the album: Seven Upis probably the second best reflection of Ash Ra Tempel, behind the debut smashing material, or at least in a position "conflict" with Join Inn, another valuable, yet not perfect "enough" creation. An album strikes the impression of good and accomplished, as I've already said, even from the beginning, an album that offers the picture of a voyage into the brand and into the dream of the brand.

Personally some problems and some moments make up a damage sketch within the strong solid klaut construction, still that can be very subjective, because of two things. One, as a personal Schulze fan, these Ash Ra Tempel albums without him seem to be a new different leaf of perspective and make up at least a place for details and issues; Two - related to the first one, but generalized - I am just at my first experiences with the Ash Ra Tempel albums, so I myself can be the one momentarily missing the specific details and issues. Plus, concerning every album, you never know how many listens are necessary to have a final and minute portrait of the album. Perhaps an instant one, perhaps two, perhaps ten.perhaps ultimately none. Yet to be honest and to bring up the presumable negative side of Seven Up as well, it seems to make out some incomplete assets along the way or inserted into the artistical script. It's not something like Schwingungen, who disappointed through misconceived act, it's a thing of short fragments and acute feelings or reactions. Anyway, that's hardly general material for a devalorization, so everything concludes with what I've said: good and important album.

Two cosmogonic entities brought up in a fashionable manner of music (which, maybe not here, maybe rarely encountered, but generally is for me a universal thing). Space and time find roots of expression within a klautrock prolific emblem and representation. The first piece receives an open, dynamics, sharp and direct pulse, made in a special way of chaotic maneuvers, driven into a cosmos furnal essence, making the move towards a rigorous familiarization that to an impression spark. It is something provocative, communicative, expressive to the meaning of a clear circle drawn in an even clearer context. Powerful, energic and vital substance is how Space is portrait. In contrast with that (some, needless to say, more than welcomed) comes the interpretation of Time, which is clustered in its space (or should I use special commas for the word space?), of a slumber refined profile, of a cosmic deluviant message that goes very charming. My favorite piece, but not the only criteria. It has a complexity given by the style and an outlined sphere of subtle emotions given by the approach. It reflects something mysterious, something quiet in its form, but dangerous in its power, going poetic, going voiled, going very decisive on a slow succumbed essence. With other words the time of Ash Ra Tempel here has gravity and has a pronounce dark feverish sensation. Great piece is all I can say in an end of vision. A touch not so common, even if the actual maneuver is a klautrock constant delicatessen.

So my review pretty much indicates an album that has said its word and has outlined its context more than enough. Everything looks good, all that's left is the receiver and the receiver's mood for an epic demonstration of force. Ash Ra Tempel ultimately look as one of klautrock's finest, though I can hardly be the critic to make such a generalization. And Seven Up is ready to prove in every single way. Not masterliness, not ground-shaking.but invigorating as quality and as the uniqueness fragment it shares.deep inside.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is an interesting release among the discography of Ash Ra Temple, as it has quite large personnel creating the music, and among them is the famous LSD prophet Timothy Leary, who was named as the most dangerous man living by late mr. Richard Nixon, if I do not recall wrong. This is still more some sort of cameo appearance, and there's no risk of anybody turning into a pile of smoking cinder despite the presence of the person mentioned.

As a record I detected some kind of unbalance in its overall quality. In my opinion the group achieved their highest merits on their "Join Inn" record, where the celestial ambience and aggressive acid rock met in most perfect form. On this album the A-side consists from bluesy tunes merged with astral soundscapes, but this collage doesn't work most fluently in my opinion, as there doesn't seem to be a clear direction for the sonic journeys, and the music doesn't build up much tensions nor dramatic feelings. The B-side is more interesting, moving towards the heavenly cosmic realization via spacey sounds and beautiful guitar chord progressions. Still this stuff sounds more like a reprise of their previous ideas, and with the potential excuse for lacking innovation, sadly the quality of music doesn't either in my opinion reach the greatness of their previous releases.

Nevertheless "Seven Up" is surely a worthy for listening if you're interested of classic early krautrock or psychedelic movement as a phenomenon. If you like this, but the other releases of this band are not known to you, I would highly recommended to check out the other discs of this unique and great group of musicians. The album covers fit in my opinion pleasantly to the LP sides symbolizing "Space" and "Time", these two entwining as "space-time" of matter, maybe in the manner of the symbol on the cover.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars In my opinion their self titled debut along with "Schwingungen" and "Join Inn" are by far their best albums.This one while excellent doesn't quite measure up to these others. What makes this release different is obviously Timothy Leary's involvement. He apparently brought lots of acid with him and spiked their 7-Ups(hence the album title) and contributed voices to this recording. Lots of like minded people were at this session in Switzerland, which is why so many(a dozen) people are listed as having contributed to this record.

The first track "Space"(16 minutes) features some blues flavoured songs with very spacey soundscapes inbetween and sometimes right over top of them. Crazy, psychedelic stuff.

The other track "Time"(21 1/2 minutes) is amazing. I understand this track is a reworking of "Suche And Liebe" from "Schwingungen". Sounds start to build before Gottsching begins to make some noise. Spoken words 3 1/2 minutes in as spacey sounds continue. The song drifts along until 13 minutes in when we come to my favourite part of the record as we get some female vocal melodies added to the already heavenly soundscape. Drums come in around the 17 minute mark. We get some distracting interference(thats what it sounds like) 20 minutes in to the end of the song.

The second track alone makes this one well worth getting for Krautrock fans.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars ASH RA TEMPEL was reduced to the core Göttsching/Enke and they initially wanted to produce an album with Allen Ginsberg. However - he was missing for a while. They abandoned the search and asked US psychologist Timothy Leary instead of that who was famous for promoting drug consume. Leary had been in Switzerland applying for asylum and couldn't come to Germany fearing to be forwarded back into the USA because he had trouble with the law. So Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke went to this alpine country together with several guest musicians to work with him.

This album was the first release of 'Kosmische Kuriere', the label of Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, who became famous because supporting a lot of krautrock bands but later fall in disgrace (he arranged music parties and recorded the sessions without the permission of the musicians). 'Seven Up' offers two long improvised tracks - the second is a live recording from the Bern Festival in 1972. The Vinyl version appeared with two different covers. No question - a collaboration with a drugs guru couldn't really be managed without the use of drugs. It is said they had drinks mixed up with LSD.

The band starts the first part of Space called 'Downtown' with a simple blues theme. And when you're feeling uncomfortable after some time and try to check out if you've muddled up your collection or are on the wrong platform the first way-out spacey interlude destroys this perfect idyll. And the song continues in this way provided with plain rock themes interrupted by an ambient spacey intermezzo here and there. This is all headed by 'rock' singer Timothy Leary who gives his best. Musically not inspiring and disappointing.

But fortunately we have another track Time recorded live in Bern which belongs to the best what 'Kosmische Musik' is able to deliver. A beautiful trippy ambient experience with spaced-out guitar chords, organ and electronics. Leary's contributions are held back here which benefits. All in all three stars for this production for a summary.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars Last album for the initial "Ash Ra Tempel" discography.

The first track "Space" is divided into four parts of which the opening and bluesy one is far from being attractive. But what to say about the second one? "Power Drive" is some sort of psychedelic chaos which is reminiscent of the late middle sixties but sounds somewhat out of its time in '73.

The whole track sounds totally loose and uncontrollable. The four parts being so distinctive that they could have been four separate "songs". Being "Right Hand Lover" or the rocking closing "Velvet Genes" which displays nothing memorable nor even average to my ears.

Fortunately, there is a second track on this album which saves the bill. It's a deep travel into the abysses of good old psychedelia as well as fine electronic prog. ASOS is next door, as well as early TD. "Time" is indeed a great contribution to AST discography and definitely raises the level of this last opus (first period).

Out from nowhere, there are some immaculate keyboards lines which are just phenomenal. But I'm talking here as a ten years old boy in front of some magic. But it is so nice!

But don't worry: the basic sound of ART is also magnificently represented: space rock at its best combined with splendid and melodic moment. This "Time" is by all means one of my all "time" fave from the band. Such a combination is just fantastic and so dear to my ears.

A great song indeed. If it would have been extended to both sides of this album I would have rated it with five stars. But since "Space" is so weak, I can only go up to seven out of ten (rounded up to four stars).

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Ash Ra Tempel has often occupied the dimension floating between blues rock and space rock. The first half of the album demonstrates this concept. Space starts with a dreamy blues lick and hazy vocals, and creates an eerie and slightly alien atmosphere. Things get out of hand after 3 minutes when they head off for a delirious jam of echoed vocals and messy sounds, vaguely recalling guitars, bass and drums. The ideas aren't very different from previous albums, but the execution sounds sloppy and disinterested. Probably intentionally, but it doesn't make for an interesting listen, and certainly not an enjoyable one. After a good 7 minutes they completely ran out of ideas and continue with a random medley of rockabilly tunes and space drone sounds. It may sound tempting but it's actually rather bland. Hardly 2 stars.

Time is a bit more coherent but it's nothing new under the cosmos, just the usual ambient musings created with guitar, organ, sound effects and some messy drumming. Dreamy vocals add whispers and bits of talk. It's a nice one for fans of the similar tracks of the preceding albums. 3.5 stars.

Overall, it's a very short and rather disappointing album. It's more a self-parody then a serious effort, which makes it hardly interesting to anyone but fans. It may deserve some credit for humour and all that but not from me, I'm in a grumpy mood. 2.5 stars on average, maybe 3 tomorrow. Anyway, not the place to start investigating Ash Ra Tempel.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Last in line of ART albums from 70-s. No Klaus Schulze on board anymore. As usual, just two compositions - one on each side.

Whenever their line -up is changed few times yet, and their best time is somewhere in past, possibly the main (unmusical) attraction of this album is participation of LSD guru Timothy Leary on vocals. Album was recorded in Switzerland, where Leary found his new home after problems with US legislation, and it looks obvious all musicians were not only Leary guests, but and active participants of his school.

Side A track is electronic spacey piece with bluesy roots, and side B track - better constructed psyche one. Plenty of characteristic sounds of early psychedelic music (something similar you can hear on Allen's Gong albums). Everything sounds according to genre and moment's rules, but is hardly innovative or exceptionally played.

Not a bad album for fans of early German spacey/psychedelic music, but hardly an essential work for other listeners.

Review by Warthur
2 stars The first release from the Cosmic Couriers label - which would disintegrate a mere three years later in the wake of the Cosmic Jokers scandal - sees Ash Ra Tempel team up with Timothy Leary for some trippy freakout rock. To put things in context, in 1972 Leary was on the run from the American authorities, having escaped from a low security prison, so recording an album with him could be seen as a bit of a controversial move from Ash Ra Tempel - and, perhaps, was calculated as a publicity stunt on the part of R.U. Kaiser.

Either way, Leary's presence seems to throw the album off-kilter. There are segments which are very much in line with the typical Ash Ra Tempel sound, during which you wouldn't know Leary was there; at other points, like in the rock and roll section of Space - yes, there's a rock and roll section, it's the segment entitled Right Hand Lover - Leary's personality takes over proceedings, and the album seems to sound like a less jazzy and less progressive version of early Gong. In short, the team-up is an experiment which didn't quite work, and this is one of the least interesting of the early Ash Ra Tempel albums.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars Ash Ra Tempel's 1972 partnership with LSD guru Timothy Leary remains one of the most fascinating albums in all rock, but the chaos behind the music is more noteworthy than the music itself. The album (catalogue number KM 001) heralded the beginning of producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's kosmische musik trip, but in retrospect it also marked the beginning of the end, setting in motion a series of events that would, less than two years later, ruin R.U. Kaiser's career and reputation in the wake of the Cosmic Jokers misadventure.

First, a little background. The original plan for the LP was a collaboration with poet Allan Ginsberg, author of the Beat manifesto "Howl" (quoted in part on the cover of the first Ash Ra Tempel album). But when Ginsberg couldn't be found, Kaiser was inspired to enlist the services of Leary, at the time a fugitive from justice in nearby Switzerland, and already knee-deep in arcane mysticism and decadent European drug habits: pure catnip, of course, to Kaiser and his friends.

Ash Ra bass player Hartmut Enke was the driving force behind the project, although he paid a hefty price for his efforts. The experience more or less blew his mind, after Leary and his sidekick Brian Barritt tried to hitch the upcoming album behind their drug-induced musings on genetic history, mythical archetypes, and heightened cosmic awareness. Never mind the details; it all boiled down to the crackpot equation Time + Space = timESPace, not exactly the most universal truth, as it only works when written in English.

Take that grandiose concept, squeeze it into a paltry 37-minutes of vinyl, add some crystal acid to the studio soft drinks (hence the title, which also references the seven stages of higher consciousness), organize at least one orgy in the middle of it all, and here's the result: a slack-jawed, drooling mess of an album, actually featuring less than sixteen total minutes of original material.

Side One ("Space") is Timothy Leary's version of the psychic mind map, and it's an inadvertent laff riot, with truly embarrassing lead vocals by Leary himself. The music is partially salvaged by the studio camouflage of engineer Dieter Dierks (headrushing synthesizer transitions; deafening reverb effects; and so forth), with at least one brief segment ("Power Drive") clearly anticipating the stronger Cosmic Joker sessions one year later.

The problem was that Dieter couldn't apply the cosmetic mask fast enough or thick enough, and Timmy's wannabe rock star singing keeps reasserting itself. You haven't lived until you've heard the song "Right Hand Lover", presenting the sad spectacle of a stoned, middle-aged ex-Harvard professor of psychology posing as the next Mick Jagger.

Side Two of this schizophrenic affair ("Time") belongs to guitarist Manuel Göttsching, creating a slow-burn cosmic freak-out more in line with earlier Ash Ra Tempel efforts. In truth it merely recycles the same chords already heard on Side Two of "Schwingungen", the band's previous album (which was itself a near-carbon copy of PINK FLOYD's "Saucerful of Secrets"). All good stuff, but secondhand merchandise, and hardly reaching that rarefied state of inner epiphany imagined by Leary and company.

The final mix became a battle of conflicting ambitions, involving up to a dozen recorded participants: a textbook case of too many cooks, so forth. The Germans won that war, thank goodness. But the album itself remains a casualty of more permissive times: a sonic monument to high ideals and low achievement.

A final reflection...after hearing "Seven Up" I'm reminded of the famous quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes (and not Bertrand Russell), who wrote down what he saw as the ultimate secret of the universe while high on ether. After he regained consciousness, this is what he read: "a smell of turpentine prevails throughout".

In the sober light of morning, this album too is a real stinker. But no legitimate Krautrock library would be complete without it.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars A step back to the sixties

Whereas ASH RA TEMPEL's first two studio efforts - their self-titled debut and "Schwingungen" - were quite adventurous and innovative at the dawn of the 70's, this third album marks an half-decade step back. Why? A possible cause may be that "Seven Up" was done in collaboration with drug pope Timothy Leary. The music is less risky, less trippy, and for an important part, consists in 60's bluesy psychedelic rock'n'roll. Tracks named "Space" and "Time" look promising though, but there are unfortunately no real relation. As always since the debut opus, one side of the disc is more rock-oriented, whereas the other is more ambient and spacey.

One word on the curious title: vocalist Brian Barritt suggested the name "Seven Up" after someone gave the band a bottle of the well-known lemonade mixed with LSD.

Contrarily to what its title may suggest, "Space" is the 'rock-y' track. It's also the least interesting one, as well as one of ASH RA TEMPEL's weakest compositions. The slow and bluesy psychedelic beginning is enjoyable, reminding "Light: Look at your Sun" from "Schwingungen". However, it then fades out and continues with a noisy radio interruption featuring Timothy Leary at nonsense speaking. These useless odd breaks will occur several times during the track... The other parts are unrelated and alternates energetic spacey rock with average basic rock'n'roll. "Space" resembles more an incoherent patchwork from the sixties than a structured suite. Not very original and clearly lacking unity...

A little more convincing composition is "Time", the spacey track. Starting on a tone resembling the self-titled debut's, the music then become either floating, hesitating, weird or atmospheric. Anyway, not much genuinely remarkable. Nonetheless, the biggest surprise of the record is the ending part, simply identical to the finale of "Such and Liebe" from "Schwingungen"! Göttsching and Enke thought they found the soundtrack of heaven, but this is no reason to reuse this section here. What happened to the musicians' creativity?

So, to sum things up, the best part of the disc was already released one year earlier on the previous record... "Seven up" is undoubtedly the least personal effort from ASH RA TEMPEL, as well as the only weak opus from the band. Don't pick this one if you want to go on a musical journey through the deep cosmos.

Fortunately, a former colleague will join on the next album...

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the first release from the "Cosmic Courriers" label lead by Mr Rolf Ulrich Kaiser.. And, what do I need to say, this is incredible, maybe one of the maddest and most emotional album i've ever heard, but be warned, this is kind of radical. I hated it the first time, except the first blu ... (read more)

Report this review (#108238) | Posted by samhob | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ASH RA TEMPEL "Timothy Leary & Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.