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Manuel Göttsching


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Manuel Göttsching Inventions For Electric Guitar album cover
3.85 | 103 ratings | 14 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Echo Waves (17:45)
2. Quasarsphere (6:34)
3. Pluralis (21:36)

Total Time: 45:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, Fx ( Revox A77 for echoes, WahWah pedal, volume pedal, Schaller Rotosound and Hawaiian steel bar), composer, arranger & producer

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Geitner with George Bockemühl (photo)

LP Kosmische Musik ‎- KM 58.015 (1975, Germany) Quadrophonic audio
LP MG.ART ‎- MG.ART 901 (2016, Germany) Stereo

CD Spalax ‎- 14245 (1991, France)
CD MG.ART ‎- MG.ART 401 (2011, Germany) Remastered by Manuel Göttsching

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MANUEL GÖTTSCHING Inventions For Electric Guitar ratings distribution

(103 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MANUEL GÖTTSCHING Inventions For Electric Guitar reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by corbet
3 stars Electric guitars and echo-devices are a match made in heaven. I don't care if there's a chimp sitting with an echoplex, banging on some strings, I'll still listen to it. So naturally, when a dude like Manuel Gottsching has a go at it, I'm completely sold. This is just a great, tranced-out album... not only do you have the whole pulsing guitar deal, but at the end of each long track, you get a completely fried electric solo that puts the whole thing over the edge. For headphones, or background music, or music to fall asleep to -- forget "airport music" and come get the good stuff!
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars A very ambitious title for such an ordinary album, Gottsching might seem to be thinking a little too much of his music by this time. Because there is nothing on this album that there wasn't already on his previous records, for that matter, there appears to be a lot less twists and turns than before. Indeed there aren't even much guitars on the album, but it's full of sequencers that seemed borrowed from Tangerine Dream. For that matter ART's IFEG is probably the closest to a (good) TD album than to anything he'd done before. The 22-mins Pluralis shows that Gottsching found something similar to frippetronics or loops and this will be explored for the duration of track, for better or for worse.

Gliding, smooth, slowly-evolving minimalist music that has at least an hypnotic quality (but again nothing that TD hadn't mastered better either) that brings you smoothly to the borders of boredom or the frontiers of awakening, but in no case will you find excitement or power in such a flat (dare I say dull??) album.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first solo album by the founder and guitarist of the legendary Ashra Tempel. "Inventions" is maybe one of the most underated prog rock album. Despite that many claim that this album sounds dated I consider it as timeless & really avant-gardist for the period it was released. It consists of long fantastic instrumental pieces built around Gottsching trademark guitar. Trancey, minimalistic flavor with a lot of feed-back & delay echoes. A seminal work and a must if you are interested in original instrumental works.
Review by Zac M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's amazing to think that one guitar player created this great album. I have heard Ash Ra Tempel's/Manuel Gottsching's material in the past, but this album is my first actual purchase. IT seems to me that this album is fairly underrated by most proggers. Most of the criticism I hear towards the album is negative. I think that for what it is worth, this is a great album.

Manuel Gottsching is a guitar wizard. He creates passages in the compositions that flow from one to another. The sound is very electronic obviously and quite spacey. The pieces also seem to put the listener in some sort of hypnotic phase or trance. It is hard to pick a favorite track on this album because the whole is very solid and made up of only three long compositions.

This album may seem like a bore for some, but to me, it is an excellent listen. Sure, it is relaxing and can easily induce sleep, but some of the best music is like that. Take, for instance, Brian Eno. Much of his ambient work puts me to sleep (that is, when I am tired!!!), but these pieces still show how great he is at composing and creating musical sketches. In this case, I recommend this album to someone looking for a hidden electronic music gem. It is truly amazing that one guy played all this stuff.

It's an excellent addition to any prog lover's collection as long as they know what they are getting into before they go out in get it. They might actually enjoy it. While not a masterpice, this album still deserves four stars and is strongly recommended!!!

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Inventions For Electric Guitar' (1975) was recorded by Manuel Göttsching 'only' with the help of guitars and a TEAC four track tape machine. Now, first coment this is NO guitar record, in terms of normal guitar texture. Göttsching creates on the three tracks differrent soundscapes, that could also have been recorded with analog synths and sequencers. Especially on the first track it is hard to make out a 'typical' guitar sound. This is in no way a negative comment. The 70's were progressive not only in terms of music, but also (a and often at the same time) in terms of recording technique and sound devices. This record owes as much to Jimi Hendrix and his groundbreaking guitar sounds as to 'Tangerine Dream' and their keyboard soundscapes.

'Echo Waves' the first track is the least guitarish track on the record. Göttsching superposes several short repetitive rhythm loops, often just by hitting the muted strings and passes them through an analog echo device plus a flanger or phaser and some filters. The result is stunning and reminds the sequenced sections of early Tangerine Dream : hypnotic rhythm waves. Unfortunately after 14 minutes Göttsching plays on top a distorted guitar solo, bringing all the floating athmosphere back to the ground.

'Quasarsphere' creates a completely differrent athmosphere based on slow moving waves. The sound is created with the volume pedal cutting of the attack of the guitar string and bringing in the sound after the attack creating a spacy, whaling sound, that was also the trademark sound of 'Popol Vuh' guitarist Daniel Fichelscher (even so I am quite sure hat Hendrix was the first having used this sound), a beautiful floating track.

'Pluralis' the last track has the 'most' guitar sounding athmosphere. It's again made up of a repetitive rhythm tracks, but this time with a longer slow guitar riff and a medium echo that creates a bouncing effect. Over this track Göttsching puts a background layer , that sounds incredibily like a synth pad. The opposition,between the bouncing rhythm and the slow pad creates a strange, trippy athmosphere. Again after 15 minutes Gôttsching brings in a guitar solo, that lasts about 3 minutes and leaves place to a strange E piano like sound.

A geat inventive record!

Review by Modrigue
5 stars WHAT A BLAST!

The first solo effort from the guitarist of ASH RA TEMPEL is one of the most innovative, groundbreaking and mindblowing album of the 70s' ! Ranking with its contemporary TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, Manuel Göttsching combines waves of electric guitars to create spacey evolving soundscapes, and makes the music sounding not "guitar- dominated", but surprisingly rather very electronic and hypnotic.

The overture tune, "Echo Waves", is a perfect example of the music created by Manuel. Mixing JIMI HENDRIX's-like saturated guitar solos with minimalistic NEU-ish and early PINK FLOYD feels, this pulsing track is very floating and ambient. Hard to believe it was recorded only with guitars ! The end is pure heavy psychedelia... The best and the most energic song of the album. The calm comes back with "Quasarsphere", a very smooth and delicate ambient passage, which reminds best moments of POPOL VUH. Very relaxing underwater music... The last track is the longest of the record and announces the musical direction that will be taken with ASHRA. "Pluralis" is the most mysterious and the most epic song featured here, transporting you to ancient civilisations lost in space... Certain passages are reminiscent of GONG's "You", released the same year. Light guitar riffs evolve to create a pulsing effect on superposing athmospheric waves, appearing and disappearing slightly. Magic! The album ends with a saturated frightening guitar solo, sometimes in the vein of Edgar Froese's playing, but very high-pitched and epic, all accompanied by echoing musical textures.

"Inventions For Electric Guitar" is the first solo masterpiece by Manuel Göttsching. Really avant-gardiste and ahead of its time, this record announces main directions in electronic music. Incredible, a must for Space Rock and Electronic Ambient lovers.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was Manuel Gottsching's first solo album although he still put ASH RA TEMPEL VI on the album cover as well. Of course what makes this record so special is that Manuel has made it all with his guitar. When you hear this album, that previous statement becomes pretty amazing. He is making electronic sounds with his guitar !

"Echo Waves" sounds like something TANGERINE DREAM put out with the bubbling synth-like sounds which are really a lot of overdubbed guitar ryhthms. It sounds really intricate giving the impression that the sounds are weaving in and around each other. About 15 minutes in Manuel lays down some scorching melodies as he really rips it up ending the song with a blistering attack. Nice. "Quasarsphere" is slower paced and more spacey than the first song.

"Pluralis" is a side long suite over 21 minutes long. For the first 8 minutes it floats along sounding much like synths to me until we get some good,real guitar. There is an ear piercing screaming guitar sound after 14 minutes and the sound pulses late in the song.

As much as I am impressed with what he has accomplished here, I do prefer his guitar work of the past much more.This guy can really play but here it's mostly synth sounding work with a few outbreaks of his incredible solos.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the demise of Ash Ra Tempel, Michael Göttsching went on to form Ashra, a band dwelling in similar ambient realms, but with the aid of electronic instruments. In between both incarnations of the Ashra bands, Göttsching released Inventions for Electric Guitar as a first solo album. The album clearly hints at what Göttsching would do on the first Ashra album, but all music is still created with guitars and echo devices.

The album is often called groundbreaking but in fact it resembles very much the earlier experiments of Achim Reichel on his album Echo. The title of the first track Echowaves might even be a clear nod to that album. Göttsching goes a step further then Reichel and creates a more profound minimalistic pulse with a texture that sounds truly electronic, trance and repetitive, but at the same time in constant flux, moving through ever changing patterns. It ends with a soaring guitar solo.

Quasarsphere is slow-paced and dreamy, with guitar chords fading in and out to create a fragile and abstract melody with an ambience reminiscent of Fripp's flippertronics. Pluralis is somewhat of a letdown after the excellent tracks that preceded. The 21.30 minute echoed guitar sequence is hardly as urgent and captivating as the one from Echowaves. It ends with a piercing guitar solo again but the bubbling guitars in the background remain too meek.

Inventions for Electric Guitar starts out excellent but I have to be in the mood for the last piece that, certainly when compared to the early Ash Ra Tempel albums, runs out of steam too quickly. 3.5 stars

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Maybe it's the pretentious title, or the unflattering mug-shot filling the album cover. Or maybe it's the confusion over whether the album belongs to Manuel Göttsching or to Ash Ra Tempel (in truth, by 1975 the guitarist was the entire band). Or it might just be the music itself: a textbook model of (take your pick) either numbing repetition or hypnotic simplicity.

Whatever the reason, here's an album that hasn't attracted all the retroactive praise it deserves, especially in light of Göttsching's later elevation to 'The Godfather of Trance'. What he did here was borrow a formula already perfected by erstwhile bandmate KLAUS SCHULZE (and by Schulze's own erstwhile bandmates in TANGERINE DREAM), playing minimal but melodic patterns of overlapping arpeggios, created entirely through studio reverb, echo effects, and good ol' fashioned manual dexterity (amazingly, no tape loops were involved).

The difference was that Göttsching, not unlike ACHIM REICHEL or GÜNTER SCHICKERT, achieved the effect playing guitar instead of programming synthesizers, which not only required more effort but in retrospect helped to keep the music relatively fresh after all these years. It's true that a certain monotony creeps into the set at times, notably during the nearly 22-minute "Pluralis", sounding like an old phonograph needle stuck in a groove of scratched vinyl. But the soloing on top of the (again, all hand-played) sequences ultimately saves even the more uneventful passages, adding a welcome human dimension to what could have been merely a cold, mechanical exercise.

It's ironic that the shortest cut ("Quasarsphere") is also the best: six-plus minutes of pure, yearning emotion, recalling Göttsching's cosmic aspirations in such classic Ash Ra Tempel inprovs like "Traummaschine and "Jenseits". But the two longer tracks reveal an artist looking forward, anticipating a musical vocabulary that in 1975 didn't even have a name yet.

Compared to the shattering, Hendrix-inspired jams of earlier efforts ("Amboss", anyone?), the album might resemble nothing more than a one-man novelty project. But after the underachievement of "Starring Rosi" it must have been reassuring to hear Göttsching return to what he does best: playing his guitar, and at considerable length. And, thankfully, the music itself has aged a lot better than the artwork or album title.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Although labelled as an Ash Ra Tempel album every so often this is also said to be Manuel Göttsching's first solo effort. And true, you will only hear his guitar, but based on echoes, effects and overdubbing this partially sounds like a band is on the run. As a youngster in the 1970's 'Inventions For Electric Guitar' fascinated me for a while. This music was so different from stuff which was normally delivered, experimental due to the hypnotic looping behaviour ... and the beauty, the melancholic outfit even brought tears to my eyes occasionally, when I was intensively listening via headphones - often also coupled with Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida suite, you should know.

After nearly 40 years which are gone in the meanwhile, I still can hear the special inspiration, which flows on the same level with Günther Schickert's GAM and Achim Reichel's krautrock phase. A particular feature is, that the sound is very electronically outfitted, thus resembles a Tangerine Dream flair in some way. Echo Waves - the title suits best - shines with a gripping progression - variating echoed guitar excursions, a deep toned track imitates a bass, others are added which sound way more like synthesizer output. Finally Manuel offers a proper guitar solo on top of it.

Occupying one flipside Pluralis follows with a quite similar approach and once again you're inclined to insist, that some synth stuff is incorporated too - but no, this exclusively comes from the guitar. Historically seen this album manifests Manuel Göttsching's disengagement from Ash Ra Tempel. Though being very minimalistic this is something entertaining nevertheless. For me 'Inventions For Electric Guitar' definitely should be counted among the essential contributions to the krautrock genre.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Don't be fooled by the presence of Ash Ra Tempel's name on the cover of some editions of this album; it's all Manuel G'ttsching all the time. Then again, you could have fooled me, because this fits in with the Ash Ra Temple sound of the mid-1970s really neatly. A Krautrock riposte to Fripp and Eno's own guitar-and-sound-processor Frippertronics experiments such as No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, it's a spacey journey in the tradition of the very best of the tripped-out cosmic side of the Krautrock scene. Those who are already familar with G'ttsching's 1970s work through Ash Ra Tempel or the Cosmic Jokers releases and who fancy something in the same mode will be well pleased with this one.
Review by LearsFool
5 stars One of the three magicians behind the brain melting "Ash Ra Tempel", Manuel Gottsching had long before 1975 proven himself a master guitarist and an early wizard of electronic effects. By that year, though, his band had fallen apart. His response? Just make an album of him multitracked, playing several guitars at once as in a trance. "Echo Waves" immediately shows the wonder of his style: his skill on guitar translates to quick moving yet soothing chords and solos that together bring the listener to a world of active peace. Makes me think of the celebratory heaven described in Dante's "Paradiso". "Pluralis", on top of the hazy guitars, also has synth-esque guitar, that ever so elusive and special sound. Gottsching had cracked the flip side of ambient, fiery rather than slow, even before Eno's Ambient Series. Very impressive on top of being very enjoyable, a unique cornerstone of relaxation music.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars And on this one i am on an opposite spin from many others. MANUEL GÖTTSCHING is, of course, the founder and mastermind behind the ambient space rock group Ash Ra Tempel and Cosmic Jokers as well as being in cahoots with Klaus Schulze's solo career, Agitation Free, Wallenstein and the ever-so-psychedelic persona of Timothy Leary. He also was in a band called the Steeple Chase Blues Band but i digress and meander back to my unexpatiated point (or did i even have one?)

Anyway, this is a minimalistic ambient type of album. MANUEL's guitar sounds are extremely professionally and technically magnificent but what's lacking here is some amazing mind-blowing creativity in how they are displayed. That's my biggest complaint about this album. I have one of the newer remastered versions and am totally impressed with the production and all but for an album that claims INVENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR with MANUEL's smiling face gracing the cover, i just don't find this to be the panacea of musical creativity from 1975.

Bascially, i have high standards for minimalistic music. It really has to be original in many ways and not derivative in any way. Anyone can make a minimalistic album based on something great that came before. This album just sounds too much like what Achim Reichel and his Machines conjured up in 1971 with their landmark album "Die Grüne Reise" which IMHO is a much more interesting and diverse album.

And from the same year of this album's release was Steve Hillage's "Fish Rising" which employs much of the Gong inspired trippiness in his guitar playing that doesn't sound too much different stylistically speaking than what GöTTSCHING was going for here and is MUCH superior in the creativity department. This is not a bad minimalistic album but neither is it a great one. There are no scorching guitar moments as on Ash Ra Tempel's debut album, only subtle musical changes that don't get my freak flag flying high enough. Good and influential but personally i only find this ok to listen to on a regular basis but i do like it, just not immensely.

3.5 rounded down

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars This album could be called as one of textbooks for Krautrockers who try to represent an ambient minimalistic portfolio through an electric guitar. Exactly we can say Manuel came into his own line of Krautrock. Pretty impressive he constructed unique, theatrical view of sound effectively with simple, monotonous phrases. Each phrase is not so innovative nor excessive but the combination sounds like massive excitement of the audience, amazingly ... regardless of controversy if such a strategy be novel in mid 1970s or not.

Manuel's guitar launches mysterious and acceptable ambience especially in the second track upon A Side "Quasarsphere", where are a mass of dramatic lunatic tonic initiative. His spherical sound organization must drive the audience into his Tempel. No difficulty for us to get into such a transcendental meditation via his electro world. The format is not so special enough to give us the first blow but the more we listen to this stuff, the deeper we should sink his dark inner world.

Of all the environmental minimalism, we could mention that the longest (over 20 minute) track "Pluralis" go forward with enthusiasm gradually increasing as if it dance over the whole B Side Turf. No complicated melody line but intelligent superposition of the lines would give us fine palpitation. On the contrary in the first shot "Echo Waves" monotonous para-musical phrases appear in front of us with frequent microscopic alteration step by step. What an impression it is there are lots of minimal melodic changes from each other.

Non-colourful but sensitive creation methods can be well estimated eternally, at least for me ... yeah, whether this is the real authenticity or not is quite different from the fact I love this creation, though.

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