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ASH RA TEMPEL

Krautrock • Germany


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Ash Ra Tempel biography
One of the most formidable of the German Krautrock groups, ASH RA TEMPEL were a powerful force led by guitarist Manuel GÖTTSCHING, and also included former TANGERINE DREAM drummer Klaus SCHULZE at various points. Their music is very spacy and psychedelic, in the manner popularized by early HAWKWIND and AMON DÜÜL II. The early albums all had basically one track a side, one more powerful and dramatic, the other of a more atmospheric nature.

Their albums are all classics; those with Klaus SCHULZE ("Ash Ra Tempel" and "Join Inn") are the best. ASH RA TEMPEL's first release is a classic of the space/cosmic genre. This is definitively the one to start with if you're not familiar with this band. "Schwingungen" is a vastly underrated album even by ardent fans of the band. Basically, "Join Inn", along with the two albums, are supposed to be the essential woks from ASH RA TEMPEL, and I certainly haven't been disappointed by any of the three. GÖTTSCHING's later work varied between solo albums and those within a group format.

Later, after recording the dreamy soundtrack "Le Berceau de Cristal" (1975 unreleased until the 90's) ASH RA TEMPEL changed name to ASHRA, making a more melodic synthesizer based music. In the year 2000 the ASH RA TEMPEL moniker was reborn. Joined by long-time colleague Klaus SCHULZE, the appropriately titled "Friendship" was released. This is the best release by Manuel since "Blackouts" and shows that he hasn't lost his touch. ASH RA TEMPEL is probably the best known band of the German space scene. A SPACE JOURNEY FROM START TO FINISH...!

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Ash Ra TempelAsh Ra Tempel
Made in Germany Music 2012
Audio CD$10.21
$17.53 (used)
SchwingungenSchwingungen
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$10.21
$17.94 (used)
Join InnJoin Inn
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$13.86
$17.76 (used)
Starring RossiStarring Rossi
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$10.21
$17.87 (used)
Live in Japan 97Live in Japan 97
Efa Imports 1998
Audio CD$24.11
$9.99 (used)
Join Inn / Starring RosiJoin Inn / Starring Rosi
Cleopatra 1998
Audio CD$34.44
$15.95 (used)
New Age of EarthNew Age of Earth
CD Baby 2003
Audio CD$23.56
$17.98 (used)
Schwingungen / Seven-UpSchwingungen / Seven-Up
Cleopatra 1998
Audio CD$13.98
$12.99 (used)
Le Berceau De CristalLe Berceau De Cristal
Tempel
Audio CD$59.67 (used)
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ASH RA TEMPEL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ASH RA TEMPEL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.14 | 259 ratings
Ash Ra Tempel
1971
3.69 | 117 ratings
Schwingungen
1972
3.92 | 115 ratings
Join Inn
1973
3.31 | 55 ratings
Starring Rosi
1973
3.29 | 66 ratings
Seven Up
1973
3.63 | 39 ratings
Friendship
2000

ASH RA TEMPEL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Paris Downers
1974
4.15 | 38 ratings
Le Berceau de Cristal
1994
3.63 | 13 ratings
Gin Rosé at the Royal Festival Hall
2000

ASH RA TEMPEL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ASH RA TEMPEL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 10 ratings
Join Inn / Starring Rosi
1998
4.56 | 13 ratings
Schwingungen / Seven-Up
1998

ASH RA TEMPEL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ASH RA TEMPEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ash Ra Tempel by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.14 | 259 ratings

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Ash Ra Tempel
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Tempel

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 than Can but Ash Ra do it. It pleases me to see this site has this ranked very high in the Krautrock sub genre. It deserves the highest of rankings. If you dig Can then I think it is safe to say you will love this record in particular.

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 Ash Ra Tempel by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.14 | 259 ratings

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Ash Ra Tempel
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

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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 Seven Up by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.29 | 66 ratings

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Seven Up
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Ash Ra Tempel's 1972 partnership with convicted felon / 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.

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 Starring Rosi by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.31 | 55 ratings

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Starring Rosi
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After three albums of intense, acid-fried space rock and a turbulent collaboration with Harvard jailbird / LSD advocate Timothy Leary, who can blame guitarist Manuel Göttsching for wanting to kick back and have a little fun with his fiancé?

In retrospect, however, he probably should have released the album under his own name. Anyone expecting another mind-bending, mood-altering Ash Ra Tempel experience is likely to be disappointed by the entirely earthbound results: a scant 35-minutes of sometimes pleasant but mostly negligible underachievement by one of rock music's more visionary artists.

Even with able assistance from drummer Harald Großkopf and veteran producer Dieter Dierks the album never rises above the level of a vanity project, and strictly speaking is for completists only. The music itself isn't actually poor, just...unnecessary, and too often undermined by its similarity to the sort of acts other Krautrockers avoided on principle, sounding at times not unlike Santana (in the song "Bring Me Up") or, believe it or not, the Allman Brothers ("Laughter Loving")

Clearly the unique creative spirit that had burned so incandescent during the Kosmische Rock era was in danger of becoming extinguished. And I think it's fair to say that girlfriend Rosi Mueller may not have been the most effective muse Göttsching ever had. Really, what else can be said about an album on which the best song ("Day Dream") is a drifting spoken-word fantasy about a little gypsy queen who lives in Rainbow Land?

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 Friendship by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.63 | 39 ratings

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Friendship
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The prospect of a Krautrock superstar reunion must have had fans salivating in anticipation, but don't be misled by the Ash Ra Tempel moniker. The music on this year 2000 collaboration between two of the group's founding fathers bears no relation whatsoever to the unearthly kosmische explorations of bygone days.

Original bassist Hartmut Enke wasn't involved (hardly surprising, after his LSD burnout in the mid-1970s). And a more genuine Ash Ra Tempel reunion would have Klaus Schulze clattering away behind his dusty old drum kit, instead of pre-programming all the shiny, synthetic drum patterns heard here.

In retrospect the album was never meant to rescale the heights of German experimental music. The early '70s were tumultuous years, requiring an equally tumultuous soundtrack, but the end of the last millennium saw the exploratory spirit of the surviving original Krautrockers more or less tamed by age and complacency. Nothing wrong with that; we all grow old eventually, and for some of us it can be a very comfortable process. Consider this more as music of celebration, not opposition, marking thirty years of spiritual kinship over three long instrumental workouts, rich in digital atmospherics and propelled by the smoothest rhythms this side of a Bryan Ferry album.

Schulze's contributions don't extend far beyond the background layers of plastic New Age wallpaper. But the music takes wing whenever Manuel Göttsching begins one of his typically nimble solos. Göttsching was always one of the most natural guitarists of his generation, and despite a more refined style of playing in later years he never lost any of his skill or passion. The title track in particular offers a stunning display of power and sensitivity...at least before the artificial drumming kicks in and transforms it into an after- hours Iberian dance party.

(Besides the self-titled "Friendship", the other two tracks are named "Reunion" and "Pikant", the latter possibly a misspelling of 'piquant', but after hearing it I hardly think so.)

In the end the album might provide decent background music for making love, washing dishes, or working off all that middle-aged flab on a health farm treadmill. But it doesn't exactly encourage active listening, unlike the Ash Ra Tempel of old. Whoever said it first was right: apparently you can't go home again.

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 Join Inn by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 115 ratings

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Join Inn
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the truly unhinged schizophrenia of "Schwingungen", this far more balanced album must have been a relief to many fans, at least judging by its higher overall rating here at Progarchives. Klaus Schulze was back on board (albeit looking more like a guest in the oddly segregated cover photo), and the arrangement of music followed the same, side- long, yin and yang formula of the band's 1971 debut.

But the more casual spontaneity of this recording worked against it. The twin jams were constructed on the spur of a moment during rehearsals for the Walter Wegmüller Krautrock all-star album "Tarot", and despite some heroic playing the extemporaneous nature of the session lends the music a more relaxed dynamic than earlier efforts, especially during the aptly titled album opener "Freak 'n' Roll".

With Klaus Schulze again behind his drum kit the trio managed to summon up quite a bit of kinetic energy. But an awesome title isn't enough to hide what really amounts to one of Ash Ra Tempel's more polite guitar thrashes. Not unlike NEU!'s groundbreaking "Hallogallo" it fades in on a jam already in progress, and over the next nineteen-plus minutes hardly develops at all, sounding more like the orphaned middle section of a much longer performance. I've heard the music described elsewhere as 'ego-less' (plagiarizing an observation first made by Julian Cope), which sounds like an empty intellectual compliment: the attraction here isn't a lack of any concept of self in the playing, it's the plateau of undiluted joy attained by three likeminded friends reunited after a two-year separation.

The ethereal 24-minute "Jenseits" ("Hereafter") sticks to the usual Ash Ra album model, contrasting a high energy guitar jam with a low radiation drift study. In this case the results owe more to the efforts of Klaus Schulze than Manuel Göttsching, offering a link between the band and Schulze's early solo career. Expect a healthy measure of ambient atmospherics and suspended energy, with the dreamlike voice of Rosi Müller floating in and out of the mix, in translation sounding not unlike Teutonic narration from a Terrence Malick film:

"We are dancing on the wet grass... Isn't it beautiful? Do you know the way? A little bit. ...Mother..."

And so forth. All very haunting, and sehr kosmische, but clearly the language barrier is a welcome benefit here.

This would be the last of Ash Ra Tempel's classic albums; soon afterward the band would be reduced to Göttsching and his girlfriend Rosi, and finally to Göttsching alone. As a throwaway effort it holds together extremely well, but with a little more forethought it might have emerged as another Krautrock masterpiece.

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 Schwingungen by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.69 | 117 ratings

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Schwingungen
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ash Ra Tempel's second album is sometimes regarded as a step down from the Götterdämmerung space rock of the band's 1971 debut. The absence of Klaus Schulze (trading his drum kit for keyboards on his first solo album) and the addition of vocals, vibes and saxophone suggest a more earthbound experience the second time around.

But don't be lulled into a false sense of security, something the album itself almost seems to encourage. Instead of going for the immediate chokehold like the first LP, the music on "Schwingungen" sneaks up behind the unwary listener and slowly inserts the Krautrock equivalent of a red-hot needle through the base of your skull, right between the ears and directly into your Third Eye.

After the album-length tension and release of the earlier effort, Manuel Göttsching and crew had to rekindle their creative energies from scratch. Thus the slowly building psychedelic blues at the top of the album, introducing the unique vocal talents of Manfred Brüch, alias John L, also known as 'The Hippy King of Berlin', and the only singer I've ever heard employ the flower power platitude "We are all One" and make it sound like the last strangled gasp of a condemned man swinging beneath the gallows.

And that's during a song optimistically titled "Light: Look at Your Sun". Just wait for the flipside of the sentiment, "Darkness: Flowers Must Die", when Herr Brüch descends into what sounds like a primitive trance-state of apocalyptic horror. His ranting is completely unintelligible, which might be a blessing in disguise: the lyrics evoke a level of pessimism far ahead of their time in Aquarian Age 1972.

On the side-long title track Göttsching dials back the dystopian madness to present a more serene but no less powerful vision, with the music slowly drifting through an interstellar cloud of vibraphones and pulsating electronics toward a majestic coda. Too bad the actual structure and mood of the song are so heavily in debt to PINK FLOYD's "Saucerful of Secrets", almost to the level of outright plagiarism. And like the Floyd, Göttsching would find it a difficult melody to walk away from, recycling the same empyrean chords during the "7- Up" album sessions, and later in the COSMIC JOKERS rip-off "Gilles Zeitschiff" (the latter without Göttsching's permission).

A final word about the enigmatic John L. It may or may not be worth mentioning that he was notorious for dancing naked on stage with his genitals slathered in paint, or that he was sacked from his previous band (AGITATION FREE, prior to their first album) for excessive drug use: a noteworthy accomplishment in counter-culture Germany.

I only mention these colorful details to ease the misgivings of any fan who might see the laughably amateur cover art and imagine Göttsching pulled his punches for this album. It might in fact be one of Krautrock's more extreme musical journeys, from a band at the time already too near the abyss.

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 Schwingungen by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.69 | 117 ratings

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Schwingungen
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars I could have drawn that front cover when I was 8 years old and still not have won any prizes at school. In fact I'd probably be told that I should forget any ambitions of being an artist... It's really poor isn't it? It put me off buying this cd for a long time, that's for sure.

If you can put the sleeve to one side what you're left with is an excellent Krautrock album.

Track one - 'Light: Look at your Sun' has a drug laden, eyes almost shut we're so wasted sound. Funnily enough, it also has intro guitar chords that could have been lifted directly by David Sylvian on 'The Healing Place' from 'Gone to Earth'.

There's some extreme phasing amongst the pandemonium of 'Darkness - Flowers Must Die' which I love. The vocals by a certain 'John L' are pretty tuneless and shouty but seem to fit the style of music being played. This is really quite an intense track with frenetic drumming and uber cool guitars played by Manuel Gottsching. Strobe lights and wobbly acid patterns on walls and ceilings are the images conjured up here.

Vibraphones herald the intro to 'Suche & Liebe'. Quite apt really as 'Schwingungen' means 'Vibrations' in German. This lengthy instrumental piece is a far more laid back affair. This noisy side one, quiet side two approach is something they used on all their early albums. This sounds very much like sequences from Floyd's 'Ummagumma' ending on a beautiful heavy bass, vocal and guitar harmony which makes it my favourite Ash Ra Tempel album.

One thing's for sure, they didn't miss Klaus Schulze who had temporarily left to record his first solo LP 'Irrlicht' during this year. They got on perfectly fine without him.

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 Friendship by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.63 | 39 ratings

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Friendship
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by AléxandrosDemos

3 stars I know this is just me, but i cant stand the "electronic sound" in music, to my ears it sounds too "new age music" (which, for my taste, its not good at all, with some exceptions of course, but this is not one of them). I like a lot there 70´s sound (even the less prog plaques), but i can barely tolerate this electro-new age thing; to me it sounds like ENIGMA (Michael Cretu project) doing an "electronic jam", pointless extending beats for more than 20 minutes. The best cut surely is the title track, which blends guitar landscapes (quasi-oriental arrangements) with (again, damn) new age beats; it suggests a very mysterious and attention-demanding "dialogue" between Göttsching guitar and Schulze synthesizers.

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 Ash Ra Tempel by ASH RA TEMPEL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.14 | 259 ratings

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Ash Ra Tempel
Ash Ra Tempel Krautrock

Review by BrufordFreak

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 experience of my life: Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Powerful stuff! Then my second listenings--as I was better prepared, I actually lay in bed, in the dark, with headphones on with the volume set to high and had an amazing meditation/altered state/shamanic/out-of-body experience! What a journey! Now I understand why this album sits atop the all-time highest rated Krautrock (and would be competitive in the Space/Psychedelic sub-genre as well) list! It is awesome! And it sounds so good here in 2011--forty years after it first hit the stores. Talk about a group/album far ahead of its time! 5 stars all the way! This is a masterpiece all the way, without doubt.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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