Ash Ra Tempel - Inventions For Electric Guitar. 1974 Germany

Ash Ra Tempel - Inventions For Electric Guitar. 1974 Kosmische Musik

LP reissues: 1975 PDU (Italy); 1975 Cosmic Music (France); 1981 Pop Import; 2016 MG.ART

CD reissues: 1991 Spalax (France); 1998 Spalax (France); 2004 Arcangelo (Japan mini); 2010 Belle Antique (Japan mini); 2011 MG.ART

Here's where Manuel Göttsching began his solo career, though he maintained the Ash Ra Tempel moniker for one more album. Inventions for Electric Guitar was a revolutionary album for the day and is still forward-looking over 35 years later. Creating a sound-on-sound electronic vibe using only guitars and tape loops, Manuel weaves a wonderful tapestry of music that is at once intense and yet beautiful. He adds color with vicious solos while the guitar loops are bouncing in the background. Yet another brilliant work - and something entirely different for his past works.

It's been said this is the first electronic album performed entirely on electric guitar. And while Achim Reichel employed a similar tactic, his albums were group efforts. Gunther Schickert, another follower of this technique, also first released his landmark "Samtvogel" in 1974.

Originals are housed in a single sleeved cover. My first LP copy came in the mid 1980s, at The Record Gallery in Dallas, on the Pop Import imprint. I sold that once the first CD (Spalax) came onto the market. It's been reissued many times on CD, and my current copy came with the Ash Ra Tempel box set that also included the first two albums. An odd mix, but I'll take it. Interestingly enough, the album didn't come out on CD in Gottsching's native Germany until 2011, when he released it on his own label. None of the CDs are particularly noteworthy - all straight reissues. Finally in late 2016, I secured an original LP. I now possess original LPs for all of the Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra albums except New Age of Earth (which was ironically the first one I ever bought - but sold the LP years ago. D'oh).

Last update: February 25, 2017

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