Exposé Online banner

Ash Ra Tempel — The Best of the Private Tapes
(Purple Pyramid CLP-0299-2, 1998, 2CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

The Best of the Private Tapes Cover art

Ash Ra Tempel is one of the core founder bands of the German space rock movement along with Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. But the group has suffered from less stateside notoriety than those previous bands. For those of you uninitiated (including myself), The band is guitarist Manual Göttsching's brainchild with varying personnel. The core musical concepts center on electric guitars with foundation synths in endless improvs across this sampler two disc set. The Best of includes representative tracks from the monster six disc set previously available only from mail order. There are excerpts of longer tracks (which retain the essence of the main piece extracted from), plus one special bonus track not included on the larger set. Göttsching's guitar playing is very emotive, not unlike a less effects drenched Andy Latimer (Camel) or Edgar Froese on a more restrained day. The odd track, "Der Lauf der Giraffen" appears to be dramatic departure from expectations with nice fuzzy solo backed by a real band. Some techno influences can directly be traced back to a few tracks such as the mostly sequenced Disk two is characterized by continuing modern updates to the sound as the band evolved from the seventies through the eighties with more predominance toward newer keyboard gear and less guitar playing. Excellent informative liner notes are provided which give a concise career overview for novice discoverers. The Cleopatra label has done well to bring a band of this European stature to a wider, more appreciative audience. Suffice it to say, I'm now a member of the converted and hope we may yet see a stateside live performance.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Manuel Göttsching, Ash Ra Tempel / Ashra, Harald Grosskopf, Lutz "Lüül" Ulbricht

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Patrick Gauthier - Bébé Godzilla – I've wished for a CD reissue of this — Patrick Gauthier's all instrumental post-Weidorje album — for many long years. Finally on December 24th I found it in a record store by total...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues