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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson - Industry – Most people who are aware of Richard Thompson would probably not consider his music 'progressive,' and they would probably be right on most occasions. To be sure, he was a key player on...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues