Ash Ra Tempel — Le Berceau de Cristal
(Spalax CD 14275, 1975/1993, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-08-01
Remember Tangerine Dream's Green Desert? Many a time have I discussed its legitimacy as a long lost album with people. Hailing from 1985, yet claiming to be from 1973, it just didn't seem to fit musically between Atem and Phaedra. Le Berceau de Cristal, a "lost" soundtrack from 1975, is far more believable, yet still fairly enigmatic. This one fits in the gap between Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra (sans Tempel). While I could be wrong, I don't remember ex-Agitation Free guitarist Lutz Ulbrich playing with Göttsching until Blackouts but I don't claim to be an expert here, and he is credited as a second member. Anyway, this doesn't really fit comfortably anywhere in Ash Ra history. Göttsching's use of the Farfisa Organ reminds one heavily of early Klaus Schulze circa Cyborg or Blackdance, especially with its bubbling synth rhythms and dark and solitary melodic content. Yeah I guess you can hear Göttsching's guitar playing in the style of Inventions which this supposedly followed, but there is a different mood here, more like early Schulze than the upbeat stuff that Göttsching and Ulbrich would do later on. To me, Ash Ra has always been a hit and miss affair anyway ("Hits" - Ash Ra Tempel, Join Inn and Inventions..., "Misses" - Seven Up and Starring Rosi) although I find that the later stuff grows on you over time. I'm still not sure where this one fits, but, hey, obviously it's a must if you like this era of innovative synth music.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more