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.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more