Manuel Göttsching — Die Mulde
(MG.ART 301, 1997/2005, CD)
Manuel Göttsching — Concert for Murnau
(MG.ART 302, 2003/2005, CD)
Manuel Göttsching — E2-E4 Live
(MG.ART 303, 2005, CD+DVD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2006-05-01
As 2005 neared its end, Manuel Göttsching released three new CDs: Die Mulde, Concert for Murnau and E2-E4 Live. Die Mulde is a composition Manuel recorded September 6, 1997 for an art installation at the Denkmalschmiede Höfgen, close to the river Mulde. The CD contains the title track plus “hp little cry” recorded in 2004. Concert for Murnau is Manuel’s foray into semi-classical music and was performed live to the silent film Schloss Vogelöd (The Haunted Castle) by F. W. Murnau October 31 – November 1, 2003 at the Stattstheater Braunschweig, Kleines Haus, Germany. And of course, E2-E4 Live is a live recording of Manuel’s 1989 studio release at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Berlin on March 25, 2005.
In my opinion, Die Mulde is by far the best of the lot. It clearly shows the influence of his long time friend and musical colleague Klaus Schulze. It is pure electronic bliss. “Die Mulde” consists of four movements that flow seamlessly from one to the next, just like a river, and clocks in at 40:05. This is soothing, floating music and if Manuel’s guitar is present, it is certainly way down in the mix of arpeggios, keyboards, and electronics. Near the end of “Die Mulde”, it begins to sound more like Manuel’s music from the same time. “hp little cry” has an entirely different feel to it. Manuel recorded the background ambient electronics in 1981 and added guitar in 2004. It is 32 minutes of quiet, guitar tinklings layered over washes of drifting electronic chords. Gone are the days of his fiery guitar jams.
In contrast is Concert for Murnau. This release contains 12 tracks that range in duration from under a minute to almost 10 minutes. This CD is a combination of electronics and classical music. Some tracks are a combination of the two genres, others are either pure electronics or pure acoustic strings and horns. The music is a bit uneven. For me, the electronic pieces and the combination pieces work best. Some of the classical pieces sound a bit forced, and since Manuel is not noted for composing this type of music, they tend to be a bit long in exploring some simple motifs. These types of variations and experiments are much better suited for synths. As the Concert for Murnau was composed as a film score, perhaps it works better when the listener can also enjoy it with the visual experience of the horror film. The electronic pieces do offset the weaknesses of the classical pieces, but Concert for Murnau is not the recording to start with for a novice, it is more for the Göttsching completist.
Lastly, there is E2-E4 Live, which also happens to be the shortest Göttsching release in years. It is only 21:11 long, which is a blessing for E2-E4. The original studio recording was 59:20 and got a bit monotonous if you were to concentrate on the music. This live recording from earlier this year still communicates all of Manuel’s original musical ideas, but with new instrumentation in a shorter version that will keep you entertained.
Overall, we are very lucky to have this much new Göttsching music in 2005, which shows that he continues to be contributor in the ever growing amount of music available today.
Related artist(s): Manuel Göttsching
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
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more