Manuel Göttsching, Ariel Pink, Oren Ambarchi, Shags Chamberlain make up Ash Ra Tempel. Here is a recording of their live performance in Melbourne for Supersense Festival. The tracks played comes from the group’s Schwingungen and Seven Up albums.
Available as a vinyl LP or CD with extensive liner notes by Mick Glossop & Manuel Göttsching.
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Here’s a band with a bunch of quasi-famous people in it. Usually they wouldn’t be doing the things they’ve decided to do here, but I guess this rock mischief does actually make sense: Ariel Pink would only be making bubblegum pop for cartoon world adverts otherwise (while being a dickhead, probably); Manuel Göttsching actually founded a variant of this band, but lately he’s just as well known for playing ambient chess; Oren Ambarchi will just do anything if he can hang out with some instrument-adjacent buds. And then there’s Shags Chamberlain, who actually I’ve never heard of, but here’s here too, okay?
Out in Melbourne they laid down four psychedelic scribbles -- the first, a sonorous meander, ends with Göttsching introducing his new line-up. It follows into the horrendous cacophony of “Flowers Must Die”, with its harshly tremouring didgeridoo intro giving way to faded guitars, slushy electronics and shimmering drums -- they break through to the other side with a noisy, formless preacher piece and follow on to the swirly “Medley”, which bubbles and swirls and screams and howls for the appropriate amount of time: fifteen minutes. As in human to dog years, real time would relate that to about three.
For those in love with the looser energies and weirder semantics found in the genre, where hypnosis isn’t so much the watchword and is replaced by sheer illusion, this one’s for you. I feel like I make less sense just listening to it. And how about all those big names? A fine and unique outing for the Tempel.
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