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CD Feature/ Manuel Göttsching: "Joaquin Joe Claussell meets Manuel Göttsching"

img  Tobias

The great pioneers of electronic music have often served as godfathers of the budding genres of the 80s and 90s – of techno, trance and electro. Manuel Göttsching has also been referred to as the “inventor of chill-out”, which is supposed to be a compliment, but does neither his much more eclectic oeuvre (which ranges from blues-tinged Rock to electro-acoustic sound tracks), as well as the piece which was responsible for this title (“E2-E4”) full justice. On the other hand, it is clear that there are affinities between his output and some currents within contemporary dance music. For instance, it is no coincidence that his warm, dreamy and yet rhythmically pulsating pieces of the 70s still make for an incredible source of inspiration for house artists such as Joaquin Joe Claussell.

Some of them have been known to spin “E2-E4” at the later stages of their DJ sets, both as a tribute and sign of appreciation as aell as a stunning track which still works great as a dancefloor hymn. Claussell, too, does not hold back when it comes to venting respect: “Inspired by the works of a genius”, the booklet says and reveals him as a fan. It is not always a good thing when all too dedicated aficionados turn their love for an artists into music, but on this record, the handshake between the generations and continents works wonderfully well. It is an historical handshake as well. Claussell has used two Göttsching originals for his careful additions and delicate remodelling, a live performance from 1976 and another dating back to 1979. His work is characterised by his admiration for Manuel, but unlike many of his contemporaries, he shows great intuition when it comes to the spirit of the 70s: The opening “Deep(er) Distance” heaves and breathes calmly in the course of its twenty minutes, going from sweet synth leads to a brightly shimmering guitar solo, which seems to break up the wall of clouds hanging on a blue sky to let the sun shine through. The way this piece is caught in a mode of stop and go, but never looses its pulse is the best indication of how much Claussell knows both about moving the mind and the feat. “Ain’t no time for Tears”, meanwhile, sees the classic Ashra line-up go all funky and latin. A steel drum intro builds to a powerful groove, before the band slowly fades in – a great beginning to a composition which has a lot in common with Santana’s early recordings and again is highlighted by a playful and melodically flowing Göttsching guitar solo. On both compositions, Claussell has apparently left the tapes intact and merely added some beats and an organ – his organic approach is a welcome diversion from the egoistic and unrecognisable remixes of most techno acts.

The last words, howver, are left to his hero, who shows he needs to help in the formidable “Shuttlecock”, a final eighteen minute excursion, which has Manuel improvise over a soft carpet of delayed bell sounds, before the guitar fades away and the track deepens and thickens, like a dark river sweeping along ever more motives and harmonies. A perfectly balanceed collaboration, which is being released both as a CD and an LP, with the latter clocking in at about eight minutes less due to a shortened edit of “Shuttlecock”. Which makes this a modern vintage release, and an instant classic. Joaquin Joe Claussell may have been inspired by a genius on this one, but the results of his treatment are no less inspiring themselves.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Manuel Göttsching / Ashra
Homepage: Jaquin Joe Claussell / Sacred Rhythm Music

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