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CD Feature/ Manuel Göttsching: "e2-e4 live"

img  Tobias

One night in 1981, Manuel Göttsching sat down in his studio and recorded one long track. It was just him, his sequencers and his guitar. No multitrack was used, no overdubs and no editing. It was nothing but the purest crystallisation of a moment, filled with the memories of a wonderful European concert tour with his friend Klaus Schulze, the overwhelming wish to keep playing and the solitude of an empty studio. The record sold badly at first. Ten years later, people started calling it “the birth of techno”, “the first chill-out album” and a “classic”.

It is easy to see why: These repetetive motives, which fade into and out of the mix, the rhythmical imperative as well as the monotonous metrum and a general mood of sadness, isolation and yet energetic charging all pointed to the four-to-the-floor extasy of the Detroit pioneers. Göttsching’s protests (“The loud and fast "boum tsik, boum tsik, boum tsik" of techno just goes on my nerves.”) didn’t help a bit and his fate was sealed when “Sueno Latino” (using samples from the composition) became an early club hit. Just over twenty years later, “e2-e4 live” sets the record straight. Reduced to 21 Minutes, the ensemble Zeitkratzer transports the original electronics into an acoustic setting of accordion, strings, brass and drums and reveals the various layers hiding behind the mask of supposed “history”. This interpretation is quiet, solemn, melancholic, bittersweet, floating, explosive, fragile, pumping, hot and cold, harmonic and atonal and rises and ebbs away like the tide of an infinite ocean of tenderness. Göttsching appears on acoustic guitar, but he’s just a part of the structure, not the brightly shining solo star - as if to say: This is bigger than me.

It is. This warm rush of the senses either sounds like the bright future of Philip Glass or a miniature orchestra in omnicolour – most likely it sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before. And this is the strangest thing: Even with a whole group of players and despite the fact that this is a live recording, you can still feel the ambiance of its moment of inception: Manuel Göttsching, his sequencers, his guitar, the embrace of the night and this desperate urge to play.

Homepage: Manuel Göttsching / Ashra

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