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Gin Rosé at the Royal Festival Hall

Ash Ra Tempel: Gin Rosé at the Royal Festival Hall
Press Reviews

(In English, will be opened in a new window)
(Sonic Curiosity, USA, 2001)

(In German, will be opened in a new window)
(Kulturnews, Germany)

»In this day and age, it's certainly no secret that live albums are a dangerous affair for any band, regardless of age, experience, and genre. To reach the zenith of live poignancy, an album cannot limit itself to an intact rendition of the studio originals, as it would obviously be much more convenient to just buy the record and listen to it at home time and time again. Moreover, to avoid the nadir of hellish live albums to which a healthy number of new records is added yearly, the recording of a concert must not only be of impeccable quality. It must transport the listener to the minds and bodies of the audience in a magical moment of awe and unraveling ecstasy.

If the concert takes place before the studio album is released, however, it takes more than otherworldly teleportation and the elusive something that makes a live recording something worth cherishing. It takes talent, synergy, and comprehension of one's own potential as a musician, in order that the band can interact to the furthermost of its abilities and give an opportunity of rebirth to the compositions that will be released in the future. And with the Gin Rosé concert taking place three months before the studio album Friendship was released, and a large portion of its scheme being based on the then-upcoming album, both Klaus Schulze and Manuel Göttsching had to prove, like they had already done endlessly throughout their careers, that they were the epitome of true professionalism, exploration, and passion. They did not fail.

Gin Rosé is a sublime exploration of the themes that would later on adorn Friendship, handling them gently and respectfully before drawing from a vast well of variations and atmospheres and twisting the original basis around with exquisite delicacy and elegant ardor. The record will therefore allow what is already a known harmonic pattern or musical idea to surface for a few minutes before having Schulze and Göttsching take it into another direction through their gorgeous experimental interplay and sense of wonder. It is thus that the passionate acoustic interlude of Göttsching will reverberate through every single sensuous nerve of the listener by recalling previously experienced forbidden pleasures, only to lose itself into a calmly swaying sea of electronic noises and beats that exudes an undeniably human warmth.

If a current musical trend were to be invoked in an attempt to describe Gin Rosé to the average listener, it would be electronic lounge. And although the album is something that will certainly be recognized as grandiose by listeners of lounge, this goes far beyond that genre's restraints, giving its course a continuous effluence of warm emotion and subtle variations so that Gin Rosé is indivisible as the musical entity that it is, yet retaining so many distinctive moments and precious details that progressive is the very heart of this gentle tour. What truly matters, however, is that Ash Ra Tempel proved, just like it would with Friendship, that the potential of having music transcend this mortal coil and engage the listener soul to soul is more than just potential. It is a reality.«

(Marcelo Silveyra, www.progfreaks.com, Mexico)

»Both the new ASH RA TEMPEL CDs are absolutely superb. MG and KS are both such pros, and this music is ultra smooth and elegant. Feels like being driven at 2:00 a.m. on a frictionless highway 150 mph in a black Rolls Royce...«
(Brian Romer, USA)

Had ASH RA TEMPEL been KING CRIMSON they would come up with some fantastic title for the mighty composition this disc contains. But Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze duo called this exquisite piece as poignant as it is. The music sounds quite sparse being certainly no "Larks' Tongues". But little by little it gets intensive. In places it's hard to tell phased guitar from synthesizers, a real Seventies effort which nevertheless is extremely modern in its ambience. There are just snippets of melodies TEMPEL are capable of, overall music is experimental and jazz-tinged. Considering the fact it's all recorded live (at Royal Festival Hall, at Julian Cope's Cornucopea festival) one can only wonder how good Klaus and Manuel feel each other's drift to follow and complement it the best.

In fact, Gin Rosé is not whole piece as it has some parts, the most beautiful of them acoustic guitar solo which is to appear in Pikant on subsequent Friendship album.

Some might find the album as boring as long but in its field Gin Rosé a gem.

(4 stars out of 5)

(Dmitry Epstein, "Let It Rock")

[Gin Rosé at the Royal Festival Hall - Main Page]


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