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Discography

Seven Up (50th Anniversary Edition)

Ash Ra Tempel: Seven Up (50th Anniversary Edition)
Press Reviews

»When the Leary Mob met the Kaiser Gang, the sparks flew ever Up-wards... 7up is a stone classic in every way. Yes, it is unlikely to find Timothy Leary singing lead vocal in a cosmic group, but even weirder that he chose to sing a wild yelping freaked out blues!

Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke had begun their careers in The Steeple Chase Blues Band back in the mid-'60ies, and they quickly felt their way through what Barritt and Leary were aiming for. They reconciled it all as a kind of West Coast chordless psychedelia, where blues riffs sparkle out of nowhere and the sheer weight of synthesizers renders everything with an unreal Pere Ubu/early Roxy Music quality. The greatness of Ash Ra Tempel burned so brightly on 7Up that there is really nothing else like it. Hartmut Enke and Manuel Göttsching here returned to their riffy roots. It can hardly be called a retro act, though, as the context of music is everything. And with Dierks at the controls, even the New Kids on the Block would have sounded psychedelic.

7Up is like a late night radio show glimpsed through a shattered tuner where all but the most truly dangerous sounds have been allowed to stay, to drift and to dance around the performers. The result is an extreme gem, a flash of hysterical white lightning, and a pre-punk Technicolour yawn in the grandest of traditions.

In typical Ash Ra Tempel style, the record is divided into two pieces, "Space" and "Time". Within this, though, Timothy Leary's ideas are allowed to free-flow and the two sides are therefore divided into mini-songs all segued together. The highlight of Side 1 is "Power Drive", a West Coast burn-up that transcends any W. Coast music I ever did hear. Leary and Barritt present the greatest twin-vocal of all time, coming on like Jagger and Morrison but too caught up in their own maelstrom to be anything less than Heralds of the Punkfuture still five years away.

In chaos it was conceived and in chaos it was recorded. Yet Dieter Dierks, the great Aural Architect of the Cosmic Couriers, turned 7Up into a personal triumph and a Kosmische dream.«
(Julian Cope in his book "Krautrocksampler", UK, 1995)

(In French, will be opened in a new window)
(Libération, France, 2011)

»Après le convainquant "Schwingungen" en 1972, Ash Ra Tempel revient, l'année suivante, avec "Seven Up" et la participation exceptionnelle du très "space" Timothy Leary. Le résultat de cette fusion qui pouvait paraître prometteuse est néanmoins décevante. L'énergie Kraut rock que le groupe avait su déployer à ses débuts disparaît au profit d'une bouillabaisse musicale où se mélange pèle-mèle dans "space" un blues brouillon, du space rock et du rock simpliste. L'album dont le son est franchement "crade" semble très caricatural (bien posé dans son époque). Historiquement cela peut paraître intéressant mais musicalement son intérêt semble limité. "Time", plus posé et mélodique (superbes orgues) mais également torturé (superbes voix en arrière plan) donne une tonalité moins brouillonne et moins expérimentale voire approximative. Un album pas très bien équilibré, mais pas désagréable néanmoins (la deuxième plage sauvant le reste) à mon avis. Sans plus.«
(Review on Amazon France)

(In English, will be opened in a new window)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
(From the British magazine Mojo, April 2003)

[Seven Up (50th Anniversary Edition) - Main Page]


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