Schwingungen cover

Was 1972 simply the best year for recorded music? So many genres suggest that the only plausible answer is yes. As Rother was to Neu!, so was Manuel Göttsching to Ash Ra Tempel, a loose band that revolved around a few permanent members. Vocalist “John L.” (not his actual German name) screams and sings “we all are one” but the tone is much calmer than the hairy debut album. Klaus Schulze is gone and most of the space is taken up with Göttsching’s silvery, heat-seeking guitar patterns. A template for a kind of electric/acoustic post-classical folk is embedded here, something to make plants grow and tempers cool. John L. sounds good because the rest is so good. Anywhere else, he’d be out on his ass.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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