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Ashra is a project begun by Manuel Gottsching in 1976, initially to facilitate his solo career although other members were included later on. The band’s name is an abbreviation of the name of Gottsching’s previous band, Ash Ra Tempel. The name was changed as Gottsching’s music became less psychedelic and more oriented towards electronica.

Ash Ra Tempel played their last concert in February 1973, their final album Starring Rosi was recorded later that year (featuring future Ashra member Harald Grosskopf). At the demise of Ash Ra Tempel, Göttsching remained musically inactive until 1975 when he released his debut solo album Inventions for Electric Guitar. This album introduced the effects he would later make use of in his work as Ashra, but in a much more basic form. Later that year Göttsching was commissioned to record a film soundtrack. The resulting album was released in 1993 as Le Berceau de Cristal under the Ash Ra Tempel name, despite the fact that none of the original members of that band feature. Instead, Gottsching was backed by formed Agitation Free guitarist Lutz Ulbrich, who would go on to collaborate with Gottsching as Ashra.

The following year Göttsching made his debut as Ashra, releasing New Age of Earth on Isadora Records. This would become perhaps Ashra’s most popular album. All instruments are played by Göttsching. A second Göttsching-only Ashra album was released in 1977: Blackouts.


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