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Manuel Göttsching

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Both as a founding member of the Krautrock group Ash Ra Tempel and through his later solo work, Manuel Göttsching was among the true innovators of the musical aesthetic later dubbed electronica, with his 1984 release E2-E4 remaining a seminal building block in the subsequent development of styles ranging from techno to house to contemporary ambient music. Born in 1952 and raised in West Berlin, Göttsching gave up his classical music training at the age of 14 to begin performing with a variety of local groups, eventually turning to electronics and improvisational techniques. In 1970 he formed Ash Ra Tempel with ex-Tangerine Dream drummer Klaus Schulze and schoolmate Harmut Enke; the group was quickly signed by the Berlin-based OHR label, issuing their self-titled debut LP the following year.

As electronics began making a bigger and bigger impact on the German music scene, Ash Ra Tempel emerged at the vanguard of the new technology, acquiring new equipment with seemingly each passing performance; after 1972’s Schwingungen, the group even played live in Switzerland with Dr. Timothy Leary, a collaboration which yielded 1973’s Seven Up. By the following year both Schulze and Enke had left the group, however, with Göttsching forging ahead as a solo artist now working simply as Ashra; around this same time he issued Inventions for Electric Guitar, a groundbreaking soundscape which greatly furthered his experiments with electronics.

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