Ashra - Sauce Hollandaise

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Série Poème
Catalog Number: MRCD 9801
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:54:00

What memory imprint a thousand years old lies among the dark abandoned corridors of an underground cave in which water trickles down the walls and microscopic life blooms undisturbed and unhindered? What paranoiac activity develops within city life interspersed with passionate nights, katzenjammer, and maenads? What is the sound of an eagle perceiving its own echo as it sweeps through the air, or the perception of a seagull hovering above tranquil waves? While the answers may not be apparent, and the events in utter lack of correlation between each other, the impressions are long lasting and almost spiritual, resulting from a tacit communication with the sound waves that are generated as electricity flows and magnetic phenomena are used to reproduce the musical contents of Ashra's live Sauce Hollandaise.

At the time of its release the first occasion on which a new Ashra album was recorded and made available to the public after a lengthy nine-year hiatus, Sauce Hollandaise is a lavish voyage through the musical whimsies of Manuel Göttsching and the interpretation that his colleagues Lutz Ulbrich, Steve Baltes, and Harald Grosskopf gave them more than four years ago in Nijmegen. Going through lush atmospheres and recursive themes that evolve through minimalism and the gradual building up of layers and levels of sound and notes, the record is a dazzling display of electronic impressions and a rhythmic counterpoint between drummer Grosskopf and the rhythm machines of Baltes that gives the album an almost tribal intensity at times.

The interaction, however, doesn't stop with percussive elements of characterization, as Göttsching and Ulbrich interlace their gorgeous guitar playing so that the resulting path is indivisible and moves throughout keyboard atmospheres and timely samples to produce an ironically analog-sounding mix on the sparse "Echo Waves" and the curiously distant intimacy of "Twelve Samples." The ambient continuity that hitherto remains untouched is then given a fantastic turnaround through a techno-sounding moment in "Niemand Lacht Rückwärts," (No one laughs backwards...see? My German isn't that bad.) but the suite taken in its entirety oozes a rock vibe via its strong percussion and edgier guitar solos. Seen as a record, however, Sauce Hollandaise is a cohesive entity in which contrasting variations and minimalist subtlety are a fine delicacy interspersed with more swaying passages; a wonderful display of the art of subtlety per se.

In contrast to his subsequent work with Ash Ra Tempel, Göttsching selected a somewhat less warm-sounding spectrum of electronic music with which to work, moving instead towards an area that has slightly more energetic and edgier qualities; but the difference is a subtle one nevertheless and connoisseurs will doubtlessly revel in its discovery and appreciate both compositional and interpretational details. It is only with such sensitivity that the listener can truly link oneself to the aural impressions of Sauce Hollandaise, and it is that same sensitivity that makes Ashra an act that not only transcends corporal limits by means of emotion and atmosphere, but also one with the ability to decide to what extent such activity will take place, and how it will acquire shape as a wonderful and carefully designed suite.

Similar artists: Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream

Echo Waves (31:29) / Twelve Samples (21:08) / Niemand Lacht Rückwärts (22:15)

Manuel Göttsching - guitars, keyboards
Lutz Ulbrich - guitars, e-bow, keyboards
Harald Grosskopf - drums
Steve Baltes - sampling, keys, rhythm machine

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel (1971)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Seven-Up (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn (1973)
Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi (1973)
Manuel G?ttsching - Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975/2002)
Ashra - New Age Of Earth (1976)
Ashra - Blackouts (1977)
Ashra - Correlations (1979)
Ashra - Belle Alliance (1980)
Manuel G?ttsching - E2-E4 (1984)
Ashra - Walkin' The Desert (1989)
Ashra - Tropical Heat (1991)
Manuel G?ttsching - Dream & Desire (1991)
Ash Ra Tempel - Le Berceau De Cristal (1994)
Ashra - Sunrain: The Virgin Years (1996)
Ashra - Sauce Hollandaise (1998)
Manuel G?ttsching/Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra - Best Of The Private Tapes (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join In/Starring Rosi (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen/Seven-Up (1998)
Ashra - @shra (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Gin Rose: Live (2000)
Ash Ra Tempel - Friendship (2000)
Ashra - @shra Vol. 2 (2002)
Ashra - The Making Of (2002)
Manuel G?ttsching - Die Mulde (2005)
Manuel G?ttsching - Concert For Murnau (2005)
Manuel G?ttsching - E2 - E4 Live (ep) (2005)
Manuel G?ttsching - E2 - E4 25th Anniversary Edition (2006)
Manuel G?ttsching - Live At Mt. Fuji (2007)
Ashra - Belle Alliance Plus (Classic Edition) (2008)
Ashra - Correlations Complete (Limited One-Time Edition) (2008)
Ashra - @shra + @shra Vol 2 (2008)
Manuel G?ttsching - E2 - E4 (Classic Edition) (2008)
Manuel G?ttsching - Blackouts (Classic Edition) (2008)
Manuel G?ttsching - New Age Of Earth (2008)

Genre: Kraut Rock

Origin DE

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 974
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]