Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Six pack

A week or so ago a large parcel from Germany arrived for me at work. Could it be.....? Yes!! My initial suspicions were correct. The package was from MG.Art and contained the new remastered editions of the first five Ash Ra Tempel CDs, along with Manuel Gottsching's Inventions for Electric Guitar CD. I've been having enormous fun listening to these whenever I've been able to find a window of time here and there. It really is a thrill to hear albums that one has studied so closely dusted down and given a new lease of life. My favourites of the bunch so far have proved to be the first, self-titled Ash Ra Tempel album, Join Inn and Inventions for Electric Guitar. The remastering job on the first two of these really highlights the excellent interaction between the band and it is a joy to hear Inventions with upgraded sound quality deserved of a masterpiece. Given time my favourites from these reissues may change and I look forward to exploring further when I can.....
In addition to the sound quality of these offerings I've also enjoyed some of the attention to detail with the packaging. The spines of the CDs look attractive on the shelf, the CDs themselves have images on the upper sides and whilst the first three CDs replicate the gatefold LP art in their booklets, the last three each include some nice images from the period when the albums were recorded. Here's hoping to more reissues and perhaps some archival releases from MG.Art in the not too distant future.

In other news last weekend I was working on a section of the book about Ashra's appearance at the UK Electronica Festival in 1985, followed by the Tropical Heat and Walkin' the Desert albums. I am now 100 pages into amending a 137 page document, so the end of this draft is closer than it may seem. Over the last few months the sections of the book that I've been writing (covering Manuel's archival studio and concert recordings, his work for film, theatre and collaborations, followed by reviews of Harald Grosskopf's Synthesist and Lutz Ulbrich's Luul albums) has all been created from scratch, so the pace of writing has slowed down somewhat.

Much of the rest of the draft from this point onwards will be amending what is already written so I now anticipate being able to move forward with greater speed. I sent my short sections about the Synthesist and Luul albums to Harald and Lutz respectively for possible feedback and they both seemed happy with the results. Lutz Ulbrich sent me a message to say that my review was "well written" and that he was "flattered." I can't really ask for any more than that. A day well spent, I hope! More soon.