1. Reunion [30:40]
  2. Pikant [21:40]
  3. Friendship [26:30]
Studio album by Klaus Schulze and Mauel Göttsching. The German group Ash Ra Tempel has existed, in one form or another, since 1970. Countless musicians have cited this seminal band as having serious implications in the way their music is made. At the core of this unit is Manuel Gottsching, leading Ash Ra Tempel from its roots in spacerock, to cosmicmusic, on to a precursor of techno and more recently to a reunion with co-founder Klaus Schulze.
On the Ash Ra Tempel studio album: "Friendship", Gottsching's guitar melodies and Schulze's synths and percussion are together again with an easy going musical jaunt between two comrades now on the same path. Individually, they cast a giant shadow. Together, on "Friendship", they are found simply enjoying each other's company and music. The three lengthy pieces on "Friendship" are linear, with Schulze's electronic percussion and evocative harmonies leading the listener along the musical path while Gottsching's guitar stylings speak of their surroundings. The mood created is familiar, modern and mature. Listening to "Friendship" calls to mind that comfort which is felt at a long awaited reunion and the sharing of the past and present.

2000. © Chuck van Zyl Host: Star's End A companion piece to their live Gin Rosé recording, Friendship features nearly 80 minutes of new studio material by Klaus Schulze and Manuel Göttsching. Three long, patient tracks explore atmospheric electronics, percussion, and guitar. The drums sound a bit richer and deeper on Reunion than the material from the companion live CD. Very nice layering of the percussion effectively builds the intensity, ever so gradually, over this 30-minute track. Manuel’s beautiful searing guitar lead announces itself with a flourish at the nine-minute mark. The symbiotic relationship between Göttsching and Schulze seems particularly apparent on this piece. Pikant bears some resemblance to a similar section on Gin Rosé, but where the live version immediately places emphasis on Göttsching, his solo here occurs much later in the piece. Other than the solo, most of the track is again a fairly balanced interplay between the synth, drums, and guitar. A moderate tempo is maintained more or less throughout, which may make some fans itchy for something else to happen, but I found it enjoyable. The 26 ˝ minute Friendship closes things out in surprisingly Pink Floyd-ish fashion, with Göttsching doing an impressive David Gilmour lead. The pace here is even more relaxed, focusing almost entirely on the guitar. Drums don’t even appear until almost the fourteenth minute. On the whole, the themes are more static here than on Gin Rosé, but the accomplished playing of Göttsching, with Schulze’s able, restrained accompaniment, still make this a worthy purchase for fans.

2000 © Phil Derby / Exposé Magazine