1. Freak'n'Roll [19:15]
  2. Jenseits [24:18]
Recorded: December 1972, Stommeln
Performed by: Manuel Göttsching; Hartmut Enke; Klaus Schulze and Rosi Müller In December 1972, the original lineup of Ash Ra Tempel, that consisted of guitarist Manuel Göttsching, bassist Hartmut Enke, and drummer/keyboardist Klaus Schulze (who just came back after recording his first solo album, Irrlicht in 1972) made their return and got to work recording Join Inn, which was released in April, 1973.


After experimenting with wild vocals and LSD with Schwingungen (1972) and Seven Up (1973), the band went back to the format of their 1971 debut. That is two side length cuts, side one consisting of a guitar-oriented jam and side two consisting of a more mellow ambient piece. The first side consists of "Freak 'N Roll". I have heard this compared to Cream during their jamming phase, without so much the fuzz and distortion of Clapton or Bruce, or as manic of drumming of a Baker. I supposed this is true. This cut is much like "Amboss" from their first album, although I thought it was lacking the energy and was a bit more aimless. It grew on me, however, but the real gem of this album is "Jenseits". This is basically Klaus Schulze's time to shine. He put down his drum set and turn to the instruments he is best known for: keyboards (which consisted at that time of a VCS-3 synthesizer and a Farfisa organ). Unsurprisingly this sounds like his early solo efforts like Irrlicht, Cyborg (1973), or Blackdance (1974), only with lots of guitar effects from Göttsching himself, and the occasional spoken dialog in German from Rosi Müller (who happened to be dating Manuel Göttsching at that time). Pretty spooky stuff with lots of droning, like you expect on an early Schulze album. After Join Inn, Ash Ra Tempel existed as name only. Schulze left for good for his very well known solo career.

Hartmut Enke also left, leaving Starring Rosi (1973) to be strictly a Göttsching/Müller project, and Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975) was actually nothing but Göttsching himself (and no one else, so that album was released under both the Göttsching and Ash Ra Tempel moniker to avoid legal difficulties). To me, I felt Ash Ra Tempel's self-entitled 1971 debut is better, so start there, then come to Join Inn.

Ben Miller Along with Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel (later Ashra) was one of the first bands to convert the trippier side of late-'60s psychedelia into the kosmische rock of the '70s. Most Ash Ra titles were solely the work of Manuel Göttsching, plus any other additional players who happened to be around during the recording of his ten albums. Göttsching trained in classical guitar and studied improvisational music plus electronics at school. In 1970, he formed Ash Ra Tempel with no less than Klaus Schulze (fresh from a brief stint in Tangerine Dream) and Hartmut Enke. After a self-titled album in 1971, Schulze left for a solo career; Göttsching continued on with a variety of bandmembers and guests, including Timothy Leary on 1973's Seven Up (and Schulze again, for Join Inn).
By 1975, Göttsching had released his first solo album (Inventions for Electric Guitar) and though Ashra returned the following year, the next two records by the "group" were Göttsching-only albums, the brilliant New Age of Earth in 1976 and Blackouts one year later. For the 1980s, most Ashra LPs were band-setting albums (with the assistance of guitarist Lutz Ulbrich and drummer Harald Grosskopf) while Göttsching solo records (like the landmark E2-E4) were, truly, solo records. He also reunited with Schulze to work on Alphaville's 1989 LP, The Breathtaking Blue.

John Bush