Exposé Online banner

Ash Ra Tempel — Le Berceau de Cristal
(Spalax CD 14275, 1975/1993, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-08-01

Le Berceau de Cristal Cover art

Remember Tangerine Dream's Green Desert? Many a time have I discussed its legitimacy as a long lost album with people. Hailing from 1985, yet claiming to be from 1973, it just didn't seem to fit musically between Atem and Phaedra. Le Berceau de Cristal, a "lost" soundtrack from 1975, is far more believable, yet still fairly enigmatic. This one fits in the gap between Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra (sans Tempel). While I could be wrong, I don't remember ex-Agitation Free guitarist Lutz Ulbrich playing with Göttsching until Blackouts but I don't claim to be an expert here, and he is credited as a second member. Anyway, this doesn't really fit comfortably anywhere in Ash Ra history. Göttsching's use of the Farfisa Organ reminds one heavily of early Klaus Schulze circa Cyborg or Blackdance, especially with its bubbling synth rhythms and dark and solitary melodic content. Yeah I guess you can hear Göttsching's guitar playing in the style of Inventions which this supposedly followed, but there is a different mood here, more like early Schulze than the upbeat stuff that Göttsching and Ulbrich would do later on. To me, Ash Ra has always been a hit and miss affair anyway ("Hits" - Ash Ra Tempel, Join Inn and Inventions..., "Misses" - Seven Up and Starring Rosi) although I find that the later stuff grows on you over time. I'm still not sure where this one fits, but, hey, obviously it's a must if you like this era of innovative synth music.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 4, 1993 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Manuel Göttsching, Ash Ra Tempel / Ashra, Lutz "Lüül" Ulbricht

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland – Robert Wyatt is so much an entity unto himself that comparisons to anyone else are more or less useless. Most listeners with a rock background would probably peg his music as jazz, though I suspect...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues