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10 Nov 2016

Ash Ra Tempel “Le Berceau De Cristal”1993 Germany Kraut Rock Ambient Electronic Sounttrack Recorded in 1975, but not officially released until 1993






Ash Ra Tempel  “Le Berceau De Cristal”1993 Germany Kraut Rock Ambient Electronic Sounttrack  Recorded in 1975, but not officially released until 1993 
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One of the best Ash Ra Tempel albums by my reckoning, Le Berceau de Cristal is a collection of synthesiser-dominated atmospheres and mood pieces for a film soundtrack. The material holds up well with the best of Ash Ra Tempel’s earlier works, and shows the influence at points of early Tangerine Dream (of around the period of Alpha Centauri, with perhaps a pinch of Zeit - Largo In Four Movements to sweeten the deal). Recorded with a stripped-down two member lineup, Le Berceau de Cristal is a nice capstone to the first period of Ash Ra Tempel - after this they would metamorphose into Ashra, but this album points the way to that new style nicely…..by Warthur …. 

This album is the soundtrack of a little known movie released by Philippe Garrel in the seventies. As the movie itself, the music score delivered by A.R.T is very oniric and represents one of the most representative illustration of introspective and dreamy evocations in sound.Each composition is unique and develops its own atmosphere sometimes plaintive, sometimes sad and grave. Stylistically, “Le berceau de cristal” is dominated by pure electronics from the seventies, electric organs,guitar echoes…put together to create delicate and peaceful musical lines.This album can’t be ignored. It stands as a monument in electronic space music and soundtrack….. by philippe …. 

Although not released until 1993, Le Berceau de Cristal was originally the soundtrack to Philippe Garrel’s 1976 film of that name, providing an appropriately hallucinatory backdrop to Nico’s musings and her oneiric encounters with various pseudo-mythological characters. Le Berceau de Cristal shows continuity with 1975’s Inventions for Electric Guitar, enveloping listeners in analog ambient-minimalist soundscapes that anticipate the work of subsequent generations of electronic musicians. This time, however, Manuel Göttsching is joined by Agitation Free guitarist Lutz Ulbrich and expands his instrumental palette slightly to include Farfisa organ, synth guitar, and rhythm computer. Working within the seemingly limited parameters of minimalism, the pair infuse this material with a diverse range of dynamics, moods, and textures: “Silence Sauvage” blends drones, magma-like bubbling, and subtly shifting rhythmic figures while “Le Sourire Envolé” sustains a warm, blissful pulse that’s metronomic but utterly mesmeric. The most compelling track, “Deux Enfants Sous la Lune,” attains a heady, hypnotic complexity evoking Terry Riley’s “A Rainbow in Curved Air.” While these tracks emphasize detailed repetition, with sparse patterns of notes weaving through intricate sonic canvases, the album also has a more expansive dimension as Göttsching and Ulbrich paint in more bold, sweeping strokes: lulled by austere, atmospheric washes of sound, the 14-minute title track takes listeners on a cosmic journey; similarly epic, the fusion of throbbing drones and spectral, ringing keyboards on “L'Hiver Doux” gathers momentum and urgency. These longer numbers are very much of their time and don’t hold up quite as well decades later, yet they stand alongside the best of early-‘70s Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Many soundtrack albums aren’t as effective without their accompanying visual imagery, but that’s not the case with Le Berceau de Cristal, which conjures up its own imaginary film as it bridges the gap between inner and outer space….by Wilson Neate…. 

This “Berceau De Cristal” has to considered more as a solo effort from Manuel Göttsching than really a band’s one. It was recorded a long time before its official release and the result is an excellent journey back into these splendid seventies. 
The mood is mainly ambient keyboards oriented although some short passages like “ Le Diable Dans La Maison” displays some good guitar like in the good old AST days. 

Most of this album is full of nice melodies, early “Tangerine Dream” or “Klaus Schultze” inspired music. If you were attracted by these great bands, you can jump into this “Cradle Berth” without any apprehension. 

Still, I can’t be as laudatory as for the best albums of the ones I have mentioned earlier. It lacks something which made these ones memorable. My feeling about “Le Berceau” is that is a good release of prog electronic which renders some wonderful and poignant key moments like the title track, the closing number “Et Les Fantômes Rêvent Aussi” or “L'Hiver Doux” for instance. 

At the end of the day, these three tracks only are good for over half an hour of great music. You have just to be aware that there are some experimental parts (“Silence Sauvage”) or repetitive stuff (“Le Sourire Envolé”) which are not so thrilling and can’t compete. ….by ZowieZiggy 

This is a live recording from 1975 recorded in both Germany and France. It’s basically Manuel Gottsching and Lutz Ulbrich (AGITATION FREE) offering up spacey soundscapes like early TANGERINE DREAM, Richard Pinhas and Klause Schulze. 
“Le Berceau De Cristal” is the longets track at over 14 minutes. Faint sounds build. This is laid back and spacey with gentle guitar. Some intensity after 6 minutes and especially after 8 minutes. It settles back 10 ½ minutes in. “L'Hiver Doux” is led by organ early as other sounds pulse. A change before 8 ½ minutes as these loud synth sounds come in. “Silence Sauvage” is mainly percussion sounds and electronics. 

“Le Sourire Vole” is Electronics “101”. Great sounding track. “Deux Enfants Sous La Lune” is very TANGERINE DREAM-like. It’s like the electronic sounds are staggered. This sounds so cool. “Le Songe D'Or” is spacey as other sounds echo. There’s organ and guitar in this excellent tune. “Le Diable Dans La Maison” is a short tune where sounds cry out and pulse. This is wild ! “…Et Les Fantomes Revent Aussi” sounds so good as waves of sound blow across the soundscape. 

I have a place for this right beside my CLUSTER records. If your into spacey soundscapes this is a must…..by Mellotron Storm …. 


Line-up / Musicians 
- Manuel Göttsching / guitar, Farfisa organ, rhythm computer 
- Lutz Ulbrich / guitar, synth guitar 

Tracklist 
1 Le Berceau De Cristal 14:15 
2 L'Hiver Doux 12:49 
3 Silence Sauvage 5:53 
4 Le Sourire Volé 6:05 
5 Deux Enfants Sous La Lune 6:37 
6 Le Songe D'Or 4:25 
7 Le Diable Dans La Maison 2:54 
8 …Et Les Fantômes Rêvent Aussi 7:56 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..