Manuel Göttsching – Dream & Desire CD (MG.ART 405)
MG.ART presents a reissue of Manuel Gottsching‘s Dream & Desire, originally released in 1977. For 2019, this is a newly remastered and carefully re-edited version of the legendary 1977 studio recording for RIAS Berlin.
“The 1970s. The Vietnam War is slowly coming to an end; the RAF thrives and prospers; the first Achtundsechziger (’68 protestors) are actually planning to march through the institutions; rock and roll is getting heavier; and hardly noticed by the mainstream public, some West-Berlin musicians develop a world of sound, which later eventually became labelled as “Electronic Music”. These compositions of slowly evolving soundscapes relating to the Minimal Music concept created a meditative mood. This was new; this was the Berliner Schule (Berlin school). Manuel was living right on the Ku-Damm (Kurfürstendamm), right in the city center, but in the rear building, shielded from the noise. Manu didn’t have a sequencer. Everything that sounded like a sequencer was his highly focused guitar work. The slowly changing tone sequences for example; this was a physical accomplishment in itself. The musicians from Berlin, who worked in the same genre, were either friends, periodically played in Manuel’s Ash Ra Tempel, or built up their own careers. The scene was small, but equipped with illustrious celebrities: Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Harald Grosskopf, and Agitation Free. Manuel was able to start his international career pretty quickly, focusing on England, France and Japan. For the German middle-of-the-road-consciousness, these countries were as exotic as the winds on Jupiter, especially Japan, where Göttsching still enjoys superstar status. The RIAS studio had an old Farfisa compact organ that Manuel played and of which I was especially proud; it can be heard prominently here. Originally, the two tracks had been conceived for my one-hour radio feature at RIAS Berlin in summer 1977. Then, although being broadcast only once in Berlin and Belgium, they soon became cult amongst listeners, who taped, multiplied and distributed the tracks throughout Manuel’s fan base. The revival of Dream & Desire is not nostalgia but an indication that the present will only be appreciated after acknowledging the past. The bonus track “Despair” was not part of the original radio-feature, but was composed and recorded around the same time in 1977, and fits perfectly in style and sound. Manuel’s music has been with me for now almost 50 years. Dream & Desire is beautiful — what more can I say.” —Olaf Leitner, March 2019