German electronic music pioneer Manuel Göttsching dies aged 70

Manuel Göttsching dies aged 70
Author : Max Spruill
December 12, 2022

German electronic music pioneer Manuel Göttsching dies aged 70

Manuel Göttsching, the groundbreaking electronic musician and composer, has died aged 70.

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The news was announced via the website of Ashra, one of two Krautrock groups Göttsching founded, along with Ash Ra Tempel.

“Surrounded by his family, Manuel Göttsching passed away peacefully on December 4th, 2022,” the announcement read. “The void he leaves behind we want to fill with his music and loving memories. When your fingers touched the strings of a guitar, the world stood still. May it stand still and bring you back to us whenever we hear you play. RIP.”

Born in Berlin in 1952, Göttsching founded his first band, Ash Ra Tempel, with Hartmut Enke and ex-Tangerine Dream drummer Klaus Schulze in 1970. Their output was built around free improvisation rather than song-based music. Ashra, Göttsching’s second ensemble, launched in 1976, and saw him move away from the psychedelia of his former group in favour of more electronic-focused sounds.

Göttsching’s magnum opus is arguably E2-E4, an hour-long, minimalist masterpiece recorded in one take using a sequencer, improvised keyboards, metallic percussion and guitar playing. Released in 1984, it became a Paradise Garage favourite, inspiring everyone from Carl Craig and The Black Dog to LCD Soundsystem and Lindstrøm.

Göttsching later expressed bemusement at the idea of people dancing to E2-E4 in nightclubs. “There’s not a strong bass drum and the rhythm is very subtle,” he told The Guardian in 2013. “I took ideas from dance music, but my composing goes more into the minimalist style of Steve Reich and Philip Glass.”

Listen to E2-E4, and read some tributes to Göttsching on social media.

Originally reported by RA.