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Sauce Hollandaise

Ashra: Sauce Hollandaise
Press Reviews

(In English, will be opened in a new window)
(Sonic Curiosity, USA, 2001)

(In French, will be opened in a new window)
("Guts of Darkness", Canada, 2007)

»What memory imprint a thousand years old lies among the dark abandoned corridors of an underground cave in which water trickles down the walls and microscopic life blooms undisturbed and unhindered? What paranoiac activity develops within city life interspersed with passionate nights, katzenjammer, and maenads? What is the sound of an eagle perceiving its own echo as it sweeps through the air, or the perception of a seagull hovering above tranquil waves? While the answers may not be apparent, and the events in utter lack of correlation between each other, the impressions are long lasting and almost spiritual, resulting from a tacit communication with the sound waves that are generated as electricity flows and magnetic phenomena are used to reproduce the musical contents of Ashra's live Sauce Hollandaise.

At the time of its release the first occasion on which a new Ashra album was recorded and made available to the public after a lengthy nine-year hiatus, Sauce Hollandaise is a lavish voyage through the musical whimsies of Manuel Göttsching and the interpretation that his colleagues Lutz Ulbrich, Steve Baltes, and Harald Grosskopf gave them more than four years ago in Nijmegen. Going through lush atmospheres and recursive themes that evolve through minimalism and the gradual building up of layers and levels of sound and notes, the record is a dazzling display of electronic impressions and a rhythmic counterpoint between drummer Grosskopf and the rhythm machines of Baltes that gives the album an almost tribal intensity at times.

The interaction, however, doesn't stop with percussive elements of characterization, as Göttsching and Ulbrich interlace their gorgeous guitar playing so that the resulting path is indivisible and moves throughout keyboard atmospheres and timely samples to produce an ironically analog-sounding mix on the sparse Echo Waves and the curiously distant intimacy of Twelve Samples. The ambient continuity that hitherto remains untouched is then given a fantastic turnaround through a techno-sounding moment in Niemand lacht rückwärts, (No one laughs backwards... see? My German isn't that bad.) but the suite taken in its entirety oozes a rock vibe via its strong percussion and edgier guitar solos. Seen as a record, however, Sauce Hollandaise is a cohesive entity in which contrasting variations and minimalist subtlety are a fine delicacy interspersed with more swaying passages; a wonderful display of the art of subtlety per se.

In contrast to his subsequent work with Ash Ra Tempel, Göttsching selected a somewhat less warm-sounding spectrum of electronic music with which to work, moving instead towards an area that has slightly more energetic and edgier qualities; but the difference is a subtle one nevertheless and connoisseurs will doubtlessly revel in its discovery and appreciate both compositional and interpretational details. It is only with such sensitivity that the listener can truly link oneself to the aural impressions of Sauce Hollandaise, and it is that same sensitivity that makes Ashra an act that not only transcends corporal limits by means of emotion and atmosphere, but also one with the ability to decide to what extent such activity will take place, and how it will acquire shape as a wonderful and carefully designed suite.«

(Marcelo Silveyra,, Mexico)

»Un nouvel album après neuf années de silence discographique et un premier live officiel finalisé en dehors d'une collection particulière (The Private Tapes) pour le célèbre group de M.G. [...] Et en fait de Sauce, il faudrait plutôt parler d'un Plat de Gourmet, [...] "Souvent une orgie de rythme" note Klaus Mueller dans le livret. Et comment! [...] Et ici pas de doute, la magie est présente. Pour l'inauguration d'un nouveau label, c'est un premier coup de maître qui augure bien de la ligne artistique.«
("Oniric", France)

»Un disco sorprendente. Quando uno è un genio, può stare fermo anche anni che quando decide di ricominciare può solo insegnare. Bravo Klaus D. Mueller, un "uomo con la visiono delle cose", un pezzo di storia della nostra viata e della musica più esaltante che l'Europa ricordi.«
(G. Gasparetti, "Deep Listenings", Italy)

»This is the first new ASHRA album in many years and is the debut CD on Klaus Mueller's Série Poème label. [...] The half-hour Echo Waves features the rhythmic fluttering of lightly playing guitars dancing about each other over a bed of concise drumming and soft synthetics. [...] Twelve Samples commences with a gently gliding solo guitar playing over an electronic backdrop that sounds like a cross between White Eagle period Tangerine Dream, 1970 Pink Floyd, and 1975 Schulze, urged on by light cymbal thrap drumming and smooth chord progressions. [...] The final cut, Niemand lacht rückwärts is slightly more rock-oriented, highlighted by a wonderful drum solo... and a Santana-like lead. ASHRA has always been one of the greats of the golden age of electronic music. Sauce Hollandaise lets us know that, perhaps, the golden age has yet to end.«
(M.C. Mahan, "Interface Magazine", USA)

»After almost ten years of silence (The Private Tapes was the only sign of activity) ASHRA can be heard again on a record, a "live" recording, in fact the first in the group's history. [...] I believe many veterans of old good electronic rock started to shiver while listening to the famous echo play with the guitar and keyboard, which is M.G.'s trademark from over a quarter of a century ago. The recent "U2" show in Poland was only a small substitute for this sound. [...] If only the songs were a little bit shorter [...] Being part of the live audience is different [...] At home the atmosphere is totally different [...] This recording is only a document for me... saying to me "it happened one day."«
(Artur Lason [translation], "Estrada i Studio", Poland)

("Soundi", Finland)

»Sauce Hollandaise es el retorno de Manuel Göttsching a la actualidad discográfica tras 9 años de silencio a la vez que el primer disco en directo de su extensa trayectoria. [...] El catálogo de "série poème" no podía tener mejor arranque con el retorno de uno de los grandes de la música electrónica. ¿A qué esperas para conseguirlo?«
(R. Dorado, "margen", Spain)

»Deze cd is de perfecte registratie van dat perfecte concert.«
(Frits Couwenberg, "KLEM", The Netherlands)

»Sauce Hollandaise wird von Klaus-Schulze-Manager Klaus D. Mueller präsentiert und belegt erneut, welch entscheidende Rolle die Gitarre in der elektronischen Musik spielen kann - wenn sie von Manuel Göttsching gespielt wird. Ein Glücksgriff. Gleich der Opener [...] ist feinste Tripmusik, unaufhaltsam smoothen die vier Musiker über einen farbigen Klangteppich in Richtung Sound-Nirwana. Herz-Bauch-Bein-Musik. Vital und treibend. [...] soundtechnisch sicherlich eines der besten Live-Alben. So sind Göttsching & Co auf dem richtigen Weg ins nächste Jahrtausend.«
(TR, "tip" and other German magazines)

»[...] one of Germany's legendary rock bands [...] Manuel Goettsching's ricochet guitar [...] Goettsching's distinctive style transforms the electric guitar into an instrument of liquid grace, chords unfurling like an earthbound aureola borealis diving towards the heavens in lavishing streamers of sound. [...] The clincher: cohesion, the brilliant meshing of these splending aspects, harnessed in three epic pieces that list and drive the spirit with cosmic tonalities and ultra-sinuous rhythms. Ecstatically recommended.«
(again: M. Howarth, "Post Broth.", USA)

»Ashra features the guitar work of spacemusic legend Manuel Göttsching and has helped define the genre of spacemusic ever since their first album was released on 1971 [...] The latest album, Sauce Hollandaise, was recorded live [...] and is the groups first release in nine years. Three tracks from the concert made it to the CD. They are fascinating updated versions of the time tested classics and capture the energy of the performance.«
("Star's End", USA)

»Many thanks indeed for great CD by ASHRA! [...] Of course I have run this CD for the full length of time on the air. I dare to say that it is the best album of ASHRA which I have heard, wonderful, grandiose album. Thanks you very much from me and from all my listeners.«
(S. Tutov, "Radio Roks", Russia)

»Also, received Sauce Hollandaise. Truly superb! Thanks.«
(M. Howarth, comic designer, USA)

kdm: Danke für die Sauce Hollandaise-Bemerkung. Noch ein Tip dazu: Auf keinen Fall leise hören.

» Leise? LEISE? - Nie käme ich darauf... :-) ... vor allem nicht beim zweiten Stück Twelve Samples. Abends freue ich mich dann an meinem Kopfhörer (und meine Nachbarin wahrscheinlich auch ;-))«

(again: P. Stöferle, Germany)

»[...] will ich gleich noch ein weiteres Kompliment loswerden, Betrifft ASHRAs Sauce Hollandaise. Ich bin begeistert und hoffe auf weitere Poèms.«
(P. Stoeferle, "The Dream Collector", Germany)

»Ein Genuß! Eine sehr pfiffige Sauce Hollandaise, die sehr geschmackvoll auf den Tisch gebracht worden ist und vielen Menschen gefallen wird.«
(T.v. Veen, radio, The Netherlands)

»First, many congratulations on the formation of your new record label série poème and its first release Sauce Hollandaise by ASHRA
(J. Miller, freelance writer, UK)

»We have received Sauce Hollandaise by ASHRA. Thank you! Wonderful music! Our congratulations for the birth of the Série Poème
(J. Munshee, "Amazing Sounds", Spain)

»I am really enjoying it.«
(J. Gross "Perfect Sound Forever", USA)

»Just received ASHRA's Sauce Hollandaise - terrific stuff! Thanks for sending it to me, and congratulations on your new label.«
(M. Darnell, "Beyond the Horizon", USA)

»[...] danke für ASHRA. Höre es gerade zum ersten Mal. Was zur Hölle ist e-bow? Was Lüül ist, weiß ich. Aber e-bow? Ich kenne den alten Western "Ritt zum Ox-Bow" (mit einer tollen Musik!) ich kenne den Ellenbow - aber e-bow?? Ist denn nichts mehr so wie zu meiner Zeit??? Da hatte man Farfisa, eine Charleston-Maschine (heute HiHat oder so ähnlich) und eine Echolette. Und Millionen Fans. Heute hat man Millionen Instrumente aber - naja - Deine Leute haben ja noch Publikum. Überall uffe Welt. Mach´s gut - grüß Manu und Lüül und Klaus den anderen (the exploihoihoihoihoited...).«
(O. Leitner, radio, Germany)

»It sounds good, many thanks for the album. [...] I would like to play it on the radio with an interview.«
(J. Mikkola, radio, Finland)

[Sauce Hollandaise - Main Page]

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