Manuel Göttsching, a German composer and guitarist who was a pioneer of new age, Berlin School and minimal techno music, has died at the age of 70.
His death was announced via the Ash Ra Tempel site:
“Surrounded by his family, Manuel Göttsching passed away peacefully on December 4th, 2022.
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 stands still and bring you back to us whenever we hear you play.”
Manuel Göttsching (9 September 1952 – 4 December 2022) was one of the most adventurous guitarists of his generation.
He first came to prominence as the leader of the group Ash Ra Tempel, along with then-drummer Klaus Schulze and bassist Hartmut Enke. Their debut release, the eponymous Ash Ra Tempel, was produced by famed Krautrock producer Conny Plank, and is considered by many to be a classic of the genre.
His 1975 solo release, Inventions for Electric Guitar, is a tour de force of inventive guitar work, exploring repetition and minimalism and hypnotic kosmishe effects:
In 1976, he released Ashra album New Age of Earth, an album that’s been called one of the most influential ambient albums of all time. On the album Göttsching plays not just guitar and effects, but also ARP Odyssey, Farfisa Syntorchestra, EMS Synthi A & EKO Computerhythm.
Göttsching’s most influential release, though, is his solo album E2-E4, released in 1984.
E2-E4 is an hour-long improvisation for guitar, synths and electronics. The album is a single, continuous track that features minimal beats, sequenced synths and hypnotic, interlocking guitar riffs.
The album didn’t fit into any established genre when it was released, but it became a crossover club hit and is now recognized as hugely influential on minimal and ambient techno.
“For E2-E4, I just took the instruments and prepared these two chords and some basic bassline, and then I started playing with it, improvising with the chords and the sequencers and the loudness of the chords so it makes a shifting event,” he said. “I just played it.”
In addition to his work with Ash Ra Tempel and its variants, and his solo work, Göttsching collaborated frequently with other German electronic music pioneers, including Klaus Schulze, Michael Hoenig and others.
14 thoughts on “Manuel Göttsching Has Died At 70”
Damn, Synthopia feeling like the obituary section in a newspaper lately 🙁
E2-E4 is a fantastic album
70 is a good run in America now.
Not really saying much for my potential longevity 🙁
I had not heard of him, cool stuff though.
I will have to explore it.
Manuel Gottsching has been the prototype for every guitarist that I have played with since 1972. Starting in the mid-70s when AshRa was still AshRa Tempel, my main musical partner was Pascal Languirand (Trans-X) before I left Montreal and he went on to do Hi NRG stuff. We, literally, studied Gottsching’s guitar technique, and Pascal developed his own unique style derived from Gottsching’s. Gottsching was probably my favorite guitarist, now that I look back on it, and I guess I can now truly regret that I never got to work with him.
RIP Manuel, your spirit lives on thru your art. Condolences to your family and friends.
“Pluralis” still knocks me out. Manuel was a founding father whose trail seems to go all the way to excellent modern musicians such as Ulrich Shnauss. They both do a “power ambient” thing that’s relaxing without being at all gooey like material that’s just pads. I’m grateful to Gottsching for helping to set a high standard.
R.I.P. one of my favorite musicians :’U
The Christmas I got my CAT synth I was also given some new music; two of those albums
were Romantic Warrior and New Age Of Earth. Two of my favorite musicians that impacted my musical life(keyboards and guitar) are gone but not forgotten. Thank you for the amazing music.
Rest in peace my friend
I’m sorry Klaus: are you printing from Heaven?
New Age of Earth, Blackouts, Correlations and Belle Alliance are masterpieces. Thank you and RIP Manuel
@Maxim there was only ever one Schulze, whose Christian name was Klaus? You are in for a shock
I only like a handful of his albums, no matter, he was still a superb musician. Rest in peace Manuel. Best wishes to his family and friends at this sad time.