SUNKEN T R EASU R E
Awesome music from the archives. This week, Manuel Gottsching
The music I like the most is the kind that sounds timeless or out of time. It’s a glorious thing to have this material to keep us company on whatever road we might be taking. Music that just happens to be going your way that will enhance it all the way. Hop in, it’s a free ride buddy.
It takes great skill to make great music but it takes visionary zeal to conjure something that steps outside of all timezones and creates a space of its own. Off the map and clock. A republic, a universe, a different place to go. Here’s where the music makers become the dreamer of our dreams.
Brian Eno said he wanted his music to always guide him and never be just a matter of keeping what you did before alive. Forward is the only way to look, think and face. This was the direction Manuel Gottsching turned when he deviated from his role in Ashra to strike out somewhere completely new with E2-E4.
It was 1981 and it was so futuristic and far-seeing that it pretty much set the tone for the era of electronic dance music we’ve had ever since. The album consists of a minimalistic repetitive drum machine loop augmented by some deft synth dressing and topped off with Gottsching’s effervescent guitar virtuosity. It lasts 58 minutes and 38 seconds. It’s a mighty fine way to spend an hour.
Its unique take on the notions of development in melody and harmony puts it in another stratosphere. The various components loop endlessly but the effortless and seductive way the keyboards and guitar lines ebb, flow, interact and build is something to behold. The complex interplay between several receptive elements is the cornerstone of electronic music. This is the blueprint. Gottsching discovered the planet. He planted the flag. A giant leap in one small step so bravely taken.