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Manuel Göttsching
Manuel Göttsching © MG.ART

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 - Sun, 17 Jun 2018


The Beginnings of Electronic Music with a Focus on Manuel Göttsching

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It was a small step for a musician, but a great one for the music world: on a December afternoon in 1981, Manuel Göttsching plugged in a drum computer, a sequencer, keyboards and his electric guitar, and recorded a piece of music just under an hour in length, to which he gave the title »E2-E4« after the most common opening move in the game of chess. And thus, without knowing it, he laid an important foundation stone for genres like techno and trance.

This placed Göttsching among the ranks of those pioneers who managed to blend meaningfully the mind-expanding worlds of psychedelic rock, American minimal music with its love of experiment, and the technological progress of electronic instruments. To this day, »E2-E4« is regarded as one of the most important electro albums ever recorded, and the Guardian has described its creator full of reverence as »The Göttfather«.

The Elbphilharmonie now dedicates a three-day festival to Manuel Göttsching and other »electronauts« that also gives audiences a new chance to hear the music of Göttsching’s Krautrock band Ash Ra Tempel. Taking the pioneers of the 70s and 80s as its starting point, the event focuses on the present day, when we don’t need synthesizers the size of a wardrobe any more: a smartphone is enough to neutralise gravity and reach new, unknown realms.