Ash Ra Tempel / Timothy Leary – Seven Up

Recorded in Switzerland where LSD enthusiast Leary was hiding, ‘Seven Up’ is skilfully edited from some bluesy  acid-soaked recording sessions. It feels like an album born in the post production as Leary-fronted blues sessions give way to wild electronic sound voids before fading back into those blues. A real clash of creators comes together here with Leary’s star power, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser producing, Tim’s right-hand man Brian Barritt being hands on and then there’s a heavily augmented Ash Ra Tempel too. Given that the release came out on Die Kosmischen Kuriere, it’s probably a fair bet that we are hearing Kaiser’s vision strongest of all.

For Side A, named “Space”, the effect is rather like a DJ had a blues album on one deck and an experimental electronic record on the other and kept skilfully blending them. Although it all segues together as one, there are separate “subnames” for the tracks and it is pretty easy to distinguish them. “Downtown” is a laid-back blues jam. “”Power Drive” is wild space rock. “Right Hand Lover” has an almost Stooges raw energy too it. “Velvet Games” is the fade out. Glueing it all together is some very monged vintage electronics, fizzing away like the musicians minds probably were. After all, the album is said to be named after the LSD-laced soda the musicians were drinking

Side B is called ‘Time’. As with side A, there are surnames but this time it does feel more like one long, coherent piece going through different movements as opposed to the DJ feel of side one. The sleeve notes claim this side to be a live recording but, frankly, I don’t believe that for a second. Music of such high fidelity and the complex, electrical work just can’t be from a stage show or studio jam.
Of course, Leary is not a man known for his music. It could be argued he was but a counter-culture celebrity, although here is not the best place for a discussion of the man. The point is, this is a great Ash Ra Tempel album. They may let their celebrity dealer say a few words and let his entourage get involved and sing but the greatness here emanates from the musicians and technicians.

Leary had some grand concept behind it as “a musical interpretation of this mind map system”, whatever that really means. The bottom line is here is another classic bit of way-out psychedelic rock from the German scene. Probably only a passing curiosity for Leary aficionados, this is an essential purchase for krautrock heads


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4 Responses to Ash Ra Tempel / Timothy Leary – Seven Up

  1. Devangi says:

    hey what is your fb page

  2. Michael Koly says:

    You have an error on this page, it says For Side A, named “Time”, the song on side A is called space, time is the song on side B. An intreguiging piece of LSD tinged psychedelia/space rock

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