Monday, December 12, 2011


30 years ago today Manuel Gottsching recorded a long (59m20s) track called E2-E4. It was only meant to be something to listen to on a flight to Hamburg but turned out to be a slow-burning, iconic work, both in its own right and through others' interpretations of it. 

I was living sur le continent at the time and, with my friend Wolfgang, met him exactly a month before (in Cologne, playing a concert with Klaus Schulze) and exactly a month after (in Berlin, interviewing various musicians). We got wind of the track, but it didn't get released until two and a half years later in 1984 on Schulze's In Team label, split over two sides of vinyl. I gave it 5 stars in Sounds. It's a wonderful piece of music - racey sequencers, just two chords and some fine guitar - but it wasn't until 1989 that it became 'known', courtesy of the Italian Sueno Latino club remix. Since then, it's been been compared to Eno, Reich etc and in this month's The Wire as "in its own unassuming way, one of the most revolutionary and important albums ever made". I'm not sure about that, but the 'unassuming' bit is apt. I'm sure Manuel is as bewildered as anyone.

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