Ash Ra Tempel and the doors of chronoception - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #217

And the sun came up, of note only to the birds, and the rays creeping through the curtains. On an on whirled the infernal engine of this Ash Ra Tempel record, not letting me in, not at all; colour and time distortions from 36 hours without sleep were beginning to creep in with the first itching hives of a sweat attack but I wasn’t even beginning to get it. An imaginary deadline loomed with its false pressure and I wondered about what sort of twisted set of circumstances had brought on this decay.

It had been a perfectly normal day yesterday but something had knocked me loose at about 10pm and I’d started writing. Since doing it professionally any extracurricular scribesmanship had fallen off the wagon, but something had snapped inside me and broken down a rusted bulwark and two articles had come spilling out onto the hospital floor. After heavy metal and a spell lying in bed staring at the ceiling I returned to Ash Ra Tempel. I’d come impossibly late to the party, having missed Krautrock in all but its watered down Hawkwindian forms. No stranger to motorik grooves but not particularly turned on to seek out more; but following last year’s sublime Khun Narin and the Electric Phin Band, I was ready for the eponymous release, and nailed myself away in my upstairs redoubt to ponder the swirling snakelike mass of grooves: too dense to be improvised and yet too chaotic to be created. Every time side one begins to unfold into something grander, it ends and side two contracts into a late-night lights-on-the-highway dark trip where any sense of momentum is lost, whether it’s maintained or not.

To clear the fug I turn the speakers up and play Devin Vibert’s criminally underheard and cardiovascularly essential Glitchhikers soundtrack. For a game with a dreamlike sense of solipsism and 8-bit-place it’s magnificent to hear such a defined and awake soundtrack. I heartily recommend Gravity Well for those burned out on Neil Young’s Dead Man Soundtrack.

As you drop whatever pills and caffeine beverages you think will most help you tackle the day, wake yourself fully up with the utterly bizarre Moonlandingz and the marvellously straightforward Sweet Saturn Mine. With the charts permanently brimming with whatever half-baked weasel-faced slick-haired marketing hack ideas about electro someone has in a half-remembered coke dream, it’s nice to see some London groove from Fat Whites and Eccentronic Research Council. Best stop by B&Q to get a crowbar, because you will need it to get this one out of your head.

If you’re still jonesing, cruise all day on acidy goodness from Acid Liner, side project of Rhys from Hey Colossus which popped up on Soundcloud not long ago. It’s all free and it’s all slightly wonderful. Can’t say it penetrates me at all, but in the face of everything going on around it right now this is all I need.

Written under duress by Steven.

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