05 June 2012

E2-E4, by Manuel Göttsching (1984)

Manuel Göttsching - E2-E4 Clearly way ahead of its time, that's for sure.

Recorded 1981, released in 1984, E2-E4 was arguably the first recognizable trance album (I say arguably because I don't know of any other contender, but could be proved wrong). In some ways following on from where 1974's  Inventions for Electric Guitar left off, E2-E4 is a single 59 minute track, composed principally of electronic rhythms. For the first 30 minutes it builds and builds, adding more instruments and variations until a solo guitar enters the scene. At that point, for my taste, the album becomes a little less impressive: the guitar somehow never quite takes off, and I prefer the moments when it falls into playing rhythm and lets the electronics carry the melody (such as it) is. Also, although it continues to vary, the background electronic rhythm more often becomes just that: a background to the guitar in the foreground.

Personally, I like it less than Inventions: it's perhaps just that little bit too long, that little bit too monotonous, with a little bit too much guitar noodling, to reach quite the same level. That being said, E2-E4 is still a landmark album in modern (electronic) music.

Verdict: I'll say it's Very Good, but it should really be in anyone's collection, unless you're the kind of person who despises all forms of electronic music.

[Review also posted on rateyourmusic]

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