Manuel Göttsching, leader of Krautrock icons Ash Ra Temple and a pioneer of electronic/guitar music has died at age 70. In the early 1970s,. Göttsching released five influential Ash Ra Temple before embarking on a solo career that led to his 1975 trance-inducing wonder Inventions for Electric Guitar. But it was his 1981 composition E2-E4 that ultimately became Göttsching's defining work. From Pitchfork:
In 1981, after a visit to [Tangerine Dream's Klaus] Schulze, Göttsching improvised the composition that became known as E2-E4, hoping to throw together some listening material for an imminent trip. That mysteriously perfect hourlong exercise, which combined Prophet 10 synth pulses with waves of electronic percussion and electric guitar, came to define his post-krautrock output. After composing the track, Göttsching later recalled, the billionaire and Virgin Records owner Richard Branson invited him to his houseboat and, upon hearing the track, advised Göttsching that it could make him a fortune. But Göttsching decided to release the full improvisation on his friend Schulze's label, without overdubs, in 1984, and it appeared to have little impact.
Though E2-E4 sold poorly, it had—unbeknownst to Göttsching—made its way across the Atlantic and into Larry Levan's Paradise Garage sets, as well as the collections of key electronic music innovators.