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Hoenig / Göttsching

Early Water

- Studio, released 1995 -


CD release France 1997
Photo: Detlef Maugsch


1.Early Water 48:26
Total running time48:26


Recording dateAutumn 1976
Recording site(s)Berlin
Composer(s)Michael Hoenig, Manuel Göttsching
Musician(s)Michael Hoenig, Manuel Göttsching


In 1976 Michael Hoenig had a brief collaboration with Manuel Göttsching of Ash Ra Tempel; a 48 minute recording of one of the sessions was released in 1995 under the title Early Water.


Michael Hoenig talks about the release of Early Water in an interview with Christopher Lawless and Michael Darnell: "I recently had a prolonged flashback to those days when somebody discovered some tapes that I didn't even know existed. While I had been working on Departure From The Northern Wasteland, Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra Tempel had asked me if I would team up with him for some concerts in France, since his group had just gone through one of its hibernation periods. We rehearsed in my place for three or four weeks. One evening we got a call regarding some missing guarantee, which ultimately led to the decision to cancel the tour. Just for fun, we played one of the planned sets for a last time. Even though I do not recall pressing a record button, somebody recently dug up a Revox tape of that very set. After performing some digital sonic archaeology on it, it was just released under the very appropriate title Early Water. [...] I honestly don't know who found the tape, or where it came from. It might have been Lutz Ulbrich, who used to play with Agitation Free and who still works with Manuel sometimes. He might have found it in my old basement in Berlin while trying to find some forgotten tapes of Agitation Free. I was totally unaware of its existence until Bernd Kistenmacher, who runs a small label in Berlin, sent me a cassette asking if I recognized the material. He sent the same tape to Manuel, who remembered immediately. It was actually delightful and somewhat amusing to work again on something that appears almost ancient now. I had totally forgotten the entire episode -- so many other good things had happened for me at the time."


According to the cover notes, the musicians used the following equipment:
  • Michael Hoenig: Yamaha, EMS, Moog, Oberheim
  • Manuel Göttsching: Farfisa, ARP, Gibson, Tape Echoes with Revox A 77


From the liner notes by Manuel Göttsching"My earliest reminiscence of Michael Hoenig goes back to the year 1970 or 1971. I entered public bus no. 4 in Berlin, and there he was, sitting at the back of the bus, clutching his 'treasure' on his knees. It was a black aquare bo that looked more like an old-fashioned attache case, but in fact it was an EMS Synthi A! He was on his way to Thomas Kessler's Beat Studio to play a session with the legendary Berlin band Agitation Free. Kessler's studio was an influeantial and well respected place in Berlin between '68 and '72. In retrospect, many bands and musicians seemed to have found their 'ear' in that studio, laying the foundation for what would later be called 'The Berlin School'. Michael, as far as I recall, played the synthesizer directly in the beginning, no keyboards, only obscure external control devices -- so you may call him a genuine electronic musician indeed. He performed and recorded with Agitation Free for several years, and then briefly with Tangerine Dream and also Klaus Schulze for some concerts, before beginning to work on his first solo recording Departure From The Northern Wasteland in 1976.
That same year I was recording an album of compositions for keyboards and synthesizer, called New Age Of Earth. This production pushed me to explore new grounds, having started my musical life as a guitarist. I had found ways to extract nearly every possible sound out of a guitar, nut Michael's help in the final mix of that album was invaluable. In autumn 1976 I was asked to play a tour of France to promote the release of New Age Of Earth. Of course I invited Michael to join me, and for three weeks we rehearsed at his Aura studio. Unfortunately some of the concert dates were not confirmed in time and we had to cancel the complete tour just on the day before we wanted to leave for France. On that evening, nevertheless, we recorded our last rehearsal 'just in case'. It turned out as a flowing harmonic piece, reflecting much of the optimistic air of 1976. Michael made his 'departure' to Los Angeles in the early< eighties. He built up a new studio and now composes music for films and produces for a variety of new media. When we met again in November 1994 I proposed to release this old track of ours. Michael took the original tape to Los Angeles, lovingly restored it and -- well here it is, 19 years later, a taste of Early Water back from 1976."


1997: Spalax
CD: CD 14536
1995: Musique Intemporelle
CD: 74321299972
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