Manuel Göttsching (guitar, synthesizer)

E2 - E4 is the first studio album by Ash -Ra Temple guitarist Manuel Göttsching under its own name. The album is an hour-long minimalist, consisting of only two chords piece of music is divided into nine individual tracks which are named after phases of a chess game. The album title is named after a classical Schacheröffnungszug.

The album was recorded on 12 December 1981 at the Berlin studio of Roma Göttsching as a soloist in a session and later no longer well -edited. The first publication of this improvisation as album was released three years later.

The album is considered one of the most influential pieces of electronic music and as a milestone of the genre.


After Ash Ra Tempel had published in 1976 the album New Age of Earth, Göttsching toured increasingly as a solo artist. In his concerts he played on the stage alone with different musical instruments. This concept, he became increasingly on his studio recordings. During a session in December 1981, in the Göttsching only a mixer, keyboard, a sequencer and a drum machine used, as was the piece E2 - E4 which was not originally wanted to release an album of the musician. In the first half of the piece Göttsching played exclusively on electronic musical instruments. It was not until the 29th minute of the album he also uses a guitar. The restriction of the piece of music on two chords that are constantly in a repetitive arrangement repeated and the whole playing time variation is negligible, are a fundamental element for the artist of the piece:

" In the case of " E2 - E4 " repeatedly actually very little completely monotone, because quite many small variations in it. I have played around with all the time on the devices. It develops uninterruptedly, but with that you get only if you have the sensors for it and listen carefully "

Since Göttsching the time of admission had no record deal and the piece also no longer with his former record label, Virgin Records wanted to release (part of EMI Group today ), the material was not initially released as an album. Three years later, the musician and producer Klaus Schulze remembered the piece and asked for Göttsching if he could post it on his new label. So the album was released in 1984 in a limited pressing of 1000 copies as the fourth release on Schulze's label InTeam.

Since the album was to be the first release under his own name and Göttsching was a passionate chess player, he chose as the title of the notation "E2 - E4 " for an " opening move " from the bay. The name reminded him .. even to the robot R2 -D2 from the Star Wars movies


The minimalist artwork of the album shows only a chessboard in beige and brown as well as the names of the artist and the album title ..

In 2006, the musician James Murphy released under the project name LCD Soundsystem for the company Nike a track named 45:33 .. This resulted in a dispute with Göttsching because Murphy on the cover of E2 - E4 copied for the artwork for the most part, without having obtained obtained the necessary rights.


Initially known only to a knowing circle to E2 - E4 developed in the late 80s and early 90s to an underground hit in the nascent house and techno scene. The American DJ Larry Levan played the piece often in full length as a conclusion of his DJ sets in the New York night club Paradise Garage and helped him by new popularity.

In 1989, the eponymous Italian formation was E2 - E4 for the house track Sueño Latino sampled. The plate was a hit in Europe and since then appeared in over 30 different versions and with numerous remixes, including Derrick May, Bushwacka! and Salt Tank.

The musician Carl Craig published in 1994 under the alias Paperclip People on his label Planet E, the single remake. The piece contained therein remake ( Duo ) is a techno reinterpretation of E2 - E4. In the same year also appeared on Planet E with " remake " Basic Reshape a remix of the German musician Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus under the alias Basic Channel. This reinterpretation by Oswald and Ernestus is an extremely reduced Dub - Techno - variation, which relies on no known samples of the original more. The piece was published in 1995 as e2e4 Basic Reshape also on the much-publicized Basic Channel CD.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the recording was released in 2006 on their own label Göttsching MG.ART an E2 - E4 - 25th Anniversary Edition of the album. On the anniversary, the 12th December 2006, the artist played the song live at the Berlin techno club Berghain and entered for the first time live with a performance of E2 - E4 in Europe. He had previously performed the piece on 27 August 2006 for the first time ever in front of live audience on the metamorphosis Festival in Japan. A recording of the live performance was released in 2009 under the title of E2 - E4 Live In Japan DVD.

Track list

The track Queen A Pawn includes the English wording for the pawn to a queen in chess. Draw is the name for a draw.