Heretic | Hiro Kawahara | ‘Complete Works’ | “In Memory of Manuel Göttsching”

Uncategorized December 4, 2023

Heretic | Hiro Kawahara | ‘Complete Works’ | “In Memory of Manuel Göttsching”

Exclusive visual remix by Japanese experimental guitarist Hiro Kawahara, taken from the recent release of his complete works, out via Cuneiform Records.


Kawahara was active even before Heretic with projects such as Osiris, Astral Temple and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Those releases are extremely rare and done in a true DIY spirit. The world of Heretic consists of strange music filled with dark ambient. All past works were digitally released thanks to Cuneiform Records.

Manuel Göttsching (Fukagawa August 30, 2006)

I’ve created three remix tracks specifically for It’s Psychedelic! Baby Magazine. First, I will briefly explain why I made these three remix tracks for them. In August of this year, Cuneiform Records (U.S.) released all of my past works digitally. Related to that promotion, I was asked to be interviewed by It’s Psychedelic Baby! Magazine, and that was published. At that time, and since then, in all email conversations with Mr. Klemen Breznikar, he has always been courteous, so I had a very favorable impression of him. I’m very happy that I was able to release all of my works this year, but I’ve been concerned about the passing of two of my German musical friends last year (2022). One is Peter Frohmader, whose collaborative work was released at this time, and the other is Manuel Göttsching (Ashra). In particular, I have met Manuel-san privately in Tokyo every time since 2000, after he played live in Japan. Since this December 4th is the anniversary of his passing, I have always thought it would be great if I could publish my music in his memory somewhere. It’s Psychedelic Baby! Magazine agreed with my idea, and my contract partner, Cuneiform Records also gave me full agreement, so we decided to release these remix tracks for free. As for (3), which I will explain later, due to my relationship with Manuel up until now, MG.ART (especially Manuel’s wife) has made a special offer to release the remix and data for free only to me and It’s Psychedelic Baby! Magazine. So MG.ART gave us permission.

(1) Heretic – Overview of ‘Heretic – Complete Works,’ remix with 3D, 2023
(2) Heretic – ‘Dedicated to the late Manuel Gottsching’ (Ashra), remix with 3D, 2023
(3) Manuel Göttsching, Ashra – ‘Sunrain’ 3D Remix by Hiro Kawahara

(c) Hiro Kawahara 2023
(p) It’s Psychedelic Baby! Magazine 2023, exclusive publication and use by special permission of Cuneiform Records.
Regarding (3), MG.ART (especially Manuel’s wife) gave us special permission to release the remix and data for free only to me and Psychedelic Baby! Magazine.

As a description of each track;

Both remix tracks are taken from multiple parts of my ‘Heretic – Complete Works’ and compiled together as one track. Furthermore, what differs from the official release is that 3D processing is applied. In other words, both tracks are special remix versions that can only be heard here. The first track is 49 minutes, the second track is 36 minutes, therefore the total length is 85 minutes, longer than 1 CD. I added psychedelic images to each piece of music as a video. The first track includes special 3D processed sounds in several parts from the audio sample page (Soundcloud) on Cuneiform Records site. I remixed this track as a sample so that people who have never listened to my music can understand to some extent what Heretic’s music is.

The second track is basically the same as the first track, extracting multiple parts from ‘Heretic – Complete Works’ and processing them in 3D in some parts, but expressed with more “psychedelic” sound such as Manuel Göttsching, especially Ash Ra Tempel. In particular, from 10 min 15 sec, the improvisational performance by Heretic’s previous group, Astral Tempel (a trio of drums, bass, and guitar), recorded live on December 16, 1980, is a performance that pays homage to Ash Ra Tempel’s first album. This live part has been given special effects that amplify more psychedelic feel. Because it uses stereophonic sound processing, I recommend listening with headphones to both tracks. Each piece is excerpted from multiple parts of my past works, so if you are more interested, please visit Cuneiform Records’ digital site.

(3) This ‘Sunrain’ is a remix of the track that I love a lot and that determined the direction of my music, with 3D sound processing applied.

The tracks were used from;
‘New Age Of Earth’ (1976)
‘Live at Mt. Fuji’ (2007)
‘@shra Vol. 2’ (1997)

In the middle part of ‘Live at Mt. Fuji,’ (2007) I selected fragments of the melody that Manuel had in mind. I think the last live part with the four members of Ashra is basically based on the live performance in Osaka 1997, but it may have been re-recorded in the studio. I also experienced this Osaka performance from close to the stage. I think Harold’s drums came to the forefront here, emphasizing a more rock-like aspect than a dance-oriented one. In addition, as part of the remastering work, I first emphasized the bass sound, then edited only the necessary parts, and finally applied stereophonic (3D) sound processing to one sequence. From my interpretation of this music, the sound should be rotated slowly, so if you listen to this remix with good headphones, you should be able to enjoy the sound as it slowly orbits around your head. If you like this music, please buy Manuel’s CD/LP. and We would like to thank Manuel’s grieving wife for allowing us to make this work available for free.

Heretic (1988)

I would also like to explain about my relationship with Manuel Göttsching.

I made my music debut in 1980 with a project called OSIRIS. Before that, I liked hard rock, but after listening to Ashra’s ‘Sunrain’ on FM, I liked “krautrock,” especially Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra. Later, when Manuel Göttsching first came to Japan as Ashra, I came into contact with him because I was writing a live report for a magazine, and after that we gradually built a friendship. I played the guitar for Ashra member Steve Baltes’ second solo, as Manuel-san’s introduction.
After 2000, I met him and his wife every time he came to Japan. I had a chance to give them sightseeing tours in Tokyo. As we had good friends, we talked a lot, so it was a great shock when he passed away last December… and I have also written liner notes for Ashra’s Japanese CDs in the past. Among them, I would like to introduce an episode that I especially want to share with you.

First, I would like to introduce Manuel’s episode about Blackouts.
Blackouts / Manuel Göttsching (Recorded in September 1977, released in 1977, my liner written in 2008)

Manuel-san explained about ‘Blackouts’ by himself;

In 1977, just after I signed with the Virgin label, I went on my first trip to America/New York with Rosi (she now lives there and we are still good friends). When I arrived in N.Y., I was surprised to find that the city was in total darkness/blackout. Everyone was making a lot of noise, and it looked like a picture of the end of the world. Soon, when the crowd went quiet, I realized why. The commotion was part of the famous Newport Jazz Festival festivities. Salsa music was being played on the streets of N.Y., and it felt novel and attractive to me. Then I heard Marvin Gaye’s new song at the time, ‘Got to Give It Up’ and I loved it. (I still like it.) Even after I returned to Berlin from N.Y., I still felt like I was on the trip, and I was listening to Marvin Gaye, Latin music, soul music, and funk music. In such a situation, I created this work. I believe that these musical elements are present in this work. I chose the title “Blackouts” after my experience of experiencing a power outage for the first time in my life. Also, during this trip to N.Y., I remember that when I was walking down Houston Street with Rosi, Bernard Xolotl happened to call out to me. He was born in France and was living in San Francisco at the time, but he happened to see me while traveling in N.Y., so he approached me. (I didn’t know him before, but he recognized me from the New Age photo.)

In the liner notes for another Ashra’s CD, I wrote an episode about sightseeing in Tokyo in August 2006.

First day of Tokyo’s sightseeing (August 29, 2006: Tuesday):
I took him and his wife on the subway from the subway station near their hotel to Akihabara. After riding subway’s train full of people, I wondered if I had done something wrong, but Manuel loves trains so it was completely fine. His wife wanted to take a rest and a soup, so we had a light meal at a restaurant after arriving at the station. They seemed to like the soup and miso (Japanese) soup. It was Manuel’s third visit to Japan, and he was eating a negitoro (tuna) bowl with soy sauce and wasabi. Both of them were good at using chopsticks. He seems to like coffee, so he always had coffee when we went to a coffee shop.

Manuel Göttsching (Akihabara, August 29, 2006)

After a snack, I guided them to several shops in Akihabara. It was their first time in Akihabara, so they spent a lot of time looking around at the Duty Free shop and the musical instrument store. In the guitar section of a music shop, he checked on a Gibson SG with an arm and a Fender Telecaster for a long time. As for the console, he spent a lot of time looking at Mackie’s mixer, probably because he owns this brand.

Manuel Göttsching (Akihabara, August 29, 2006)

When he discovered a miniature train shop, he stopped there as if he wanted to go inside, but due to no time we decided to pass. He was a fan of miniature trains and had a complete set of dioramas at his home. A little episode happened at a CD shop. As we were crossing the floor of a CD shop to have dinner upstairs, Manuel suddenly hoped to see his own CD corner, so I took him there,  and there happened to see his fan, he picked up the E2-E4 CD and was about to go to the cash register. Just before that, He noticed Manuel, then asked me, “Is he Manuel-san?” so I answered “Yes”. he took out a signature pen and asked me to translate to ask him for his signature. Manuel didn’t look offended at all and immediately agreed to the autograph. This fan must have been surprised. His face at that time was very impressive.

For dinner, after comparing various restaurants/foods, we decided on Chinese food. They ate everything well. In Berlin, there are restaurants from various countries such as Italian, French, Chinese, and Japanese, so it seems like they can enjoy any kind of cuisine. Manual ate small meals and loved to drink beer.

Second day of Tokyo’s sightseeing (August 30, 2006: Wednesday):
I guided them to the Edo Museum in Fukagawa, where we can learn about Tokyo (Edo), Japan life in the 16th~18th century. They were very interested and said it was impressive! Manuel looked like a handsome movie actor as he walked around that Museum. Afterwards, we took a commemorative photo at a souvenir shop wearing a topknot and hanten. He was surprisingly happy despite his strange appearance. I was also impressed by the sight of him eating while walking around outside with a bag of sweets which he bought at this souvenir shop.

And this is two years later, in August 2008.
After the live show, Manuel and his wife stayed at a hotel in Tokyo for a week, busy with their promotions for their next visit to Japan and upcoming CD releases, as well as interviews with the media. They took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me again. It just so happened that the office of the German company where I worked was across the street from the hotel, so we met for coffee almost every day.

According to him, he composed using a music tool called ‘Live,’ and ‘E2-E4’s live shows basically had no rehearsals, and there was a sound check after they started playing. He said he likes live performances outdoors. My impression of him was that he was always a gentle, quiet person, not at all intimidating or selfish, and was easy to attend to. He spoke quietly and slowly, and walked at a very slow pace. He was a person who had a vibration that made me feel calm.

When they came to Japan in 2012, they had a late-night concert at Makuhari in Chiba, so I couldn’t go, but I remember that just before returning to Germany, he called me and said goodbye. That phone (voice) conversation was the last time for us.

Manuel Göttsching (Makuhari, 2012)
Manuel Göttsching (Makuhari, 2012)

In addition, although Heretic’s works are also sold individually, a live improvisation by Astral Tempel and some works by OSIRIS are also included in the ‘Requiem’ album, and this work is a memorial to Manuel Göttsching.

Mr. Manuel, I would like to thank you for your great influence on my musical life. R.I.P.
Hiro Kawahara / Heretic

Heretic biography:
From 1980 to 1982, Hiro Kawahara formed OSIRIS, Astral Tempel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, like Kraut Rock sound, and mainly released cassette tapes. In 1980, released an independent LP, ‘In The Mist Of Time’ under name, OSIRIS, helped with Fools Mate magazine.
In 1984, Hiro Kawahara, Thoru Ohta, and Takurou Moriyama formed this Heretic and released a private first LP ‘Interface’.
In 1988, Heretic 2nd LP,’Escape Sequence’ was released as an LP by Belle Antique Label.
Also participating are my friends Yozox Yamamoto and Taiqui Tomiie from Ain Soph.
In 1994, the 1st and 2nd compilation CDs were released from Belle Antique label.
After that, in the 1990s, we released works using MIDI, and various software in Hiro Kawahara’s personal studio.
1996, Limited release called ‘Past In Future,’ a pre-release demo for Belle Antique label.
1996, Released ‘Yayoi Dream’ with CD-ROM from Belle Antique label.
1997, Released ‘Drugging For M’ with CD-ROM from Belle Antique label.
1998, Recorded individual collaborations with German musicians Peter Frohmader and Steve Baltes (Ashra).
2000, Hiro Kawahara had exclusive audio parts for Eurock’s CD-ROM, ‘The Golden Age,’ which includes his final recording track as Heretic in 1999.
2010, Eurock (USA) released a Heretic and Pre-Heretic compilation called ‘Requiem’ as Eurock’s final CD.
August 25, 2023, All Hiro Kawahara’s past and unreleased works were digitally released from Cuneiform Records in the United States.

Heretic (1988)

Discography;

1979 OSIRIS – Journey To New World (Cassette)
1979 OSIRIS – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cassette)
1979 OSIRIS – Osiris Mythology (Cassette)
1980 OSIRIS – Astral Tempel (Cassette)
1980 OSIRIS – Rhapsody For You (Cassette)
1980 OSIRIS – The Restration Of Soul (Cassette)
1980 OSIRIS – In and Out (Cassette)
1980 OSIRIS – In the Mist Of Time (LP Private Press & Fool’s Mate JHWH-1001)
1981 OSIRIS – El Rayo De Luna I (Cassette)
1981 OSIRIS – El Rayo De Luna II (Cassette)
1981 Astral Tempel – Shadow Illusion (Cassette)
1981 Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – 1 (Cassette) (with Yozox Yamamoto from Ain Soph)
1982 OSIRIS – A Failed Play (Cassette)
1982 OSIRIS – Echo Troublant (Cassette)
1982 Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – 2 (Cassette) (with Yozox Yamamoto from Ain Soph)
1982 Astral Tempel – Vista Under Arc Light (Cassette)
1982 Astral Tempel – 100% Odd Lots Session (Cassette)
1982 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – 3 (Cassette) (with Yozox Yamamoto from Ain Soph)
1982 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – 4 (Cassette) (with Yozox Yamamoto from Ain Soph)
1994 Heretic – Interface (LP Private Press) (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3375)
1988 Heretic – Escape Sequence (LP: Belle Antique 8807) (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3378)
1994 Heretic – 1984-88 (CD: Belle Antique 9457) (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3373)
1996 Heretic – Past In Future (Demo-CDR) (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3377)
1996 Heretic – Yayoi Dream (CD + CD-ROM: Belle Antique BELLE 96302)(DL: Cuneiform Rune 3374)
1997 Heretic – Drugging For M (CD + CD-ROM: Belle Antique BELLE 97350)(DL: Cuneiform Rune 3376)
2000 Eurock  – The Golden Age (CD + CD-ROM) (Eurock ECD 3001)
2010 Heretic – Requiem (Zen Records ZCD 4001)(DL: Cuneiform Rune 3380)
2023 Heretic – Live-Kyoto 85 and Tokyo 88 (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3381)
2023 Hiro Kawahara and Peter Frohmader – Hiro Kawahara and Peter Frohmader (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3379)
2023 Heretic – Complete Works (DL: Cuneiform Rune 3382)

Heretic – Yayoi Dream Video Sample:

Heretic – Drugging For M Video Sample:

Hiro Kawahara and Peter Frohmader Video Sample:

Heretic – Complete Works Video Sample:

Heretic – Complete Works:

Complete Works link to Bandcamp

Heretic – Interface:

Heretic – Escape Sequence:

Heretic – 1984-88:

Heretic – Past In Future:

Heretic – Yayoi Dream:

Heretic – Drugging For M:

Heretic – Requiem:

Heretic – Live-Kyoto 85 and Tokyo 88:

Hiro Kawahara and Peter Frohmader:

Please let us know your feedback on these remix tracks. Also, if you have the Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – 3 & 4 cassettes, please contact us; Heretic.Cuneiform@gmail.com

Hiro Kawahara’s guitar

Lastly, I would like to introduce my guitar that I have loved for many years during the Heretic era. This is a special custom-made guitar whose body is wrapped with floral pattern fabric and coated, and there is only one of this in the world.


Headline photo: Hiro Kawahara (1995)

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Heretic | Hiro Kawahara | Interview | “Zen-Electronics”

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