Tangerine Dream


Band members               Related acts

- Peter Baumann -- mellotron, keyboards, flute

- Chris Franke -- mellotron, keyboards

- Edgar Froese --  mellotron, guitar, bass, keyboards

- Klaus Krieger -- drums (1979)

 

 

 

 

 


 

Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Phaedra

Company: Virgin

Catalog: VI 2010

Year: 1974

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 10

Price: $9.00

Cost: $1.00

 

Given it's reputation, it's funny how few people have actually heard 1974's "Phaedra".  That said, for those who've heard it (and many who haven't), many folks feel it's one of the most influential releases of the 1970s.  One thing's for certain - it's one of those album that you either admire, or hate with a passion. Very few people fall in the middle ground.

 

Produced by Edgar Froese and recorded at Richard Branson's Manor Studios, the album's composed of four instrumentals.  Three of the four clock in at over eight minutes, with the seventeen minute title track taking up the entire first side of the LP.  If you've heard Tangerine Dream then there isn't anything here that will come as a major surprise.  Tracks such as ''Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares and ''Movements of a Visionary are full of thick, ambient synthesizer tones and textures that ebb and flow with occasional bursts of melody.  Elsewhere, given the absence of synthesizers on the piece, Baumann's flute propelled ''Sequent C' is the one piece that feels a little out of place on the album.  You certainly won't jump up and do the electric slide to anything on this set, but clearly that wasn't the point. Gawd only knows what these guys were thinking about, but to my ears it's an intriguing  atmospheric and contemplative soundtrack - perfect for putting on when you're in the middle of doing some paperwork that you brought home from work, or you're balancing the checkbook.   Some thirty years after it's release (I'm writing this in 2004), it's easy to see how this album's influence waves of folks (The Aphex Twins and even Moby quickly come to mind), in such musical genres as ambient sound, electronics and even the current fascination with trance.  To my ears it's not exactly easy listening, though a couple of beers smooth it over and it certainly has a place in my collection.

 

"Phaedra" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Phaedra (instrumental) (Peter Bauman - Chris Franke - Edgar Froese) - 17:45

 

(side 2)

1.) Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares (instrumental)   (Edgar Froese) - 9:55

2.) Movements of a Visionary (instrumental) (Peter Bauman - Chris Franke - Edgar Froese) - 8:01

3.) Sequent C (instrumental)   (Peter Baumann) - 2:18

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Zeit

Company: Virgin

Catalog: VD2503

Year: 1976

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 9

Price: $15.00

 

Originally released in 1972 on the German Ohr label "Zeit" (translated as 'time'), found the band now consisting of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, and Peter Baumann, diving headlong into inner space.  A double album set, the collection showcased a series of four extended synthesizer-propelled instrumental pieces.  Clocking in at roughly 75 minutes, the spacey packaging was a pretty good indicator of what to expect with 'Birth of Liquid Pledjades' (in case you were wondering the title refers to a wintertime star cluster) and the other three selections offering up a series of ever changing ambient sound palates, complete with oscillators, assorted electronic bleeps and beeps, extensive sections of electronic drones, and even a cello quartet.  It certainly wasn't very commercial, occasionally approaching the avant garde levels of musique concrète.  Depending on what mood you were in, it could be kind of captivating (kind of like listening to the soundtrack for 2001 A Space Odyssey), or even ominous (parts of 'Nebulous Dawn' were outright scary.  Not quite on a level with Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" but it made for fairly challenging listening and wasn't something most folks would play on a regular basis.  (This is a copy of the 1976 Virgin reissue featuring different cover art.)

 

"Zeit" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) First Movement: Birth of Liquid Plejades (instrumental)   (Edgar Froese - Chris Franke - Peter Baumann) - 20:00

 

(side 2)

1.) Second Movement: Nebulous Dawn (instrumental)   (Edgar Froese - Chris Franke - Peter Baumann) - 18:00

 

(side 3)

1.) Third Movement: Origin of Supernatural Probabilities (instrumental)   (Edgar Froese - Chris Franke - Peter Baumann) - 20:12

 

(side 4)

1.) Fourth Movement: Zeit (instrumental)   (Edgar Froese - Chris Franke - Peter Baumann) - 17:43

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Force Majeure

Company: Virgin

Catalog: V2111

Year: 1979

Country/State: Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: UK pressing; minor ring wear; slight warp, but plays without any problems

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4757

Price: $7.00

Cost: $1.00

 

 

In spite of the fact I'm not a big Tangerine Dream big fan, I have a habit of buying their LPs whenever I stumble across one I don't already own (or when I can find an upgrade on the cheap).  To my ears you have to be in a specific mood to enjoy their unique efforts and most of the times when I  try to focus on one of their albums I'm either distracted by something else (crying baby, cring teenager, screaming cat, nagging wife), or simply disappointed by the results.  That certainly seemed to be the way "Force Majeure" was heading when I heard the first couple of minutes of the side long title track.  'Force Majeure' starts out with your standard dreamy synthesizers and sound effects, before kicking into a taunt and melodic guitar, drums and keyboard driven segment.  Mind you, while there's plenty of ambient Krautrock material here for longtime fans, the album finds the band (down to Chris Franke and Edgar Froese with an occasional assist from drummer Klaus Krieger), supplementing the usual battalion of synthesizers with some excellent rock guitar.  Yeah, hard to believe it, but it turns out that Froese could play a mean electric guitar - doubt it?  Check out his performance on the side two opener 'Cloudburst Flight'.  Not exactly their stab at top 40 rock, but a good place for the curious to start with. 

"Force Majeure" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Force Majeure (instrumental) (Chris Franke - Edgar Froese) - 18:18

 

(side 2)

1.) Cloudburst Flight (instrumental) ( Chris Franke - Edgar Froese) - 7:21

2.) Thru Metamorphic Rocks (instrumental) ( Chris Franke - Edgar Froese) - 14:15

 

 

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