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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 506 ratings

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N Ellingworth
5 stars As with all the albums from Tangerine Dream's 'classic era' most of the instruments used here are completely electronic, so if you're looking for 'traditional' prog you've come to the wrong place.

As with most electronic music there is a strong focus on the texture and atmosphere of individual pieces, but there is also a strong groove running throughout the music that give it a regular pulse despite the complete lack of drums. Instead there are sequenced synthesisers and even an early drum machine which provide the rhythm over which the synthesisers can produce the melody.

The title track opens the album with a strong groove and flashes of guitar over the myriad of synthesisers used to create the main themes.

Next up is 'The Big Sleep in Search of Hades' which initially sound like it wouldn't be out of place on a typical symphonic prog album with gentle guitars over Mellotron chords, however normality is restored with a strange synthesiser line, which allows the song to live up to the oddness of it's title eventually the opening themes return.

Following this is the even stranger named song '3am at the Border of the Marsh From Okefenokee,' which opens with a simple ping from a piano. This is a very atmospheric song filled with strange synthesiser noises, a tortured mouth organ and huge Mellotron climaxes which get very dissonant. After about 3 minutes the pace quickens and a recognisable melody line emerges with Mellotron string providing a suitable backing. A brooding and at times very unsettling song this is probably my favourite on the album.

Invisible Limits closes the album, and starts with a simple repeating bass line over which small flourishes of melody appear before the ever present Mellotron appears, with a melody coming from another 'tron. About 3 minutes in an the somg change tone dramatically with guitar being the main instrument as the tempo rises. Eventually the 'trons return briefly but the synthesisers are now dominating proceedings and the song takes on a space rock style. This is a fine way to end the album and confirms it as one of the strongest Tangerine Dream albums from this era.

This album may be under 40 minutes long but it provided flawless electronic music and is part of the reason why I am starting to appreciate ambient and electronic music a lot more than I was a few months ago. Highly recommended for anyone with even the slightest interest in electronic music.

N Ellingworth | 5/5 |


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