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Tangerine Dream - Atem CD (album) cover

ATEM

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.58 | 199 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I would consider "Atem" as one of the three best studio albums of Tangerine Dream "Zeit" and "Rubycon". The titanic title track opens by entering of howling voices and repeating melodic mantra from drums, presented here with better production quality than on their two previous recordings. This also is much more concrete and aggressive music than on their earlier albums, and there resides a huge dramatic tension within the architecture of this surreal composition. After a climax the sounds move to an enchanting calm space filled with musical shadows and radiant shimmering objects. Slowly new elements start to emerge from the shadows; there are huge masses near the quiet space, affecting from a distance trough gravitational forces of colossal giants, not absorbing however the calm space immediately. There are exceptional tiny details in the larger tonal themes, creating a very physical presence which morphs to a more oppressing and frightful realms of shadows later. Also the atonal moments have decreased to quite small amounts from the previous albums, and in some parts there is a strong "cinematic" feeling, bringing mostly visual visions for me. Fitting the song's name well, "Fauni-Gena" starts with birdlike voices and tender flute melodies. Later stronger motives emerge accompanied by whispering human voices, and the tension grows stronger. Then on "Circulation of Events" a distressing wall of troubled sound is brought alive. Rather than Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells", I would have used this song as a horror movie soundtrack. The last track "Wahn" is a collage of voices similar which were used in Pink Floyd's "Piper at The Gates of Dawn" album, drawing a beautiful conclusion from the au revoirs from flute whistles. Watching the album cover and listening to these noises, I was left with an impression like being contacted by some human but still alien character, touching my mind but leaving the concrete questions and answers from this masterful artistic dialogue.
Eetu Pellonpää | 5/5 |

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