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Tangerine Dream - Wavelength (OST) CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

2.73 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nš 93

Tangerine Dream was formed in Berlin by guitarist Edgar Froese, percussionist Klaus Schulze and keyboardist Conrad Schnitzler. They were among the earliest conscious explorers of a new musical universe opened by electronic instruments. Tangerine Dream's music was born as a psychedelic journey in the heavens, and, aided by the new electronic keyboards, transformed into a contemplative survey of the universe. By borrowing from impressionistic painting, from ecclesiastic music, from the minimalist avant-garde, and from Eastern transcendental philosophy, Tangerine Dream invented "kosmische music", one of the most progressive influential genres of all times.

After the release of their debut album "Electronic Meditation", in 1970, by the three original members and the release of "Alpha Centauri" without Schulze and Schnitzler but already with Christoph Franke, in 1971, which defined the genre, Froese, Franke and Peter Baumann released "Zeit" in 1972, one of the most important albums of the time. "Zeit" is a four-movement symphony which adopted a more electronic format and a looser concept of rhythm. With "Atem", in 1973, perhaps their most formally accomplished album, they turned to a less intimidating vision of the cosmos, one that led to the lighter, baroque and melodic approach of "Phaedra", in 1974, "Rubycon" in 1975, "Stratosfear" and "Ricochet", in 1976 and "Encore" in 1977. After two more studio albums, "Cyclone", in 1978 and "Force Majeure", in 1979, this time without Bauman, it begins the new-age sound of the 80's, when Froese and Franke were joined by Johannes Schmoelling in 1980. It was in the Schmoelling era that Tangerine Dream released "Wavelength".

"Wavelength" is the fourth soundtrack album and the twentieth overall album by the German band Tangerine Dream and was released in 1983. The line up on the album is Edgar Froese (keyboards, guitar and bass), Christoph Franke (synthesizers and percussion) and Johannes Schmoelling (synthesizers and keyboards).

"Wavelength" is the soundtrack for the 1983 low-budget independent science fiction film written and directed by Mike Gray and starring Robert Carradine, Cherie Currie and Keenan Wynn. The story of the film is very simple and is set in the Hollywood Hills and the Mojave Desert and involves a young couple who discover childlike aliens being held by the U.S. government for experimentation in an underground bunker. Sincerely, I never had the opportunity of see the film.

Within the 80's, between the years 1983 and 1989, Tangerine Dream will produce more than 15 movie soundtracks. Some were really great. Others were fair and or nastily bad. Soundtrack meant shorter tracks and a commercial bend that will sign the halt of making longer evolutionary tracks with these legendary turns of structures so dear to the psychedelic/electronic years for the hard fans of Tangerine Dream. With hindsight, we notice that "Sphinx Lightning" of "Hyperborea" will be the last long track in studio made by the Froese group.

"Wavelength" is among the good soundtracks from Tangerine Dream. Mostly unknown from a wider audience, it literally surfs on the waves of some of their good albums like "Sorcerer", "Thief" and "White Eagle" only to name a few of them. But the material recorded on it isn't properly what we can call new music. It's a kind of a musical mosaic made of bits and pieces picked here and there from these albums, moulding thus an interesting futuristic soundtrack. Each of these small jewels that forge "Wavelength" will bring you at the doors of classical works from Franke, Froese and Schmoelling. Titles like "Desert Drive", "Healing" and "Spaceship" come from the "Quichotte", "Pergamon" and "Tangram" era, whereas that "Church Theme" and "Sunset Drive" are alternate versions of "Silver Scale" and "Remote Viewing". But there are still some interesting fresh ideas behind "Wavelength". Titles like "Wavelength Main Title", "Breakout", "Alien Goodbyes" and "Spaceship" bring reminiscences of "Force Majeure" or "Thief" while that "Mojave End Title" has that little something which ties it to the numerous classics of the band. It's a great track with a lively and catchy harmonic beat. I really don't think that "Wavelength" is an inescapable work but it has its own charms.

Conclusion: I think that, unfortunately, "Wavelength" is out of print. This album combines the musicality of the 70's with the technology of the 80's, and although at times fresher than the other Tangerine Dream plates early 80's. Both, the then new material as well as the new motives can impress yet. I do believe that it's a nice compilation of different musical visions of titles already known with some nice new music which has the unique signature of Tangerine Dream. This is why I think that it's a good soundtrack which really sticks to the idea of a futuristic invasion of aliens on a music that will always be a source of remembering. Who likes Tangerine Dream from the late 70's and even "Exit" or "Tangram" surely finds "Wavelength" acceptable. It remains next to "Sorcerer" and "Legend" as one of the best soundtracks of Tangerine Dream, and thus to be recommended as a good plate of the trio for all who are interested.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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