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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover

STRATOSFEAR

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.93 | 477 ratings

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Progfan97402
5 stars In 1989 I was 16 years old, I first heard of Tangerine Dream. I heard some of their music played on public radio, and I was wondering what the fuss was all about. They were likely playing something off Optical Race. My knowledge of them were spotty, but then I learned they had albums out in the 1970s, but the only one I was aware of shortly after was Stratosfear. I didn't realize until 1994 that their debut appeared in 1970 (Electronic Meditation, which is not particularly electronic or meditative, but guitar and organ-driven Krautrock). So I had a bit of an aversion to Tangerine Dream, but in 1994 I took a chance, figuring it's the 1970s albums I should be looking for, and bought Stratosfear, and ever so glad I did. Since buying all their other 1970s albums, it was clear that on Stratosfear the band was attempting a more melodic approach. The title track clearly demonstrates that, sequencer still play a big role, but in a more catchy way than before. I noticed quite a bit of the ARP Pro-Soloist being used here, even though one isn't even credited at all. "Big Sleep in the Search of Hades" is definitely less "commercial". Nice use of harpsichord and Mellotron flutes, but some really creepy tron choirs are also used as well as the Pro-Soloist. This piece really blows me away! "3 AM at the Border of the Marsh from Okefenokee" starts off rather calm, then you get blasted with tron choir, before slow paced sequencers creep in with tron flute. "Invisible Limits" starts off calm, the sequencers kick in at a high pace, before going into a more tripped out passage, and a calm piano passage towards the end. I was so happy to get Stratosfear, it totally changed my attitude on the band, hardly the "New Age" fluff I dismissed them as (to be fair, I felt they slipped into mediocrity by the mid 1980s, Underwater Sunlight is the most recent TD album own). While many describe Stratosfear as an attempt at something more "commercial", I really don't feel it that way. In fact there is plenty of stuff that would scare off mainstream listeners. Mainstream listeners who prefer Underwater Sunlight, Optical Race, Lily on the Beach, and such release would likely be scared of Stratosfear (never mind Zeit which would likely make them coil in terror). To me this is nothing short of a classic, and was the first TD album I bought, and without a doubt an album I can easily recommend.
Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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