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Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure CD (album) cover

FORCE MAJEURE

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.98 | 313 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Though not the furious cosmic event 'Cyclone' was, 'Force Majeure' marked yet another evolution in TANGERINE DREAM's sound. The album looks the same as the others - one side-long track, two shorter tracks - and starts the same - warm synths and strange sounds - but it's as much a rock album as it is an electronic one.

From now until the end of the Virgin years, TANGERINE DREAM issued a series of carefully thought out, interesting and sometimes exceptional studio albums blending prog rock and electronica. After 'Cyclone' this is the best of them, largely because of the presence of the amazing 'Cloudburst Flight'.

The title track spends four minutes on the usual ethereal buildup, but rather than pulsing sequencers we're greeted with an orthodox drummer and guitar stylings. This is the first of many sections, all fused together by sound effects (trains, bells and so on), and sounds distinctly Floydian. Oddly, the track seems to wind down rather than up, and the quieter sections bring the track to a rather underwhelming close with a tune more like a nursery tune than the sophisticated stuff they're capable of. That said, this is an outstanding track, another summation of what TD were about, with some excellent proggy moments.

It is 'Cloudburst Flight', though, that garners the kudos from this album. It's what I've come to call an orgasmic track, that is a deliberate build from a languid beginning into frenzied activity, leading to the inevitable climax and detumescence. Music like this is common in both prog rock and techno, but this track is really the very best example of its type. I apologise for any offence my analogy might cause, but I do believe such tracks work at least partly because they mimic a common (and pleasurable) human experience.

This track is about EDGAR FROESE's guitar, and he makes it scream, strain and howl like GILMOUR's mad cousin. It reminds me of the climax to MIKE OLDFIELD's 'Ommadawn Side 1' but with far more vigour. The track begins with some mouth-wateringly clear acoustic guitar (the foreplay), and the pulse that arises is deliciously understated. We get down to business after a bit less than two minutes with a synth line, leading us to expect this to be another 'Stratosfear' - like track. But it all changes at 2:40 with a magic descending bass line, joined by the madman's guitar and KRUGER's staccato drumming. Just luxuriate in the tone and depth of this solo ... until the climax and the sweet, sweet falling away.

'Thru Metamorphic Rocks' is supposed to have arisen because of a studio accident affecting the bass. Certainly it's great fun, an excellent opening growing into a stonking rock track, guitar and synth to the fore, then blown apart by some malfunction into a repetitive electronic nightmare that just goes on and on. A wonderful fusion of rock and electronica, this track perhaps outstays its welcome, but is excellent nonetheless.

A must-have album, with each track having a distinctive personality. A guaranteed favourite with fans of mid-70s PINK FLOYD.

russellk | 4/5 |

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