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Tangerine Dream - Green Desert CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.30 | 126 ratings

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2 stars The great enigma, 'Green Desert' is a TANGERINE DREAM album recorded in 1973 while PETER BAUMANN was overseas, but not released. Instead, the trio went on to record 'Phaedra' when he returned. This album was supposedly 'discovered' by EDGAR FROESE in 1985 and issued in 1986.

Problem is, it really doesn't sound like a 1973 album. Having lost the courage to resist the smothering effect of 80s production values, how could FROESE resist spicing up this rather sparse and languid release with 80s sounds? The result is not dissimilar in effect to the Max Graham remix of 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' - out of time, left gasping like a novelty fish left behind by the tide. It leaves me wishing I could hear the original tapes, and suspicious that precious little of the original has made it on to this release. Still better than those soundtracks though.

Oh yes, the music. The title track is a smouldering slow burner, spiced up with a barely moving FROESE guitar and by FRANKE's somewhat inept but vigorous percussion. It closes with some rather (suspiciously) bright keyboards. It reminds me of something from 'Zeit' or 'Atem' with a little more vigour. 'White Clouds' is a charmless and directionless melange of synths and percussion. The most interesting track here is 'Astral Voyager', a clear guide as to the origin of 'Phaedra' and subsequent sequencer-driven tracks; but again this has been tidied up, and lacks the world-encompassing mystique of the muddied 1974 recording. It suffers for it. 'Indian Summer' is an apt title for a track that prolongs the drought of genuine musical ideas.

An historical curio that ought, I think, to have been left in the vault.

russellk | 2/5 |


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