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Tangerine Dream - Zeit CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.68 | 346 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars From another time (and planet!)

The first album by the Froese, Franke, Baumann trio offers something of an ignominious and challenging introduction to what would become for many the classic Tangerine Dream line up. Consisting of 4 side long (LP) tracks or movements, "Zeit" (the German word for time) is what might simplistically be called inaccessible. For many, it represents a low point in the career of Tangerine Dream, while for others it is a holy grail.

The sound of the synthesiser, which was introduced by the band on the previous "Alpha Centauri", is starting to become the key part of the band's identity now, with both Baumann and Franke using it, along with guest musician Florian Fricke (Popol Vuh).

The album starts deceptively with a quartet of cellos opening "Birth of liquid pledjades". There's no actual melody, just a continuous drone of varying pitches. The cellos slip away after about 8 minutes, to be replaced by an organ drone accompanied by sundry synth effects. It is all very slow moving and ponderous, but strangely atmospheric. As it turns out, side one is probably the most accessible, or to be more accurate least inaccessible, of the four. The following "Nebulous dawn" appears to be designed to deliberately cause annoyance, the tuneless noises being of a type which would in normal circumstances lead to a call to the police.

Presumably the separating of the tracks was in reality an occupational inconvenience due to the limitations of the vinyl format. Certainly as "Nebulous dawn" slips into "Origin of supernatural probabilities", there is no apparent change, the two sounding very similar. Admittedly, the latter is a bit less grating than the former, but remains devoid of music as such.

The title track closes the album with no change of pace, substance or effect whatsoever. Apart from the cellos on track one, it would be all but impossible to identify any of these pieces individually. I certainly would not recommend trying to listen to the compelte album in one sitting.

In all, a totally impenetrable album which on the face of it, anyone with an organ and a synthesiser could come up with. If you enjoy listening to white noise and other sounds devoid of music of any sort, this could well be for you. One things for sure, "Zeit" does not get any easier to listen to with the passing of zeit.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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