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Tangerine Dream - Atem CD (album) cover

ATEM

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.58 | 191 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The end of the beginning

Tangerine Dream released this their fourth album, and final album for Ohr Records, in 1973. After the totally impenetrable "Zeit", it was to be hoped that "Atem" would offer something at least a little more accessible, if not melodic. The indications were certainly promising, with just one side long track, and three pieces on side two of the album.

The early presence of thumping drums on the 20 minute title track which kicks off the album also indicates that we can expect a bit more in the way of rhythm and melody than has gone before. From the start, the dominant sound is of various synthesisers delivering both the main themes and the accompanying effects. Here though, we also see Froese adding mellotron and thus creating the lush, orchestral layers on which the album is based. Before getting too carried away, I should emphasise that this set remains rooted in the avant-garde, with little in the way of discernible music as such. The track certainly offers more variety in the way of volume, sounds and pace, but do not expect to remember a single sequence after listening.

Side 2 of the LP has 3 distinct tracks, the longest of which is the 10+ minute "Fauna gena". Here, jungle effects combine with floating mellotron to paint a landscape picture, the music being ideal for use with a suitable film or documentary.

"Circulation of events" is simply an abbreviated adaptation of what has gone before, but "Whan" is a bit different. In relative terms, the band let their hair down slightly here. It is not exactly whacky, but there are a few unexpected sounds and effects.

In all, "Atem" sees Tangerine Dream beginning their drift into the more accessible melodic style which would become their trademark. It represents something of a transitional album, remaining rooted in the challenging musicless style of their previous releases, but with firm indications that era is coming to a close.

Tangerine Dream would go on to record one more album for Ohr records called "Green Desert", but the release of the album became embroiled in the legal complexities of their move to Virgin Records and it did not actually appear until many years later.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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