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Tangerine Dream - Blue Dawn CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.01 | 31 ratings

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3 stars This album, released in 2006, is based off of material that was originally worked on in 1988 during Tangerine Dream's North America tour. The tracks were recorded while on tour, not during concerts, but while traveling and during down time. Edgar Froese was touring with Ralf Wadephul during this time and they were the ones that made up Tangerine Dream. 6 tracks were recorded by Wadephul and 4 by Froese.

Frosse called up Wadephul sometime before releasing this album to see if he would be interested in putting together an album of their unfinished material, and Wadephul looked through his tapes and put these tracks together. Since they were so rough sounding, seeing as they were recorded while on the road, they decided to add new layers into the originals to bring them up to date and make them releasable. Wadephul also asked Frosse to add guitar parts to some of his material. Basically, what we end up with here is a peek into what TD would have sounded like if this partnership continued, as soon after the tour was over, the partnership split up because of artistic differences.

The album starts with one of the Froese compositions. 'Where Dreams are Large and Airy' does have an airy quality to it, and also a nice melody played on synth. It is surrounded by an almost tropical beat which is kept soft. The basic sound doesn't change through the entire 6 minute track. 'Riding the Wind' is composed by Wadephul and was available under a different title ('1st Sunlight') and arrangement on one of his solo albums, and also on a compilation from TD released earlier as a different title ('Lily's Waltz') and arrangement. This one starts out quite ambient and builds as it continues. A guitar solo starts at 2:30 and continues to build. This is a nice, emotional track.

'Thunderheads' (Froese), starts with a repeated synth pattern and a rolling rhythm with ambient and light electronic sounds and textures. A melodic keyboard line starts at 1:30 complimented by another synth effect following a different, supporting melody. Again, there isn't much change to the sound through the 7 minute duration. This track was added to the compilation 'Music for Sports ' Cool Races' in 2009. 'Eagle's Crest' (Wadephul) is also known as 'Endless Blue' in another variation on other releases. It is more laid back, with a mid-tempo rhythm and a European feel. Without any change in texture, a guitar solo is added just after 2 minutes, which is substituted with a nice keyboard melody later. Guitar returns later on.

'Food for the Gods' (Wadephul) is only available on this album. Starting off ambient, it soon swells to a beautiful and melodic soundscape. At 2:30, a synthesized Spanish guitar plays pensively and then establishes an arpeggio pattern with atmospheric synth effects playing around it. A light percussive rhythm starts and a nice melody follows. This track then settles into a lofty and lovely piece which is the longest track on the album at over 8 minutes. 'Without a Bad Conscience' (Froese) is also exclusive to this album. A mid-tempo rhythm is established right away on this synth piece. Again, as is the case with the Froese tracks on this album, there isn't much development here as it remains pretty level all the way through.

On the 2nd half of the album, things tend to get a little less interesting as the next several tracks start to sound too similar without much change through their individual run times. This tends to make them less interesting. 'Cardamom Route' (Waldphul) is also known as 'Paradise Island' on Wadlphul's solo album, but is an alternative version. It is a bit exotic with a steel drum effect but like the previous track, is really nothing special and doesn't change much. 'A World Away from Gagaland' (Froese) is also available under the same title, but in an altered version on TD's 'Booster' and 'Music for Sports ' Cool Races'. Other than some synthesized vocal-sounding effects, this one doesn't offer anything very interesting.

After this, things get a little more interesting for the last two tracks. 'Native Companions' (Waldphul) is also on his solo album in a re-recorded version under the title 'Dancing with the Clouds'. It immediately starts with a metallic effect, then a slightly more interesting electronic pattern is established with a beat. This one has more interesting effects and is somewhat metallic sounding, so at least it stands out a little more. An effect sounds sort of like a native flute halfway through. Later, a guitar solo follows. 'Blue Dawn' (Waldphul) ends the album. Other appearances of this track in a re-recorded form appear on his solo album under the title 'Suffering Sharks'. It starts out quite ambient with a nice submerged sound and a subdued high pitched synth making a melody. The atmosphere of this one is mostly ambient, but there is an interesting guitar effect added later, and things start to get more intense and dramatic as it continues. At about the 3:30 mark, percussion kicks in creating an adventurous feel.

So, most of the tracks on this collection of ideas started several years earlier are available on other albums in re-recorded versions. It seems to me that Waldphul's compositions are actually more developed and Froese's are kind of underwhelming. Even then, things are not progressive and quite accessible. There are two tracks on here that are standouts, and they are the most ambient ones; 'Food for the Gods' and 'Blue Dawn'. It is a nice album, especially for Waldphul's tracks, but the three tracks that begin the 2nd side are not very interesting and the album begins to sag a bit, almost not redeeming itself. But at least it ends strong. At least it is a good album, easily earning 3 stars, but not quite up to exceptional or excellent status.

TCat | 3/5 |


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