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Tangerine Dream - Transsiberia (OST) CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

2.66 | 32 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Sit back and enjoy the ride . . .

Edgar Froese and son Jerome have created here a very pleasant, undemanding electronic soundtrack for an epic railway journey. Nothing particularly adventurous but entirely appropriate for a travelogue and I can easily imagine myself sitting on the train looking out at the passing scenery.

The first three tracks feature the heavy, on the beat thumping drum loops one would expect for the concept, departing Moscow's 'Yaroslav Station' full of energy and optimism, slowing the pace through 'Smoky Karlow', then picking up speed again heading towards 'Siberian Lights'. The longer, slower song in the middle of these three is the more tuneful and varied with some nice piano and organ parts, the other two focus on the various drum loops dropping in and out accompanied by minimal synth sequences and dramatic pads.

This steady progress is unexpectedly interrupted by the 'Jenissei River', a beatless composition with a vaguely spiritual feeling like an organ piece preceding a church service, flowing at its own steady pace at right angles to the railway. Once across though an even more metronomic rhythm resumes with 'Baikal Sunrise', an unvarying two beat drum loop and one note sequence underlying some more unusual and echoing synth sounds suggesting the magical appearance of this immense lake in the middle of Asia, and continues with the relaxed, blissful window gazing of the medium paced 'Samowar Juri' with a melody carried by several contrasting keyboard sounds.

The beat is now dropped entirely for the next three tracks. Some exotic and almost eerie sounds accompany the entrance to the far off city of 'Ulan-Ude' but rapidly morph into a more pastoral atmosphere before changing again to a 19th century classical structure as if the Russian colonists were celebrating the establishment of European culture in this alien place. Moving on into darkness, the super soothing, ambient 'Chingan Night' with its hesitant synth lead and backing choral sounds lulls the traveller into a deep sleep, to dream of the 'Russian Soul' whose weirdly distorted voices perhaps evoke the spirit of this vast landscape, its animals and ancient indigenous peoples rather than the modern inhabitants and western civilisation.

Finally the beat returns but at an almost funereal pace as the journey nears its end at the 'Golden Horn' of Vladivostok on the northern Pacific coast. This idea is only reinforced by the steady tolling of a bell suggesting the end of the line or maybe European society. The experience is over and it is time to return to the everyday world, although with new memories and possibly a few fresh insights picked up along the way.

Overall a worthwhile album, some thought obviously went into the compositions which grew on me with repeated listens and gradually stimulated ideas and images. There was however no progression other than that of the train towards the east. 3 stars.

2dogs | 3/5 |


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