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Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.55 | 352 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tangerine Dream bandleader Edgar Froese made some substantial changes on Alpha Centauri, the group's second album. Most obviously, he replaced both of the other members of the band. But the really significant difference between Alpha Centauri and Electronic Meditation, the group's debut, is that Froese has dispensed with much of the experimentation and all of the freak-and-roll jamming, bequeathing the latter to Ash Ra Tempel and other West German bands.

As a result, Alpha Centauri is not a very daring album, at least not musically - - and somehow that works. The key, I believe, was in recognizing which aspects of Electronic Meditation could be recombined to create a cohesive sound. Alternately, Froese might've seen Tangerine Dream's first album the way I do: a juxtaposition of ambient and freakout jams - - two very different styles. Perhaps he decided against trying to travel two roads at once.*

Although it's definitely minimalist compared to its predecessor, Alpha Centauri still seems overdone in places; the flute and sound effects in the second half of the title track is one such case. But in general, the album is a slight improvement Electronic Meditation, and is a logical bridge between Electronic Meditation and their 1972 double-LP Zeit.


* Interestingly, my (digital) copy of the album contains a bonus track, "Ultima Thule Part 1," which was released as a single in 1971. It uses rock instrumentation, including a drumkit playing a steady beat - - quite different from either of the albums to that point.

patrickq | 3/5 |


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