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Tangerine Dream - Rubycon CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.26 | 864 ratings

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5 stars While Phaedra paved the way for the electronica genre for decades to come it wasn't the most consistent release out there. As much as I love the concept of that release there is no way for me to look past certain limitations of that 18 minute electronic epic. Luckily it only took Tangerine Dream just over a year to perfect the formula with the release of their followup album Rubycon!

In many ways Rubycon can be put off as just a clone of their previous masterpiece since it features the same basic structure where the music builds up slowly through layers of synthesizer sound with sequencer effects added to it all from the middle section and onward. But if you actually look at electronic music from that perspective then you're doomed to failure because the '70s equipment offered a limited range of styles and sounds which inevitably would come off as sounding very similar. Instead it's those little enhancements that make Rubycon the true masterpiece of electronic music.

The music featured on Rubycon Part 1 offers the listener a smooth flow of sound making each transition feel perfectly executed without distracting the listener from the hypnotic feel of the music. The tone of this epic track might not be as dark as Phaedra but that doesn't mean that it's any less ambitions instead those minor sound enhancements and structural arrangements that actually make me enjoy this composition even more than its predecessor.

Rubycon Part 2 opens on a very haunting note but eventually begins to pick up the pace towards the 5th minute where the sequencer sounds kick in. It's true that this continuation of the Rubycon Part 1 sounds exactly as such without adding anything truly earth-shattering into the mix, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Just like Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick - Part 2 or Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells part 2 the composition offers us a feeling of completed journey once the music fades out towards the end. This is something that Tangerine Dream's Phaedra, or ELP's on Tarkus for that matter, didn't achieve and instead relied on a few lesser tracks to fill out the record space.

I guess that Rubycon is to me what Phaedra seems to be to most Tangerine Dream fans and historians. Still, judging from the rating difference between these two albums, I'm far from the first person to award Rubycon the highest honors proclaiming it to be the essential piece of Progressive Electronic that all fans of progressive rock music should experience.

***** star songs: Rubycon Part 1 (17:21)

**** star songs: Rubycon Part 2 (17:34)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |


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