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Tangerine Dream - Green Desert CD (album) cover

GREEN DESERT

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.29 | 94 ratings

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Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the great lost Tangerine Dream album, the missing link between Atem and Phaedra that languished in the vaults fom 1973 to 1986, when it was finally unleashed on to a waiting world. Except...Edgar Froese could not resist tinkering with the original tapes, so there are quite a lot of overdubs featuring equipment that wasn't around when it was first recorded. Whether the 80s gloss was strictly necessary is a matter for debate, but there is no doubt that this is an excellent TD album whatever its provenance.

There are two unique aspects to this album; it's the only one which Froese and Franke recorded as a duo (Force Majeure is also a Froese/Franke work, but features additional musicians) and it's also the last to feature Chris Franke playing drums. The real treat for TD fans here is the title track, which is built round a lengthy duet with Froese on guitar and Franke on drums. Franke may not have been in quite the same league as Jaki Liebezeit or Christian Vander, but he could really play and on this piece he builds up to the kind of feverish rhythm that Popol Vuh's Daniel Fischelcher did so well. Froese is in full on blues raga mode, and the whole adds up to a spellbinding piece of space rock on a par with Force Majeure. The second half of the album doe not quite live up to the first - I suspect that Froese and Franke were road testing their shiny new synths and wondering 'what does this button do?' a lot of the time. White Clouds is propelled by an almost motorik rhythm and Astral Voyager gives the sequencer a bit of a work out, but while they are pleasant enough neither track really goes anywhere. Indian Summer is a big improvement, a near ambient piece of the kind of electronic atmospherics that TD did so well.

This album is recommended to fans of Stratosfear and Force Majeure - as others have noted, it doesn't really sound like a transition between Atem and Phaedra, but this could be explained by the absence of Peter Baumann (who left TD for a few months in 1973 to travel round Asia with his girlfriend). The title track deserves 5 stars, the rest of the album 3.

Syzygy | 4/5 |

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