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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 504 ratings

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3 stars This German outfit has had a truly unique effect on me. I bought this album a while back, and have really quite enjoyed it. Yet even though I've had many opportunities to expand my Tangerine Dream collection I've always rejected them because so many other bands (progressive or otherwise) interest me more. Somehow Edgar Froese and gang have given me the idea that this one quality album is all I'll ever need of Tangerine Dream. (By the way, the other albums I've heard snatches of are Rubycon, Force Majeure and Le Parc).

The opening title track on this album is an absolutely awesome spacey song with a memorable melody that I seem to have heard on some science documentary or other (Come to think of it, it calls to mind the fantastic Doctor Who theme song). Using repeated undulating synth rhythms where most groups might employ drums, TD create a marvellous sound scape (the keyboard instruments alone include piano, harpsichord, organ, mellotron and Moog shared among Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann!) that allows one excellent melodic interlude after another to take over. There are at least four major themes that crop up during the course of this delectable 10 minute plus track that always leaves me imagining a chance meeting between Pink Floyd and Vangelis ... don't ask!.

The second track The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades is by far the shortest of the four pieces on here and it's a pretty morose (not to mention frequently inaudible) affair. If you can brush aside the mellotron swells and listen carefully a wonderful flute synth melody lurks deep within the recesses of this track. It always makes me feel like the only living creature on a distant desolate planet. Again ... don't ask!

The third piece 3am At The Border Of The Marsh From Okefenokee sees our heroes throw in more sparse minimalist sounds for the opening couple of minutes before a violent mellotron chord rushes at you and ushers in another cool synth-led rhythm. After some threatening noises by the Moog (I think) the flute synth rears its head again, this time playing a rather Arabic (should that be pentatonic?) based melody.

If your thoughts aren't in space by the time the fourth and lengthiest track Invisible Limits kicks off, then you have got to start taking imagination classes as soon as possible. Yet despite the excellence of the playing and concept (not to mention the wake-up call of the tolling bell and the synth solo that takes off around the 3 minute mark!) I realise that I've already become bored of TD's style before I finish what I've been led to believe is quite a representative album. I can see why others have fallen in love with this band, but to me the attraction is present, yet limited. ... 66% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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