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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover

STRATOSFEAR

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.91 | 366 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Now that the pink period is gone and the three previous releases have started a change in the musical landscapes of Tangerine Dream, here appears their actually more catchy album. There are melodies and structures that don't have anything to do with the "organized chaos" of the old times. Phaedra introduced the electronic rhythm, then Ricochet and Rubycon added some melodic lines.

Stratosfear makes a synthesys of all of them and the result is a great electronic performance. Some sounds are dated, like old console's midi files, but this was the top of the actual technology and TD are always been experimenters and researchers in this sense.

The title track flows continuously for 10 minutes, then there's a sudden stop and a guitar harping totally disconnected from what was before. It's very nice but I don't understand why they aren't separate tracks.

"The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades" is very melodic. They don't seem the same band who was travelling the deep space in Zeit. They seem to realize it in the middle of the song so a short spacey section is added. However the fact that the music is changed doesn't mean that it's bad. A band in advance on its time can enter the 80s in 1976.

"3am At The Border Of The Marsh From Okefenokee" starts smoothly with a bell and a harmonica sound. If it wasn't for the spacey sounds coming from the background I could think it's Vangelis. It's only when an "orchestral" chord grows with dissonances that their space style is easily recognisable. Since now on it's slow and athmospheric with some middle eastern or medieval flavours. Excellent for a movie soundtrack. The last minute with the harmonica back over spacey sounds closes the circle.

"Invisible Limits" seems a follow up to the previous track, but the bell is now a bass and the harmonica is a flute. This is very hypnotic. A bit too melodic respect to the things we were used to listen from TD, but if you forget TD this is an excellent track. Also guitar and percussions are back as instruments after some albums made of keyboards only. The guitar performance of Edgar Froese is reminding of the Krautrock origins. What follows is an uptime piece of electronic music on which the guitar reappears here and there. The passage into the spacey section is smooth. This part is the one that I prefer, but I am a fan of Zeit. The track is closed buy a piano/flute piece quite similar, to be honest, to the last part of Saucerful of Secrets.

A great album, even if the fans, as myself, of the early TD were actually a bit disappointed. Relistening to it now it's not so disappointing and this represents the beginning of a new period and the end of this lineup. Always in advance with the times.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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