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Tangerine Dream - Hyperborea CD (album) cover

HYPERBOREA

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.46 | 152 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars This is perhaps the best of the studio albums TD released in the 1980s (but it's still not as good as the live Logos). This is also their last album for Virgin and their last really good/great album; there was a drop in quality after Hyperborea. The music presented here both sounds similar to the previous album White Eagle and the the soundtrack work they would become famous for. Of all the Schmoelling-era albums, this one is probably the most consistent.

"No Man's Land" has what sounds like bagpipes at the start. Before long, 1980s era sequencers come in. Later on you hear what sounds like electric steel drums, similar to ELP's "Karn Evil 9" This track builds up with layers of synths getting added. Very rhythmic but also melodic in places. The title track is one of TD's best '80s songs and the highlight of the whole album. It's almost two songs stuck together. Opens with lovely choir-like sounds and gorgeous melodies. Using drum machines here which add rather take away from the music. Later great bell-like sounds on synth doing the melody. This part is electronic symphonic prog at it's finest.

Just before halfway changes to a seemingly slower-paced section with more great melodies and a different drum machine programming. A guitar like solo on synth. Nice tremoloed sequencer and rhythmic drum machine programming towards the end. Finishes on a very symphonic note. "Cinnamon Road" is a very commercial track but also good and memorable. They would never have done anything like this on their 1970s albums. Either real sitar or sitar-like sounds used. If this song had vocals it would probably have been a synth-pop hit.

Even in 1983 artists such as Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield were still releasing 20- minute epics. "Sphinx Lightning" is the side-long track on this album and one of their better '80s moments. At times this reminds me of their late '70s sequencer work. The drum machine programming at the beginning is pretty good. The first few minutes is a bit repetative. Around 3 1/2 minutes is where it gets more '70s sounding while the drum machine gets sped up but also lowered in volume.

Later a synth solos as more drum machines get added to the mix. Eventually the drum machines fade out and everything gets ambient and atmospheric. You hear some synth that sounds like a cross between a harpsichord and an acoustic guitar. Later a melody starts and the sequencers and drum machines come back. I love the mysterious and suspenseful synths starting before 15 minutes. Drum machines get faster and more melodies on synths.

The trio is embracing all the new technology of the era, but they are unaware of how said technology will ultimately date their future music. While never completely abandoning guitar and analog keyboards, TD in the mid-80s was all about digital synthesizers and drum machines (and soundtracks!) Good but not essential. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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