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Tangerine Dream - Hyperborea CD (album) cover

HYPERBOREA

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.46 | 152 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars With a cursory glance back towards their psychedelic origins, Tangerine Dream's 1983 album 'Hyperborea' is often quoted as one of this key Krautrock group's last great studio albums before the soundtrack work that defined their 1980's output started to take precedence. It would also prove to be the final album Tangerine Dream released on Virgin Records, bringing an end to a fruitful ten-year partnership which had seen the pioneering German group release some of their most acclaimed works, such as their commercial breakthrough album 'Phaedra', the cool electro-psych of 'Rubycon', and the inspired progressive rock of 1978's 'Force Majeure'. So, therefore, it seems apt that the last Virgin album should prove to be one that combines many elements from the group's past, plotting a course through the several evolutionary stages of Tangerine Dream's long career. Flanked, once again, by the talanted duo of Christophe Franke and Johannes Schmoelling, group founder, leader and creative-controller Edgar Froese mines an eclectic balance between future-calling electronica('No Man's Land'), Eastern-inspired psychedelia('Hyperborea') and standard TD synth-and-sequencer-bred sounds('Sphnix Lightning'), creating one of the group's most eclectic sets yet. The real stand-out however is the album-titled sophomore track('Hyperborea'), which blends chiming sitars, slow-burning keyboards and Klaus Schulze-style sound collages to highly-original effect, contrasting the slick 80's TD style nicely with their more avant-garde origins. Fans of both sides of Tangerine Dream's output should find something to satisfy their tastes, though it should be noted that when compared to previous studio albums 'Tangram' and 'White Eagle', 'Hyperborea' sounds remarkably fresher. Though one could not(yet) accuse Froese and company of going stale, 'Hyperborea' is one of the few Tangerine Dream albums that does actually stray from the standard plotted course of slowly-pulsating electric rhythms and keyboard-dominated patterns that defined the group, and it comes as no surprise that the TD trajectory changed dramatically post-1983. Tangerine Dream would, of course, continue long into 21st century, though, despite the occasionally impressive soundtrack piece, the rest of their output failed to match the heights of their earlier material. 'Hyperborea', with it's mix of slick electronics and Eastern-inspired psychedelia, provides a fine overview to one of the major forces in Electronic Krautrock. Fans of both the group and of the genre should find much to admire. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 4/5 |

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