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Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.54 | 324 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 6/10

"Alpha Centauri" is an immature but still very original start for Tangerine Dream's pink years.

After "Electronic Meditation", Froese found himself with a completely new line-up, and with completely different ideas that will turn out to be quite innovating: "Alpha Centauri" was the resulting album, one of the very first LPs of Electronic music, parallel to the landmark Klaus Schulze album "Irrlicht". AC is one of those albums where it's historical importance proceeds the music itself; considering as a matter of fact only the music itself of the album, you'll find that Tangerine Dream really are still in their immature phase, even though the atmosphere they created here is priceless and very unique.

"Alpha Centauri" was the first TD album featuring synthesizers and spacey sounds. This though was really Froese experimenting new things and playing with his toys, but among the innocuous sounds still lies an atmosphere that is impressively unique of only this album. It's rough production and sound contribute also in building "Alpha Centauri"s originality, but the massive presence of flutes, organs, and even vocals, give fault to it's appearance of being a little embryonic; overall, though, it's still very peculiar music-wise, especially for that time. Tangerine Dream's main objective, even with following albums, seems to be to make the listener close his eyes and make him feel either like he's plunged into space or into some abstract field. Here we have the first attempt in recreating space, and even though not as effective and credible as later albums ( for instance because of the vocals at the end of the title track), it succeeds in some ways, and it is a good record for relaxing and zoning out completely.

"The three songs of the LP are structured climactically length- wise: "Sunrise On The Thrid System" is a brief, organ-based intro that sets the tone, while "Flying Collisions Of The Sola" starts with one of the coolest, spaciest synth effects you'll hear in any Tangerine Dream album, one of those sounds that truly convinces you you're in deep space. But after the first section, the organ comes back in, and the magical mood is partially lost because of that. This last addition seems to bring the atmosphere down to earth again, evoking still moments such as a sunrise (like the first track). "Alpha Centauri" though is another story, with it's epic 22 minutes: it brings you in places you'd never even imagine, thanks to it's very specific and detailed atmosphere; here, there is nothing else but space surrounding you, and it is really the first time of the album that you feel like that for a long period of time. Like it was mentioned, though, the vocals that come in at about the end of the song really seem like a superfluous and absolutely unnecessary addition to the music.

"Alpha Centauri" is overall an enjoyable, but immature LP still, that has some great experimentation which will be essential for the creating of following albums by the band, and also by other Progressive Electronic bands.

EatThatPhonebook | 3/5 |


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