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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.90 | 411 ratings

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3 stars I am certainly no expert on the career of Tangerine Dream, but I am working on it the best way I know how, listening. After being introduced to the band on the so far incomparable Rubycon, I've set about exploring their discography. While not always totally to my tastes, I at least always find something refreshing about the uniqueness of their music. So far as I can tell, their career takes a bit of an arc from their highly artistic and less approachable early career to their creative peak on the perfectly assembled Phaedra and Rubycon, then takes a course towards a more simplistic and popular style of music.

Even though Stratosfear is the immediate follow up to Rubycon, the progression away from the highly layered complexity towards the shorter format and more beat oriented music like Underwater Sunlight can already be felt to a surprisingly acute degree. The washes and drawn out passages aren't completely gone, but they play second fiddle to the sequencer and more conventional keyboard sound now. If anything, Stratosfear feels like a rapprochement, however slight, between the sound of Tangerine Dream and their more conventional counterparts in Kraftwerk. TD certainly maintains an experimental edge over Kraftwerk, but they don't wield their attempts at more mainstream appeal with quite the same aplomb.

Stratosfear is still a good album, but it already feels like too much of a step away from the best of the band's catalogue, but perhaps it is more of a step towards the sound that the band would eventually feel most comfortable working with. I recommend it to those looking for some decent progressive electronic, but those looking for some excellent work should absolutely check out Rubycon and Phaedra instead. Good, but not essential.

R-A-N-M-A | 3/5 |


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