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Tangerine Dream - Quinoa CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream

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3 stars Just like "Green Desert","Quinoa" was a transitional album for TD. Paul Haslinger had just left the band and just like in 1973 when TD was suddenly reduced to a duo of Edgar Froese and Chris Franke,they were once more down to just two people,this time Edgar and his son Jerome who had joined the band two years earlier. But unlike in 73,this time they decided to stay a duo and "Quinoa" was the earliest example of the two of them forging ahead with TD in duo format. But only the title track is from 1992,the other two tracks are later additions from 96 for "Voxel Ux" and in the case of "Lhasa",no year is given. "Quinoa" is a return to the epic TD days of yore,something that by this point they hadn't done since "Live Miles" in 87. And at 28 minutes it's something of a mega epic,and it's definitely not the least interesting they have done in this area. This being 92 they were already feeling tentatively towards the techno/dance forms that so much of the future of TD music would feature,only less solidified. But "Quinoa" is undoubtedly an interesting piece of music,in the familiar TD epic vein with one long piece of several sections leading into one another,much like a string quartet or a symphony. TD have always worked with a classical compositional structure for their epics and "Quinoa" wanders through several musical landscapes before it reaches it's destination 28 minutes later,and I think it stands up well with TD's more famous epics of the 70's and 80's,it's almost a synthesis of old and new TD,the aestethic of the past meeting the tentative future. In turns hypnotic and minimalistic,then expansive,it covers a lot of ground so those 28 minutes seem to fly by. A great updating of the classic TD epic for the 90's. "Voxel Ux" is perhaps less interesting,but that's probably due to it's length of "only" 12 minutes. It's not allowed to expand and evolve the way "Quinoa" is,but it's a nice enough piece,just not particularly outstanding in any noticable way. As for "Lhasa",that was part of what TD called the "Tibetan Cycle" at the time,a much larger musical project that was yet to be released. It has since been released as "The Seven Letters From Tibet" and "Lhasa" is to be found on that album under the title "The Long Distance Blue" and it's rightful place is definitely within the concept of that album,it's a bit of a fish out of water on "Quinoa",my advice is to skip it,with just "Voxel Ux" and "Quinoa" the album is still 40 minutes long,longer than many of the classic TD albums of the 70's and 80's,after all. This album is worth getting for the title track alone and along with it you get a nice appetizer in the shape of "Voxel Ux". Not an essential TD album but definitely worth getting for the dedicated fan,a casual TD listener would be wiser to get the acknowledged classics of the 70's and 80's before shelling out for this,though.
Report this review (#69587)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars I picked this up in a sale of Tangerine Dream CD's recently.Looks quite promising on the face of it with only 3 tracks plus the very nice digital artwork for the CD case.The trouble is I had forgotten that this period of Tangerine Dream (late eighties and early nineties) is the least productive of any era.Paul Haslinger,Johannes Schmoelling,Chris Franke and Peter Baumann were all in the past by this time.Instead Edgar Froese is joined only by his son Jerome.

Musically this is probably as aimless as anything they've done with most of the longest track made even worse by Jerome tapping away on the drumkit with all the skill and invention of a bored 5 year old.As for lush synth textures,beautifull harmonics,lovely compositions and dark edged electronic soundscapes...ermmm try something they did about 15 years earlier.This is truly pointless stuff.

Report this review (#113327)
Posted Friday, February 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Originally, "Quinoa" was a limited edition EP only available to the TD fan club members released in 1992. This one is an extended version which features two additional tracks and provides a full length CD.

The final result is fully acceptable I should say and can compete with most of their official releases from the nineties. The opening track "Voxel Ux " is quite an upbeat electronic track: purely repetitive but dynamic thanks to the drumming. It is quite in line with several of their songs from the nineties. It was apparently put together in '96 and finds its place quite well here.

The "pièce de résistance" is the title track that clocks at almost twenty-nine minutes. It starts on a languishing beat featuring some good sax, maybe somewhat repetitive again but there is no harm as far as I'm concerned (but you might know that I'm biased with their great music). The song quickly evolves to a fine ambient and dreamy affair which can even be related with their early work.

When those melodic keys draws you to the boundaries of the outer world, there is nothing I can do but succumb. And that's what is happening again when you reach the sixth minute of "Quinoa". A wonderful and spacey jewel. As they have performed quite a lot so far. I might understand though that it is a love-hate affair. I do belong to the former opinion (but is this a surprise?).

I can only agree with Pixel Pirate when he said that "Quinoa" combines the old and the new TD. A fine summary of three decades of music it is. The modern part might sound too much upbeat for some fans but once you have done the effort to listen to it quite a few times, you'll be rewarded. At least I feel so.

This track is varied, offers different soundscapes and ends up in a wonderful piece of melody for several minutes. Peaceful and interstellar like the band could be in the seventies. I have to admit that these parts are my favourite ones but the whole is quite decent.

My fave one from this set is with no doubt the moving "Lhasa". About ten minutes of poignant keyboards beauty. It reminds me of the superb "Indian Summer" available on "Green Desert". Some might say that it offers only the same keyboards lines, but these are so vibrant and crafted that I am just speechless while I listen to this piece of music.

This is another great TD moment for sure. Quite contemplative for sure.

This album is not a TD essential but contains enough good music to be of interest to more than a devoted fan. I rate "Quinoa" with three stars. A good album, this is what it is. No more, no less.

Report this review (#229371)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Quinoa" is initially a single long composition first released in 1992 as a gift to the TANGERINE DREAM fan club members. In 1998, the band had its own label, TDI. They decided to re-release this track by adding 2 bonus tracks. The music was composed and perfomed only by the Froese and son duo. Whereas the studio albums of this period displays a more rock-oriented style, "Quinoa" is essentially electronic.

Although unequal, the title track remains the only interest of the record. This marks the return of TD's long epics in a non-live release. The last one was "Sphinx Lightning" on 1983's Hyperborea, ie. nearly 10 years before. "Quinoa" is almost 30 minutes long! The first half is rather ambient and relaxing and features sequenced synth textures. However, the second half is more catchy, as it alternates sweet passages, upbeat dramatic moments and short asian themes.

The bonus tracks are optional. "Voxel Ux" was composed in 1996 for a website contest. This tune sounds flat and not very inspired. At least it includes more modern beats. "Lhasa" was a preparation of the track "The Blue Pearl" for the later album "The Seven Letters From Tibet", released in 2000. Not much to say about it either, as it is atmospheric, without rythm, melody or no real changes.

The only reason to listen to "Quinoa" is the title track . As a long TANGERINE DREAM epic, it contains interesting moments and is one of the best compositions of the german band during the 90's.

Report this review (#1540720)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permalink

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