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Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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5 stars Unbelievable stuff. This is truly an album that divides the listeners big time. Some call it genius, others call it a big piece of crap. Giving the ratings I gave it, I'm obviously with the former. This was the album that premiered Peter Baumann to the fold, who would stick with the band until 1977. There is nothing rock about this album. What you get is lots of spacy electronic effects that spans over two discs, each piece lasting 17-22 minutes.

"Birth of Liquid Plejades" starts off with a cello quartet (I believe one of the cellists was a member of HOELDERLIN), which is extremely sinister sounding, helped further with strange electronic manipulation of the cellos. Eventually the cellos disappears, and a Moog kicks in (from Florian Fricke, of POPOL VUH, who was a guest here). This seems to be one of Fricke's last recording with the Moog, before he turned to religion and to the piano and away from the Moog. There is some organ in the background. Here previous member Steve Schroyder makes a guest (he would later join ASH RA TEMPEL for "Seven Up"). Then at the end is this very trippy, PINK FLOYD like organ. The next piece, "Nebulous Dawn" is strictly electronic effects. "Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" is mainly one long sinister- sounding drone with more electronic effects, while the title track basically sounds like the middle part of PINK FLOYD's "Echoes", but it's actually nothing but wind sounds.

There is no doubt that this album is one long LSD trip. It's strange how a record label like Ohr had the balls to put out such a record realizing it wouldn't sell. But I'm glad they did. Such a far cry from the stuff they did in the mid 1980s, it's not even funny. Yes, there's no such thing as a real tune here on "Zeit". Jerome Froese (Edgar Froese's son, the baby seen on several TD albums, including "Atem" and the gatefold of "Zeit", and a member of TANGERINE DREAM since the early '90s) hates this album, but that's not my problem. That's probably more the reason for me to like this album. A strange album indeed!

Report this review (#32430)
Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars I started my discovery of TD with this album , but never do that. I knew nothing of the band and took that one mostly out of the beauty of the asounding artwork of the sleeve. Of course needless to say I was not ready for that! How can a 14 years old be ready for such insanities and loud rumblings , lugubre sounds , spacey whispers. Fortunately I could trade it of with another much easier TD album (Ricochet) . This must be one of the toughest album to get into in this space/electronic prog genre , but look at the extraordinary line-up - Bauman (long time TD member) and Fricke are also on this one. Still nowadays , I never can listen to this more than one "song" at a time. What makes this music really difficult is that there is absolutely nobeat/rythm tracks to hook you. This music is even tougher than the studio side of UmmaGumma. In the genre , there has been much better.
Report this review (#32431)
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A dark a brooding piece of work that would seem more at home in a industrial or cold wave catagory. But,this is TANGERINE DREAM to be sure! This lp, along with ATEM (which follows)and ALPHA CENTAURI (which preceeds) helps to form the overall sound of TANGERINE DREAM in one of the bands most experimental periods. This lp is a double and each side is it's own movement. All work together to form one whole piece.The sound is mimimal,even ambient.And ambient before the now much overused and misused term was even coined.We just called this space music,back in the day.So,if you are a fan of slow,steady and sometimes pulse driven electronica,then this one is for you. Still one of my faves.
Report this review (#32434)
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars What a shame! The music consists in 2-3 humming refrigerators at the same time, plus a portative fan that turns back and forth to make the anyway inexistent rhythm, and finally a coming cluster of threatening killer bees!

There are tons of albums better than this one to describe the desolation once you go alone on Mars! The album is even not minimalist!

Rating: 0.5 star

Report this review (#32436)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I am giving it 3 stars, because i like it, i think is a very good album, but at the same time i think is not comparable as many other Tangerine Dream albums, i mean TD has a huge discography which has been losing it`s essence of progressive electronic sound during the years, the 90`s or 00`s albums that i know are not so good as the 70`s jewels.

I also wrote a review of Ricochet , which i know is a live album, but actually my favorite TD album and what i love of it (and of the Electronic or ambiental albums in general) is that it catches my attention during all the album, that kind of albums which could be repetitive or even boring at some point, but you can separate of it, it is mantaining you expectant of what`s next or something, with this Zeit album is not the case.

The word made in this album is as usual great, and with the sign of TD, giving us and abiental experimentation with great guitars and all the synths which make it unique, but Zeit looks and sound a bit boring for me, i dont know how to explain but it simply dont click with me as the level of Ricochet, Encore or Logos for instance, i repeat, it`s a good album, i like it, but i could skip the songs or try another album and nothing bothers me , the fact is that i doesn`t catch my attention to nominate it as a 5 or 4 star album, so for that i think is a 3 star album, good but non essential.

Report this review (#32438)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, as a contrast to reviewer Hugues Chantraine, this was my first album of TD and I loved it! Perhaps being a fan of the spacier side of Pink Floyd beforehand helped. That and being in my mid-20's with a good bit of prog and space rock discoveries under my belt. But certainly this is a difficult album for the newbie, and I would never recommend it to anyone as an introduction to TD (for that, I would go with Phaedra without a doubt). But there is something about this albums minimalism and lack of rythmic patterns that appeals to me in an esoteric, subconcious way. Even though I rate it highly, I don't listen to it very often. It does require a certain mood and mindset for sure. But I would say that anyone who has gained appreciation for a couple other 70's TD albums could certainly enjoy this one to some extent.
Report this review (#32439)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars To give this album 0 stars is simply foolish. But to give it 5 stars might not be exaggeration after all. This album is up there with all the other ambient classics. Definitely more experimental than any other Tangerine Dream album, and more hard to get into as well. But after a few spins I realized that this is the album I've always been looking for! Quite minimalistic, spacey, ambient soundscapes. There really is no rhythm here. The sounds are mostly produced by synths, but by cellos and organs too, and it gives this album that extra something. Legendary Florian Fricke plays some Moog synth here as well. The opener "Birth of Liquid Pleyades" is probably my favourite track, as it has those whining cellos all over it. 5/5 stars.
Report this review (#32440)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I tried to listen to this 75 minutes collection of noisy sounds (it cannot be called "music") in one sitting for a few times but it was hell difficult. I admit total lack of comprehension of what TD tried here to achieve. It is obvious though that this was a pioneer attemp at creating the pure electronic "space music", basically made of layers of synth hums and nothing else. "Birth of Liquid Plejades" is sort of listenable thanks to a string quartet and Moog solo, but it is not sufficient for me to give it a "passing mark". This album is definitely for TD completists or electronic music scholars only.
Report this review (#32442)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A deep « abstract » universe offered by this electronic, semi-acoustic meditative Largo in four movements. The music is an « organic » & « orgasmic » evocation of the infinite beauty, illustrated by higher world. It touches the heart and the most hidden parts of our subconsious. The continuous sound forms largely used for each part suggests a "catharsis" process, a purification of the spirit. In popular music I've rarely heard a such intense and "cerebral " work. "Zeit" follows the schematic ideas of "Alpha Centauri" but here the instrumentation is entirely focused on "loops", and moving, floating keyboards lines. Only albums as Cluster II, Klaus Schulze's Irrlicht, Roedelius' Acon 2000/1 or more recently "Omit" project by Clinton Williams can equal this one in term of "introspective" achievement. Otherwise we need to look for masterworks in electro-acoustic and minimal art researches to have a similar experience throw time (Parmegiani, Philip Corner, Ramon Sender, Henry Jacobs.). The first "Birth of liquid Plejades" is a "dreamy" dominated Moog synth composition. This one is my favorite. It is a fantastic voyage throw the unknown. It includes first hypnotic "scary" manipulated sounds, repetitive organ patterns. The second part of the track features near, modular synth sounds in a plaintive tone, then comes a low cello bass line. It delivers instrumental sequences amplified by electric "drone" effects. "Nebulous Dawn" is a rather dark, creepy atmospheric tune with organ patterns, circular noises and a vibrant cello bass. "Origins of supernatural probabilities" starts with a rather melancholic organ melody, then during more that 10 minutes we hear mysterious soundscapes with diverse sorts of electronic superpositions. At the end of the tune we go back to the original melody. "Zeit" (part 4) is an "abstract" synth theme with long silences and dark musical textures. The best TD album with "Alpha Centauri" & "Atem". Nothing to do with their golden years. I've included this one in my top 10 favorite progressive albums. A physical dimension of sounds that demands to be lived as an experience.
Report this review (#60390)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The defining album of space music. Works as ambient music but if you focus on the music it can be very introspective and really haunting, beginning with the sinister cello quartet overture. Like most classical symphonic music, it needs your close attention to be fully appreciated. This is a real timeless landmark.
Report this review (#65335)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is actually my first time listening to Tangerine Dream with any amount of attention and what I am hearing is: electronic hums, bubbling synth percolations, occaisional high pitched keening. I kind of like it. Very ambient, but then again that kind of comes with the whole German-Electro-Pulse thing anyway. I would play this while writing or reading a book. Or to scare the [&*!#] out of my friends. I kind of wish that more electronic music were like this, instead of the whole repeditive dance thud stuff that I hear often. The music here is immersive, and thoughts of a journey into space or some unseen, lightless, place in the ocean come to mind. Actually it reminds me of the middle part in Pink Floyd's Echoes, were it gets a low and uncertain and the guitar part that sounds like a whale call pierces comes in--except it never really ends.

Not that I would want it to.

Report this review (#67249)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very difficult, avant-garde music to assess. With their third album, Tangerine Dream creates "Zeit," an album of epic proportions to launch the listener into the true realm of outer space. It's not romanticized outer space- but true space: vast, cold, dark, unforgiving and brutal. Not easily penetrable, many will be alienated by the long, droning cellos or oscillator hums. If you listen well enough, there's lots of stuff going on, but it's very gradual and laid-back- Tangerine Dream definitely wanted to take their time in the delivery of their suites.

I find it not so much music as it is "sonic art." Zeit is hard to "get" and even more so to "appreciate," but persistence and an open mind will give you a reward. Not for the faint of heart, though.

Report this review (#81786)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars German synthesizer pioneers TANGERINE DREAM reached the height of their early experimentation with their third studio album on 1972's "Zeit" (the German word for "Time"). This album marked the debut of the band line-up consisting of founder Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann. Musically this was the darkest TD ever got in theri early years (although not the strangest) and all that fantstic goundbreaking glumness was captured over a double LP 75 Mins set ! "Zeit" is absolutely a wonderful headphone experience album with tons of dark synth and sound effect-augmented cracks and crevices.
Report this review (#85727)
Posted Friday, August 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I don't know how to listen to Zeit let alone try and review the damn thing. There is no rhythmic structure whatsoever, but it gets comparisons with what could be out there. Yet even in the outter reaches of space there has to be some kind of rhythmic movement, there just has to be, it has to be consistent in some shape or form, even is it is only pulsating too rapidly to comprehend. The moon revolves around the earth, the earth revolves around the sun and so forth. At the end of the day it just all revolves around something, keeping a bearing, revolving all the while. But this? This only revolves around the turntable. But maybe I'm just not seeing the bigger picture. Perhaps this is only part of a lengthy sequence, then it prompts the question of why didn't they just summarise the whole piece, then? Tangerine Dream don't summarize. Did they even think this up in its entirety before it's trascription to vinyl? Perhaps while Zooming through a light year of a slow and lethargic journey. The surprizing thing is that this never gets under the skin, it never lasts that long to do so. But it is somewhat spacey, but never really a space adventure, it gets too stagnant. I really don't know what it is. It's not the greatest anything, though, that's for sure. Some lovely sounds creep, emerge and compress, as if created by a retard high on some wonderful drug. It's Tangerine Dream's Zeit, lets leave it at that. It's a double album to boot, but I'd reckon they're having a laugh except for the fact that these geezers are Germans...
Report this review (#92255)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here is the album which taught me that music is nothing you must understand by all means; it can be instead something to let your mind flow and float with. I've played "Birth of Liquid Plejades" dozens of times and each time it sounds to me more and more beautiful. I can travel light-years away on its phased cellos,rest and vibrate with the charming chords and guitar glissando of its central section (not to say the wonderful use of that single note of synthesizer, which here and there is shaken as ripples on a water surface); finally, my trip starts again at double the speed with the final section, opening to my eyes the abyss of cosmic void... Really thrilling. And I always get amazed at the title track, as static as time is, pure ambient music six or seven years before Brian Eno would try to regulate and define this kind of electronic genre. Unfortunately, some weak point comes with the other two compositions. "Nebulous Dawn" is just too long: its first ten minutes are incredible, that very slow moog (or VCS3? Is there a way to tell them apart?) cadence and the several noises and sounds that the band can create are really claustrophobic and intriguing, but then everything gets exasperating. "Origin of supernatural probabilities" has good tunes and is really a forerunner (if not the starting point) to all the ambient movement, but the "bubbling" section in the middle is really pointless. Nevertheless, how can I give an album with two and a half absolute masterpieces less than four stars?
Report this review (#99325)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have to add even whilst I am a 70's annorac for progressive music I always thought that Zeit was borderline annoying. Even accepting that I was probably wrong I do feel that Zeit tried too hard and was maybe just too obscure to even care too much. Musically very moving but the spatial elements especially on ' Nebulous Dawn' and ' Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities' lack something I cannot quite put my finger on. Modern day composers may well get four stars for pure modernism but TD IMO only qualify for three stars at best for this musically very sound, but conceptually rather dull album. The timing was right but the output just below par, definitely an evoltutionary work at best. Give it plenty of time!
Report this review (#108778)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This is a tricky album to review because it's something you have to be in the mood for, and it's certainly not to everyone's taste. What we have is four extended, droning, dark, minimalist soundscapes without any real evolution or development. That is to say, very little happens over the course of the double album. However, if you put aside your expectations of sequencer driven electronica a la Phaedra, you may well experience a magical pre-Eno ambient phantasmagoria, and it is for that reason that I love it. So lay back after a hard day at work, grab a cocktail, and let the spooky miasma of Zeit permeate all the little nooks and crannies in your imagination.
Report this review (#120676)
Posted Thursday, May 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'm really appreciating this album, as in my opinion here the elements which the band started to study in their previous albums mature to more independent and original directions, creating fine cosmic themed ambient music.

"Birth of Liquid Plejades" starts the epic album with a long process of string instruments waving atonally, creating a mysterious and beautiful sound wall little similar to Brian Eno's "Pachebell variations" from his "Discreet Music" album. Later a single synth drone emerges, changing the symphonic background sound carpet as quiet organ chords, which start to grow and paint very solemn chord progressions over shapeless subtle howls creating a feeling of large space, the whole number growing as a celestial singular moment. "Nebulous Dawn" brings me an association of cruising through space in a huge ship. Slow drones sound like pulsing's of quasi-stellar objects, and quiet, long and very deep hummings and mechanical sounds mimic the presence of the spacecraft. Later very alien sounding voices deepen the unearthly feeling of this track.

"Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" is an extremely slow and beautiful simple melody procession gathering some gaseous sound-clouds hovering around the infinite hallways of sounds. Then enter some haunting voices and whispers, like faint ghosts wandering to the scene. They are followed by pulsing drones and dark noises, returning to more concrete and existing cosmic landscape from the supernatural level, where these spirits ghastly disappear, creating a calm and static humming soundscape. In the end of the composition the swirling supernatural theme re-emerges. "Zeit" (Time) is the most abstract of the four movements, summarizing many aural elements presented in the previous tracks, creating a surreal voyage through a fundamental and relative concept of our causality in our universe.

This is totally perfect record to be listened when meditating, nocturnal long distance travelling, or studying the heavenly objects from books, computers or telescopes. In my opinion one of the essential albums of this group, being a real cosmic elevation.

Report this review (#149601)
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars No tunes, not even a hint of one. No evidence of a beat. Instead, layers of drone. Droning cellos, droning synths, droning organs, droning guitars, with gradual droning crescendos and droning fade-outs. Droning noise experiments. No, this isn't the year 2000, and it's not a review of GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR (add exclamation mark in position of your choice). It's 1972, it's TANGERINE DREAM, and it's the sprawling double album 'Zeit'. Sorry, GODSPEED, it's all been done before.

If modern rock music can be compared to the drama of a thunderstorm or ocean waves crashing on the shore, this album is a still pond in winter with cold stars winking and the Northern Lights flickering overhead. 'Zeit' is uncompromising avant-garde ambience with a cold, German edge. The majority of proggers (let alone people) will hate this, a minority will respect it and a few hardy souls will love it - just like an extended holiday north of the Arctic Circle, perhaps. There's nothing to do but allow the unchanging beauty to seep in.

If you don't have the patience for that, stay at home.

Ambient music can often mistakenly be thought of as 'background' music, to have playing while thinking of something else. Nothing could be further from the truth, or more injurious to the listening experience. Ambient music should be listened to with one's full attention, the mind totally engaged in bringing imagination to the music. At the risk of sounding new agey, the mind alters the music, and the music alters the mind. 'Zeit' must be engaged with. Simply 'playing it in the background' - akin to never leaving your suite at Hotel Borg in Reykjavik - is not enough.

This is brave, this is genius, this is borderline comedy, this is insanity. It's either one star or five, so I'll split the difference.

Report this review (#168238)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars From another time (and planet!)

The first album by the Froese, Franke, Baumann trio offers something of an ignominious and challenging introduction to what would become for many the classic Tangerine Dream line up. Consisting of 4 side long (LP) tracks or movements, "Zeit" (the German word for time) is what might simplistically be called inaccessible. For many, it represents a low point in the career of Tangerine Dream, while for others it is a holy grail.

The sound of the synthesiser, which was introduced by the band on the previous "Alpha Centauri", is starting to become the key part of the band's identity now, with both Baumann and Franke using it, along with guest musician Florian Fricke (Popol Vuh).

The album starts deceptively with a quartet of cellos opening "Birth of liquid pledjades". There's no actual melody, just a continuous drone of varying pitches. The cellos slip away after about 8 minutes, to be replaced by an organ drone accompanied by sundry synth effects. It is all very slow moving and ponderous, but strangely atmospheric. As it turns out, side one is probably the most accessible, or to be more accurate least inaccessible, of the four. The following "Nebulous dawn" appears to be designed to deliberately cause annoyance, the tuneless noises being of a type which would in normal circumstances lead to a call to the police.

Presumably the separating of the tracks was in reality an occupational inconvenience due to the limitations of the vinyl format. Certainly as "Nebulous dawn" slips into "Origin of supernatural probabilities", there is no apparent change, the two sounding very similar. Admittedly, the latter is a bit less grating than the former, but remains devoid of music as such.

The title track closes the album with no change of pace, substance or effect whatsoever. Apart from the cellos on track one, it would be all but impossible to identify any of these pieces individually. I certainly would not recommend trying to listen to the compelte album in one sitting.

In all, a totally impenetrable album which on the face of it, anyone with an organ and a synthesiser could come up with. If you enjoy listening to white noise and other sounds devoid of music of any sort, this could well be for you. One things for sure, "Zeit" does not get any easier to listen to with the passing of zeit.

Report this review (#182413)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars I have most of the Tangerine Dream albums on CD, but I have a problem with Zeit. I just dont hear music just a lot of noodling with their keyboards to see how much they can make themselves sick.

It is not the type of album you could play more than once a year perhaps right through.

It is droning and if played too loud.. mainly vibrations from your speakers. It does hurt me to say this as Tangerine Dream are totally outstanding, I just wondered what planet they were on when they recorded this.

I would give this album a miss, unless your idea of fun is getting a migraine after 75 mins of wailing and droning.


Report this review (#188561)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Peter Baumann is on board and so we have the first album with the classic lineup which would stay together for another five years. Organist Steve Schroyder was actually fired before this recording, he ends up joining ASH RA TEMPEL but came back as guest on this one.There is a guest cello quartet which includes Mr.Grumbcow from the band HOELDERLIN.The great Florian Fricke adds some moog as well. "Zeit" is German for "time" and Froese believed that time was motionless and only existed in our own minds. So it's no surprise that this double album is slow going. Funny but I much prefer it to the previous album "Alpha Centauri". TANGERINE DREAM offers up to us 4 side long tracks straight from cold, dark space.

"Birth Of Liquid Plejades" is where our trip begins as sounds (cellos) build quickly until all we hear is spacey and vibrating sounds. Cellos before 3 minutes as other spacey sounds come in, they come and go. It settles 7 1/2 minutes in but the calm is interupted by the sound of space creatures outside the spaceship.They're checking us out.They leave as we continue to drift along in space. Organ comes in late with haunting winds (Florian) letting us know that it's time to get out of here.

"Nebulous Dawn" greets us with deep pulsing sounds. The atmosphere is getting darker and thicker, it's hard to breathe. Something is coming but it passes by, another one arrives and lingers but eventually leaves too. They say there's nothing to fear but fear itself, but fear seems to be everywhere right now. It's so dark. It becomes FLOYD-like 7 1/2 minutes in as sounds pulse and vibrate. It's eerie 9 minutes in and the space creatures have returned. Panic is setting in but we drift out of trouble into "Orgin Of Supernatural Probability". Waves of space roll in gently and it's much more peaceful here. Still there's that dark undercurrent that reminds us that things can change at any second. It does at 4 1/2 minutes. My heart is racing at 6 minutes and we're on the run until 15 1/2 minutes in when it becomes tranquil again. A haunting presence moves in at 17 minutes, but thankfully it passes by 2 minutes later.

"Zeit" opens with dark and haunting sounds that build. Someone is out there after 5 minutes, it's 8 minutes in now and they're still there. Those 3 minutes seem like an eternity. It's 10 minutes in now and I think they've gone, I feel like i've been holding my breath for the last 5 minutes. It's safe now so we start to drift back out in the cold darkness in our search for light.

Report this review (#200518)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I wouldn't be fair if I told you that I listen to this double album every day. Even not the whole bunch of the four sides one after the other.

Even if this record is a love/hate affair, I never found it so difficult to apprehend (not as early ''Kraftwerk'' efforts'' for instance). On the other hand, the magic of later albums is not fully present (but there are more than hints though) and lots of people might find this album pretty uninteresting or boring.

I would be more cautious about my comments. Of course, the supreme beauty of ''Rubycon'' is not matched, the great aspects of the following ''Phaedra'' are not yet there, but there are still some fine passages available.

In some sort, this album was the basement which led the band reaching the upper heights of electronic music. As such, this album deserves an attentive listening. While listening to ''Birth of Liquid Pleyades'', I just can say that it matches the quality of some later recordings; maybe less melodic but the whole picturesque of the band is to be felt.

Some part are more difficult to access than others; and ''Nebulous Dawn'' is quite ? nebulous but at times some of the later TD atmospheres can be distinguished though. Out of the four pieces, it is my least favourite because of its difficult approach.

I won't tell you that ''Zeit'' is an album that I frequently listen to (once a year or so), but every time that I do so, I mostly enjoy it. The title track for instance may lack those beautiful harmonies that the band will offer later on, but I am much more enthusiast about such a record than the first two ''Kraftwerk'' albums for instance. At least, there is a spirit behind these four tracks and it is really enjoyable when you want to relax.

The most traditional TD number is probably ''Origin?'': there are some deep roots with their later works that can be identified. I always have liked these tranquil spacey sounds that always lead me to the boundaries of the Universe.

This is of course not an album for every ears (prog or non-prog ones). It is harder to get into ''Zeit'' than ''Phaedra'' but TD fans (or anyone interested in electronic music) should take the time to discover this work. At the end of the record, it is a rewarding exercise (at least I feel so).

To release such an album in '72 was quite daring. Three stars.

Report this review (#221310)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a tough album or 2 to review. Devoid of any tradional music, sequencing, drumming, melodies or really anything pertaining to music as most people understand it. The double LP has four tracks each between 17 to 22 minutes. None of these ever get played thru the stereo speakers. This is strictly headphone music. Droning, wheezing cellos, and organs fade in and out of earshot. The wind comes and goes. Everything moves slowly. This is dark, spacey sound that requires total attention. The listener must be willing to let the music absorb in. Many will find it boring, some irritating. This is a couple times a year album when the headphones are on, the lights are out, nobody and no distractions are around that Zeit will be very rewarding. I have not heard anything else like it.

3 plus stars rounded to 4 because it is so original.

Report this review (#244421)
Posted Monday, October 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, as a contrast to reviewer Hugues Chantraine, this was my first album of TD and I loved it! Perhaps being a fan of the spacier side of Pink Floyd beforehand helped. That and being in my mid-20's with a good bit of prog and space rock discoveries under my belt. I suppose it's hard to imagine anyone unfamiliar with LSD actually getting much out of this album, but my friend who introduced me to it has never done any drugs, let alone that particularly mind bending one. For me though, this album is the aural equivalent of an acid trip, albeit far less eventful.

This is an album of spacey drones from organs and synthesizers (and a bit of strings at the beginning of the first track). And that pretty much sums it up. If you look less for atmosphere, and more for structure and technique in your music, you probably will not enjoy this very much. It's hard to even think of it as music, to tell the truth, more like standing on an icy, barren plane somewhere near the north pole and listening to the wind. This is not an album to look to for emotional connections, but for bleak and cold atmosphere.

Certainly this is a difficult album for the newbie, and I would never recommend it to anyone as an introduction to TD (for that, I would go with Phaedra without a doubt). But there is something about this albums minimalism and lack of rhythmic patterns that appeals to me in an esoteric, subconscious way. Even though I rate it highly, I don't listen to it very often. It does require a certain mood and mindset for sure. But I would say that anyone who has gained appreciation for a couple other 70's TD albums should certainly give this one a try. Just be ready for something very different.

Report this review (#244490)
Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
3 stars I am a big Tangerine Dream fan, and I´ve been ever since I encountered "Cloudburst Flight" lying on the ground in my friends´ parent´s flowerbed, spewing large doses of booze-infused penne with chili all over the tulips... (- Chili is much more enjoyable on the way down ;-) I struck electric gold with the "Force Majeur" album, and I thought I´d explore more from this band and maybe start digging in the past. I found "Zeit" in a used recordstore, where it practically jumped down from the shelf and into my hands with its rather stunning artwork and a ludicrous price attached to it. It was either "Zeit" or a big bag of onions, and I allready bought the onions the day before...

I can´t say that it was the mindblowing experience that I was hoping and cheering for, but more in the realm of: Are you [%*!#]ing kidding me?? Where is the drummer? Where is the guitar? And why does this album sound like the perfect romance music for people in coma trying to get it on? Is it dance music for humpback whales? OR am I listening to this in the right manner?

The music is so minimalistic that you are struggling to see the minuscule changes that actually DO happen. The trick is not to listen. Yep, that´s what I said! I had it in my cd-changer for a while, and sometimes it would be playing when I wasn´t aware of it. It eventually struck me as a good record, whilst listening to this after a 10 hour long workday as a sub in the local kinder garden, where I strut my stuff from time to time. I was tired like Santa turning 350 - put the album on, and suddenly I got it! It was music of giant immoveable mountains and planets spinning on their own axes to the slow droning of TD. The music moves extremely slow - like a caterpillar with untied shoelaces, but when you finally calm yourself down to the point of 4 heartbeats a minute, the droning of the caterpillar suddenly transforms into this galactic butterfly, and you are left with an absurd mental image of Time.

The problem with this album then is its inaccessibility. It´s a masterpiece in its own right, but I am so seldom in the mood for it, that it looses the attraction. It truly is a mental voyage to listen to this album, but more so a never ending hunt for the right mindset, which is a shame.

Report this review (#251171)
Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars So here it is...THE Tangerine Dream album. The big one (75+ minutes!), the minimalist droning beauty that seems to be one of those "love it/hate it" deals. One of those albums that I really don't know how well I'll manage to review, because even after many listens I'm still sure there will always be something new to discover/understand about the album. It's an album which I would say is a haunting masterpiece.

This was my third Tangerine Dream album (following Phaedra and Rubycon) and initially I was pulled in by the album's length. Odd thing to draw me to an album, I know, but I have a habit of finding an artist's longer albums and checking them out. Sometimes I get gems, sometimes I get duds. This (along with Can's Tago Mago) is one of the most exquisite gems I've found so far this way. From the second it gets rolling with the first track, with those eerie cello lines slowly building and building, I knew I had made a good choice. This album is true deep space music...some artists excel at making albums in the near-space realm, generally staying within the Milky Way, but Tangerine Dream had bigger aspirations than that - they decided that they'd go for the far edge of the universe, right there on the edge of nothingness. This album is definitely sparse, abstract, etc, really showing off that feeling of nothingness colliding with everything. That's a big part of its beauty, though. Based on my (admittedly) limited experience with some of the progressive electronic masters, I'd say that there are few or no other albums that sound like this one. The uniqueness was another big draw for me. As many of the others have said, this album doesn't have any percussion - just the electronics (and the cellos in the first track) and it's got a great, dreamy/spacey atmosphere.

This one is one of the greatest Prog Electronic albums ever to be recorded. It shows just how far out some of the pioneers were willing to go, and that distance might as well be infinity since the universe is always expanding and this one is right at the edge. Definitely an essential masterpiece of progressive rock (even though the "rock" element is missing in this and many of the best Electronic albums).

Report this review (#294968)
Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Sometimes I believe to synchronicity. I have just commented about a one-star rating of this album into a post, I saw a 5-stars review on the home page and I was thinking to this album just yesterday, so I have to write my review.

This album is hard to describe as all the four tracks flow without a tempo, so instead of telling what happens at minute x of track y, let me speak about my feelings over it.

When I bought it in the 70s I was told they were similar to Pink Floyd, so I was very disappointed of those 4 tracks about 15-20 minutes long, mainly made of keyboards and without any drum. I simply was not ready for this kind of music and I gave the double LP to a friend. The olny thing of which I regret actually was the sleeve design.

After years I became familiar with electronic and psychedelic music and I also went into some classic contemporary so I can now really appreciate what was an experimental album in 1972.

Zeit means Time in German, and the four tracks are a journey into the deep space. The first, "Birth of liquid Pleiades" can be defined "liquid", in the sense of something that flows constantly and continuously like the water on a big river in a flat land.

"Nebulous Dawn" is very different from the first track. I didn't appreciate the difference at the first listen. It's made of sounds, more than of music. The chaotic part on Atom Heart Mother can be a reference, even if there's no rhythm here. This is really psychedelic and effectively the most floydian of the 4 tracks.

"Original of Supernatural Probabilities" Is halfway as it contains both the "liquid" melodic part and electronic noises. It's probably the easiest to listen as it contains spare parts of what can be called "melody".

"Zeit" is not much different, but it gives me the idea of the end of the space journey, a sort of homecoming.

To enjoy this album (as well as most of the space-psychedelia), you have to forget the usual concept of music. Get your headphones, close your eyes and travel into deep space or any other amazing place your mind can disclose.

This album is a milestone in his genre.

Report this review (#294994)
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the very first cd I ever bought. It was 1988 and it cost me 14 quid from Virgin! Therefore, I was under some serious pressure to enjoy this because that was a lot of money for a student back then.

My initial reaction was shock. Shock and bewilderment at the bloody awful sleeve that it came in. Looking like a scene from 'Tron' - it was an artistic blunder in every sense of the word. Not only that but their first 4 albums all had the same basic design - but with a different colour washed through it. Mercifully, this problem was rectified on subsequent editions. I however, am left with the original 'ugly' version. Pass me the sick bag...

However, as far as the music contained within went, I needn't have worried. After the first listen I was hooked. What were all those creepy sounds and strange filters that they used? It was all a big mystery to me back then and I couldn't get enough of it. The first track is the 'tuneful' one (ahem!)... which has lots of cellos put through strange delays and flangers - almost 'Kluster' like, before calming down into prototype 'Lustmord' or 'Lull' territory for the remainder of the double LP. By the time you reach the 4th and last track you'll either be fast asleep or wondering how a record label would take such a risk on a sprawling, mostly tuneless, certain commercial failure. It beats me, but I love this kind of stuff. A triumph, but the best was yet to come where, during the next 4 years, not a duffer was in sight.

Report this review (#296173)
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars This is a good album, not great. For a TD newbie there is at least 5 albums you need to hear before this. You should never start here, unless you are already a big fan of Klaus Schulze's first two albums. In which case go nuts. Why Zeit gets recommended so much to people trying to get into TD is baffling. Do you want them to get into TD or are you trying to scare them away from this band? This is space music. Not even space rock. Realistically, this is avant-garde music, albeit avant-garde that would appeal to the bong-and-lava lamp crowd.

Peter Baumann makes his first appearance with TD here. Popol Vuh's Florian Fricke adds some of his Moog before he sold it to Klaus Schulze. There are some cello players here. This is TD at their most experimental, but overall I prefer both Alpha Centauri and Atem over this. Droning organs, spacey guitar and sci-fi sounds from the VCS3 are the main ingredients of the music here. "Birth Of Liquid Plejades" is the most interesting piece here, with the most prominent use of cello and Moog on the album. "Nebulous Dawn" is the most scary sounding piece and would be a great soundtrack for Halloween. I never liked the last two 'songs' as much as the first two.

Unlike earlier and later albums, there are no drums, Mellotron or sequencers here. The sound here is unique and again I can only compare this with Klaus Schulze's first two albums Irrlicht and Cyborg(another double-album with only 4 tracks). This is great space music, but not necessarily great *electronic* music. If you are attempting to get into the music of Tangerine Dream, I suggest you put this near the bottom of your shopping list. Ricochet and Force Majeure would be much better starting points than Zeit for most proggers. This is like a painting in a enjoy looking at it when you are there, but you don't want to come back everyday just to see it. I can't give this any more or any less than 3 stars.

Report this review (#306209)
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars "The music consists in 2-3 humming refrigerators at the same time, plus a portative fan that turns back and forth to make the anyway inexistent rhythm, and finally a coming cluster of threatening killer bees! "


This is the most stunningly harsh yet appropriate review I've yet seen for an album on PA. If only I'd read it, I might not have bought it. I can't say my opinion is quite as disapproving, but I have to insist that greenback's review hits a lot closer to the mark than I would like.

If you've ever used an album to punish someone, that isn't a good thing.

Tangerine Dream's vision of outer space is frightening and desolate. If they had turned to soundtracks sooner, they might have written this for 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is good in the sense that they've succeeded in realizing a vision. I will admit from time to time I can find myself getting into it. However I feel, this is not an album most people would enjoy, never mind bother to sit all the way through.

Keep this one very low on your priority list. Listen to the core Tangerine Dream works (Rubycon, et al.) listen to other bands and other genres and if you remain curious then come back to Zeit, but be warned it isn't to be taken lightly. 2 Stars, for diehard Tangerine Dream fans, completionists, terminally bored people, passive aggressive librarians, aliens, serial killers and people who like H R Giger a little too much.

Excellent sound system not optional. It constantly pushes the bounds of every speaker system I've tried (My Bang and Olufson earphones, car speakers which are usually surprisingly good and my laptop).

Report this review (#386480)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Though I do highly recommend most of Tangerine Dream's discovery, I cannot recommend this disc to people with short atention spans. There are heavily divided reactions to what they heard on this album, some very positive, some very negative. I am not in either camp, as I think the album, the majority of the itme, is extremely tedious and awkward cosmic moments, yet at other sid e of the spectrum, it has some of the band's best early works.

1.Birth Of Liquid Plejades - Probably the best out of all the songs. Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke, and Peter Baumann really pull together on this track. Notably, it's much more dark and has many more ambient notes than the previous two albums. The song enters in an extremely dark and comsic energy, with some of the freakiest keyboard playing and audio generator sounds to create the most bleak of works I have ever heard. It continues in a cosmic journey into an almost creation of organ sounds. The song stays like this, with the addition of sound generator heavily adding to the silent chaotic sound. The epic is a highlight of the album, easily. (9/10)

2.Nebulous Dawn - This song is probably the most awkward of the bunch. It's huge on Froese's audio generator, with some organ drones thrown in, much not much else than very dark ambient music that doesn't really succeed at it's goal. The finished product almost sounds incomplete and rather bored. (5.5/10)

3.Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities - The longest of the bunch, and possibly the most boring of the album. The track is experimental, yet it just doesn't have much emotional connection, other than the sound of wind for about 20 minutes. The band really just doesn't make sense of the warning noises and ghostly audio generator sounds that they were creating. A total nightmare of a song. (3/10)

4.Zeit - After the worst song of the album, the band decides to pull into an average ambient track, though there is still no real connection with me and the music that is being played. The song does have more noise than the previous track, and almost sounds as if it's more cosmic than the rest, as phasers roll on through ear and ear. It's unique the way the put sounds on this one, yet it doesn't really compare to the opening track. It is another highlight, compared to the previous two tracks though. (7/10)

Though some see the album as a complete disaster of noise, it is a contributing factor to the creation of New Age and Ambient music. It's interesting how the band really puts together the sounds on this album, but it rarely has much connection with me. A 2 stars, it would have been better if it was a single LP with tracks 2 and 3 gone.

Report this review (#401589)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars First effort after Alpha Centauri; and first of all lacks the sense of innovation present in that work. But fortunately music here differs a lot, it is not a mere repetition of a formula used before; but it is also a music which is very difficult to be appreciated.

If we want to discuss Zeit, I may say that if we look all top ten albums on Progarchives, on one hand I cannot understand any reasonable logic in giving two or even less stars to any of those albums; but on the other hand I can face someone even considering this Zeit a masterpiece while his (her) neighbor judges it as a crap. It happens because it is so tough to get into, very hard to find beauty or musical pleasure under so much difficulties and weirdness.

Maybe a strong point in electronic progressive is right about this totally diverse approach each listener and music appreciator can direct to any album of this genre. I am rating this two stars, mainly because I did not get to put myself into it; and this is not a case of trying again, because this possibility has cleared ended for me. But I can also understand any other rating here, it depends on how intensely you dive on it. I only dismiss any thought about rating it one star because I see Tangerine Dream as a band of true artists searching riskily in the borders of a radical kind of music. It is like I almost present my excuses for this two stars rating; it is probably my fault, not album´ s one.

Report this review (#415860)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Zeit is another oddball from the Tangerine Dream early days, and is entirely focused on droning ambience. Not a bad album, but some people might find this album too dark and uneventful compared to albums like Phaedra and Rubycon, but this was part of the group's developmental stages and it great for what it is.

"Birth Of Liquid Plejades" consists of one long darkly ambient drone created both by synthesizer and electric organ, with some added cello that weeps drearily. The sound of this track is like a combination of the constant buzzing of G. Ligeti's Requiem and the strong electric organ of Terry Riley's Shri Camel. Very atmospheric, very dark, and very slowly paced.

"Nebulous Dawn" is a bit bleaker than the previous track, with no one constant drone throughout. It's characterized by more experimental metal-on-metal kind of resonances and cosmic squeals and beeps that you'd expect to hear from a satellite reporting back to home base. This track is the sound of a black hole, pulling all aspects of light and sound into it's infinitely strong gravitational pull, turning all into darkness.

"Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities" features mainly a bassy internal pulse that vibrates the mind. A large, open sounding drone similar in sound to a distant airplane engine dominates the mid-portion of the track, sucking the listener into a dark void of hopelessness. Extra experimental electronic noises are thrown into the mix to add to and amplify the claustrophobia-inducing atmosphere.

"Zeit" creates more of an airy atmosphere than the previous tracks, influenced by the sounds of winged space creature noises and ghostly spatial voices in the distance. The drone that this tracks sits on is more in the periphery, letting the continuous sounds of enigmatic electro-experimental resonances and cosmic-wave sounds take the front.

This was Tangerine Dreams first experiment in purely ambient/drone focused music, and it isn't a failed experiment; Zeit is perfect for what it is, an atmospheric album that tosses the listener into oblivion. Anyone looking for music like Phaedra might be disappointed in this album for its lack of instant accessibility, but anyone willing to let this void consume their mind is definitely in for an amazing listening experience.

Report this review (#439541)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the greatest electronic album ever made.

But, it is most definetally not the only. I learned this the hard way as I discovered I could get this album for a measly $4 on amazon, and promptly bought it. My reaction to it was basically the same as any of the many 1 star or 2 star reviews you see on this webpage. It was to long, and nothing happened in it.

But then, over time I accumulated many more electronic progressive albums such as 'X' by Klaus Schulze and 'Oxygene' by Jean-Michel Jarre. I realized I seeked the perfect electronic album, to stump all of the rest. One that was lengthy (as 'X' is) and yet quiet and cathartic (like Yatha Sidhra's Mass Meditation). What I was seeking was Zeit.

What makes this already astounding album so incredibly awesome is it's ability to size everything up. After staring at the album cover (amazing!) and listening the long, weaving motifs, I can honestly say I have a complete comprehension of the size of the universe. Every miniscule planet and star in it. All within this magnificent album, that I otherwise would have shrugged off.

Basically, get it, unless you are an electronic newcomer.

Report this review (#474425)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Far and away Tangerine Dream's spookiest album, Zeit - apparently Edgar Froese's interpretation of an idea he cooked up with Klaus Schulze - sees Tangerine Dream jumping firmly into the synthesiser-dominated approach which would define the rest of their career. With four long, achingly (and beautifully) slow and languid compositions each covering a side of a double-album set, this is to Krautrock or progressive electronic what Soft Machine's Third is to Canterbury or Tales from Topographic Oceans is to symphonic rock.

The first track opens with the band accompanied by a cello quartet (whose long, yawning notes fit the rest of the music beautifully) and ends with a guest appearance by Steve Schroeder on organ, whilst the rest of the tracks are more or less 100% synth-based with only occasional appearances of Froese's glissando guitar. Far and away the greatest accomplishment of Tangerine Dream's pre-Virgin Records period, Zeit is an electronic masterpiece.

Report this review (#492149)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Tangerine Dream - Zeit (1972)

Tangerine Dream is a ground-braking group of musicians who were part of the rise of electronic music in the early seventies. Heavily influenced by the spaciousness of Pink Floyd and other space/psych groups of the time the band is often seen as part of the progressive movement of the time. Yet, on the third album TD would brake with progressive tradition and in order to create something completely new. The line-up of TD consists of Franke, Baumann and Schroeder, whilst on 'Zeit' Florian Fricke of Popol Vuh fame joins in. In addition four cello players were added tot the mix.

The best description I've heard of 'Zeit' so far is that it had the atmosphere of Stanley Kubricks cinema masterpiece '2002: A space Odyssey'. In fact, all four sides are mysterious sounding sound-scapes that might frighten the inexperienced listener. All passages are abstract, non-melodic and non-rhythmical to the point that those who can't enjoy this dark, moody record have accused 'Zeit' of having nothing to with 'music'. Opinions are however irrelevant in this matter, because the record is a favorite for some fans and perhaps the only record of interest for others (I myself ain't to fond of electronic music in general). All four 'pieces' have distinctive atmospheres, but all are dark, brooming, nerve-braking and tense.

I feel drawn to the artistic approach in which TD doesn't seem to be bothered by the possible failure of such a strange, non-musical record. It feels good to listen to the pieces and think of them as being played live by eight totally concentrated young men who want to create something for which all conventions have to be put aside. With family and friends around you are very likely to encounter disharmonious feelings of others toward the atmospheres you've created in the living room, but with a little luck your science-fiction & horror buddies will hail you for being 'relentless in your artistic drive'.

Conclusion. Heavy, brooming atmospheres 'drones', only interesting for those who like to confront themselves with a serious amount of abstract, dark - but well played - 'music'. Four stars.

Report this review (#553312)
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Completely unmelodic, slow moving, tedious, mundane, uneventful, repetitive, brooding, uncompromising, inaccessible, and totally alien. Almost any of these descriptions fit the monolithic work that is `Zeit', Tangerine Dream's classic third album. A work of sprawling emptiness and desolation, this instrumental double album is comprised of four side-long pieces of ambient space music that gradually unwinds and consumes the listener. It's a highly controversial release that you will never hear the same way twice, and a very demanding undertaking to listen to in one sitting.

`Birth Of Liquid Plejades' opens with unearthly and gothic cellos and minimalist low-key Rick Wright-styled somber organ that oppresses the listener. The ghostly atmosphere and sense of isolation intensifies with quirky electronic blips and alien textures, before more forceful organ starts to dominate alongside groaning howling winds that sound like souls in torment.

`Nebulous Dawn' has waves of pulsing electronics like an other-worldly heartbeat, with harsh and shuffling electrical static sounding like a predatory presence scratching at your door trying to get in. After deep cutting cello note attacks, we're transported to a bubbling ocean world, feeling like we're being immersed in an alien floatation device. The ebb and flow of the final minutes has several briefly violent and spasmodic outbursts that are highly unsettling.

A thick humming washes in and out under a very slowly strummed electric guitar, creating a sad and reflective mood for `Origin of Supernatural Probability', a sinister droning piece. Numbing glissando and a wild warping rumbling alien heartbeat pulse through a mist of cold electronics, jagged white-noise, shimmering synths and beckoning hissing voices. Very unpleasant and hypnotic.

The title track `Zeit' is full of dark and harsh textures, moaning deep-space beckoning set adrift amongst floating whispery synth lines. Moments of near-silence, ghostly wails, machine like buzz and chittering devilish voices. Much of the second half drifts towards a more gentle atmosphere, with the danger and threat mostly behind us, but still not knowing where we are, and occasionally looking back over our shoulder.

The bonus live disc that comes with the Esoteric reissue is so good that it could stand as a separate release and still be an essential purchase. A slowly evolving and deeply fascinating two part 78 minute piece, `Klangworld' is a smoky live `Ummagumma' Pink Floyd-like pulsating piece, a blur of swirling howling winds, haunted organ, humming electronics, ghostly chanted cries with occasional gentle electric guitar thrums and wild loopy effects. It's a slightly warmer and more accessible work than the cold mistress `Zeit', but is just as intense and memorable.

Many listeners will find the album dull and boring, completely devoid of anything resembling even the slightest trace of actual music, and I can understand those reactions. It works instead as a deeply ambient soundtrack, the true definition of space music. If you've never heard Tangerine Dream before, probably best to stay right away from this to begin with. Wait until you've heard other more approachable albums like `Phaedra' or `Ricochet' before attempting this highly divisive album.

`Zeit' is probably one of the unhappiest and darkest albums I've ever heard, yet there's still something oddly enveloping and gripping about the music, as it takes hold of you with it's icy fingers and refuses to let go.

Four stars.

Report this review (#856063)
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Zeit' - Tangerine Dream (9/10)

"Zeit" is an album with the sort of legacy that genuinely interests me. Unlike most 'classic' albums where listeners are ultimately able to come to a loose consensus on whether it's good or not, "Zeit" remains a hot topic, forty years after its release. Even Tangerine Dream's core fanbase often finds itself divided on the issue, with some listeners deeming it among the greatest, most groundbreaking electronic albums ever made, and others marginalizing it as bong-addled nonsense. In a sense, Tangerine Dream's third record is the "Tales from Topographic Oceans" of progressive electronic music; a quintessential 'love it or hate it' affair, with convincing arguments on both sides. Ultimately, it's up to the individual listener to make up their own mind on the matter. It's an album that could be incredible or trite, simply based on the time and place a listener is when they listen to it. For all of its surface listlessness however, "Zeit" is as rich an ambient experience as they come. It is as challenging today as it was forty years ago, and though it's possible only Tangerine Dream's more devoted fans will have the patience for its listlessness and quiet hum, there's a massive atmosphere here that could never have happened any other way.

Taken at face value, it's a sprawling, drawn out sound experiment, turning its nose on melody, harmony and rhythm in order to focus solely on the texture of sound. It's as if the neoclassical composer Gyorgy Ligeti composed an electronic album. Although Tangerine Dream's 'golden', pre-soundtrack era was defined by longwinded compositions and spacey atmosphere, "Zeit" seemingly takes the 'composition' out of the equation, leaving Froese and co. to focus solely on the way the music sounds. "Zeit" is the German word for 'Time', and it's curious that Tangerine Dream would give that title to a piece that seems to eschew the concept entirely.

Like Yes' "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "Zeit" follows a four-track, double album format, with each movement eating up a side of the album. The album opens up with the haunting drone of a chamber string section, creating a sense of dread that could score a suspenseful film scene better than any of the band's half-hearted soundtracks ever could. The cellos never betray a sense of melody, they play off each other in a brilliantly disjointed, chaotic manner. Because there is never a particular melodic or rhythmic idea that presents itself, the cello entrance never wears thin, only deepening the sense of emotional devastation and eerie dread as the minutes drag on. By the time eight minutes have passed, "Birth of Liquid Plejades" has transformed into a more electronic piece, maintaining the same doctrine of forlorn ambiance, except through the use of droning synthesizers. Even after many listens, it's difficult to pinpoint a particular idea that stands out here, but the hollistic impression is akin to that of a funeral dirge. It's absolutely incredible, and for the way its able to capture such powerful emotion so abstractly, I consider it one of the greatest pieces of music ever made.

"Nebulous Dawn" is similarly abstract, but changes the palette of sound considerably. Here, Tangerine Dream evoke a much spacier impression, with sounds ranging from a looming hum, to ominous bubbling and the sounds I can only imagine would be heard most comfortably in the anal probing room of a UFO. Unlike "Birth of Liquid Plejades" however, there is less sense of progression, save for the gradual increase of the background hum. Once again, there are no melodies or apparent rhythmic structures- only a thick slab of sonic experimentation. Throughout the track, there is the perpetual image of a nano age super highway in a far future metropolis. Think the crowded, dark realm of Blade Runner, and that may be a good indication where "Nebulous Dawn" leads the listener.

"Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" opens the second half of the double album, picking up where "Nebulous Dawn" left off. It makes use of the same brand of eerie, far-future sounds, although the daunting, crowded atmosphere is replaced instead by a greater sense of tense tranquility. Although it's incredibly loose and seemingly listless, there are plenty of minor sonic details here, offered only to listeners with the patience and curiosity to peer their ears deeper into the mix. While Tangerine Dream have often made use of strange, indecipherable sounds, "Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" features them as the main course and appetizer, and the effect is chilling. By the time the fourth, final, and title track "Zeit" rolls around, the haunting sense of dread as abated a small bit, lending itself to a less eerie, and even somewhat calming fourth quarter. "Zeit" is also the most inactive and quiet of the four pieces, and while this works as a fitting denouement for a truly attentive listening experience, the eerie blur of sounds has generally grown familiar by this point, making the album's final piece less sonically interesting than it would have been outside of context.

In short, it's not an album for a sunny afternoon. In fact, even open-minded, experienced listeners may find themselves put off by "Zeit" if they don't invest themselves in it. Considering the music removes itself from the rhythms and melodies that most Western music is so drawn to, this can be difficult at first. Ultimately however, "Zeit"s attention to sonic detail earns it a quiet glory as one of the greatest, if not the greatest ambient album ever made. It's not perfect- as the somewhat waning second half will attest- but there is beauty hidden here beneath the waves of tortured synthesizer noise that will find itself rivaled by few other albums.

Report this review (#862505)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars With " Zeit " Tangerine Dream create a space epic, "2001: A Space Odyssey" style, dedicated to the philosophical concept of time. With this cd they perfected the insights, which had begun to explore in " Alpha Centauri ", long suites for cosmic electronic synthesizers. " Zeit " is a real "trip" electronic no melody, and very minimal, that hypnotizes all the time! Perhaps the same Tangerine they wanted to keep playing this " mantra " electronic without pause! " Zeit ' came out' in a double vinyl and already the dark cover foreshadowed interplanetary travel and cosmic dark atmosphere . The album is divided into four movements and it starts with " The Birth of Liquid Plejades " The sound of the cello makes you get up from the floor for seven minutes, you can hear the influence of Ligeti and his compositions for string quartet, then enters the Moog played by the distinguished guest Florian Fricke and the mind begins to make a journey into inner space aided by a minimal and transcendent synth, as long as the song ends abruptly, leaving a feeling of awakening from a nightmare magmatic and hypnotic . The journey continues with the dark " Neboulous Dawn," the representation of the rising of the dawn nebula, on some planet that does not belong to our galaxy. The reverberations of the VCS3 synth of Franke and Baumann, and the generator of Froese reach the goal, coming slowly in the psyche of the listener. " Origin of Supernatural Probabilities " is the third movement which opens the second side and begins quietly with the chords of the guitar, continuing in an incredible journey with synthetic beats and sounds of the cosmos, always played by the generator of Froese: a song worthy of a saga -dark SF, between galaxies and uncharted worlds. The title track " Zeit " closes this epic sci-fi in a dramatic atmosphere, it looks like the soundtrack of an astral disaster. This is the track most minimal and dark cosmic of cd, which could continue indefinitely if not culminate unfortunately the end to wake up from this trip cathartic and enlightening. Few records like " Zeit " marked a turning point in the history of electronic music of '900, setting new standards, that is where all the electronic music from ambient up to industrial have taken inspiration. A incredible work that should not be missed in any collection.
Report this review (#1085191)
Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Before I start, I should say it's extremely rare for me to give such a minimal album a 5-star rating, but this really deserves it! Very narrowly gets one, but the only electronic album I've given a 5-star review to.

Right, where to start reviewing "Zeit"? All 74 minutes consist of improvisation, very few melodies, no lyrics, and no concept of time whatsoever (in a way), and I'm guessing lots of people have gone on about the 7-minute cello intro to "Birth Of Liquid Plejades"? Therefore, I'll try to avoid going through each little sequence of notes, because you really have to experience such an almost otherworldly album to get to grips with it.

Definitely a very risky release and entirely pushing the boundaries of music, let along progressive rock. Although many of the themes on here are "kosmische" and distant, somehow it feels like a very personal album. Again, this may be because of the empathy of Tangerine Dream taking such a risk with it. The effects that the musicians use are just blissful, and there is such a magnificent atmosphere and tension throughout. Always something going on. Also, I'd like to give a hat-tip to Edgar Froese. His "glissando guitar" adds a greatly underestimated quality to "Zeit", and this album cover (painted by himself) is so hypnotic and broad. Feels larger than any other artworks in my collection, because of that bloated black circle centring the solar eclipse in the middle.

The album really requires many listens, and you need a lot of time to really be able to indulge yourself in it without being interrupted (not completed achieved by myself yet!). Unlike albums such as "Ommadawn" and "Agaetis Byrjun", you really have to get INTO the mood during your listen, unlike just being in the right mood to begin with, in my opinion. All sounds quite pretentious but this is an album of 4 self-indulgent 20-minute epics. One of the reasons I love it really. The titles of the music have been very well selected in my opinion, especially "Nebulous Dawn" and the title track. You can really get to experience the music more, and with each title making you think and investigate these extracts from "Largo", the album can be interpreted in so many different ways, almost completely different from the last time you heard it in some cases.

This album is an absolute favourite of mine, and my preferred Tangerine Dream album (the only one I have purchased up until now). The great Piero Scaruffi proclaimed this to be simply "their masterpiece and one of the most important albums of the time, a four-movement symphony which adopted a more electronic format and a looser concept of rhythm." summing it up excellently.

The last thing I'd like to say is that you shouldn't be at all put off by these many negative reviews and the length of "Zeit". Whilst this album does have a lot of lowly rated reviews compared to other electronic classics, look at some of the positive ones! Just as lots of 60s/psychedelic fans cannot comprehend "Trout Mask Replica", or how prog rock fans (like myself) struggle to look past the musical basics and understand the emotion behind indie albums like "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea", "Zeit" falls into the same unfortunate trap...

A: Definitely a masterpiece, still way ahead of its time. If any of you listen to this for the first time and there is just some appeal to you, buy it! You won't regret it!

Birth Of Liquid Plejades: ***** Nebulous Dawn: **** Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities: **** Zeit: *****

Report this review (#1090932)
Posted Monday, December 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Zeit - a true masterpiece.

This review is a tribute to Edgar Froese.

I learned that Edgar Froese had passed away yesterday evening so as a tribute to one of the greatest pioneers of electronic music I have decided to do a review of one the greatest pieces of electronic music ever recorded. Tangerine Dream have a vast discography of both studio and live recordings and were still actively recording up to the death of their inspirational leader. In my opinion Zeit represents one of their best recordings. It is a mammoth work of four movements that each spanned a full side of vinyl on the original release. It was also the first recording of what many, including myself, would regard as the "classic" line-up of Froese, Franke and Baumann and represents a seminal work of electronic music/space rock.

It is subtitled "Largo in four movements" and as the term Largo indicates it is a slow moving work that gradually developes, evolves and unfolds capturing the listener in realms of deep space.

"First Movement: Birth of Liquid Plejades" starts with some rather menacing cello and evolves into an etheral mesmerising spacy composition.

"Second Movement: Nebulous Dawn" starts of quitely with droning synthesiser then joined by more keyboards and pulsating sound effects creating a very atmospheric haunting piece. Again it envokes images of the other worlds deep in the solitude of space.

"Third Movement: Supernatural Probabliities" envokes images of the vastness of space, menacing at times, with a pulsating sound in the background which if you let you mind wander could represent the hum of a futuristic space craft crusing through deep space.

"Fourth Movement: Zeit" is another haunting etheral composition. Zeit translates as Time, so I envisage it as a sound representation of time and space, many of the stars we see in the sky are many millions of light years away, the light we see from them now was emitted many millions of years ago and has travelled the vastness of space to only reach us now.

I tend to do most of my music listening while working (been self-employed helps) and some when driving but this music deserves to be heard properly, sitting back in an armchair with the lights dimmed (but probably not in the dark as it may just scare you too much) and closed off from the distractions of the outside world so that you can obsorb its nuances and take your mind on a journey to the outer reaches of the cosmos and alien worlds.

This is one of the most important records of the 20th Century. It is a magnificant musical achievement. It was ground breaking for its time, opening up a whole new world of musical posibilities. Definitely a masterpiece well worthy of a 5 star rating.

Report this review (#1352034)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars Better Life Thru Chemistry

Please, if you are a normal person who mind your own business and haven't had something stronger than a beer on your system, stay away from this double CD. It is not intended to you.

There's no way someone can convince me that there's music hidden somewhere here. 3 spins and I couldn't find It.

There's no rhythm, no melody at all here only a lot of sounds that if you are a fortunate human being and have some peyote at home will serve as a backsound to your delirium tremens.

I love TD, seriously I do, but this is simply not their best CD.

Please don't try this at home.

Report this review (#1443572)
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit' is going to be a difficult album to review in any sensible manner, so please bare with me! Released in 1972, as a double album no-less, we have four tracks of inpenetrable droning soundscape that are utterly devoid of melody, rhythm, structure or anything else that might help the listener find something to latch on-to. And this is pretty much the point of the album. So really in reviewing 'Zeit' you have to ask yourself a more fundamental question about the nature of music. What is "music" and how can we possible review an album like 'zeit' when regarding music in the traditional sense?

As I've mentioned in a couple of my other PA reviews I studied music at university - specifically music production and engineering. One of the modules we took was entitled "colloquia in electroacoustic music" which really was a bunch of us sitting around with our professor discussing experimental electronic music all the way from the 60's through to the 90's. We covered some pretty outlandish pieces of music, including the ultimate piece of non-music, John Cage's '4.33'. But during those classes we never covered Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit'. And that was a shame. I would love to know what my former music professor thought about this album. But as it stands I can only base my review on my own thoughts and opinions.

So, does music exist for entertainment, for artisty, for both or for neither? Is music just for the artist? Does it matter if a piece of music makes any money? Fundamentally what is music? Is music simply a collection of raw sounds arranged into a specific order, as is the case in musique concrete? What should music mean, and to who? It depends on your definition of music. There is a science behind music - scales, harmonies, tuning, frequency, ADSR, timbre, melody. All of these things can be modeled mathematically, unlike another art form such as poetry.

However, what is presented on Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit' is an attempt to exclude as much as possible anything which resembles traditional music. There are no rhythms or melodies, so therefore you cannot really judge the album on that critera except to say there are none-of-the-above. I suppose the only way to make sense of 'Zeit' it is to ask yourself "how does this make me feel?". Afterall, that might be the most fundamental question any piece of music should raise in a listener.

My own answer to that question is pretty negative. I think I understand what TD were aiming for in 'Zeit', and clearly for some listeners they have succeeded. But quite simply I get very little, if any, enjoyment from these four recordings, and they don't make me think of anything much beyond "when will this be over?". I only get, on average, about three hours a day to listen to music so I have to be picky about what I buy and what I listen to. I can't imagine picking up my deluxe copy of 'Zeit' and taking it for a spin more than about once a year, just to remind myself what its all about. And for that reason I have to be pretty negative in my rating. 2-stars is about right for this one, for me. Its clever in its own way, but I'd definitely try before you buy.

Report this review (#1540542)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars The eclipse of time

During the formation of a black hole, gravity becomes so important that time ("Zeit" in German) accelerates until becoming infinite, thus not existing anymore. The cover art do not represent a black hole but a solar eclipse; "Zeit" is in fact an album about the absence of time. There is no such thing as electronic sequence, melodies or rhythms here, in fact all commonly known musical landmarks have disappeared. If we want to draw a comparison, it extends the ambient stellar approach of their previous "Alpha Centauri" epic, however softer, more mysterious and mastered, with less abrupt transitions. Here, TANGERINE DREAM definitely emancipate from their initial PINK FLOYD influences and even from usual musical boundaries to deliver their most radical and somber "kosmische musik" opus.

Entitled "Largo in 4 movements" (a largo is a music that must be played on a very slow tempo) and with a duration of more than 70 minutes, "Zeit" is supposedly the longest largo ever. Some people consider this record as the true birth of ambient, drone music or even post-rock. Jerome Froese's least appreciated TANGERINE DREAM, but best record ever according to Steven Wilson, this disc had a major influence for ambient artists such as Steve Roach.

First studio LP with the "golden" line-up Froese/Franke/Baumann, "Zeit" is a musical experience. The 19 years old Peter Baumann was then a young musician experimenting with his organ to create strange and unusual sonorities. He will stay in the band during five years.

"Birth Of Liquid Plejades" refers to one the most beautiful and luminous open star cluster at night. This opening track is a bit apart as it features guest musicians: four cellists, Steve Schroyder (ex-TD third member on "Alpha Centauri") on the organ, and, above all, POPOL VUH's leader Florian Fricke with his big modular Moog 3P synthesizer. Fricke was invited because he was one of the few artists in Germany who had such an innovative equipment. This composition can be divided in three parts. The first part features sinister cellos layers, pre-dating post-rock. The second marks the entrance of Fricke's big moog. His fast playing and sound contrasts with the calm ambiance and the overall spirit of "Zeit", which brings a particular colour to the music. This passage is just beyond spacey, and resembles no other composition of TANGERINE DREAM or even POPOL VUH. Cosmic magic! Then Steve Schroyder concludes the track with his organ. This last part has reminiscences with "Alpha Centauri", however in a smoother atmosphere. "Birth Of Liquid Plejades" may be Florian Fricke's last studio recording with the Moog, he will after turn to spiritual music and sell his big synthesizer to KLAUS SCHULZE.

The three other tracks are more coherent and features no guest members. With its various strange sinister sound effects, "Nebulous Dawn" is the darkest and most oppressive composition of the record. You're lost in the immensity of space, with threatening astral objects. "Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities" is quite an appropriate name, because if such probabilities ever exist, they have to be inside a black hole. The pretty beginning is calm and relaxing pretty. Music to contemplate infinity. It then becomes deeper, hypnotic and mystical. By moments, you'll perhaps perceive the origin of eternity here. The conclusion is soft, like the beginning. The title track may be the most ambient passage and my least favourite of the record. It contains some interesting obscure mysterious passages, but does not provide such deep immersion as the previous tracks for me.

The Esoteric 2011 CD edition contains a bonus disc featuring a remastered version of a show given at Cologne November 25th 1972 and an illustrated booklet. Entitled "The Klangwald Performance", the music is fully improvised, in the cosmic style of "Zeit". The sound quality is very good.

You have to be in a particular mood to fully appreciate "Zeit": alone, preferably in the dark, without parasite noises and thoughts. As you understood, this is no joyful, melodic, party or driving music. Not easily accessible, even for TD fans of the mid-70's "golden" era, you may hate it... or love it if you take the time. This is truly an immersive experience, that makes you lost in the depths of the interstellar void.

This opus is quite adventurous, the most radical in TANGERINE DREAM's discography. An essential listen if you're into experimental, ambient or drone music, and an unique album, out of time...

Report this review (#1552484)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2016 | Review Permalink

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