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AGES

Edgar Froese

Progressive Electronic


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lsnagoya@msn.
3 stars Edgar Froese's fourth solo album is something of a mixed bag. Originally a vinyl double album, it was almost a classic case of one disc's worth of good material spread over two. The final track has been left off the CD reissue, presumably to fit it onto a single disc, which makes it pretty good value.

The opening track, Metropolis, sees Froese exploring darker, more dissonant territory than he normally did with Tangerine Dream and is one of his best solo pieces. This mood carries over into the mellower Era of the Slaves, which is more of an old school T.Dream track but with rather more rhythmic punch courtesy of Klaus Krieger's drumming. After this promising start, the 21 minute Tropic of Capricorn is a bit of a letdown - a pleasant but rather aimless track, it sounds like unused ideas from Phaedra/Rubycon reassembled in a slightly haphazard order. Nights of Automatic Women veers back into the more experimental territory of the first two tracks, weaving old style T Dream sounds over some feverish drumming after a slightly unsettling opening. A couple of shorter tracks follow which sound like sketches for side long Tangs epics, while the CD closes with the excellent uptempo drums and guitar driven Pizarro and Atahualpa.

Nothing on this CD is actually bad, but too much of it sees Froese tackling pieces that would have been better realised with his colleagues in Tangerine Dream. Klaus Krieger's drumming really lifts some of the pieces, and there is enough good material on here to make a worthwhile purchase for a fan, but definitely non essential.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#36595)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
3 stars Ages is a rare double album recently reissued by Virgin after to have disappeared during a moment from the market. Globally the recordings feature interesting analog synth essays with a taste for rhythmical electronic passages and spacey atmospheres. It is very closed to TD's production at the same period notably with Stratosfear, Sorcerer. In sense of achievement and quality the compositions are rather unequal. Metropolis is an excellent spacey tune with obsessional drums parts and electronic hallucinatory effects. Era of the Slaves with its moody, ethereal synth parts is a bright reminiscence of TD's best analog compositions. Pizarro and Atahuallpa includes an impressive drum set played by Klaus Dinger, occasionally invited by Froese to provide rhythmical accompaniments. The other tracks don't really deserve a particular attention. The long epic track Tropic of Capricorn opens with interesting elements but it tends to be boring after more than 15 minutes running. Icarus is a rather common, accessible piece with no really imaginative ideas.A pleasant listening but but it's not a problem if you just pass it.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#43876)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Generally, "Ages" seems to be the least popular of Froese's 70's solo albums. I just can't see why! This should be considered the crown of his solo works!!!!!! It's dark, intense,and mellow and contains a greater variety of themes than any of his other albums. As a CD this also offers the best value since the original was a double-LP (the last LP-track has been removed to fit the CD-format). "Nights Of Automatic Women" (9:00) shows the greatest step away from the sound of Tangerine Dream and is much more heavy, containing intense drumming and furious, hypnotic synth-loops. The simple melody of "Children's Deeper Study" (4:21) is just lovely and makes me laugh!! As I said: The album is varied and has many "faces". This makes "Ages" the ultimate starting point for the solo works of Edgar Froese! Highly recommended and five massive stars!!

Beginners info: - Edgar Froese is one of the members of Tangerine Dream. - The music is instrumental and monotonous. - Stylewise this belongs to "electronic ambient" or "progressive electronic".

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Send comments to 1971 (BETA) | Report this review (#86192)
Posted Tuesday, August 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Interesting collection of new compositions and leftovers from Stratosfear and Cyclone era, featuring the same sounds and drummer as on the Tangerine Dream Cyclone album. With a bit more scrutiny, Froese might have culled an excellent single album out of the abundance of material here. At full double album length, the album overstays its welcome a bit, unless you are a fan of course.

Metropolis sounds like a ceremonial march from Vangelis. It's not bad but too long, Froese did a much more successful 5 minute remix of this piece in 2005. Era of The Slaves is a nice addition to the concurrent TD albums. As usual with Froese, the moog sequencing is less developed and less challenging then Chris Franke's ventures with the instrument, making the track too monotone, even at 8 minutes. The mellotron is beautiful as usual.

The 21 minute Tropic of Capricorn runs very smooth in the first half, but the seconf half lacks the drive and inspiration to make it work. There is a gentle romantic piano section that loses some of its charm by the buzzing synths that are added on top of it.

Nights of Automatic Women is more fun. It's an obvious leftover from TD's Cyclone, featuring the same sequence and drums as Madrigal Meridian but I like the sound of the synths and Froese's improvisations here. Icarus sounds like another leftover, this time from TD's Sorcerer, some of the themes also bring Encore to mind. Not bad but too long.

After two shorter pieces, the closing Pizarro should sure be of interest. It sounds almost like a 1973 kraut excursion with muffled percussion, rhythmic guitar and mellotron. A 1977 buzzing bee synth improvises around the kraut drone.

Not a mandatory item but a very nice listen for fans of the 1976-1978 Tangerine Dream period. 3.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#256188)
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As Bonnek points out TANGERINE DREAM's "Cyclone" album released the year after this is a good reference point if you want to know what this sounds like. This would be Edgar's last album to feature mellotron on it and it's here on every track except "Ode To Granny A". Many fans were upset that the cd issue of this double album left off the final track "Golgotha And The Circle Closes" because many including myself consider it the best track on here. Thankfully Virgin Records recently released a box set of Edgar's recordings and it includes that song.

"Metropolis" sounds pretty cool with the mellotron, synths and beat. it does settle late to end it. "Era Of The Slaves" features more mellotron along with an electronic beat and synths. Great sound here. Percussion around 3 1/2 minutes. This is a top three for me. "Tropic Of Capricorn" has these swirling synths as outbreaks of other synths come and go repatedly. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the sound of water takes over and piano plays over top along with spacey synths. It settles right down before 12 minutes then picks back up as it trips along to the end. "Nights Of Automatic Women" is another top three. Various sounds come and go then it kicks in at a minute. Love the drumming here. Just a killer uptempo soundscape.

"Icarus" features moog as the synths join in as it plods along. More synths join in as it builds. Guitar 4 minutes in. Nice. Drums follow and the guitar is wailing away before 6 minutes. It starts to settle back after 8 minutes. "Children's Deeper Study" is one i'm not a big fan of because of the higher pitched sounding sequencers. They do stop a minute in though as a great sounding soundscape follows. The sequencers are back. "Ode To Granny A" is another one i'm not a big fan of. Thankfully both are the shortest songs on here. This one is a rhythm of synths and percussion. "Pizarro And Atahuallpat" features percussion early on then the synths come in after 1 1/2 minutes and start to build. A calm a minute later. Great sound after 4 minutes. "Golgatha And The Circle Closes" is my final top three and it opens with moog and drums as the synths roll in. The guitar starts to rip it up 1 1/2 minutes in. It fades out before 6 minutes then loud synths take over to end it.

I know quite a few people who list this as their favourite Froese album and i'm certainly drawn to the guitar and mellotron on this one.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#821170)
Posted Saturday, September 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Not quite as great as it ought to be but still pretty damn excellent(I'm nit-picking here) 1977's double- sided 'Ages' finds the extremely hard-working Tangerine Dream founder Edgar Froese back in solo territory after the release of his group's first soundtrack record, the same year's deeply-mysterious 'Sorceror'. Directed by William Friedkin, costing $20,000,000 dollars and utterly bombing at the box-office, the movie 'Sorceror' remains one of the great underrated thrillers of the 1970s, and despite the film's failure it did open a very large and very lucrative door from Froese and company as they went on to enjoy a highly-successful career creating soundtracks for directors such as Michael Mann, Ridley Scott and Kathryn Bigelow. However, 'Sorceror' the soundtrack was so dark and gloomy that Froese obviously needed some kind of sonic antidote to work on, hence 'Ages'. Although still anchored deep in the quixotic ambient territory we have come to know and love Tangerine Dream for, 'Ages' does on occasion feature a slightly more upbeat hue, it's 9 tracks skipping expertly between droney space-rock, twinkling synthesized noodling and cinematic grandeur wth almost reckless abandon. Fans of Tangerine Dream will know exactly what to expect then, but 'Ages' doesn't quite reach the same exulted heights as Froese's own solo masterpiece 'Epsilon In Malaysian Pale'. However, highlights are many, especially on the second disc which features the beautifully-layered 'Ode To Granny A' and the hypnotic, twirling beats of the cosmic closer 'Golgotha & The Circle Closes'. So, like pretty much everything Froese put his name to between the years 1970 and 1983, 'Ages' is utterly fascinating. Full of strong moments then, this is yet another dose of first grade ambient rock from the master of the art. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#1157394)
Posted Saturday, April 05, 2014 | Review Permalink

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