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Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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Tangerine Dream Zeit album cover
3.69 | 457 ratings | 51 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Birth Of Liquid Plejades (20:00)
2. Nebulous Dawn (18:00)
3. Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities (20:12)
4. Zeit (17:43)

Total Time: 75:55

Bonus CD from 2011 remaster:
1. Klangwald (Part One) (Live) (37:27)
2. Klangwald (Part Two) (Live) (40:41)

Total time 78:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / glissando guitar, sound generators
- Christoph Franke / VCS3 synth, keyboards, cymbals
- Peter Baumann / VCS3 synth, organ, vibes

- Steve Schroyder / organ (1)
- Florian Fricke / Moog synth (1)
The Cologne Cello Quartet :
- Christian Vallbracht / cello (1)
- Joachim Von Grumbcow / cello (1)
- Hans Joachim Brune / cello (1)
- Johannes Lucke / cello (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Edgar with Monique Froese (photo)

2xLP Ohr ‎- OMM 2/56021 (1972, Germany)

CD Jive Electro ‎- C TANG 3 (1986, UK) New cover art
2xCD Relativity ‎- 88561-8070-2 (1987, US)
CD Sequel Records ‎- SEQUEL 1034-2 (1996, US) Remastered by Thomas Heimann-Trosien
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- EREACD 21017 (2011, UK) 24-bit remaster by Ben Wiseman with bonus disc including Live recording at the Grossen Sendesaal des Rundfunkhauses, Cologne, 25th Nov 1972

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TANGERINE DREAM Zeit ratings distribution

(457 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
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!

Review by Sean Trane
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.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.
Review by loserboy
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.
Review by Philo
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...
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!
Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by russellk
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.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 complete 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.

Review by 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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
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.

Review by Guldbamsen
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.

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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).

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Dobermensch
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.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by colorofmoney91
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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by friso
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.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by 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.

Review by Modrigue
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...

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Zeit ' is a Tangerine Dream album that seems to divide the opinions of reviewers right down the middle into a love it or loathe it category. Unfortunately I am firmly camped in the category of loathe it. There are a number of reasons why this is so and perhaps the thing that sticks out from the get go is how bleak and dark this music is and how devoid of any structure or musical conventions. The whole thing seems improvised with someone leaning on a keyboard and falling asleep. I have heard more rhythm standing in a steelworks Factory. Every track swallows up a whole side of vinyl and each track goes on and on beyond endurance overstaying their welcome for about ten minutes. Not all TD music is as disturbing as this of course, 'Ricochet' is a masterpiece and totally uplifting, 'Stratosfear' is a dynamic exploration of rhythms, 'Force Majeure' is an album that transfixed in its awe and beauty and 'Rubycon' is a sheer delight. However 'Zeit' took me to a realm I personally do not want to delve into and that is the realm of the darkest regions of the mind. This is disturbing beyond belief and even headache inducing in the same way that Sunn O))) has a disturbing effect on the mind; it becomes nauseating. If you like drones and musicscapes without any rhythm or melody that are interminably slowmoving you are likely to love this album, as many do. To me it sounds like Jean Michel Jarre having a bad day.

At times it sounds like spacey interplanetary wind and then it switches to nightmarish cold bleak hums that jangle the nerves; music to dig graves by. It is a very difficult listen and extremely dark throughout. It can change your mood in an instant to a depressive state and I prefer to avoid this in music these days. Ed Sheeran once said "I can't tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone" and it makes sense that TD really were daring and were not worried about pleasing anyone. Therefore not everything they do is going to be accessible or an easy listen. It is definitely an acquired taste and takes some stamina to sit through even one track. It is such a long album and you have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate it. So I am told by the wonderful reviews here. I totally get that and I am not arguing against the critics who hail this as a masterpiece. However it is totally subjective how you will react to this type of drone ambience; it may appeal to your state of mind or mood at the time. My reaction is that it is too unsettling for me personally and I have better albums I can listen to so why am I wasting precious listening time inundated by a lot of drones and throbs and creepy dark and unnerving things? Surely I can listen to something that I can actually enjoy. You cannot judge TD by this album because TD are capable of some absolutely wonderful musicspheres such as, well anything besides 'Zeit'.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars Right off the bat, I've got to say that the fact that this album was released in 1972 is absolutely mind blowing to me, the freeform structure, the lack of any traditional melody or musical qualities almost entirely, how deeply atmospheric it all is, everything about it is just amazing to me. I'm not going to say that it's an album that I'll often listen to, given that it's some of the least eventful music I've ever heard, including all the ambient I've listened to, but I can't deny that it's one of the single most immersive listening experiences I've ever undertaken. While the band as whole seems to create mainly space themed music, I personally feel like the vast emptiness of outer space is encapsulated most perfectly here, such minimalistic sounds managing to create a feeling of being alone and staring out into the immense void of the cosmos, managing to be both incredibly understated while also majestic in its own strange way.

Despite being a primarily electronic band, the first track, Birth of Liquid Plejades starts off with multiple cellos, all of which are only playing a couple of sustained notes, the variation merely coming in through the altering of their volume, those that carry somewhat more melody especially phasing in and out, bringing forth swathes of beauty in amongst the endless droning, overtime introducing some more of the futuristic sounding electronic elements that make this album so great. This is by far the most organic and 'human' sounding track of the four due to not entirely focusing on these electronic elements, and having a consistently fuller sound, as even once the cellos are entirely phased out, the warm, droning low notes of the organ are a constant presence, and definitely aid in the creation of the track's immersion. Nebulous Dawn is downright eerie in a lot of respects, bringing forth a much more sparse, desolate soundscape, this time having no sort of warmth to it, everything being electronic. The low droning in the background phases in and out, leaving complete silence, adding to how large everything feels here. To add to this, once in a while, subtle noises that evoke imagery of small skittering beings is added to disrupt what can almost be considered tranquility, further putting the listener in a state of constant unease.

Other than some slight use of guitar at the start of it, Origin of Supernatural Probabilities follows a very similar format to the previous track, but this time instead of sounding unsettling and all around creepy, the approach taken is one to make it feel unnatural and alien, highlighted by the constant pulsating sound in the background. This pulsating also is a major reason why this track works so well, as it makes this an even more hypnotic track than previous ones, as the sounds fade in and out, they continue to further worm their way into the listener's head, invoking a near trancelike state that I can't think of something that matches it. The title track takes a lot of elements from previous track and then makes them far more understated, the high pitched wails in the background, the creepy tone due to sparseness, an overall alien sound etc. This creates an extremely calm, meditative soundscape that once again seems to create imagery that stretches on forever, there is very little progression, there is no melody, there is just the endless expanse of the cosmos.

Despite being so minimalistic in a lot of ways, I definitely believe that this album works best when it's being actively listened to, when you can better immerse yourself in all the imagery, feel both calm and uneasy while listening, fully unravel the absolutely incredible atmosphere present here. I'll say that you need to be in the right mood for this, an have a lot of patience, otherwise you'll almost undoubtedly feel bored by this album, as this is not particularly accessible by any margin and will most likely sound like a bunch of meaningless sounds the first couple of times. Despite this, I love so much of what's being done on this album, especially when considering how ahead of its time it was. If you're looking for conventional, traditional sounding music in any way, shape or form, then you won't find it here, but if you're looking for an incredibly immersive, atmospheric listening experience, then I strongly recommend this album.

Verdict: Despite enjoying a couple of other TD albums more than this, I believe that this is the band's peak in terms of capturing the essence of space in all its majesty and desolation. Strongly recommended to people who enjoy very minimalistic music along the lines of ambient, but definitely not the place to start for newcomers to the band, that would be Phaedra.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Some have claimed that Zeit: Largo in Four Movements is a tough album to get into, but I'd say it's a tough album to get too much of. Maybe it's the similarities between this 1971 album by Tangerine Dream and the first solo albums, from 1972 and 1973, by former TD drummer Klaus Schulze. Interestingly, Schulze's replacement, Christoph Franke, has switched almost completely to playing keyboards on Zeit, as Tangerine Dream essentially abandons rhythm for this, their third LP and first double album.

Schulze is one of my favorite artists, and as tempting as it is for me to believe that he conceived of his early work entirely on his own, Zeit makes it clear that at the very least, he and Tangerine Dream were mutually influential. Schulze left the group after its 1970 debut album, Electronic Meditation, and co-founded Ash Ra Tempel which released its self-titled debut the following year. Side Two of Ash Ra Tempel, "Traummtaschine" ("Dream Machine"), is a bridge between Tangerine Dream and Schulze's early LPs. Of course, "Traummtaschine" is not a solo effort; fellow Ash Ra Tempel member Manuel Göttsching collaborated with Schulze to create the "electronics" which distinguish the piece. Anyway, Schulze was long gone by the time Zeit was released in August 1972.

Zeit's seventy-five-minute runtime is divided into four pieces ranging in length from seventeen to twenty minutes, an artificial limit imposed by the LP format (i.e. and e.g., five fifteen-minute works would have taken the same hour and a quarter, but couldn't be distributed among four LP sides without splitting some of those pieces across LP sides). When Yes committed to the one-song-per-side double-album format for Tales from Topographic Oceans, they wound up having to elaborate a bit, padding the sides to get them to LP-side length.* Yes's desire to create a cohesive, lyrical and musical tetralogy required them to artificially balance the sides. Whether or not realizing the concept was worth the compromises is a question of taste.

But here Tangerine Dream has an advantage: the text which connects the for pieces of Zeit is as indeterminate as the mists of spacetime apparently referenced by the titles of the four movements. ("Birth of Liquid Plejades," "Nebulous Dawn," etc.). And whereas Yes intentionally differentiated the music on the four sides of Tales to accentuate (or perhaps contrive) differences among the concepts of the sides, Zeit is as close to four variations of a concept than four pieces that complete a puzzle. My edition of the album (downloaded from emusic in 2017) does not include liner notes, but judging from the many online images of LP gatefolds and CD booklets, no grand theme is claimed for Zeit. Although an overarching concept might be inferred from the movement titles or from the solar eclipse on the cover, it would be a vague one indeed; "zeit," meaning "time" in English, would just about encompass it.**

The common descriptions of the music itself - - "dark," "ambient," "dark ambient," and so on - - are pretty accurate. The "dark" label seems intended to inoculate the album against charges that it's a "new age" work, as might be assumed from the term "ambient." I'm not sure of the definition of "new age music," but Zeit is insufficiently upbeat for me to classify it as such. It is certainly ambient music, but it's also much more minimalist and much less fusion-oriented than music (pejoratively) referred to as "new age." It's certainly darker than Alpha Centauri, the group's previous effort, or than Electronic Meditation, although it's not sinister, as the term "dark" might imply; it has the fewest jarring moments among the four Tangerine Dream albums released on the Ohr label (1970-1973).

My introduction to Tangerine Dream was the 2002 anthology Journey Through a Burning Brain, the first disc of which covered the Ohr years. Once I got the four individual albums, I expected to like Zeit the least, since it was a Schulze-less double album. It's not perfect; some of the sci-fi space-invaders sound effects are a bit much; they detract from "Nebulous Dawn" and the title track. But due to its compositions and its consistency, Zeit is the best of Tangerine Dream's early LPs.


*On the other hand, the LP version of the first Tales track, "The Revealing Science of God" was reduced by two minutes to fit it the LP. Perhaps similarly, the movements of Zeit were edited to fit various audio formats; apparently the original 45-second introduction to the fourth side was excised from all releases for more than twenty years.

**the Pleiades system has existed for somewhere around 100 million years; the cover depicts an event which has happened for the past 4.5+ billion years; the nebulous dawn of our galaxy occurred well over 13 billion years ago, shortly after the beginnings of the universe - - if that's what "Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" refers to.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Halfway into 1971 and a couple of months after the release of 'Alpha Centauri', Tangerine Dream finally established its legendary line-up of Froese, Franke and Baumann. Next to a couple of concerts in 1971 they also recorded a 30 minute soundtrack for the German Television production 'Vampira' which unfortunately as yet remains unreleased (officially at least). By the time they retreated into the Dieter Dierks' studios in May 1972 to record 'Zeit' they already were a well-oiled unit that managed to improvise and record this 75 minute opus in no more than 10 days.

Without doubt this is the most extreme of all TD albums. The band intentionally wanted no rhythm or melody but a calm counterpart to balance against the years of noise and harsh sounds that preceded. This album is Franke's tribute to Ligeti's and Stockhausen's works from the 60s. Froese's earlier heroes (Floyd and Hendrix) are nowhere to be seen in these desolate cosmic outskirts, and while both 'Atem' and 'Alpha Centauri' featured some percussion to stir things up, here we are just left with droning organ, synth and sound effects that slowly weave arrhythmic and a-tonal waves of sound. Most of the albums and concerts in the following years contain echoes of the spooky cosmic sound that is developed here.

Ambitious as this modern classic music on electronic instruments is, I has never really convinced me. Each track has its moments but apart from 'Nebulous Dawn' they all run 10 minutes too long as far as I'm concerned. I do enjoy Schulze's Cyborg and Tangerine Dream's own further explorations in this style, but after 30 years with this album I dare to state it will never be a favorite - allthough it keeps growing a bit on me.

For fans of this album it might be a good idea to pick up the 2011 Esoteric release of Zeit which has an extra CD featuring a recording of a November 1972 concert from Tangerine Dream. This concert, dubbed 'Klangwald' (or Sound Forest in English) offers pretty much the exact same style of minimalistic non-melodic, non-rhythmical sound carpets as 'Zeit'.

Not the kind of album to sit and relax to, it is an important, ambituous and influential album in the world of electronic music. But Tangerine Dream's ambitions got ahead of them, Franke and Baumann had barely turned 19 when it was recorded and challenging Ligeti at his art at this age you're bound to end up with the shorter straw. Nevertheless it's another unique TD experience.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #124! Wow. Tangerine Dream yet again paints a picture with nothing but cellos, organs, synths, and occasional percussion and guitar. This album is a one-hour-and-twenty-minute tour of the minds of Tangerine Dream's members. Even without lyrics, this music (if that is something y ... (read more)

Report this review (#2935118) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Thursday, June 22, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I know and fully understand it's not everyone's cup of whatever You like to drink, but for me this is 5 stars (and one of my strict top ever) album for so many reasons, personal and general 1. for beeing progressive by pushing the boundries of (rock?) music far into space with all earthly preconcep ... (read more)

Report this review (#2490243) | Posted by Artik | Sunday, January 3, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1540542) | Posted by AndyJ | Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1443572) | Posted by steelyhead | Wednesday, July 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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. Tange ... (read more)

Report this review (#1352034) | Posted by FXM | Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1090932) | Posted by Xonty | Monday, December 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 "tri ... (read more)

Report this review (#1085191) | Posted by agla | Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#474425) | Posted by idoownu | Sunday, July 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#415860) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Monday, March 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#401589) | Posted by Jazzywoman | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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! " -greenback This is the most stunningly harsh yet appropriate review I've yet seen ... (read more)

Report this review (#386480) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 imagin ... (read more)

Report this review (#244490) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#244421) | Posted by tdfloyd | Monday, October 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 dr ... (read more)

Report this review (#188561) | Posted by Frippertron | Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 awa ... (read more)

Report this review (#99325) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#81786) | Posted by Arsillus | Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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-P ... (read more)

Report this review (#67249) | Posted by PhantomBannana | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 re ... (read more)

Report this review (#65335) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 real ... (read more)

Report this review (#32440) | Posted by | Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 d ... (read more)

Report this review (#32439) | Posted by | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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