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Tangerine Dream - Phaedra CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.17 | 823 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well this is my first taste of anything near-to-techno from the seventies. Would you call this techno? No. Didn't think so. More ambient, ephereal, scary background music to take drugs by. (and no- I'm certainly not encouraging that.) Or look at art by Salvadore Dali or any other awesome surrealist. But, word of warning: don't listen to this album if you have a hangover. It does things to your mind. :/ Yes...I've experienced that. This is a strange album to start my reviewing routine with again, after a year or so of non-reviewing limbo. Because I don't find it particularly enlightening. Apart from the fact its different to anything I've ever heard from the 70s before. Let alone from Germany. Be here we go. Phaedra was the woman in Greek Mythology, wife to Theseus, who fell in love with Hippolytus her step-son and ended up hangin herself. I'm being a good little Classicist and giving you the background to the theme here- but special thanks to my boyfriend who just told me the difference between Phaedra and her mother Phasiphae- who fell in love with a bull and thus produced the minotaur. :) See? There's a REASON why I chose to be a Classicist. ..Too bad my boyfriend seems to be a better Classicist than me.

1) Phaedra: Well this is like a space movie. When I think about it, it's like Edgar, Christoph and Peter got together with their synthesizers and said "Lets SCARE people!". I can't say I've ever been one for space rock but I guess this the closest i'll get to it. This piece seems to put us in something like Space Odyssey 2001 or any other crazy psycological-thriller space movie and say "These are the aliens...and this is the cockpit of their space ship." What it is, essentially, is a constant beat of electronic sounds which develop all the way into slightly frightening background music. Or is it slightly sad? Look out for Edgars bass guitar and mellotron- it's probably the most catchy and it comes and everything else on this album.

2) Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares: Anyone read Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics? Ok- maybe I'm going off topic- but this music certainly sets the theme. This pieces starts off like an ocean. But the synth inbetween the sound of the shore sounds lovely in the harmony between the notes. Too bad all three musicians use synths cause I can't give anyone credit here! Whats that a helicopter I hear? man this is weird...and it goes on too. The end sounds a bit like the start os Led Zeppelins 'No Quarter' thanks to Christophs keyboard and/or moog. And then it just 'bubbles' (and I mean it actually 'bubbles') away...

3) Movements of a Visionary: This starts off with shaky echoes. I can't really say a lot about this track except that it made me say 'Well this DATES it." It uses the same repetitive technique that the last two tracks did but theres something definitely 70s about it. Whereas the other tracks on this album, if you didnt know they came from 1974- you could place them anywhere after 1968. But don't throw eggs at me when i say that this piece isn't even *vaguely* exciting or catchy in the slightest. Background is what it is.

4) Sequent C: This is the most eerie and ambient of all. But it's my favourite :) It's not because it's much shorter than the others but because there is something a helluva lot more melodic as opposed to the other 'lets make scary electronic sounds' tracks. There was also something rather...well..GREEK about this music. Relating to the album title. Full praise to Peter with the spell his flute puts on us. This is the first Tangerine Dream piece I ever heard.

Overall I'm giving this album a three star rating- but really I'd rather give it 2.5 points...somewhere inbetween 2 and 3. This is because it is interesting to listen to. But I have better things to do. What does this album purport to do anyway? It's not to sing along to. It doesn't make good background music for a party...Both these outcomes are because its not melodic. in general anyway. Sometimes it's not even catchy. But it does make good 'thinking' music- when you're along drawing a picture. Or you can close your eyes and imagine its the theme music to an alien movie as I mentioned before. Just try not to have a mental breakdown to it. You never know when THAT could happen.

Starette | 3/5 |


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