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Tangerine Dream - Zeit CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.65 | 387 ratings

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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.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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