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Tangerine Dream - Tangram CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 318 ratings

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4 stars In 1980, at the dawn of a new decade, and with a new lineup, Tangerine Dream pumped out more freaky fuel for intrepid inner-space explorers, in the form of TANGRAM. Long-term member Peter Baumann had departed, and been replaced by Johannes Schmoelling, who fit in well with Edgar Froese and Chris Franke, and made the transition painless and almost undetectable for this longstanding fan.

This is one of the trio's better 80s efforts, beyond a doubt. As befitted the new era, the band's sound was somewhat updated, clear, and fresh, but retained more than enough of the old mystic magic to please their devoted followers. All of the essential TD elements, from gently drifting spacey parts, to more rhythmic sequences and almost frightening sections, can be found here, along with an increased focus on melody (which would only grow in the years to come). This manifest desire to augment the beauty of the music may not have met with universal approval, but -- for me, at least -- it contributed to the group's overall depth, and breadth of appeal.

The shorter, upbeat, almost danceable numbers that were to come, had yet to surface at this stage -- the disc is composed of two "side long" suites. "Tangram Set 1," in classic TD fashion, draws upon a rich and varied palette of tones and emotions, and the diverse sections of this musical "mind puzzle" flow and meld smoothly together in a unified whole. "Tangram Set 2," despite its similar title, is thematically independent, yet, for my money, every bit as interesting and good as its forerunner.

This engaging electronica, as with all of TD's extensive oeuvre, is not suited to all tastes. Still, for those who occasionally enjoy music that soothes, and invites flights of fancy (rather than bludgeoning the listener into submission with rapid-fire, grandstanding riffage), TANGRAM can provide an ideal aural ambiance for pleasurable pursuits from reading to reverie, romancing and reposing. A must for the committed Tangerine Dreamer!

Peter | 4/5 |


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