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Tangerine Dream - Phaedra CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.17 | 824 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Phaedra' - Tangerine Dream (8/10)

There's little doubt nowadays that Tangerine Dream was one of the true pioneers of the now ubiquitous electronic music genre. Although I was first introduced to this band through the majestic "Rubycon", "Phaedra" was the record that really saw Tangerine Dream breaking out to a broader audience. Though I have no doubt that this is a great piece of music, I do find it surprising that this forty minute block of space-sound would have sparked any brand of mainstream attention. While not necessarily challenging to listen to and digest, Tangerine Dream's approach is incredibly ambient. Surely enough, its lax structure and meditative sound may leave listeners in the dust. Given the right mood however, Tangerine Dream delivers one of its best trips on "Phaedra".

Being a listener most accustomed to heavier forms of rock and metal, there's no doubt that Tangerine Dream's sound takes some getting used to. Unlike the myriad forms of dance and electronic music that have no doubt spawned from what they helped innovate, Tangerine Dream aims for an incredibly mellowed sound. Melody and even rhythm are left in the cold; texture is the lifeblood of "Phaedra". Best exemplified by the eighteen minute title piece, Tangerine Dream works with sounds slowly and deliberately, taking sweet time to craft and gradually shift electronic sequences. Suffice to say, if I heard this being played in an electronic club nowadays, I'd either pinch myself or be convinced I was the star of a David Lynch film.

True enough, it may sound boring in description, but Tangerine Dream makes it work beautifully, if only due to the wonderful atmosphere and depth of the textures used. Having heard this album's follow-up "Rubycon" first, I'm left with the impression that "Phaedra" is a little less experimental, or 'out there' than what would come for Tangerine Dream. Although Tangerine Dream foster a masterful use of sound and texture on "Phaedra", it does not feel quite distinguished enough from other Tangerine Dream releases for me to call it an all- encompassing masterpiece. Like much of this band's output, it only fits a certain mood for me. Some will likely see "Phaedra" as little more than sonic wallpaper, but there's a meticulous design to what Tangerine Dream has done here that keeps it interesting for many a listen. Check it out!

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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