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PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Electronic definition

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov (Green Ray, 1976) and Didier Bocquet (Voyage cerebral, 1978) will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be in search of the absolute industrial "post-nuclear" sound tapestry. His visionary musical experience is based on cyclical loops, abrasive concrete noises and vertiginous piano dreamscapes. ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before M.B and the industrial-bruitist wave, the 70's Italian specialists of electronic experiments had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati (Mirage, 1979), Francesco Bucherri (Journey, 1979), and Francesco Messina for representative, lyrical and spacey orchestrations and also Futuro Antica (D'ai primitivi all'elettronica, 1980) or Telaio Magnetico (Live' 75) for tripped out minimalism.

In the early 1980s and after following the kosmische path of classic Klaus Schulze, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic created the so called "alchemical" / "Sacred" space music. The music offers a dynamic combination between ancient-traditional music of the West and synthesised sonic soundscapes. The most representative artists of this movement are Michael Stream (Lyra Sound Constellation, 1983) Robert Rich (Numena, 1987) and Steve Roach (Dreamtime Return, 1988).

In the early 80s Ian Boddy (Spirits, 1984 / Phoenix, 1986) and Mark Shreeve (Assassin, 1983 / Legion, 1984) unique spacedout synthesised sagas represented the british answer to the challenging Berlin kosmische school. Their music embodies timbral drone sequences, systematic arpeggiations and synth-pop textures.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna and Father Moo & the Black sheeps) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe BLACHE


The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree


Progressive Electronic Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Electronic | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.25 | 776 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.25 | 234 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.21 | 227 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.57 | 25 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.14 | 663 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.52 | 24 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.18 | 121 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.11 | 207 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus
4.28 | 38 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.33 | 27 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.16 | 46 ratings
FILAMENTS
Rich, Robert
4.22 | 33 ratings
LUCIFER RISING (OST)
Beausoleil, Bobby
4.16 | 44 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.03 | 150 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.02 | 157 ratings
NEW AGE OF EARTH
Ashra
3.98 | 393 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
3.98 | 273 ratings
ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Eno, Brian
4.55 | 12 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
3.94 | 464 ratings
STRATOSFEAR
Tangerine Dream
4.11 | 38 ratings
GREEN RAY
Zanov

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Electronic experts team

HATHOR
Wakhevitch, Igor
SYNTHESIST
Grosskopf, Harald
HARMONIC ASCENDANT
Schroeder, Robert
WUNDERBAR
Riechmann, Wolfgang

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 Fade To Gray by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Fade To Gray
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars In addition to the sublime `Shadow of Time', a pair of very different collaborations with upcoming electronic musician Robert Logan and a stunning archival live release `Pinnacle Moments', progressive electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach closes out 2016 with no less than three complete brand-new studio works, all offering glimpses of very different aspects of the artist's personality, genre bending and constantly exploring musical mind. Of the three, `Spiral Revelation' is rhythmic and lively, `Painting in the Dark' a lightly psychedelic pure ambient work, but this one, `Fade to Gray' is another of Roach's single long- form compositions very much in the manner of the previous year's `This Place to Be', a challenging and impossibly subtle work that remains as challenging as always.

Completely devoid of any rhythmic elements, the seventy-four minute sound-collage `Fade to Gray' is a furtive unceasing drone of ever-reaching echoing ambient washes and darkly symphonic sweeps. Dreamy lethargic ebbs seep into cavernous groaning crevices, slivers of light eventually piercing through melancholic veils of stormy faraway rumbles to blanket the atmosphere with pristine serene pools.

These sort of works are often quite hard to assess, and they always prove divisive amongst listeners. To some, these unhurried and drifting musings are utterly entrancing, others find them completely tedious and uneventful. `Fade to Gray' is certainly not the latter, but it can be patience testing and quite confronting in the first half, not particularly easy listening until some lighter, more inviting qualities gradually reveal themselves in the later stretches. It's definitely not a place to start for newcomers looking to explore Roach's works (out of this new triple set, best pick up the other two first). But, as always, it's a quietly reflective and thought-provoking mood piece from a master of many electronic-related genres, and it remains a mysterious and evocative soundtrack.

Three stars for general listeners, four stars for seasoned dark ambient fans.

 The Ship by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.52 | 10 ratings

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The Ship
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brian Eno's best album in years strikes a lopsided balance between his purely ambient abstractions and the more song-centered performances from his feather-boa'd youth, but it definitely leans far closer toward the minimalist end of his musical spectrum. Imagine a typical Eno pop song, slowed down to below 16 rpm and stretched out over 21-minutes in length, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

There's a dreamlike lack of clarity to the music, as if The Ship of the album's title (supposedly RMS Titanic, in her final agony) was running at quarter-speed through dense fog. Eno's artfully auto-tuned singing adds just the right touch of maritime angst, resembling the lonesome chantey of an old sea dog on the evening's last watch aboard a four-masted windjammer.

The long title track grows progressively more weird, as the dying ocean liner presumably settles to the North Atlantic sea floor. More accessible melodies then begin to emerge in the three-part "Fickle Sun", but the overall mood remains austere: gray music for an uncertain voyage, perfectly illustrated in the album's monochromatic artwork. So when the faux-brass section suddenly kicks in just beyond the 7:00 mark of "Fickle Sun, Part One" the effect is all the more powerful by contrast.

It's esoteric stuff, but strangely compelling: the poetry of ideas expressed as sound...a goofy description, I admit, but not when listening to Eno. And Part Two of "The Fickle Sun" is in fact an actual poem, recited by actor Peter Serafinowicz (the zombie roommate in the movie "Shaun of the Dead") over a gentle Satie-like solo piano phrase. Which then leads directly into Part Three, "I'm Set Free": an old Velvet Underground song, beautifully rendered into one of Eno's best vocal performances since the 1970s.

A final coda ("Away", once again with echoes of "Another Green World") is only available on Japanese editions of the album...sadly, because it offers an ideal epilogue to an already indelible experience. The whole package is quintessential Eno: subtle yet engaging, calm to the point of immobility but still able to stir the gray matter like nobody's business.

 Spiral Revelation by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.05 | 2 ratings

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Spiral Revelation
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars In addition to the sublime `Shadow of Time', a pair of very different collaborations with up-and-coming electronic musician Robert Logan and a stunning archival live release `Pinnacle Moments', progressive electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach closes out 2016 with no less than three complete brand-new studio works, all offering glimpses of very different aspects of the artist's personality, genre bending and constantly exploring musical mind. Of the three, `Fade to Gray' is a long-form moody drone, and `Painting in the Dark' a lightly psychedelic pure ambient work, but this one, `Spiral Revelation' is constantly lively, and, like its colourful cover art, full of a pulsing energy, often in the form of heavy rhythmic-driven compositions that Roach doesn't step into all that often these days, making it another very welcome and exciting change of direction.

`We Continue' starts the most gently and prettily, an opener that will become an instant Roach classic, holding traces of his early years with the honed intelligence and subtlety he's mastered over the decades. Whimsical chiming notes ring amongst glistening pools shimmering to the surface with the same joyful and comforting love that flitted through `Reflections in Suspension' off Roach's seminal 1984 classic `Structures from Silence', a nurturing innocence and comforting embrace at its very core. The fizzy beats of the ringing `Unseen Hand' skitter out of rising/falling caresses, the relentless `Finger on the Pulse' unravels with danger, mysterious electronics bleed and seep through `A Righteous Thing', and `Primary Phase' is a restrained head-nodding chill-out, growing strident beats and cinematic slivers weaving tastefully together.

But the closing twenty-minute title track `Spiral Revelation' is a masterclass of deeply atmospheric and enigmatic prog- electronica, and is likely a piece that vintage electronic/Berlin school fans will greatly appreciate. Endlessly hypnotic with just a hint of early Klaus Schulze alien danger and the grace of Robert Schroeder's `Harmonic Ascendant' but given a modern and vital interpretation, undulating beats grow in presence and rippling unease with subtle surges forwards and retreating waves back, locked forever in an unceasing spiralling loop. A stark pure-ambient coda is exceptionally haunting, and it wraps the disc in a surprisingly emotional and subdued manner.

It's very welcome to see the artist delving back into another more melodic, energetic rhythmic-based work so soon after 2015's `Skeleton Keys'. This collection provides endless movement and momentum but crucially doesn't skimp on the most minute of ambient intelligence constantly coating the background to give it a delicate richness, and it proves instantly that ambient albums can still be full of life and vitality. `Spiral Revelation', along with the other two wildly different above-mentioned simultaneous releases here, ensures Steve Roach wraps a wildly successful and artistically stimulating series of intelligent releases throughout 2016, and sets up the new year as surely another inspired, creative, divisive and absolutely vital period for the prog-electronic/ambient icon.

Four and a half stars.

 Cyclone by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.59 | 302 ratings

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Cyclone
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Scorpius

4 stars There are two different types of Tangerine Dream fans. Those who despise this album and those who believe it is a masterpiece. I happen to fall very close to the latter of these two. This album is very underrated, but I do see where those who hate it are coming from. Certain tracks fall short, holding down the rest of the album from critical acclaim. Lets get to it, shall we?

The album begins with "Cold Bent Sidewalk", a 13 minute epic that introduced vocals into Tangerine Dream's sound. This track was actually my introduction into the band, so I might be biased here, but I think it's genius. Many people criticize the vocals for being uninspired and bland. I honestly don't understand where this is coming from. I always thought the track had riveting, inspired, beautiful vocals that blend with the song perfectly. The vocals on this track and the next are one of the main reasons this album divides TD fans so much. Although the vocals are endlessly criticized, there is no denying how epic and beautiful the instrumental part of this track is. Synthesizer and moog arpeggios intertwine with some almost Jethro Tull-like flute. Its simple, its genius, and most importantly, its Tangerine Dream.

The next track is "Rising Runner Missed by Endless Sender". This is the track that for me, holds this album back from 5 stars. The vocals are grating and repetitive, and so is the music. The keyboard arpeggios are back, but this time all they do is repeat, with a change in pitch every minute or so. Thank God this track is short, or I might have had to give this album a lower rating.

The final track is "Madrigal Meridian", a 20 minute epic closer. No more vocals. Happy? This track is your classic Tangerine Dream epic. Epic tracks like these, at least for me, are generally hard to dissect, so I wont even try. Let me just say that if you are a fan of the older TD sound found on Rubycon and most of Phaedra, you will love this track. Had it been on a more respected TD album, this track would get the much needed respect and love it deserves.

 Kontinuum by SCHULZE, KLAUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.72 | 65 ratings

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Kontinuum
Klaus Schulze Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The recovered continuity

Whereas the troubled new-wave / new-age waters of the 80's were a difficult context for Klaus Schulze to express himself, the 90's represent a celebration of his ideas with the explosion of techno and trance. However, for me, it was the third millennium that really saw the genuine awakening of the German Moog pioneer. Schulze finally found his place in the contemporary musical landscape, and managed to renew himself better than most other historical electronic bands, such as TANGERINE DREAM for example.

"Kontinuum" revives the typical schulzian experience by offering extended hypnotic sequenced soundscapes with modern sonorities. The three titles are continuous, forming a single track of 76 minutes. Besides a return to the original 70's recipe, this opus also marks the 60-years anniversary of the synthesizer wizard.

As you may have guessed, "Sequenzer (from 70 To 07)" is a reference to Schulze's career in the musical industry, as his first studio release dates back to his participation to TD's "Electronic Meditation" in 1970. A spacey sequenced title, the Berlin School style, pulsating and mesmerizing. During the last third, the loops vanish to unveil hazy waves of ambient keyboards. A nice trip, although a bit too long, which will be a recurring reproach about the disc. "Euro Caravan" begins atmospheric to then turn esoteric with its middle-eastern-ish vocalizations. Interesting when you know Schulze will further collaborate with Lisa Gerrard from DEAD CAN DANCE... A dynamic sequence reminding the good-old days adds a futuristic fauna to this desert landscape. An electronic caravan is passing...

The 32 minutes "Thor (Thunder)" is the final and longest title of the record. Don't be mistaken by the opening storm sounds, this composition is pretty much in the vein of the previous track, however without less vocalizations and inspiration. With such a title, the listener expecting a dark and raging epic suite will be quite disappointed, as the music is rather calm and takes the time, finishing in an ambient note. Not bad per se, but a little redundant with "Euro Caravan" and definitely too lengthy.

Like me, I believe than many progressive electronic and 70's KS lovers were somehow disoriented by his releases after the ambitious 1978's "X" or 1980's "...Live...". "Kontinuum" arrives as the long awaited album for these fans, the one where Klaus finally remember his magical formula. Although "Moonlake" was more modern and varied, this opus more resembles trademark Schulze compositions in terms of structure and ambiance. There are two major problems though: the length and the redundancy. The music does not expose enough changes or evolutions to justify such durations, and "Thor (Thunder)" is optional.

Anyway, if you're a fan of classic Klaus Schulze, don't miss this disc. "Kontinuum" is one of the best post-1980 works by the German, with "Moonlake". How should we call it? "Modernized vintage electro-prog"?

 Dig It by SCHULZE, KLAUS album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.92 | 62 ratings

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Dig It
Klaus Schulze Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Klaus goes digital

Whereas most of his electronic brothers, such as TANGERINE DREAM, KRAFTWERK, Jarre or even NEURONIUM, manage to renew themselves while still offering inspired compositions at the dawn of the eighties, the same thing can't be said for Klaus Schulze. In fact, the German musician is maybe one of the first synthesizer pioneer to exhibit a decrease of inspiration from 1980. Curious, as his works were always demanding and not always accessible. This time either, Schulze didn't - and never - want to turn commercial by proposing radio-friendly tunes. So why "Dig It" is an half-failure?

As the double-pun album title suggests, the sound is now digital, which will greatly harm the progressive electronic genre in the 80's. Goodbye charming trippy analog synthesizers of the 70's, say hello to the soulless icy numerical keyboards of the new decade. In this opus, the German abandons his trademark contemplative and hypnotic soundscapes in profit of... we don't really know, a few shorter tracks, a bit more melodic... however less unreal and magic. Anyway, the music has not aged well and resembles hardly nothing to what he had accustomed us before. Schulze cannot be blamed though for trying to renew himself, but unfortunately the result is not very convincing and the choice of sonorities not always suited.

This change of direction can be perceived from the first seconds of the disc. "Death Of An Analogue" is a sad reference to the gone glorious analogue days of the seventies. Ironic, as the track itself is definitely not in the same league to what the years it refers to. This opener could be described as a digitalized funeral march, with a text narrated by Schulze at the vocoder. Rather monotonous and lengthy. Although "Weird Caravan" is overall average, it does possess a special intriguing ambiance that makes this title unique with its jazzy bass and world / new-agey sounds. The only truly good track is the futuristic "The Looper Isn't A Hooker", for its eerie atmosphere. The length and structure of "Synthasy" should theoretically remind 70's Schulzian soundscapes, but is finally flat and fails to catch attention.

Fans of Berlin School, and even 80's TANGERINE DREAM and Jarre lovers, will be somehow disconcerted by the orientation taken by Klaus Schulze in this decade. This opus marks a transition in his approach, not a very good one I'm afraid. The music is more varied indeed, contains new ideas, but is really also very dated and doesn't provide the immersion and evasion of his former works. Although released at the very beginning of the eighties, "Dig It" makes no exception, and the next albums will follow this path paved with cheesy synthesizers and unequal compositions.

Give it a try if you want to make your own opinion... For me, the German pioneer will take time to wake up and recover his past grandeur...

 Reflection by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 4 ratings

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Reflection
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, opposite to what one will suspect, but average in an average Prog world of opinions and tastes, Brian Eno's works, as many other former band members who went solo, are underrated without hesitation by disappointed or offended raters, to be honest it is quiet funny to watch that side of the average listener's school yard.

Anyway, for starters Brian Eno's 2017 "Relection" advertisement reviews do not stop mentioning "Discreet Music", 1975, which is the easy way out to explain this meditative, yet not symphonic at all as "Discreet Music" was, release.

But let me state that indeed this is a one track , 54 minutes dronescape by one of the "dronescaping" pioneers when the word drone was not even associated with these musical compositions, choosing for the no less iconclastic yet amiable (and mostly misunderstood) term of Ambient music.

So, as you may intuit, this is no speed freak's paradise, maybe their hell. Slow paced transmutation of simultaneous, full or minimalistic, ethereal flowing melody lines, counterpointed by the oncoming and ongoing echoing of bells which are the guiding lights as they are the subtle launching pads to its constantly changing musical structures' detours, making it rich, creative and deep, yet conceptual as a single track.

Vigorous, obscurely fresh, perfectly timed and true to its creator's language, the undercovered diversity of musical composition environments add up for an attractive (even addictive) memorable listening experience.

****4 (This one stays home!) PA stars.

 Ambient Monkeys by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1997
1.72 | 20 ratings

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Ambient Monkeys
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Might work for nature shops...

First let's define the "ambient" mention from the title. Both old fans expecting a come-back / revisit of early TANGERINE DREAM's "kozmische" material, like "Zeit" or "Atem", and more recent electronica lovers eager for 90's quality ambient works in the vein of THE ORB, THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON or early AUTECHRE will surely be disappointed. Instead, "Ambient Monkeys" mainly consists in a continuous mixture of more or less new-age TD from the nineties, noodling, natural sonorities and animal sounds. Sometimes, attentive listeners will recognize a known title...

The point is, this environmental soundtrack was only used by the band before starting concerts to warm audiences up. These pieces were initially not meant to be released. However, on "public demand" by the fans, the Froeses finally made this available. So who is to blame?

In conclusion, was it worth it? Not really... The "music" will rarely catch the ears of both classic and 90's TANGERINE DREAM lovers. Only for fans of background ambient wanting to sonically dress their vegetal lounge or bathroom with a "nature" soundtrack...

 Dream Mixes 3 - The Past Hundred Moons by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.73 | 32 ratings

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Dream Mixes 3 - The Past Hundred Moons
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The best "Dream Mixes" volume

Definitively the one to get. For the first time in the series, "The Past Hundred Moons" carries proudly its name: Going back deeper in the band's history to propose remixes of both modern and classic TANGERINE DREAM from the Schmoelling era and "Encore". 2 tracks are rearranged versions of the titles of the same names from the 1999 albums "Mars Polaris" and "Great Wall Of China", 6 are revisits from 1977-1984 studio or live TD, and 1 is a new composition by Edgar Froese. Recorded in 2000 and 2001, incorporating nineties' big-beat, drum'n'bass and even jungle approaches, these remixes are really refreshing and some even manage to bring a new youth to the source material!

The first half of the disc is nearly perfect. Longest track of the record, "Prima Time" is based on "Silver Scale", the first part of a 20 minutes suite often played live at concerts in 1980-1981, but not officially released until 1994 on the "Tangents" box set. Opening the album with such a confidential piece in TD's catalogue is quite audacious. Spacey and varied, the result is very cool. "Astrophobia (Red Supernova Mix)" keeps the threatening atmosphere of the original from "Mars Polaris". Its jungle beats and futuristic sonorities take you to a dark voyage into unknown spatial territories, while the last part is rather peaceful and contemplative. Then comes the best passage, "Stereolight". An intelligent, dynamic, well-crafted revisited fusion between the iconic pulsating pre-trance "Monolight" and the ending of "Desert Dream", both from the 1977 live album "Encore". Just listen, this track almost brings another youth to these vintage titles! Great, easily one of the best "Dream Mix" ever! "Diamonds and Dust" uses the well-known "Diamond Diary" frenetic sequence from the soundtrack album "Thief". On the contrary, this new version doesn't manage to offer enough variations for 9 minutes. A bit too long and repetitive.

Located in the middle of the disc, "Blue Spears" is the only novelty of the record. Composed by Edgar Froese, this soothing ambient piece turns a bit new-age and can remind at times the orientation taken by the band in the late 80's. Not too bad, but not remarkable either. "Meng Tian (Smart Machine Remix)" is a boosted-up version from a title of the "Great Wall Of China" soundtrack. The ambiance is faithful to the denomination, punchy, robotic and rocking! "Girl on the Stairs" is the English literal translation for "Das Mädchen auf der Treppe". The delicate "White Eagle" track was renamed so and slightly reworked for the corresponding German TV series "Tatort" episode. This time, the remix contains cool variations of the main theme. The disc ends with two concert classics from the Schmoelling era. "The Spirit of the Czar" is based on the first half of "Poland", peace and zenitude. The ender, "The Comfort Zone", revisits the last third of "Logos Part 1" last third. Not the best remix here but still spacey and pleasant.

"The Past Hundred Moons" represents what is expected from a "Dream Mixes" volume: Rearrangements of modern and vintage TANGERINE DREAM, studio, live and soundtracks, good choice of classic and lesser-known pieces ("Silver Scale", "Desert Dream"). Even if the 90's electronic sonorities are a few years late and despite a few lengthy passages, the music is overall convincing and refreshing.

Give it a try, even if you don't like post-Franke TANGERINE DREAM. You might be surprised. Very recommended to fans of TD's Schmoelling era, but also to those who grew up with the nineties' electronic beats. By the way, "Dream Mixes 3" can be also be a way for the youngster generations to discover what was this German pioneering band about...

 TimeSquare - Dream Mixes 2 by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.36 | 27 ratings

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TimeSquare - Dream Mixes 2
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Finally embracing the nineties

3.5 stars

Least worthy of its name, this "Dream Mixes" release is nevertheless one of the most interesting of the series. Contrarily to the first double compilation, this second volume features only two 1997 remixes from TD's recent albums, "Turn of the Tides" and "Goblins Club". All the other tracks are new compositions, 4 by Jerome Froese, and only 1 by Edgar.

After ten years of mediocre studio material where the band was searching for renewal, "Dream Mixes 2 - Timesquare" arrives as the long awaited disc, the one that can bring hope to the fans. At last, Froese and son are finally taking confidence on the 90's by (progressively) giving up the new-age orientation taken since the end of the 80's and adapting their music to the big-beat / techno / jungle drums and sonorities, while making the TANGERINE DREAM style evolving. Everything is not perfect yet, but this almost-studio opus do come as a welcomed surprise.

"Mobocaster" is a rearranged version of "Twilight Brigade" from "Turn of the Tides". An average track, relaxing but cheesy at times, which is not very surprising considering the source album. The spacey ambient "Jungle Jacula" contains a middle-eastern-ish ambiance and female vocalizations. A pleasant composition that can remind early FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON works. "Towards the Evening Star (Blue Gravity Mix)" is of course a remix of "Towards The Evening Star", the best track from TD's last album back then, "Goblins Club". Its big-beat drums and additional variations render the title even more cosmic. Overall a pretty cool remix. Concerning "Digital Sister", its jungle and trance atmospheres make it rather enjoyable.

However, the best novelty here is undoubtedly "Pixel Pirates". A lively and dreamy voyage aboard a spaceship between the planets! Considering the release period, this title foreshadows TANGERINE DREAM's next studio album, the good "Mars Polaris", and - with some imagination and more upbeat drums - could have been featured on the PlayStation WipeOut soundtracks. The rest of the record is more a mixed bag. Longest track of the record, "Culpa Levis" is also the only new composition by Edgar Froese here. Using female vocalizations again, these 10 minutes aren't bad but not really remarkable either, whereas the title track alternates nice and soapy passages.

For sure, "Dream Mixes 2" still contains some boring moments, but much fewer than on the previous releases. The middle of the album is the main interest. At last, TD's ten years dry inspiration period (since 1987) is coming to an end, Froese and son begin to takes the right direction.

One of their best nineties' releases, and, if I can say so, studio album, with "Mars Polaris" of course. Recommended if you enjoy, or want to discover worthwhile post-classic TANGERINE DREAM.

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Progressive Electronic bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
12 FOLLOWERS United States
6LA8 Pakistan
ACI Germany
AEON France
AETHENOR Multi-National
AFTERLIFE United States
ILDEFONSO AGUILAR Spain
PEKKA AIRAKSINEN Finland
AIRSCULPTURE United Kingdom
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE Italy
ALIO DIE Italy
ALLEGORY CHAPEL LTD United States
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ALLUSTE Italy
ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT United States
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AMBER ROUTE United States
AMON Italy
PETER ANDERSSON Sweden
ANDROMELOS Japan
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ARC United Kingdom
ARPANET United States
EDWARD ARTEMIEV Russia
ARZATHON Sweden
ASCOIL SUN Finland
ASHRA Germany
THE ASTROBOY Portugal
ATOMINE ELEKTRINE Sweden
AUBE Japan
AUTOMAT Italy
AWENSON France
MARVIN AYRES United Kingdom
HARVEY BAINBRIDGE United Kingdom
AIDAN BAKER Canada
SIMON BALESTRAZZI Italy
BAFFO BANFI Italy
BASS COMMUNION United Kingdom
PETER BAUMANN Germany
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BEAR BONES LAY LOW Venezuela
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CARLOS BELTRÁN Mexico
LÁSZLÓ BENKő Hungary
PHILIPPE BESOMBES France
BETWEEN INTERVAL Sweden
MAURIZIO BIANCHI Italy
BIG ROBOT Norway
BIOSPHERE Norway
TIM BLAKE France
BLUE MOTION Switzerland
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT United States
WOLFGANG BOCK Germany
DIDIER BOCQUET France
IAN BODDY United Kingdom
GASTON BORREANI Italy
ADAM CERTAMEN BOWNIK Poland
OLIVIER BRIAND France
MICHAEL BRÜCKNER Germany
FRANCESCO BUCCHERI Italy
HAROLD BUDD United States
MICHAEL BUNDT Germany
FRANCESCO CABIATI Italy
ROBERTO CACCIAPAGLIA Italy
CALDERA United States
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CELLULOID United States
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ANDREW CHALK United Kingdom
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CHRISTINE 23 ONNA Japan
THE CIRCULAR RUINS United Kingdom
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CREMATOR United Kingdom
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NICOLAS DICK France
DIN A TESTBILD Germany
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DOLULUS Switzerland
HEINRICH DRESSEL Italy
E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR Finland
EARTHSTAR Multi-National
EDEN France
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ELICOIDE Italy
EMERALDS United States
J.D EMMANUEL United States
ENDOPLASMIC FLOW Multi-National
BRIAN ENO United Kingdom
ENVENOMIST United States
EXPO 70 United States
F.G EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY Switzerland
FRANCO FALSINI Italy
FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER Germany
FARBFELDE United States
FASER Germany
FATHER MOO & THE BLACK SHEEP Japan
FFWD United Kingdom
FHIEVEL Italy
FIVE THOUSAND SPIRITS Italy
FLAMEN DIALIS France
FOVEA HEX Ireland
FREE SYSTEM PROJEKT Netherlands
FRIPP & ENO United Kingdom
EDGAR FROESE Germany
PETER FROHMADER Germany
KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN United States
FUTURO ANTICO Multi-National
GALACTIC EXPLORERS Germany
MICHAEL GARRISON United States
MORT GARSON Canada
GRAHAM GETTY United Kingdom
SACHA GIBSON United Kingdom
BRUCE GILBERT United Kingdom
GIRÓN Spain
MATHIAS GRASSOW Germany
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GREGOR CÜRTEN & ANSELM ROGMANS Germany
RANDY GREIF United States
RAGNAR GRIPPE Sweden
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SVEN GRÜNBERG Estonia
GEORGES GRÜNBLATT France
JEAN GUÉRIN France
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HARMONIA Germany
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HEADSHOCK United Kingdom
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IVERSEN Norway
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IAN MACFARLANE Australia
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NODE United Kingdom
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OSE France
P'COCK Germany
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PEAK Australia
PETER M. Italy
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RICHARD PINHAS France
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QUARKS Chile
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NIK RAICEVIC United States
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RAPOON United Kingdom
REALTIME Germany
TOM RECCHION United States
REDSHIFT United Kingdom
JONAS REINHARDT United States
ALEJANDRO VILLALÓN RENAUD Mexico
ROBERT RICH United States
RICHARD WAHNFRIED Germany
CHRISTIAN RICHET France
WOLFGANG RIECHMANN Germany
STEVE ROACH United Kingdom
HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS Germany
ROGUE SPORE Ireland
THOMAS RONKIN United States
SAB Japan
SAFIYYA United States
SANGIULIANO Italy
SANKT OTTEN Germany
SATAN ALFA BEEL ATEM Japan
SAYER United States
GÜNTER SCHICKERT Germany
SCHLOSS TEGAL United States
CONRAD SCHNITZLER Germany
EBERHARD SCHOENER Germany
ROBERT SCHROEDER Germany
KLAUS SCHULZE Germany
SEESSELBERG Germany
SEQUENTIA LEGENDA France
SERGE RAMSES France
SHOGUN KUNITOKI Finland
MARK SHREEVE United Kingdom
FREDERICH SHULLER Romania
SIJ Ukraine
SIL MUIR Italy
THE SILVERMAN United Kingdom
SINIAALTO Finland
SINOIA CAVES Canada
JAKOB SKØTT Denmark
SOFTWARE Germany
SONISK BLODBAD Multi-National
SOUNDS OF NEW SOMA Germany
SPACE ALLIANCE Italy
SPACE ART France
SPACE MACHINE Japan
SPACECRAFT France
SPERM Finland
STARDRIVE United States
MICHAEL STEARNS United States
STELLARDRONE Lithuania
SUBINTERIOR Italy
SURYA KRIS PETERS Germany
SYRINX Canada
JUTA TAKAHASHI Japan
TANGERINE DREAM Germany
TANGRAM Hungary
TELAIO MAGNETICO Italy
DR. FIORELLA TERENZI Italy
THOUGHT GUILD United States
THREE SUNS Austria
THROBBING GRISTLE United Kingdom
ASMUS TIETCHENS Germany
TIPU SABZAWAAR Multi-National
TOMUTONTTU Finland
TONTO'S EXPANDING HEAD BAND United Kingdom
TORTURE GNOSIS Multi-National
TOTAL STATION Russia
TRANCE United States
TRANQUILLITY Germany
TRANSPARENT ILLUSION United Kingdom
ROLF TROSTEL Germany
UDDER MILK DECAY United Kingdom
MATTEO UGGERI Italy
UNATTA United States
URNA Italy
VAKO Spain
VANDERSON Poland
JOEL VANDROOGENBROECK Switzerland
PATRICK VIAN France
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VIETGROVE United Kingdom
VOICE OF EYE United States
VOLT Netherlands
ADELBERT VON DEYEN Germany
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ADRIAN WAGNER United Kingdom
IGOR WAKHEVITCH France
WAVESTAR United Kingdom
PHILLIP WERREN Canada
WHITE NOISE United Kingdom
PATRICK WIKLACZ France
TERJE WINTHER Norway
WINTHERSTORMER Norway
WO0 Serbia
BERNHARD WÖSTHEINRICH Germany
RENÉ VAN DER WOUDEN Netherlands
X-TG United Kingdom
XIU Italy
BERNARD XOLOTL France
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA Japan
YEN POX United States
YETI RAIN United States
YOU Germany
ZA SIÓDMA GÓRA Poland
EDWARD M. ZAJDA United States
ZANOV France
ZED France
ZOLTAN United Kingdom
ZOMBI United States
ZORCH United Kingdom
ZOVIET FRANCE United Kingdom
ZYGOAT United States

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