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Tangerine Dream - Particles CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.53 | 10 ratings

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Vinyl Connection
3 stars The album opens with '4.00 Session'. It's an epic, a pulsing, sweeping, hypnotic journey in the grand TD tradition of Phaedra or Stratosfear. But whereas the average length of a 70s Dream-side was seventeen minutes, '4.00pm Session' clocks in at almost half-an- hour. Although it is interesting and enjoyable throughout, there is a vague sense of absence, of something missing; '4.00 Session' is like a well developed draft, just waiting for a little injection of magic?a flash of melody here or a piercing guitar jab there?to elevate it to greatness. Perhaps what is missing is Edgar Froese, that's what I think as I flip the record for side two.

Two pieces here, a reworking of 'Rubycon' (17:25) that opens with some experimental sounds before settling into the classic analogue pulse. It's great, if not revelatory. Then a fair dinkum cover version, the theme from "Stranger Things". Well done, sure, but, er, why?

The second LP is a live set, recorded in concert at Schwingungen Festival+ in 2016. It is a kind of brief introduction to post-seventies Tangerine Dream, offering nicely crafted performances of a selection of TD pieces:

"Mothers of Rain" from Optical Race (1988)

"Power of the Rainbow Serpent" from Mala Kunia (2014)

"White Eagle" from the album of the same name (1982)

"Dolphin Dance" from Underwater Sunlight (1986)

"Shadow and Sun" also from Mala Kunia (2014)

It's well done, all of it. Yet somehow you feel like you are listening to a very accomplished Tangerine Dream Tribute act. In fact, that's the feel of the whole set. Something tentative about claiming the name; some missing adventurousness maybe. As a tribute, it's fine, but Particles is marking time.

Schnauss, Quaeschning and Yamane have done a sterling job of creating an homage to their fallen leader, but if they want to really breathe life into the brand name they need to be bold, to move out of the master's shadow without abandoning his legacy. They need to integrate the particles of Froese's vision into their own manifest skills. There is absolutely no doubt this trio is capable of that feat. Let's hope they give it a go.

[Edited version of a review that appeared at the Vinyl Connection blog. Review copy: vinyl 2xLP, released June 2017]

Vinyl Connection | 3/5 |


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