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Tangerine Dream - Tangram CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 316 ratings

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4 stars One would assume that Tangerine Dream would begin to settle down after all the changes that the band had undergone throughout the '70s. Instead they continued to push their sound to new heights even in the '80s.

The departure of Peter Baumann gave the band a chance to undertake unexpected escapades into the worlds of Symphonic Prog, on Cyclone, and Space Rock, on Force Majeure. These adaptations of new influences didn't seem to suit Froese and Franke which meant that Steve Jolliffe and Klaus Kruger soon departed from the band. A new member in the shape and form of Johannes Schmoelling was recruited to re-establishing the keyboard trio format that existed during the classic Tangerine Dream years with Peter Baumann. This new lineup didn't waste much time and the new album titled Tangram saw the light of day in the middle of 1980.

Tangram marked a turning point between the two eras since the album consisted of two long pieces (or sets) which reminiscent of the classics like Rubycon and Ricochet. Still this composition format is quite deceiving since the album is far from the atmospheric sequencer-based experiment and instead sounds more like a new age recording with many prominent melodic sections featured throughout the performances. This sound may be too direct for some fans of the early Tangerine Dream recordings but it still keeps itself on the level where the music doesn't get too generic or irritating.

After giving Exit and a few other releases a spin I can safely say that Tangram is still miles away from the uninspired work that was featured on those releases. This album is still not completely soaked in the '80s production which is also a great thing for me since I never really liked the way everything was over-produced back in that decade. That last statement might seem a bit surprising considering that Tangram is almost entirely an electronica release with only a few short instances where other instruments like bass, guitar and percussion can be distinguished in the mix. To me that shows a conscious decision from the band members to uphold a certain stylist tradition in the industry where everyone is constantly chasing after the next best thing.

I really liked the Tangram ever since my introduction to this album and it has only gotten better with time. Listening to it today does make me sad about the direction that Tangerine Dream undertook on their next releases which only makes me want to recommend this album even more!

**** star songs: Tangram Set 1 (19:52) Tangram Set 2 (20:27)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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