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Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.57 | 414 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars A saucerful of krauts.....

There's much "Floydism" in this second work of Tangerine Dream. The opener features an organ with spacey sounds. This will remain one of the most melodic pieces for several albums, but it's from the second track: "Fly And Collision Of Comas Sola" that the band starts its journey into th edeep space.

The guitar chords behind the windy keyboards are what remind me to saucerful of secrets. I find them similar to the third "movement" of the PinkFloyd's suite. When the flute enters the chords are taken over by the organ, so at the end we have a slow spacey instrumental piece with a guitar playing chords and a flute apparently improvised in a very krautrock vein, like some Amon Duul II or CAN, the organ playing like Wright at the end of Saucerful of Secrets, plus the spacey sounds and the winds of "Echoes". Told in this way it may seem a patchwork, but it's an excellent "trip" instead. After 9 minutes drumming is added. Christoph Franke is not Nick Mason, they are different drummers, but what he does for the last 4 minutes of the piece makes me think to the second movement of Saucerful, with the difference that instead of a chaotic section, he supports the flute's melody until the drums cover it so the track is closed by a drums solo with just a bit space noises and organ in the coda.

"Alpha Centauri", the title track, is a side long track. Something that will become the "rule" for the following years. The influence of Pink Floyd or psychedelia in general is still very evident, at least in the first half of the suite. TD are not yet the electronic band pioneer of ambient music that they will start to be since Phaedra. We may expect to hear astronaut voices, but at the same time the scene may be on the surface of an alien planet. The flute and the organ's square waves have something of tribal. I imagine a jungle under a blue sun, something alien and familiar at the same time. The organ and the spacey sounds are the alien element and the flute is the tribal. When the flute disappears the spacey element becomes dominant. A dissonant bass note gives some rhythm (or better tempo) to the piece, but it quickly looses every track of melody. This is the time to let your mind fly in the space. There is harmony. Even if there's no track of melody the sounds are not discordant. The flute part, after few sliding notes of guitar, is a great moment. This is classical music now. Only some high pitched keyboard notes, like in a horror or sci-fi b-movie of the 60s are reminding that we are not listening to classic contemporary music. The link with psychedelia or Pink Floyd or everybody else is broken. It's a pity that the electronic element hes become so predominant in the following albums. However, the last three minutes feature a German speaking voice over the organ. It's a melodic closure and I think it influenced the psychedelic period of Eloy, in particular Ocean.

Very close to be a masterpiece.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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