Three Phase

reviews - 90'sOprettet af Jacob Pertou søn, maj 24, 2009 11:20

Tangerine Dream, "Three Phase," Miramar/BMG Video (500-245-6472), 50 minutes, $19.98.
Melodic, new-agey instrumental ensembele includes for the first time in longform some footage culled from various concert performances, much of it recorded during the act's '92 North American tour. While these segments certainly can stand on their own, the multilayered sounds often are complemented by an array of visual mood-enhancers that TG fans are sure to love, including time-lapse photography showing rising moons, setting suns, and the like. Most importantly, "Three Phase" – indicating the past, present and future –offers fans a genuine perspective of the veteran outfit.

Applefeld, Catherine. "Video previews: Three Phase by Tangerine Dream."
Billboard Magazine
, August 14, 1993, p. 66.

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Turn of the Tides

reviews - 90'sOprettet af Jacob Pertou søn, maj 24, 2009 09:31

Turn Of The Tides
PRODUCER: Edgar Froese
Miramar 2806

German synth-music pioneers return with an opulent album that should thrust them back into the center of the new age circuit, where they have flourished for years. From the opening strains of Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" to flamenco-laced originals like "Firetongues" and "Galley Slave's Horizon" (with masterful fret work by Zlatko Perica), the record offers colorful instrumentals that range from ambient to melodic to rhythmic; a particular highlight is the title-track closer, rich with exotic sounds and a vibrant beat. Group's longevity and proven track record bode well for a long chart life.

Billboard Magazine 23rd April 1994 - v. 106, no. 17, page 74.

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Melrose, 1990. 7/10

reviews - 90'sOprettet af Jacob Pertou tir, september 02, 2008 18:05
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I truly believe that the entrance of Jerome Froese in 1989 saved Tangerine Dream. Edgar didn't come to the point of giving up the ghost for good, and his vision to split the band in 1990, didn't come true.
Melrose is the first album with Jerome and the final with Haslinger. Jerome gives the music a breath of fresh air, especially with his heavy metal inspired guitar solos.
Melrose is a promising track, with a great bridge to the saxophone solo. This solo is the biggest weakness of the track, because I'm just not...well, stupefied by saxophones ("They sound like farts", quote: Mike Oldfield). This creates a suggestive pseudo-muzak mode, which isn't well recieved by a heavy rocker like me. As I recall, we luckily hear no more of that (torture) instrument on this disc.
Don't get me wrong, this mechanical album opener is decent, and has more or less turned into a TD newclassic, deservedly well recieved at the London Shepherds Bush 2005 nirvana of a concert.
Three Bikes In The Sky, maybe the inspiration for the cover art, is an ethnic-inspired, quite harmless song, untill a drum machine puts the armlock on the song and demands a guitar solo.
Paradoxically the end only seemed to be the beginning. In fact, there is not more to that track, but it sure is fine.
Dolls In The Shadow is an album favourite with piano arpeggio, very characteristic and dominant chords. A fine rhythm section, too. I can't get fed up with this.
Yucatan is also very rhythmic, where it has its force, because it has no noteworthy melodies. In this case, Tangerine Dream always has a mean Plan B: The guitar solos. Edgar steps into the spotlight, and does anything he can to keep the song alive.
Electric Lion finishes off side 1 in a dignified way. In my nearly finished book called "Good Taste" the harmonic intro hasn't been mentioned, not even in a subordinate clause. However, it works as the contrast to Jerome's stark raving guitar solo, shortly before the end. He tabs madly, while they play with the stereo effects. This ruins any New Age speculation.
The harmonic intro is also the conclusion, so the track works as a whole. This song structure is perhaps very clichéed, but maybe that's why it works so good.
Electric Lion will later turn out to be an archetype of 90's TD.
Rolling Down Cahuenga is an album favourite. I pay most attention to the keyboard chords in the beginning. A fluffy drum machine makes space for calmness, followed by an ethnic inspired piece.
However the track ticks over for quite a long time, and reaches a little highlight, as the synths suddenly sounds like a fragment from The Weapon by Rush. Then it dies out, completely.
Art Of Vision is hard to describe, maybe because it often changes character, but it belongs without doubt, to some of the better tracks on the album. These phase changes are announced when the drum machine turns angry. Great track, which composition wise, fits well into the dated production.
Desert Train starts with piano/keyboard and has an insistent hard-edged, elctronic hi-hat.
Overall, being the most experimenting, is only a quality, within the very tight and mechanical production. Another quality is the classically inspired piano solo.
Cool At Heart is related to Twenty-Nine Palms from Lily On The Beach, but has the advantage, that is more sad and less lighthearted.
That was all I had to say about the songs. I find some strong moments, the main problem is the sound, as I mentioned again, and again. Melrose sure isn't perfect, but an interesting step from a band, searching for a new sound.
Melrose was re-recorded on The Melrose Years triplet, but that was a minor disaster...

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Dead Solid Perfect, 1991. 5/10

reviews - 90'sOprettet af Jacob Pertou tir, september 02, 2008 18:04
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This album puzzles me. It’s a little like pulling up a beautiful flower by the roots, before the crown leaves have been unfolded.
Maybe I should just be grateful, as TD wasn’t the first band, director Bobby Roth had in his minds, when he decided on doing a film on a golfer. Blues and country bands were apparently not good enough, so he decided to use an earlier success, called Tangerine Dream aka Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger.
Unfortunately, 22 tracks within 36 minutes almost say it all. TD’s integrity of artistical liberty has been lost. If the tracks were allowed to develop, we might have seen an album, which was more than Blue Dawn (2006) worthy.
Ralph Wadephul, who made TD a trio, during their tour of USA, most likely, made his compositorical stamp on a lot of the tracks, where the leading theme is extremely touching, with its extremely moving, fake oboe melody.
Some cross-fading between the tracks, as well as countless repetitions, creates a false state of continuity, and one is left with a feeling of being cheated for something, that could’ve been so good.

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Rockoon, 1992. 4/10

reviews - 90'sOprettet af Jacob Pertou tir, september 02, 2008 18:03
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Upon recieving this album by mail, it was proclaimed as being the worst of all Tangerine Dream releases. Later, this nomination was passed over to Heartbreakers, The Hollywood Years vol. 2 and Destination Berlin, in particular.
The album has been cursed with an extremely bad and inaproppriate title, Rockoon.
No matter what people might say, there is not much rock about this record. If we're speaking of rock, it's definitely lacking from a great deal of wildness and nerve. If you're looking for rock'n'roll, Electronic Meditation (1970) is the answer.
With Haslinger out of the band, Tangerine Dream was reduced to the Froese/Froese duo, with guest appearences by Richi Webster on sax, and Zlatko Perica - my hero - on guitar. Big City Dwarves is in the same league as Electric Lion from Melrose. However, Big City Dwarves is darker, which only is benefitting. It opens with a very metallic synth, which can't boast from being particularly well performed.
It increases with intensity, and works as backing to a fantastic guitar solo by Jerome, and this is, if not the highlight of the album, the highlight of the track.
It ends the same way, as it started, exactly like Electric Lion. Although better than its comparison, it doesn't gain points from a perspective of being innovative.
Together with Big City Dwarves, Red Roadster is one of the best tracks on Rockoon. It takes a couple of minutes, before it comes up with anything appealing. A piano figure, like the harpsichord ditto we heard in Alchemy of The Heart from Tyger, raise the tempo, and four minutes into the track, Zlatko Perica proofs his virtuosity.
The last couple of minutes are very calm. Richi Webster plays some sax, not all irritating, just sufficient. His contributions on flute, lies very distant in the mix, so his attendance is just anything, but necessary.
With Red Roadster, Tangerine Dream proof their ability of working up a climax, to tone it down afterwards.
Touchwood is one of my favourite tracks from the 1990's with Tangerine Dream, but just not in this original form. It might be some of the better tracks on this album, but it's bland and badly instrumentated. Among other bad things, we hear this drum machine sound TD used a lot in the 90's, and I don't like that. It is very unreliable, and sounds incredible stiff, as there is no reverb on the beats, and I simply don't get, what they see in this sound.
Graffiti Street has a hard time finding it's focus, and the guitar playing, by the always excellent Perica, is stiff and forced with no love committed to the track - did I hear anyone saying studio musician?
The conclusion is very ill-timed. A classically-inspired theme played on a keyboard purchased in Toys'R'Us, being so camp, it's hard to get this band once made albums like Rubycon, Tangram and Ricochet.
It get's even worse, because Funky Atlanta is without any sort of doubt, one of the worst tracks, with the Tangerine Dream name attached to it.
First of all, track has nothing to with funk. If not for the guitar, the track would sound like something from the local Info Channel. This time, not even a regular rock line-up, could have saved it. The composition is so lacklustre, it can't be reached, not matter the instrumentation.
It doesn't get any better in Spanish Love, Lifted Veil, Penguin Reference, Body Corporate nor Girls On Broadway, which shoudn't be unleashed from the studio. And that saxophon makes the music so suggestive, I understand, why some people has called Tangerine Dream music porn music.
Luckily, Rockoon is a catchy track, I often wants Liquid Tension Experiment to cover it, as Perica momentarily sounds a lot like John Petrucci. And that isn't bad at all.
The reason for the 4/10 rating, is the first two tracks and title track, which has some worthwhile quality. But the rest is trash, and this album is the primary example, why instrumentation and productions means helluva lot, when it come to the quality of the songs.

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