Tangerine Dream: Alpha Centauri (Super)
THIS IS one of Tangerine Dream's earlier conceptions (released in this country for the first time by Polydor), characterised by the absence of mellotrons. Whilst there are perceptible crudities in the production (such as imbalance of the var ious parts), the score is unmistakeably T.D., who were then a raw fusion of musical initiatives soon to mature and produce such enique classics as "Phaedra" and most recently "Rubycon".
Tangerine Dream create a unique kind of "cosmic atmosphere " with their music - only Pink Floyd at their most imaginative come anywhere near this particular area of musical sound. Whereas so many other musicians will search for gimmicky lyrics, a commercial tune ( — the lost chord?), Tangerine Dream explore the uncharted regions of musical surrealism by juxtaposing di fferently synthesised textures which are decorated with reverberating tonal clusters. The effect is stunning.
Tangerine Dream: Rubycon (Virgin)
Wispy textures of white noise merge with a synthesised background harmonic cluster supported by a mellotron textural base and the latest Tangerine Dream album pulsates into life.
Side one is a gem: after blindly groping into a cloudy dreamland with softly floating concords echoing in phase, the music transcends the mood to become a tense rhythmic phrase which survives endless changes of texture until, finally spent, it staggers and fades.
Side two is equally innovative, if for different reason. After a section reminiscent an air-raid, a strong unitary rhythm develops. Then in succession it moves on to duple, triple, quadruple, quintuple, septuple, back to quadruple and then to complex triple time signatures. (After that I understanably get lost). As in side one, the tension finally fades as the becomes that of an uneasy soliquy.
Tangerine Dream's music is music to listen to in private - it reaches within one and conjures up many images. No words can do jus tice to this record: you just have to buy it to appreciate it.
by Jack Llewellyn.
Felix No. 385, Newspaper of Imperial College Union. Friday, 25th April, 1975.