Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The problem with much of Tangerine Dream (apart from their name) is that the vast majority of the band's output from the late 70's to mid 8'0s can and does blur into one. Not to say that it's not massively listenable. I just wouldn't want to play a game of 'Name which album this Tangerine Dream track' is from because I'm guessing that not even Edgar Froese would get a perfect score.

So the source for the review is from one of the 'remastered' definitive CD's released by Virgin. They did a horrible job, flimsy sleeve, no notes and according to a mis-print on the spine this is a live album. That gripe aside the CD works and it sounds a lot better than a vinyl copy might.


Oh come on. Do you really want the slightest crackle or pop to pepper the musics more quiet passages? I have much of the groups catalogue and can't think of an instance where I have preferred hearing it on vinyl. It's a case of the practicality of a situation outweighing the romance that might be involved in listening to this in it's original form.

Anyway, why am I reviewing this? Well somebody in the office just started playing M.I.A and it offended me to the point of having to drown out her racist hate-mongering ramblings with the closest thing to hand. Lucky for me it was this rather than a copy of the first Opeth album.

'Exit' starts off easy enough, the opener, imaginatively also called 'Exit' wrong-foots a little and ends up sounding like a reeled off list of holiday destinations bringing to mind mid-80's travel shows and that orange faced camera slut/reader's grandmother Judith Chalmers. Despite that it's not a bad way to kick off the album, suitably enigmatic and futuristic.

Much of the 'Exit' comes across as either Horror soundtrack or Porno music, maybe both, Horror/Porno. The type of sound that thanks to the like of Steve Moore and friends is well and truly en vogue. Basically it's like seedy new-age music.

Onto the album's other stand out 'Pilots of the Purple Twighlight', why? Because of the awesome name? No, because if you listen to the keyboard in the background this is where James Earl Jones voiced wunderkind Tay Zonday got the loop for 'Chocolate Rain' from.

Despite my best efforts of turning this up to eleven M.I.A still seeps through the more silent parts and my teeth grind in time. Can't she be arrested for something? Inciting violence or just making criminally bad records comprised of half-arsed samples and utter gibberish and mono-tonal lyrics.

'Network 23' comes on and as I am transported back to the 'Blade Runner' inspired audio future/past of 'Exit' all thoughts of a juvenile public school girl glamorizing terrorism fall away in favor of a wide and empty soundscape inhabited by nothing other than electronic pan-pipes and a machine that generates keyboard riffs especially for midnight chase scenes.

Great album. Any better than the three before it or the four or five after it, who can really say for sure? Edgar?

No, thought not.

No comments:

Post a Comment