Friday, July 06, 2007

312. Tangerine Dream - Phaedra (1974)

Track Listing

1. Phaedra
2. Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares
3. Movements of a Visionary
4. Sequent c'


Some years after this album Brian Eno would write Discreet Music and then Music For Airports and call it Ambient Music. Of course he wasn't necessarily doing anything new, Tangerine Dream were doing it before, and in the beginning of the 20th century so was Erik Satie, of course Satie called it "Wallpaper music", but it was the same concept really.

The notion of the soundscapy music with synths that Eno would develop later is pretty much developed here, but it just isn't as talently made as Eno's efforts. Tangerine Dream have an interesting concept but maybe because of technological difficulties and because they are braving new territory seldom go over the idea of "interesting".

This album is actually enjoyable, and there is nothing better to take a nap to, but it doesn't engage you tremendously. It does evoke ideas that are expressed on the album cover, some kind of spacy ice-planet and in that sense it really does its job. And don't get me wrong, the sheer originality of the album makes it worth having in anyone's collection, as long as that person has even the slightest interest in electronic music. This is a great start to ambient, but more and better was still to come, get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Phaedra
2. Sequent C
3. Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares
4. Movements of A Visionary

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

This is the first Tangerine Dream album to feature their now classic sequencer-driven sound, which kicked off the whole Berlin School genre. This album marked the beginning of the group's international success and was their first album released on the British Virgin records label. It achieved a six-figure sale in the UK, reaching No.15 in the charts in a 15-week run, with virtually no air play, only by strong word-of-mouth. It also earned the group a gold disc in Australia, and yet amazingly in their native Germany it sold barely 6,000. Alpha Centauri outsold it by nearly four-to-one.


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