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Tangerine Dream - Rubycon CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.25 | 846 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Tangerine Dream are not a favourite band of mine as I could never get into the heralded 'Phaedra' or 'Stratosfear',supposedly their best work, though there were parts of those albums I liked a lot. So it was with trepidation that I decided to take the 'Rubycon' test.

It only has two tracks so it did not intimidate me in the same way that their longer albums have done. It begins with chimes and electronic atmospherics that are ethereal and rather weird. The opening section sounds a little like Pink Floyd's 'Shine On' intro and has washes of Moog and swathes of electro keys. The grandiose soundscape is akin to the soundtrack of a space epic such as '2001: A Space Odyssey' or 'Marooned'. This electronic meditation simply flows organically and develops into shapes building upon each other rather than intervening. There are no rhythms at all until the surprise inclusion at 7and a half minutes. It reminds me of the Pink Floyd sequencer on 'On The Run' or the 'Midnight Express' soundtrack of 'The Chase' in some ways though more subtle. It was certainly a welcome embellishment for my tastes. Now it begins to sound like Mike Oldfield or Jean Michel Jarre. I am certainly glad it is not as dreary as 'Phaedra', and I guess this is an improvement over other TD I have heard so that is a nice change. I love the section at 10 and a half minutes as it builds into heavier electronic percussion that has a hypnotic effect. The end sounds like the Arabian fish music from 'Fantasia'. The synth swells sound akin to Pink Floyd's 'One of these Days'; and overall this is a good TD track worth checking out and one of my favourites.

Side two is part 2 of this epic. Again it swallows the whole vinyl side, and is gradually building exploring spacey meditation with synthesizer elegance. It begins with howling wind that has a haunting ethereal quality. The music is organic and developing naturally growing in intensity and volume. This is creepy at first like the middle section of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes' or '2001: A Space Odyssey''s Monolith discovery scene. It builds into a wall of sound then an electronic rhythm pulse locks in and the music lightens up. The pulse is hypnotic and there is a beauty about the synth washes. The sequencer varies in signature and melody as synths meander over creating that odd electro ambience. The soundscape is polarised in the last 4 minutes with waves crashing on a beach and spooky Tron over a droning ghostly vibe. This fills you with a sense of impending dread, and is perhaps the creepiest TD I have heard.

I would rate this higher than 'Phaedra' easily, that bored me to tears, and just as high as 'Stratosfear', that is still my favourite. 3 stars easily is deserved but I can see that this type of music is an acquired taste; not for everyone but still highly influential to trance and techno rock.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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