Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 09, 2018    
 
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Probably for fans only, but there are plenty of those to make this a success.

Recently, when watching the tense 1980 gritty villain drama 'Thief', the music washing over the action constantly intruded and jerked attention away from the plot. The music was from Tangerine Dream and it didn't really fit; an acquaintance and avid Tangerine Dream fan used to lie on his floor with headphones on to listen to their albums and that seems to be the requisite attitude. Tangerine Dream are much loved by their fans and quite rightly so, they have produced around one hundred albums in their fifty years and never really deviated from their core sound.

This double disc offering, featuring new material and live older tracks, may come as both a delight and a relief for fans. The death of Edgar Froese in 2015 threw their very being into doubt, but the combination of Thorsten Quaeschning (keyboards/guitar), Ulrich Schnauss (keyboards) and Hoshiko Yamane (violin/cello) continue with spirit and musical palette largely unchanged.

Of the new material, there will surely be welcome mats for opener '4.00pm Session', a thirty-minute exploration which adds spidery synths to a long build, never uppity but earning its grandiosity; Tangerine Dream never allow themselves to be pushed and swayed and this is such a gentle rise, it feels precision made. 'Rubycon' has been heard before, on the 1975 album of the same name, and this version, although more robust, has a little less of the atmosphere of the original, with more, dare we say, accessibility.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The live tracks, recorded before a respectful audience, continue the quality. Quaeschning's 'Power Of The Rainbow Serpent' from 2014's 'Mala Kunia' bubbles nicely and hits a rather staid groove well, 'White Eagle' from the 1982 album of the same name is a favourite, 1986's 'Dolphin Dance' is a bit of fun with twinkling synths and a propulsive bass and we even have some whooping when 'Shadow And Sun' (also from '...Kunia') begins, a meditative calmness to send us home unruffled.

There is word of a completely new release later in the year and this could be seen as a placeholder, but it's more than that. This is a celebration of a band still here, happy to show their past and also with the chutzpah to create new music for fans who are bound to take a view on it, all this and the soundtrack to the Netflix show 'Stranger Things' which has garnered them a little fame in their advancing career-hood!

It is difficult not to see Tangerine Dream as a Prog Kraftwerk; they both produce uncompromising and sometimes difficult music to an adoring fan base and those who look on interestedly, both have such interest whenever they create something and both show no signs of stopping. Probably for fans only, but there are plenty of those to make this a success.

Steve Swift

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