“TD or not TD? We can't have more Tangerine Dream than on this Ave”
1 Time Border Passengers 26:15
2 Breathing under Pressure 13:54
3 Japetus Dreams 13:36
4 Time Seller Under the Rain 7:18
5 Bach's Air 4:56
6 Pray of RA 2:27
7 Abarcus 9:07
Eat Records | EAT CD1001
(CD 77:31) (V.F.)
Before the many copycats of Tangerine Dream, there was a name that imposed an unequivocal musical architecture; Can Atilla. To mark the 30th anniversary of the legendary German trio, the native Turkish musician composed and directed AVE. A big question comes immediately to mind; Is it as good as the echoes of time suggest? I recently received the 2 versions offered to me by Can. I had heard bits and pieces here and there, as I had a dubious version in MP3 format that I had received many years ago. Around 2001, I think. At that time my ears were wide open to the proliferation of EM that swept across North America via the Internet and to the many bands and / or artists who were doing an EM inspired by Tangerine Dream. There have been some good ones. Excellent ones even and the name that comes to my mind is Danger in Dream that came like a wink on the planet EM. Can Atilla has made another remarkable comeback recently with the Berlin High School Legacy album and his newest, Can Atilla's Masiva. For me, the opportunity was ideal to talk about AVE. Yes, it's true; it's as good as the echoes of time said it. Yes, too; there is not more Tangerine Dream than this album!
Getting bigger like a threatening shadow, the opening of Time Border Passengers imposes a chthonic essence with synth lines flying like winds in an introduction where get grafted riffs that win battle against Luciferian voices. A very familiar rhythm, like Poland, stands out from a dark and cosmic ambient fusion. It's already the 2nd phase of this long title which will scatter several and which will visit all the recesses of the rhythms, ambiances and harmonies of Tangerine Dream. From a border that emerges from Encore to another that flirts with the Melrose years. Throughout these mutations, Can Atilla is making a fake guitar to roar and that will sometimes sound as if it was real one. And he will make roll drum machines that are closer to the Optical Race period. The phases of rhythms and moods follow each other at intervals that give just the taste to re-hear the music of Tangerine Dream. After this short fragment of Poland, Time Border Passengers migrates to Encore and this flute whose tunes float on a stationary sequencing broth. And then it's the race to Tangram and to the structures of rhythms and ambiances that are inspired by the 86 European Tour of the Dream. Sometimes furious, stormy or ambient the rhythms migrate to moments that are present in our memories, but just with what is needed of trouble and of draft to make our brain works. Ditto for the atmospheric structures, but not for melodies that are easily identifiable. If we thought that Time Border Passengers was the headline in AVE, Breathing Under Pressure is not outdone. Can Atilla brings us to the doors of Stratosfear before injecting a beautiful melody with a melodious piano and touching the lines of Cloudburst Flight. The structure then takes a turn inspired by the Jive years with a vision that leaves room for Edgar and for his furious guitar solos on a structure hammered by a motorik sequencer.
What can still happen after these solid first 40 minutes? Well Japetus Dreams didn't throw in the towel and continues to amaze our ears by proposing an intrusion into the performances of Tangerine Dream, including the North American tour of 1977. The sound and ambiances that surround this structure are exactly as in the album Encore. It's with a wet wind and a Mellotron approach that Japetus Dreams gets up. The sequencer is illuminated in the background, preparing these spasmodic and electronic rock structures that have shook the flute songs and the Melletron waves with a light scent of Phaedra. Edgar comes to throw his riffs whose loops that turn into solos. Uh ... sorry Can Atilla I meant. Japetus Dreams ends with a poorly recorded piano solo ... as in a bootleg from the audience. Slamming percussions, vivid and nervous sequences and synth with harmonies stylized by a female voice, Time Seller Under the Rain flirts between the Jive and Melrose period. Bach's Air says what it means! It's Bach in a mix of electronics and classical. Pray of RA is an ambient chant with chthonian atmospheres, as in the Phaedra years. A bonus track (sic!), Abarcus stands out with tone that seems more contemporary. It's a title that starts rather quickly with a sequencer that weaves two lines with jolts that intersect by forming a lively rhythmic symbiosis. There is a paradox here because it sounds a bit like Edgar Froese's compilation, Beyond the Storm, while the sequencer and its rhythmic vitality sounds like Chris Franke. In the end, one could even speculate that it was the basis of a Dream title, Froese and Franke period, which has fallen between two chairs!
There can't be more Tangerine Dream than this AVE from Can Atilla. Forget all these suitors who have walked in the footsteps of the giant because very little have come with such a degree of creativity, both in compositions and similarities in the ambiences and the melodies. The strength of Can Atilla here is to have extracted bits of scenery from the 30 years of the Dream to put his own vision by showing boldness and imagination. And if I remember correctly, the end of the 90's was the beginning of a recrudescence of Tangerine Dream's imitators. AVE will be that stone on which others will fix themselves.
Sylvain Lupari (July 27th 2019) *****
Available at Groove nl