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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I (2009)

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I is a nice album but I was expecting much more. But isn't what we all hoped from years?

1 Approaching Greenland at 7 PM 7:49 

2 The Moondog Connection 3:59 

3 Screaming of the Dreamless Sleeper 6:56 

4 The Unknown is the Truth 7:31 

5 The Dance Without Dancers 5:41 

6 Child Lost in Wilderness 7:07 

7 Sailor of the Lost Arch 7:53 

8 Verses of a Sisong 7:37 

9 Silence on a Crawler Lane 4:05

Eastgate ‎| 037 CD

(CD/DDL 58:39) (V.F.)

(E-rock, Dark ambient, New Age)

It's with a frenzied way that this fascinating musical story based on a manuscript found in a military camp in Greenland, near Thule, opens. A fictional story where the character Carlos meets a strange entity who seems to know more about him than himself. A good basic idea which is divided into 9 very distinct titles from where the improbability of creating a musical history with surprising diversions. Alone, in solo, and in the heart of the Eastgate years, Edgar Froese seems intimidated. Following what I hear, he lacks audacity and originality. Edgar even becomes predictable and boring, even annoying at times. Yet the story of CHANDRA: THE PHANTOM FERRY Part I seems to have a dimension that daring can nourish without limits. And yet his studios stocked with new technologies and new instruments are no longer an excuse. Edgar Froese has the means of his ambitions except that his overproduction of music ends up diluting his talent. That said, CHANDRA: THE PHANTOM FERRY Part I seems to have a rather interesting musical scope for an EM which is a nice tool for creating background music, theatrical music and film music with a plethora of instruments with endless possibilities to concoct the sonic dream ... but Edgar can't do it. The silver man is dull. His creativity equals his age by getting pale and quiet. I think it's normal as I also think that one album a year, no touring, could bring us back our dear Edgar. But now, that's the reality! Notice that this album is not that so boring. It's a fair and nice album. But it lacks the audacity of its history.

Approaching Greenland At 7 pm doesn't waste time and offers a structure of lively rhythm with an ultra-fast sequencer which rolls like in the best moments of Chris Franke. The rhythm is nervous. It bumps with jerky spasms and rolls on a bass line which takes the shape of the spread sequences like frantic percussion strikes. A good title with funk passes and variances in the movement of the sequences as well as good percussive effects which are coated of fine tangentized layers. Too short, The Moondog Connection spits out a somber sensitivity with a good play of synth which undulates in loops and a discreet mellotron which filters its harmonies through a reverberating mist. Edgar sprinkles the whole with nice scattered chords which decorate this sweet melody with an obscure greyness which continues on Screaming of the Dreamless Sleeper; a black title but without souls with these vocalizations tinged with false emotions which glean here and there on a rhythmic progression which lacks creativity. It's a title fills of the Melrose years visions and which is at lightyears from any work of fiction, just like Child Lost In Wilderness and its vocalizations clouded by a poetic approach. Not bad! But we are talking about Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream here!

The Unknown is the Truth begins with a dark linear wave blown with sound bows in the colors of blowguns. A vaporous and quite original intro which permutes into a nervous cadence seasoned with delicious limpid arpeggios which float in this universe closer to chaos than to harmony. The rhythm is stagnant and stumbles in hallucinogenic psychotronic limbo which recall the first artistic deviations of the Dream. A particularly good track which releases an abyssal ambience where remorse is pointed in every corner. Synth with intriguing stripes, flute and discreet mellotron with arrangements of sadness to skin the soul; The Dance Without Dancers is a baroque black ballet that swirls in an iridescent bitterness of fragile hope. A very nice title which recalls the period of Legend. Sailor of the Lost Arch is a beautiful ballad straight out of the New Age. It flows well, but we are far from a well structured EM, even if Edgar adds heterogeneous tones. And the more we progress, the more we fall into creative ease. Melancholic themes which repeat themselves and which have only small synthesized striations which glean here and there, making believe in any emotional evolution while that sounds warmed.

CHANDRA: THE PHANTOM FERRY Part I a good album but I expected more, like with each Tangerine Dream new album by the way. Note that this is a solo album by our dear Edgar. What was the idea? Debate, debate, and always eternal sterile debates that remain unanswered. But it remains bizarre as a situation! So, an uneven album where good titles are lost in average ones where the rhythms and ambiences struggle to find any original forms. Ordinary titles which testify that Edgar Froese is getting old and becoming very comfortable in this musical genre which always succeeds in attracting new fans in Tangerine Dream circles around the world. Its good. You can listen to it well, but something is missing.

Sylvain Lupari (November 9th, 2009) ***½**

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