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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Edgar Froese Epsilon in Malaysian Pale (1975)

Epsilon in Malaysian Pale is a true masterpiece which explains why Froese was considered for a long time as the soul of Tangerine Dream

1 Epsilon in Malaysian Pale 17:00 2 Maroubra Bay 17:15

CD Virgin | CDV2040

(CD 34:15) (V.F.) (Ambient Berlin School)

Here's one of EM's flagship albums. For several journalists and specialists of the time, EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE is considered as a little masterpiece of ambient music guided by the large atmospheric layers of the Mellotron. A dominant step will say some, in the exploration of this instrument that has changed the course of music, regardless the styles. But above all, for progressive and electronic music. Conceived at the same era, EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE is a dark album, ghostly at some places, with heavy floating movements and a slow rhythmic evolution which can be compared to Phaedra and Rubycon.

Inspired by his travels in Malaysia, Philippines and Australia, this second solo album by Edgar Froese is in the same vein of serenity as Aqua. The founder of Tangerine Dream exploits the sound samples and avenues which are of an edifying paradox. Wanting to denounce the overexploitation of these equatorial paradises, he makes a clever mixture of the sounds of Aboriginal faunas with more industrial sounds, like this train which begins Epsilon In Malaysian Pale. Splendid, the mellotron floats there with its austere waves which are pleasantly molded to a flute sound. A bit like on Phaedra, the atmosphere is dark and linear. Edgar Froese plays the mellotron with such dexterity that we travel between the bass tones of an obscure organ with soft fluty melodies. Towards half-time, the noise of the rails takes us out of our celestial torpor to breathe a brief and heavy sequenced movement which skirts the vapors of a mellotron with melodiously fluted musicality. A short-animated passage that is very Tangerine Dream and which dies out in the immense mellotron strata which cross the territories of Epsilon In Malaysian Pale. Maroubra Bay will be more familiar to TD fanss. A terrifying wave springs from an abyssal nothingness to ignite an apocalyptic and symphonic synth. This heavy and black intro draws a slow and good sequenced movement. A sequence which undulates with agility among these wandering strata which fly over a structure which has become melodious, regularly caressed as it is by the breezes and waves of an earthly paradise still virgin. A superb fusion of water and winds enriches a Maroubra Bay which maintains its undulating route in a motley universe which easily merges with an enveloping mellotron.

Not really easy to approach if you are looking for Tangerine Dream, although not really far either, EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE becomes a little gem that takes on more luster throughout its discovery. A discovery which is worth the minutes invested and which explains why Edgar was considered like the soul of Tangerine Dream. It took me a long time to discover and appreciate this album. Don't do like me, because it's indeed a must in EM.

Sylvain Lupari (June 10th, 2009) *****

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