JEROME FROESE: Orange Sized Dreams (Works 1990 - 1995)
Updated: May 15
“If I liked the remodeled versions of the titles found on the 3 studio albums targeted by OSD, I however understand why the rest of it are leftovers”
1 Backstreet Hero (Studio Version - 1992) 8:10
2 Little Blonde in the Park of Attractions (Alternative Take - 1995/Redux 2014) 7:32
3 Agent or Police? (Dream Mixes 1 Leftover - 1995) 5:14
4 Jungle Journey (Uncooked Version - 1994) 6:08
5 Two Bunch Palms (Studio Version - 1992) 5:25
6 Penguin Reference (Angels vs. Demons Mix 1991/Redux 2014) 4:32
7 Treasure of Innocence (Guitar Version - 1992) 3:48
8 Twilight Brigade (Ultra 6 String Take - 1994) 9:34
9 220V (SBE 96 Rehearsal Version - 1992/Redux 1996) 7:08
10 Comfortably Numb (Dream Mixes 1 Leftover - 1995) 5:32
11 Cymbeline (Original Version - 1992/Redux 2014) 7:23
Moonpop | Moon CD-709
(CD/DDL 70:31) (V.F.)
Those who follow my chronicles know how much I love Jerome. So, I took a chance with this first part of an upcoming trilogy called Orange Sized Dreams. According to the press guide, this is a personal collection of music that Jerome composed during his years with Tangerine Dream, from 1990, with Melrose, to 2006, with 40 Years Roadmap to Music. The first part, ORANGE SIZED DREAMS (Works 1990-1995), covers the period from Rockoon to Tyranny of Beauty, passing through 220 Volt Live. There are 5 titles from this period as well as leftovers and unpublished titles that didn't find space on the silver furrows of the Dream Mixes series, and 3 titles which were completely redesigned in Jerome's studios in 2014.
It starts with a studio version of Backstreet Hero. The electricity of 220 Volt Live is absent, but the title still spits its passion. On the other hand, Two Bunch Palms is a lot wilder. I also prefer the version of Treasure of Innocence, which is more rock, less ethereal. And what good Jerome's guitar solos here! If the so-called 220 V repetition version has left me on my appetite, it's even worse with Cymbeline which is a version that I consider anemic versus the fiery Hamlet. The title is more electronic, less rock if you prefer. And for each of these titles, the electricity, that was in 220 Volt Live, which is a real blow of mass between the ears by the way, is lacking. I again pulled out 220 Volt Live from the mothballs and it played in loops for a good week. So, thank you Jerome for this stroke of nostalgia. Linda Spa's saxophone in Little Blonde in the Park of Attractions, from the album Tyranny of Beauty, is completely wiped off the map here. In fact, was Ms. Spa part of TD during the Jerome years? I say this because, unless my ears are playing tricks on me (you know ... sax versus synths), her scores are completely erased from this ORANGE SIZED DREAMS (Works 1990-1995). This new version highlights even more this good opposition of the phases between the ethereal moments and other heavier ones with a Jerome in full control who shows all his mastery in studio. I like this version better, although this kind of ballad between rock and New Age has never thrilled me.
There, this is someone who has never tolerated Dream Mixes who will tell you about the remains of this first compilation of songs dismantled by Jerome in order to give them a more techno approach. So, I didn't really appreciate Agent or Police? which has a curt and abrupt rhythm with very rabid bass pulsations and percussions which roll to dementia. On the other hand, Comfortably Numb, although heavy and bouncy like a good Chill House, seems more melodious to me. I didn't really notice any differences between this Jungle Journey and that of Turn of the Tides, except that it seems more distant, more muffled. In the end, I just don't understand this thing called Uncooked Version! And what about this new Angels vs. Demons Mix? It's a new mix of Penguin Reference, which lost its saxophone too but that didn't make of it more furious. It remains a nice melody, with a better contribution of the percussions here. Percussions and drums which hammer a little more on this ORANGE SIZED DREAMS (Works 1990-1995).
Did I like it? No more than that! If I liked the remodeled versions of the titles found on the 3 studio albums targeted by ORANGE SIZED DREAMS (Works 1990-1995), I understand, however, why the rest were leftovers! The titles appearing on 220 Volt Live and which have been reworked here leave me perplexed. If some offer more dynamism, the portions of saxophone being completely erased, the lack of electricity which was the key of this astonishing album in concert carries a shade, even with good arrangements. And that cannot be taken from Jerome Froese; he's a studio beast! A beast that leaves good sonic imprints, even when its need to track new prey is not always justified.
Sylvain Lupari (December 24th, 2014) *****
Available at Jerome Froese Bandcamp