TANGERINE DREAM: Booster III (2009)
Updated: Sep 11, 2021
“How to describe something that is not necessarily good, nor necessarily bad?”
1 Mombasa 9:37
2 Morning Star 5:04
3 The Dance Without Dancers 5:39
4 Sunshift (Moonmother's Mix) 2009 remix 7:15
5 The Unknown is the Truth 7:30
6 Nexuses [Excerpt] 5:57
7 Astrophel and Stella (String Version) 2009 remix 4:52
8 Sound of a Shell 6:42
9 The Moondog Connection 3:58
10 Lord Nelson 5:08
11 Remote Viewing 2009 8:15
CD II 75:11
1 The Halloween Cast (Rolling Out the World's Pumpkin Part 1) 8:45
2 Kiev Mission (Remake 2009) 7:58
3 Synth Affection 4:26
4 Transition 7:39
5 Kilimandscharo 9:40 N
6 Two Drunken Angels at Trafalgar Square 6.17
7 Key Moment 5:04
8 The Angel of the West Window 7:00
9 Romantic Vision (Part 2 Of Das Romantische Opfer) 7:07
10 Romantic Power (Part 1 Of Das Romantische Opfer) 7:25
11 Ayumi's Loom 3:44
(CD/DDL 138:45) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, Ambient, New Age, Berlin)
Well, yeah...! I sat down at the right hand of God and asked him why my reviews of Tangerine Dream are causing so much trouble? It's true that one day I like it and the other day I like it less! One album I recommend, while the next one is close to being a real turnip! He answered me this; You and your damn Tangerine Dream will always be the subject of lively discussions because there are as many faithful as unfaithful who will never understand the meaning of your words. Go and keep exploring the world of TD, this is your cross and those who want to know more deserve to hear about it! And with these wise words, I began another perilous review of an album by Edgar Froese and his henchmen, BOOSTER III. Well, I looked elsewhere on the net to see what the Dream's fans and those unconditional fans thought of it; first hammer blow on the fingers! A strong majority claims that it's the best of this series. Second hammer blow; some even claim that Mombasa is an excellent, even a superb title! Ouch...that's going to be difficult! Because I wasn't that infatuated by this BOOSTER III, and that's why.
Compilation pulled from the albums Views from a Red Train (Sound of a Shell), Winter In Hiroshima (Nexuses, Transition, Key Moment and an extract from Ayumi's Loom) and The Phantom Ferry Part 1 (The Dance Without Dancers, The Unknown is the Truth and TheMoondog Connection). From the mini CupDiscs Fallen Angels (Two Drunken Angels at Trafalgar Square), Flame (Morning Star, Lord Nelson and Synth Affection) and Birds In Search Of A Cage (Kiew Mission) as well as from the single Das Romantische Opfer whose 2 parts are interpreted in reverse order, BOOSTER III also offers 5 new unreleased with Mombasa, Sunshift (Moonmother's Mix), Astrophel And Stella (String Version), Remote Viewing, The Halloween Cast and Kilimandscharo. I can already see the connoisseurs frowning and saying, but there are some tracks that are not new! Right, because only Mombasa and Kilimandscharo are new. The others are only remixes. Those who read my reviews on TD know all the good and bad things I think about the albums and Mini Cupdiscs listed above, so we'll go back to the beginning. But a brief reminder will tell you that I hated Winter In Hiroshima, The Phantom Ferry Part 1 and Birds In Search Of A Cage, while I liked Das Romantische Opfer quite a bit and Flame pleasantly surprised me. So, you see the picture?
What if I dedicated myself to new things? Let's go with Mombasa. A dark track that draws its origins on nasal synth lines and African flavors' percussions. The intro is particularly successful, except for the choirs which remain as platonic as a cold vending machine. On the other hand, Father Froese exercises a nice control of his synth layers, which are still quite sober, that he skillfully mixes with his guitar strata. The music gets dramatic and increases its intensity level gradually without really exploding. A bit like on the Nagasaki series albums where Edgar seems to want to keep all forms of explosive rhythms in underground shelters. In short, a long track whose interest decreases with the minutes that pass too slowly. Sunshift (Moonmother's Mix) was originally on Booster II. A track that I hadn't even noticed and that flows on a nervous sequencer, embracing the same interminable structures that Edgar favors too often since a few years where nothing happens, and nothing is really original. A music with a pale rhythm where everything seems to be based on these damn mechanized vocalizations that take away all emotions from beautiful mellotrons that make a nice paradox of a track whose length has no justification. Third novelty; Astrophel and Stella (String Version), and there I must admit that it is very good. A nice remix that makes us forget the insipid original that nestles on an album to forget and that takes a whole new turn with its synthesized violins. I like the remix of Remote Viewing. In fact, I kind of like Edgar's tweaks to his original works. It doesn't hurt! Sometimes it even sounds better than the original like here with a nice addition of percussions that fit quite well with the original sequences. A nice remix that makes me happy. Another remix that makes me very happy is the one of Kiew Mission (I know, it's not a novelty, but I want to talk about it) where I can finally appreciate the remodeling and the dusting without having to deal with that damn mechanical voice that loops on the very not necessary Birds in Search of a Cage. These 2 covers of the Exit album are perfectly successful.
On the many TD sites, many fans describe The Halloween Cast as Edgar's latest wonder. I'm trying very hard fans! I want to be nice and kind to get your sympathy but explain to me what's so special about this title? After the Meddle-like drops of Pink Floyd, choirs and a whistling synth wander in a haze before the rhythm bites this funeral oration. A rhythm that has become playful where the riffs of an acoustic guitar get melted to automatic keyboard chords that drag in soundscapes loaded of percussions. There are permutations in the rhythm that deviate to a bit of a Wild West approach with good guitar chords and a synth that whistles on the plain over percussion and sequences that spill and spill. In short, if we want to be honest, it drags in length and Edgar looks like a one-man band with all his percussions (solid all the same) which hammer a strongly orchestrated structure. But from there to cry genius! There is a margin that I will not cross (and here is the 3rd hammer knock). With its percussions which slam in a universe of mist, Kilimandscharo is of a nice melancholy. Edgar goes there of good guitar solos to make dream on a structure ô how many times used by this same man. Like if the originality and the shifting phases in tones were something that Edgar had left to his colleagues! Like this new version of Ayumi's Loom. Very good and very diversified as much in the rhythms as in the orchestrations. When Edgar wants, he can!
In short, BOOSTER III... I'm looking for my words. How to describe something that is not necessarily good, nor necessarily bad? Yes, it's average! This BOOSTER III is average. How could it be superior to Booster II when Thorsten Quaeschning (the new soul of TD, too often not used!) is not even there?
Sylvain Lupari (August 29th, 2010) *****
Available at Groove nl