TANGERINE DREAM: Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II (2014)
Updated: Jul 10
“Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II is a fair album with a music that we are used to hear. No surprises and no deceptions”
1 3 Rotcaf Neila 8:24
2 Aldebaran 6:56
3 Dnammoc Su 5:53
4 Capricornus 9:30
5 Apus 5:57
6 Auriga 8:03
7 Columba 8:54
8 Cygnus 5:24
9 Centaurus 8:04
10 Monocerus 8:36
(CD 75:41) (V.F.)
(E-rock dark-ambient Berlin School)
How we can jump from almost being excellent of the Sonic Poem Series and switch to something very average with a studio album such as CHANDRA THE PHANTOM FERRY PART II. Or should I begin this by asking if a suite to the Chandra: Phantom Part I was really needed? Already that the basic idea was good and that the musical outcome seemed totally disconnected, so why going there around 5 years later. But let's say it from the start; I quite enjoyed the musical ride of CHANDRA THE PHANTOM FERRY PART II. And this even if I always had the feeling of déjà-heard which floats here and there. Déjà-entendu which flirts with the Eastgate years of the Dream but also with the beautiful years of Froese, Franke and Baumann, from where my interest in it. I even hear, yes yes, synths with Mephistophelian fragrances of the Ricochet times here and there.
3 Rotcaf Neila presents a nice ballad whose soft airs are disconnected from the feverish bed of sequences which makes feel it keys so nervous. The style is very Eastgate with melodious and sober synth lines and discreet idle singings. Aldebaran is another track like we are used to hear quite often over the last years of TD's repertoire. The rhythm is ambient, quite as a helicopter which floats with a lot of effort against the multiple synth layers a bit swampy. In the end it's just as good as easy to listen to, just like Cygnus which is very lively on the other hand. But we have already heard these musical structures so often. Dnammoc Su is a track which hooks immediately the ear with a rhythm as effective as attractive and good guitar solos. Good e-rock there! And the more we move forward in CHANDRA THE PHANTOM FERRY PART II and the more we let ourselves be seduce by moods which at the end seem to fit with Edgar's tale. Capricornus is a somber ambient melody where we have difficulty in distinguishing the chords of a melancholic guitar from chords of a keyboard/synth just as much gloomy. Synths draw shoal of nostalgia with a black elegance which suits very well to the very dark approach of the track. In the same style there is Centaurus which drags its shagreen on an a little more stormy structure of rhythm. Apus presents a nervous, a lively rhythm with percussions of felt-tips which lets its beat to be nibble by sober keyboard riffs. The ambiences are tetanized by numerous pads of a synth and of their lugubrious aromas which float on a rhythm of which the fine modifications live within knocks of percussions. Good but without surprises, this is Tangerine Dream as we are used to hear whereas that Auriga and Columba exploit the same structures but with ambiences and sequences which bring us very near to the Flahpoint era. I really liked those 2 tracks. Monocerus ends with an approach as much sad as sinister where Edgar vaporizes his very Tangentized synth pads on a slow rhythm. One would say a march of a solitary cowboy who leaves a city that he cleaned of its bandits.
One cannot say that CHANDRA THE PHANTOM FERRY PART II is a bad album as well as we can't say that it's a genius one. Alone...Edgar feels very lonely. It's an honest album which can turn out to be disappointing if we fixed our expectations very high about Edgar Froese's creativity. Me? It has been a long time since I fixed my bar of hopes at a fair height. This is probably why I like this new chapter in Edgar's fantasies.
Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2014) ***½**
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