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  • Sylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Exit (1981)

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

“Exit is a good collection of 6 tracks on which is only missing those musical bridges to link them into one great music piece”

1 Kiew Mission 9:18 2 Pilots of Purple Twilight 4:19 3 Choronzon 4:07 4 Exit 5:33 5 Network 23 4:55 6 Remote Viewing 8:20 Virgin CDV2212 (CD 36:32)

(New Berlin School)

It's with a renewed equipment, at the cutting edge of technology, and with dusts of Thief that Tangerine Dream initiates a new musical turn with EXIT. And whether we like it or not, it's a bitter disappointment. Accustomed, except for the soundtracks which had in return a warm analog flavor, that we were with the long titles which sometimes transpired improvisation, EXIT offers a collection of 6 titles which together don't exceed the 40 minutes. That was enough to make pale the die-hard fans. However, as short as the titles could be, Franke, Froese & Schmoelling had succeeded to still filled our ears with a cold, almost cryogenic, metallic sounds of this new digital equipment.

Metal explosions open the airlock of Kiew Mission. The drums are rolling in an introduction that has probably inspired the music of Vangelis for Blade Runner. Nervous the sequencer rolls so well its pulsations among the electronic percussions, that one wonders which ones which are. A melodious synth loses the pace that fades to give way to the murmurs blown by a Russian actress who recites words of hope and peace for her people living a disturbing international tension. Having become a narrative music, synth solos fly over the static atmospheres of Kiew Mission which comes alive with more incisive chords, leading us to a superb melodious passage where the synth lends its breath to sounds that are easily mixed with heterogeneous voices. It's a very good title that rolls on a great sequencer and nice metallic synth layers. This is a title that has become a classic and still is on Tangerine Dream's setlist for concerts. Pilots of Purple Twilight is a static title on a background of suspended metal. Pierced with sounding spears, it buzzes with intensity around a heavy and nervous sequencer. A heavy track with a melodious synth, Chorozon is masterstroke! Attached to symmetrical percussions, the rhythm is evolutive with a sequencer that snaps its percussive elements while being too disregard the usual electronic percussions. The synth plunges into atmospheric ingredients with harmonious layers that cut a superb catchy melody nourished by celestial choirs on a background of transient madness. It's a short and superbly divine title, just like the fabulous Network 23 and its Kraftwerk beat. The music is hyper-catchy with a fluid and stormy rhythm that spits vibratory jolts. The complexity of the rhythm throws a bit of shade to a melodious approach that is in its place in its off-field context. The title track is a beautiful melody that will become legion in the future repertoire of Tangerine Dream. In suppleness and harmony, the circular movements are melodious candy comfortably installed on a light rhythm section. Remote Viewing concludes EXIT by bringing us back a bit into the atmospheres we expected before the first notes of Kiew Mission. It's a bit like the intriguing atmospheres of Invisible Limits and the works of the genre in the mid 70's, with this more metallic sound and with fragrances that we also found on Thief.

With EXIT, Tangerine Dream tries an approach that seems to me more accessible and commercial of his works. Short pieces, which are good I must admit (don't play the modest jaded) and which show an innate sense of harmonies. Is this the Schmoelling effect? I always thought that yes since with hindsight, the departure of Schmoelling began the fall of the Dream. But back to EXIT! Right after Tangram, the fans were expecting, and with justice, a more complex and refined work from where this generalized disappointment. As far as I'm concerned, EXIT is a collage of 5 melodious and rhythmic tracks, which were just missing the musical links welding them into a big mosaic of 36 minutes. And there, one would have shouted at the genius!

Sylvain Lupari (September 3rd, 2006) *****

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