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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Grand Auto Theft 5 (2013)

Updated: May 29, 2020

GAT 5 is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed in both poles of TD's luxurious years

1 Place of Conclusions 5:15

2 Streets of Fortune 4:54

3 Mission Possible 4:15

4 Downtown Los Santos 5:06

5 Blaine County Sunrise 5:26

6 Burning the Bad Seal 5:17

7 Beyond the Weakest Point 6:09

8 Sadness, Grief and Hope 4:38

9 Diary of a Robbery 5:36

10 Draw the Last Line Somewhere 6:13

11 The Dangerous Mile 5:42

12 Living on a Razor Edge 5:17

Eastgate 066 CD

(CD 63:48) (V.F.)

(Based sequences electronic Pop Rock)

A sinuous curve pierces the horizon. A mislaid chord falls. A fluid movement of bass sequences is slightly galloping and draws a soft and warm undulatory rhythm. All this, marinated to riffs and electronic spirals falling into electronic gas, leads us back to the nice time of Tangerine Dream.

Only the fragile harmonies and the artificial voices annoy the ear and return us to the more contemporary years of Edgar Froese's works. The 5 minutes of Place of Conclusions, to a few exceptions, dig up the rhythms, the atmospheres and the harmonies of this Edgar Dream's new album. An album which literally set ablaze the fans and scribbled the social media networks of laudatory remarks, while putting bootleggers to work, because GRAND AUTO THEFT 5 is available only in 2000 copies and only at the electronic shop of Eastgate. A whole version, with a gigantic amount of music and moods inherent to the famous video game, is also available. One can find it if we search minutely on the Net or on specialized sites (I heard it and I was not really crazy about it). At the beginning, I was rather sceptical. It is when I saw the game in action that I made the link. And when I took time to listen the album closely, I came to the conclusion that Edgar is still very creative and that he still has some very good music in him.

Streets of Fortune offers a structure of sequences with a diversity of tones and strikes which forge an ambitious pattern of stable electronic rhythm. It is the harmonies which lug around this rhythm among which the interweavings and the disordered jumps of sequences, and percussions, revisit the ambiences of the Flashpoint era with a light tint of modernity. If the harmonies of GRAND AUTO THEFT 5 inhale at times the lightness and smell the colors of honey, the movements of Edgar's sequences are striking and have nothing to envy to his former accomplices (I know; the technology is not the same here). You just have to hear the very wriggling Burning the Bad Seal or yet the stunning Diary of a Robbery which has downright ate up a huge part of Silver Scale. Very good! Mission Possible, like Draw the Last Line Somewhere and the very good The Dangerous Mile are closer to the contemporary TD with moods and sneaky rhythms which would have been able to find a place on the Sonic Poem Series saga or still on Edgar's solo works. Downtown Los Santos offers a mixture of electronic percussions, kind of Iris Camaa bongo drums style, sequences and riffs out of Edgar's six-strings over two interposed structures of rhythms that left me of ice. This is a repetitive electronic rock without flavors nor colors, contrary to Sadness, Grief and Hope which sprinkles its redundancy of subtle nuances. Blaine County Sunrise is a sweet electronic ballad, dark with beautiful arrangements and which follows a light crescendo with harmonies charming subtly in aquatic tints. The same goes for Beyond the Weakest Point, halieutic effects in less, where the bongo drums percussions erase not at all this delicate dreamlike approach introduced by a delicious Mellotron and its Arabian flutes. When I say that Edgar still has some good music in him... Living on a Razor Edge is another dark ballad which unifies marvellously both poles of Tangerine Dream. The somber rhythm, which climbs the curves of a relatively slow tempo, gives all the latitude to Edgar to let stroll the vibes and the harmonies of a very nostalgic six-strings and of its very evasive solos.

Some will say that Tangerine Froese has dived into the ease. This album was made following old recipes skillfully updated in Edgar's workshops without regard for any originality. This just shows that no matter what the old fox makes, he always has the spectres of Baumann, Franke and Schmoelling on the shoulders. I am of those who think of the opposite. GRAND AUTO THEFT 5 is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed both in the old TD and the one more contemporary and closer to the great moods of the Sonic Poem Series. This is some great Edgar Froese that lands between our two ears. The old fox uses his wisdom and his experience to well measure his ambiences. To play with and annex them to rhythms and to melodies which follow skillfully all the nuances which make the strength of solid cinematographic music. Yep, GAT 5 is definitively up to what we can expect from one of the big pioneers of the contemporary music. Hat to you Edgar!

Sylvain Lupari (September 28th, 2014) *****

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