TANGERINE DREAM: Light Flux (2017)
Updated: Feb 24
“A superb album, from A to Z. Period!”
1 Green Summer Clouds 17.53 2 Meteor 6.59 3 Tyger 2013 6.12 4 Reaching Ravenna 15.12 5 Nemesis 9.02 6 Logos 2014 6.19 Eastgate 079CD (CD/DL 61:09) (Berlin School) (V.F.)
I am one of those who bought the Light Flux E.P. and Light Flux the CD. And unlike the other Mini Cup-Disc, singles or E.P., there was no new music on the damn E.P. I found that rather cheap and I rediscovered this very mercenary approach of Eastgate's managers. Well, here is another debate that the fan base of Tangerine Dream should have with the leaders of this label only devoted to the works of Tangerine Dream. The first 500 copies of LIGHT FLUX, both the E.P. and the album, were given as a bonus to those who pre-ordered the biography of Edgar Froese; Force Majeure. So much for the story! If the management is questionable, the talent of Edgar Froese, Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane is simply undeniable. Must say that this LIGHT FLUX is not the first real studio album of the new version of Tangerine Dream. The titles here were composed between 1981, for Nemesis, and 2011, for Reaching Ravenna. But no matter, here we have an excellent album which has by far exceeds our expectations. With its foggy waves which ripple like some vague reflections, Green Summer Clouds gets in with charm between my ears. Composed by Edgar Froese and Thorsten Quaeschning in 2007, this title could have appeared on albums such as Stratosfear or Force Majeure, so much the spirit of the old Tangerine Dream is omnipresent. Synth layers with old chthonic tonalities float like a nonchalant snake. Reverberant effects spew waves of distortion, while my ears perceive metal beats in the background of the wandering ambiences of an opening which now soaks my eardrums in the bottom of a cave. The 4th minute arrives at the same time as a heavy movement of the sequencer. Green Summer Clouds explodes in a pure Berlin School of the old time with loops of rhythms which roll in mode; up and down. This sequencer will seduce my ears a bit more with tasty imperfections in its repetitive structure which will run, like zigzagging, for a whopping 13 minutes of furious EM. The drum and the percussive arpeggios get along with this electronic rock that we don't hear quite often anymore, harmonizing a more melodious vision of the rhythm. Pads of mist and good solos adorn Green Summer Clouds which is a pure revelation in this album and one of the good creative electronic rock associated to Berlin School. Excellent! Another title composed by the Froese/Quaeschning duo, this time in 2001, Reaching Ravenna is this kind of title which requires a few plays before one adjusts to it. A piano and a guitar give their vision of nomads on a carpet of fog. Some strange percussive effects, it sounds like a train charging, chase away this opening. A little more, and we dive head first into the fascinating world of Picture Palace Music. But Tyger's perfumes bring us back to reality! Spasmodic sequences get graft onto it, while orchestrations and acoustic guitar riffs provide the harmonic background for a title that oscillates blithely between its purely electronic vision and its progressive music side, especially because of the big layers with organ tones. Sometimes violent, sometimes ethereal and other times as heavy rock as fluid Berlin School, the ambiences and structures of rhythms lengthen a complexity which will turn into a gem as we invest the 15 minutes of a good progressive Berlin School whose fluty solos remind us of the beautiful signature of Edgar Froese. Another great title from this duo where Thorsten Quaeschning shows his ability to assume the destiny of Tangerine Dream, always according to Edgar's wish. I would say that Meteor is the Face B of a supposed single, like The Light Cone, launched by Edgar in 1983, that I would believe it. Another great title composed by Edgar which could have ended on the Pinnacles album. Another title composed by EF, this time in 1981, Nemesis is in line of those electronic hymns that we find on the Beyond the Storm compilation. It's big and good rock with a dubious finale. Tyger 2013 and Logos 2014 are 2 titles whose music and vigor have been enhanced with a more contemporary vision. The version of Tyger interests me more or less, I got used to the voice of Jocelyn Bernadette Smith, while it's a little difficult not to appreciate any vision of Logos. As long as the spirit remains! And this spirit stays within the 60 minutes of LIGHT FLUX. A superb album, from A to Z!
Sylvain Lupari (March 8th, 2019) ****½*
Available at Eastgate