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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: One Night in Africa (2013)

“One Night in Africa is a nice compil among which the 4 new tracks, well inserted by the way, offer a new sonic and ethnic vision to the 5 others”

1 Bells of Accra 14:29 2 Madagascar 6:29 3 Serpent Magique 9:23 4 Sahara Storm 5:15 5 Kilimandscharo 9:42 6 Rain Prayer 7:19 7 Sadness of Echnaton Losing the World Child 6:25 8 Twilight in Abidjan 4:54 9 Mombasa (Tuareg Remix) 9:43 Eastgate ‎| 062 CD

(CD 73:39) (V.F.) (Energic and melodic EM)

It's with the delicious Bells of Accra that opens this nth compilation of the Mandarine Dream, its 3rd in 2013 if we include the false live album Cruise to Destiny. The peculiarity of ONE NIGHT IN AFRICA is that it is dedicated to the African people. To its history through wars and to its incredible strength to survive to all of these conflicts which delayed its progress. And to its leaders as political as spiritual. Except that the music has nothing in common, or so little, with the African tribal fragrances. The communiqué of Eastgate on this matter is clear; the members of Tangerine Dream prefer to leave the ethnic side of the music to other committed artists who do it very well. Nope! The idea is rather to pay tribute with a music which reflects the passion of the African people. I buy it, because this compilation breathes of a surprising passion. Other peculiarity of here is that it presents 4 new pieces of music in a puddle of tracks, Bells of Accra,Kilimandscharo, Sadness of Echnaton Losing the World Child and Mombasa (Tuareg Remix) lost in compilations and/or out of print now after appearing on Cup-Disc.

The new music? Bahhh… nothing to write to mom! Madagascar follows the spirit of Bells of Accra with a static rhythm where the melody is blown through tubes of glass. The harmonious envelope of TD is rather similar to what the gang of Edgar offers us since moons with sober and harmonious keyboards and synths, discreet choirs but by which the cold elegies don't annoy me too much. Is it the spirit of X-Mas? But that flows rather well in this compilation. The rhythm is built on the same patterns of sequences and percussions which unite their strikes in a very tight and a little bit stormy rhythmic meshing. In brief, this is no surprise. It's good TD of the Sonic Poem Series years. And I'm OK with that, because it's very good melodious EM in my opinion. More nervous and swarming with impatience, Sahara Storm respects the spirit of its naming on an evolving structure with good very striking guitar solos which gently calm its odd tribal approach. Rain Prayer is the most fascinating new track. A heavy track which swims between two of the universes of the Dream on a structure which teems constantly with percussions and stormy sequences. Of course, there are always these voices of improbable ghosts which float on harmonies rather wise, but the power of the static rhythm and its percussions with very quick strikings make of it a boiling track which fills quite well a set of headphones. Very good! Twilight in Abidjan is a lighter piece of EM. A track closer of the melody style with a harmonious approach which divides its airs between an acoustic guitar and some sober keyboards and synths, spreading so a somber veil of melancholy on a beautiful bed of sequences and percussions with strikes sometimes resonant. It's cute. It's sober. It's some good melodious Tangerine Dream who stays in his zone of comfort.

The pretext is as good as the compilation. With 4 new tracks well inserted between other good ones which get closer to rhythms of a Tuareg genre, ONE NIGHT IN AFRICA is listened to it of another ear. One would say a new album so much everything is linked to offer a new way of hearing some tracks which formerly seemed banal. But don't go crazy and jump on it without thinking! Except for Rain Prayer, the other new tracks offered are just some extensions of a music which sometimes sound so alike. But as I say; one after the other, every track offers its ethnic cachet which is more tangible on this compilation. I like it well.

Sylvain Lupari (December 31st, 2013) ***½**

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