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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Quantum Key (2015)

I got to admit that this Quantum Key shows something that should please us, even if a lot of us wish simply that we let the name of Edgar soberly quiet

1 Genesis of Precious Thoughts 9:12 2 Electron Bonfire 5:05 3 Drowning in Universes 11:07 4 Mirage of Reality 7:25 Eastgate | 075 CD

(E.P. 32:51) (V.F.) (Sequencer-Based E-Rock)

The Quantum Years was the next stage wished by Edgar Froese for the long adventure of his sonic vessel which is (was?) Tangerine Dream. Exit the Eastgate Years! Exit the tom-toms of Iris Camaa and Linda Spa's melancholic saxophones. Here is this new generation to which is added Ulrich Schnauss and where the sound of Tangerine Dream finds a sort of youth with an approach that Edgar wants to simplify with a lot of electronic analog and digital instruments, set apart for the violins and the cellos of Hoshiko Yamane which are as much electric than acoustic. Except that Edgar won't see, from this planet at least, the evolution of his baby whom he conceived and educated against all odds since Electronic Meditation in 1970. First opus of this new lineage, QUANTUM KEY was a foretaste (is it always?) of what was planned to be; the album Quantum Gate. Offered in a format of an E.P. of 33 minutes, this CupDisc proposes 3 compositions cosigned by Edgar Froese. The duet Quaeschning/Schnauss was inspired by his last works, by the last notes of the silver fox in order to offer a mini album of a high quality which left (does it still leave?) foresee and hear a Tangerine Dream which united (still unites?) the bridges between its Virgin years, its Melrose years and its last Eastgate years.

And it's this feeling which obsesses us from the first measures of Genesis of Precious Thoughts. The sequences are heavy and oscillate sharply such as a herd which hurtles down a plain full of symmetric dunes. Like in Phaedra! Before arriving there, the title crosses an introduction dirtied by tones and by electronic effects which twist themselves under a troop of metallic tramplings. A heavy and vampiric movement of sequences reveals then these charms which remind so much of Phaedra. Dramatic explosions and riffs in suspension decorate the sonic firmament whereas wooden percussions eventually roll over a long riff and its effect of reverberation. The pulsations which are grafted are structuring a kind of big electronic rock which smashes its momentum on the tears of a hyper weeping cello. Some pensive notes of piano are adding a more melancholy depth to the meditative hillside of Genesis of Precious Thoughts which finally runs away with a furious structure of rhythm, embroidered on two conflicting approaches and where the strings of Hoshiko Yamane replace Linda Spa's saxophone airs and in the end, the synths and their solos. If Genesis of Precious Thoughts is a teaser of Quantum Gate, we are in heaven and the adventure then seems very promising because the music is strongly soaked with this stagey approach so dear to Thorsten Quaeschning. And it's even more true in Drowning in Universes; a superb and very intense track of ambiences with a dark and heavy structure where circulates the skeleton of a big anaconda which frees its sonic bones in slow circular spirals. The synths and the six-strings weave clouds of obsessing melodies which crawl upon cosmic walls, like specters in search of warm souls. As for me, it's a solid track where the cosmos and its stars go hand in hand with the darkness and its shadows of night terror. Even if the movement of sequences can remind the rhythmic orders of the Miramar and Eastgate years, Electron Bonfire sounds like a wind of freshness in this new artistic environment of Tangerine Dream. The first part offers a structure of ambient rhythm which yet drums violently of multiple serial kicks of some pretty nervous lines of sequences. Dreams of an absent guitar and lines of electric mist get bicker the portion of ghostly harmonies while the sequences always sparkle with the enthusiasm of a herd of keys which are starved for some steady beatings. It's a kind of mess which ends by clearing up towards the half-time with a good nervous e-rock. Good heavy percussions and suites of hyper nervous sequences roll at top speed on these discreet ghostly harmonies that a synth erases with a surprising, for the universe of Tangerine Dream, melodious approach which make melt its airs with these strings, sometimes omnipresent, of which the long tears separate well the electronic from the acoustic. Mirage of Reality is a composition of Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss. And well, it sounds like a real good TD track! The structure is evolutionary. When we seized it, it changes shape in an approach always dark where the effects and the orchestrations flood a structure of passive rhythm. There are sequences which dance lonely, reminding these Chris Franke's agile movements in the Virgin years. They announce a change of orientation with dramatic effects which feed the suspense, and which bring Mirage of Reality towards a finale hyper loaded in sounds. A heavy finale where the signature of the Sonic Poem Series roams among these structures slow and rich in tones of Ulrich Schnauss. Yes, this whole thing seems definitively good. But I continue to believe that the Dream cannot survive Edgar. Except that I am going to give a chance to these Quantum Years.

Sylvain Lupari (January 15th, 2016) *****

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