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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Rockoon (1992)

Updated: May 9, 2022

“Was it here that us, insistent fans gave up? I did!”

1 Big City Dwarves 6:00 2 Red Roadster 8:30 3 Touchwood 4:34 4 Graffiti Street 5:04 5 Funky Atlanta 4:00 6 Spanish Love 5:40 7 Lifted Veil 3:30 8 Penguin Reference 4:45 9 Body Corporate 3:40 10 Rockoon 7:21 11 Girls On Broadway 4:44 Miramar MPCD2802 (CD 57:48) (E-rock and whatever you want)

Because it's necessary to talk about it. Because Eastgate managed to find a new German label which will re edit a lot of albums from the Dream in nice digipak formats with an inner booklet, but without bonus tracks. And because the story continues to get write with various chapters, let's approach completely the 90's years of Tangerine Dream. After the disappointing Melrose, which coincides with Paul Haslinger's departure, the mythical Berlin trio became officially a father/son duet for the next 13 years, making of this combination the 2nd the longest artistic collaboration of Tangerine Dream, after that of Franke/Froese. To change Franke for Jerome Froese, it's like replacing John Bonham by Simon Kirke; we know that the rhythmic depth can be, but the soul and the subtlety in the bends, in the timbres and the basses of the rhythmic structures could cruelly be lacking. After all Jerome is still very young and has big shoes to fill. In fact the epic of Edgar and son will suffer a great deal of the lack of rhythmic subtleties and of Franke's sequencing patterns, as he has suffered also a lot of the lack of the subtle nuances in the harmonies further to the departures of Schmoelling and Haslinger. More than Melrose, which has some nice tracks on it, I found that ROCKOON was cold, linear and had totally lacked of depth even if both Froese took a very long time (the longest period of studio maturation of TD that I heard) to realize this album. But in the end, it's a true energetic album (Rock... oon) with a lot of wild rhythms and layers of a hyper heavy bass pattern. But that remains cold. Why? Don't know! And yet, I just love 220 Volt Live which came right from that album. There are things like that we just can't explain. So that's why I won't say that it's a bad album. I'll only say that I just didn't like it at all. Because this ROCKOON has literally seduced a new generation of TD's fans and propelled Edgar's project towards new territories which introduce a new movement of electronic rock in Europe, especially in England. Except that I, I did not like this ROCKOON! This being written, what is to say about ROCKOON? Bah … It was nominated in the category of the best New Age album of the year in the land of New Age but didn't get a Grammy. That quite means a lot about the artistic understanding that the duet drew. On the other hand it also confirms that it was an album well done with melodies which hang onto the ears of the novices in EM, beats which set fire to the feet of those who taught that they were entering into a psychedelic universe (remember, we are in the other side of the Earth here) where everything was splendidly innovated!!! Because this album was full of catchy rhythms and melodies deserving of American FM radios. Tracks like Big City Dwarves, Red Roaster, Touchwood, Graffiti Street and Rockoon are good electronic rocks. Big beats (I still think they are cold as ice), huge guitars tinted with beautiful and sober melodious approaches, a saxophone which replaces (with horror) synth strata and some rare good sound effects. You have the canvas of ROCKOON here. But tracks such as Funky Atlanta, Spanish Love, Lifted Veil, Penguin Reference, Body Corporate and Girls On Broadway are kind of sacrilege in a TD repertoire. I know that I'm hard but I told you that I didn't enjoyed at all this album. And believe me, I tried! As much as I tried, and ended by like other albums from that era. As you will read further on my Blog. But this ROCKOON? Nah... Personally, I have nothing  much positive to write about this album. And about other albums signed by Edgar and Jerome Froese. Certainly, there were some very good of made, but there are also some very bad. But if you like easy rhythms, striking guitar solos and riffs without soul (Jerome will be much better as the years will pass by), cold electronic percussions which roll on very aseptic synths; ROCKOON might appeal you. And I know it could because it pleased to a lot of people. It could be an entrance door to some of you, as I know it was an exit door to some of us. But I did stayed and I have discovered some nice music, not as nice as in the golden days but still nice, some years later. Ah this TD! It's like an old flame who never stops to entice you! With or without this ROCKOON and, yes, lot of those which will sound just as bad to my ears. Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2013) *****

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