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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Tangerine Dream Rubycon (1975)

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

“We have just enter in paradise, hell and purgatory from the Froese, Franke et Baumann trinity”

1 Rubycon Part I (17:18)

2 Rubycon Part II (17:35)

Virgin V2025 / CDV 2025

(CD 34:53) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Yesterday's Tangerine Dream has nothing to do with today's. Even twenty years ago. The 70's to the 77's were the pinnacle of Tangerine Dream's experiments and its signature of dark ambiances on rhythmic rides that are equally so. You talk about TD's latest albums without introducing yourself to its first works is a lack of judgment, and it's deliberately wanting to ignore the grandiose past that gave birth to a movement that still persists in 2020. A musical current that has guided countless artists to produce beautiful contemporary works that are directly influenced by this album. RUBYCON is the second opus of Tangerine Dream on the Virgin label. It confirms the clear tendency of the German trio to inject themselves thoroughly in Electronic Music. And this association with Virgin would give small jewels of musical creations. Dante's madness of Froese, united with the docility and ingenuity of Franke, will engender musical masterpieces that will find root in many artists, both from this period and nowadays. Whether with Peter Baumann or Johannes Schmoelling, TD will line up a dozen of these masterpieces. After Phaedra, here is the dark RUBYCON!

Rubycon Part I starts on with notes lost in the void. The senses in alert, we stagnate in a static atmosphere surrounded by chords floating in a Mephistophelic ambience. A bit more sonorous filaments, intergalactic siren songs, tingling effects, serious chorus and waves of sounds that take refuge on the harmonies of a vaporous mellotron! The first 6 minutes of Rubycon Part I are a pure atmospheric moment with a mass of sounds that flutter and form an aerial choreography, like the flying of a swarm of sparrows in a black sky. It's a movement of the sequencer with its undulating line of fluid oscillations which structure this rhythm a little after the point of 7 minutes. Lively with its effect of double-lines of the sequencer, it serves as a seat for evanescent synth solos, like mellotron's, and arpeggios floating in a chthonic dimension. This portion, which lasts a good 6 minutes, has become a classic of the Dream repertoire. The quirky and Luciferian atmospheres come back around the 15 minutes with various effects, both sonorous and percussive, that sculpt an always nebulous panorama.

This soft finale continues on Rubycon Part II where we cross the doors of a monastery and its austere atmospheres. A choir of monks, accompanied by a layer of organ, gives this monastic depth. But this enigmatic tranquility is evanescent. A huge sequenced line gives momentum and paves the way for aggressive and disordered rhythms that swirl around electronic sound effects with a psychedelic dose. Immobile, we are clad in the walls of an abstract art that attracts us and tease our hearing.

A fly that struggles on tape erased! It's a little spastic effect of Rubycon Part II. This inconsistent rhythmic psychosis ends at the back doors of the monastery. The air is radiant, and the mellotron whispers in the ears all the talent that lives in Peter Baumann. We have just entered the paradise, hell and musical purgatory of the Froese, Franke and Baumann trinity. Believe it or not, the future is even better!

Sylvain Lupari (May 15th 2006) ****½*

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