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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Springtime in Nagasaki (2007)

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

This is a TD cd that we have been waiting for, and we have ceased to expect since ages

1 Navel of Light

a) Part I 8:02

b) Part II 14:43

c) Part III 7:41

2 Persistence of Memory

a) Part I 6:32

b) Part II 13:10

c) Part III 3:50

Eastgate 014

(CD/DDL 54:00) (V.F.)

(Light E-Rock)

Is this another legend around Tangerine Dream? The story surrounding the release of SPRINGTIME IN NAGASAKI will keep TD fans talking and fantasizing for the next decade. According to the press guide, a rich Japanese businessman contacted Edgar Froese to compose a work divided into 5 acts to commemorate the 2 Japanese cities that received an atomic bomb in 1945, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Each opus must have a maximum duration of 54 minutes and be in limited edition. The mysterious patron would have studied in these 2 cities and would have been a resident of Hiroshima during the bombing. In spring and summer, he lives in Nagasaki. During autumn and winter, he lives in Hiroshima. At 83 years old, this strange character dreams of a 5th season that would be eternal. True or not, this is an excellent prelude to a very intelligent and interesting first opus offered by Edgar for ages.

It's with a symphonic flavored crash, full of intermittent percussions that begins this first part of SPRINGTIME IN NAGASAKI. Navel of Light explores a more atmospheric side with a slow rhythm which progresses on soft and light sequences. The synth is suave and unctuous, projecting nice violin strata that exploit a spectral sound on a good bass line. It's a dense, atonic sound fauna with asymmetrical percussion that wraps around an undulating movement, fueled by orchestral strikes like we find on Purgatorio. Part II offers a melodic theme on a virtual koto with pensive and nostalgic chords which is lulled by a nebulous synth with raucous choruses, like on Madcap's Flaming Duty. A good sequencer stirs up this astral idleness by spreading a rhythm of a syncopated sweetness that is fed by hoarse laments and more enticing voice layers. Part III returns to a floating ambience where crystalline keys stir the modulations over a soft undulating sequence and a flamboyant percussions' game. Stunning percussions and sequenced ones with cascading bass and celestial voices over a gentle progressive rhythm. It's not the big thing but hey, it's much more better than what was before.

A bouncy sequence, fueled by percussions and sound effects, opens Persistence of Memory. Fluid, the rhythm is jerky over a softly curving movement. A nasal sax, or maybe a harmonica, wraps this structure of uncertain voices while the guitar lets the echo of its chords wander creating a melodious cacophony. A strange track on an uncertain structure that captures our attention without making us work too much of the brain. At times it sounds like a James Bond theme played on morphine! As amazing as delightful, the finale of Part I melts into the opening of Part II which is wrapped up in a floating and enveloping synth. Celestial voices rise above this atmospheric density of uncertain rhythms and sounds for a heavy track with static modulations where we cross portions of Vivaldi over hybrid laments. There is a huge editing work in this track that calms down with a beautiful melodious piano. A piano transported by a melancholic nasal sound deep into a cave with a thousand and one drops of water. They resound like aggressive notes of a piano that melts with the reverberations of a guitar with saxophone tones. A strange nuance which ignites passions, and which dies on the strings of a cold guitar before being reborn on a wild and tortured rhythm of very good synth solos as well as solid percussions which hammer a galloping rhythm under an avalanche of furious layers. An infernal 3rd part, too short, which dies out in a wet cave.

SPRINGTIME IN NAGASAKI is a Tangerine Dream album that we have been waiting for, and that we ceased to expect for a long time. It's not a sequel to anything and there is no connection with the previous works. Edgar has cut the rope, we know it. Except that here he surprises and not just a little. A very good album with ambivalent movements and an unsuspected depth on structures sometimes strange with atypical rhythms. The play of percussions and sequencer is sublime while the sound avalanche of Persistence of Memory is of an attraction which has of equal only its originality. There is not a fan who can be disappointed. This is the work that we didn't expect anymore. It just remains to be seen if there will be enough copies left for everyone, but you can still find them at Groove nl these days.

Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2007) *****

Available at Groove nl

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