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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: The Endless Season (2010)

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Within time we will remind how good is Edgar and will leave quite a legacy

1 Flashback 1:15

2 Devotion 9:18

3 Virtue of Hope 4:37

4 Escape 6:36

5 The Seven Barriers 8:28

6 Logic of Intuition 6:40

7 Shunyata 6:30

8 Restless Mind 5:23

9 Wild Ocean of Blue Fate 7:44

10 Breaching Sky 4:07

11 Morphing 4:03

Eastgate 047

(CD/DDL 64:42) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, melodious EM)

Ah dear Edgar! He is capable of the best as well as the worst, while being very so/so at times. Go figure out what goes on in the head of a serial composer! Because Edgar is indeed a serial composer and like everything else in a series, there are some links that are weaker than others. But this is not the case with THE ENDLESS SEASON (Part Five from the Five Atomic Seasons). We have to be honest and admit that building beautiful melodies on evolving sequences and on very good guitar solos is not an easy thing. And what's more, this last chapter of The Atomic Season is full of reminiscences to old works, as well as more recent ones of Tangerine Dream. Like what the silver fox cannot deny its roots. Certainly, there are things that annoy, like this futile and outrageous use of artificial angelic voices and its light rhythms à la Iris Camaa (Wild Ocean of Blue Fate), but on the whole THE ENDLESS SEASON is one of the rare solid works that Froese has produced in these last years.

Muffled yet clattering percussions are flitting randomly in suspension. They float in a sidereal void where synth lines and isolated arpeggios draw a neo-apocalyptic structure. Flashback has a huge scent of déja vu and is a perfect intro for this last chapter of The Atomic Season which is full of long movements with changing rhythms. The bouncy, hesitant arpeggios of Devotion's intro still dance on the ashes of Flashback's finale, promising a nervous beat. But instead, a soft morphic guitar makes rising its solos that crisscross a land of desolation. For if we want to place ourselves in the context of Edgar, THE ENDLESS SEASON is the one that closes this terrible devastating nuclear incident and Edgar makes it well. Because, THE ENDLESS SEASON (Part Five from the Five Atomic Seasons) is drawn in the mold of melancholy, of human pain and of this bitterness of living which seems to gnaw at Edgar since years. The guitar is good and is shared with fleeting synth solos that float like veils of mist over ephemeral arpeggios that come and go without really changing either rhythms or melodies. Except that in the end, a soft synthesized flute emerges from this confusion of harmonies, plunging the listener towards the very good and sensitive Virtue of Hope. A delicate track, led by a morose piano whose notes get lost in the softness of a synth with the aromas of a flute marked by nostalgia. Curiously it sounds more like in the old English countryside than in Japan. Still, it's beautiful and the delicate arpeggios that join this ballet for insomniacs are reminiscent of the virginal approach of Legend. After its spectral intro, Escape twirls on its chords that turn like a carousel on good percussion hits. The synth throws a vocal veil on this dramatic intro where the rhythm evolves in two times; in carousel or in spiral which alternates on a synth whose hybrid breaths mix with artificial voices. The Seven Barriers is one of the good tracks on THE ENDLESS SEASON; a kind of heavy electronic blues where the two guitar styles, Edgar Froese and Bernhard Beibl, throw powerful and amazing solos that intertwine very well with the discreet synth solos. A duel for guitars, particularly these violent loops which follow one another around the 5th minute, where the percussion strikes are on the other hand a little anaemic and less omnipresent than this artificial voice which is on the other hand more bearable than on Winter in Hiroshima.

After a slow start where everything seems motionless, Logic of Intrusion has a nice rhythmic ascent with its minimalistic chords that drag the intro to a heavier and bubbling rhythm around the 2nd minute. The sequencer movement is superb with its subdivided lines that create rhythms and harmonies with alternating percussion strikes, drawing a galloping cadence that twitches with a nervous rhythm and runs under sometimes vindictive and sometimes spectral synth solos. A superb track that combines progressive rhythm and harmony in a superb way as Shunyata whistles a cute melody with sharp synth blasts that sing over evolving electronic riffs whose main permutation is under the aegis of a very harmonious synth. Wild Ocean of Blue Fate is the closest thing to very light Tangerine Dream from the 2000's. Although I like the bass that stretches its chords and the guitar solos that shape an aura of mysticism, the sequencer line whose rhythmic chords melt to a mixture of sanitized percussions lacks punch and we quickly lose interest. Breaching Sky continues this light sequencer line that accentuates the pace with good percussions. There are some nice synth lines that overhang shimmering arpeggios and float like leaves falling from a tree, adding a spectral dimension to a track that progresses with good percussions and dramatic synth chords to finally jump into the heavy and powerful Morphic. One of the very good tracks of The Atomic Season whose strong liberating approach, on heavy sequencer and melancholic synth, is a superb conclusion to THE ENDLESS SEASON (Part Five from the Five Atomic Seasons).

Hats off to Edgar! It's true that sometimes some of my reviews are not without irritating your numerous fans, but we have to give Edgar his due and THE ENDLESS SEASON (Part Five from the Five Atomic Seasons) is a very nice EM album. An EM that Edgar Froese tries by all means to make as harmonious and as accessible as possible. But such a bet is not without risks nor without destabilizing the legion of supporters who follow the creations of this icon of contemporary music. Certainly, there will be albums that will disappoint, while some will remind us of the genius of this loner who has always done what he wanted.

Sylvain Lupari (March 18th, 2011) *****

Available at Groove nl

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