TANGERINE DREAM: The Park is Mine (1991)
Updated: Jul 31
“This explosive soundtrack is probably the last of the great albums from Tangerine Dream”
1 The Park Is Mine Main Title 1:16 2 Fatal Fall/Funeral 2:16 3 The Letter (Parts One & Two) 5:18 4 Taking The Park (Parts One & Two) 8:28 5 Swatting S.W.A.T. 7:23 6 Love Theme 3:23 7 The Helicopter Attack 4:40 8 Morning 1:20 9 We're Running Out of Time 1:01 10 The Claymore Mine/Stalking 5:22 11 The Final Confrontation/The Park Is Yours! 3:34 12 Finale/End Credits 6:19
Silva Screen SIL 5080-2
(CD 50:20) (V.F.) (Explosive sequencer-based E-Rock)
Initially composed and recorded in 1985, the music of THE PARK IS MINE is heavy and strongly inspired by the sequential torrents which have livened up Poland and The Keep. Doubtless the last vestige of a group in transition, this soundtrack is a real jumble of small masterpieces which underline with great difficulty the peak of a giant band on the downward slope. Chris Franke does quite a whole work at the level of sequences and percussions, creating wild and unbridled rhythms, and others a little less, without limiting the vision of a big one among the big in the field of EM. And as I said it from the beginning, THE PARK IS MINE is heavy. Very heavy even! As long as that seems to be a Chris Franke's album with a rhythmic structure as lively and misty, from where this heaviness at the level of the atmospheres, which is fastened to a heavy and intriguing bass pulsations as well as to sequences which are dribbling in order to reach at times some vertiginous speeds.
Solid attractive rhythms which are watered by the melodious approaches of Schmoelling as well as riffs, layers and impetus from the synths of an Edgar Froese who seems to have to find the pleasure to play the kids on this album. And from the first sequences which run to very fast pace of The Park Is Mine Main Title we dive in the periods of Poland, The Keep and Near Dark albums. A little as in Near Dark and a lot as on The Keep, the ambience is dark, even intriguing, to the size of Tommy Lee Jones' screen play who embodies a very weakened soldier. If the short titles put us in the mood with hybrid directions where the rhythm is next to soft harmonies, the long titles are finely polished up. The Letter (Parts One & Two) is a superb melody forgotten in the sessions of Le Parc, but with a dark side which binds to the dark and experimental universe of Legend to that more black, but strongly atmospheric, of The Keep. Behind this nightmarish pattern is hiding a splendid Mellotron melody which is of a rarity, and a find, in the repertoire of the Dream. Heavy riffs of a mordant guitar and a sequencer with convulsive chords in a corrosive rock approach, Taking the Park (Parts One and Two) is subdivided by multiple rhythmic approaches, a little as if there were several small titles in this segment of 8 minutes. The approach of Franke on the sequencer is superb with these chords which are divided into the halves and forge a field of echo on the haze of a striking guitar from Froese and the strikes of Franke on e-drums. The whole is subtly watered with the nice dreamy chords of Schmoelling's keyboard. A huge title which amazes because of its originality, its meshing of sequences and percussions as well as its complexity, one would say a surreal tempo, just like the very good The Helicopter Attack which plunges us into the ultimate universe of Franke's sequencing patterns.
Sequences at loss of ear which crisscross and get subdivide, creating this unique tone of TD in the 80's. Ambiguous rhythm on heavy percussions and in moiré synth strata, Swatting S.W.A.T. swims in the full mysteries of The Keep and Near Dark with a very pre-TD approach (kind of The One) where Edgar's guitar and its psychedelic perfumes get confronted with the heaviness and with the technological vapors of today. Dark and without precise rhythm, we have the impression that the whole thing is going to blow in our face, exactly as the increasing paranoia of Tommy Lee Jones. THE PARK IS MINE isn't just a story of sequences and wild beats which knock together in order to create shifting tempos. There are soft and very melodious moments such as Love Theme, the short Morning and the nice Finale/End Credits which is preceded by a honeyed rhythmic intro. But the strength of the album lives in its heavy and strangely unpredictable rhythms which are weaved in dark ambiences while caressing a soft progressive madness, as on The Claymore Mine/Stalking and The Final Confrontation/The Park Is Yours!. Two tracks which describe very well this ambience of confrontation and suspense weaved in very good arrangements and, like always, in a wonderful sequencing play which digs in the ashes and in the artificial echoes of Poland. Magical and very good!
As for me, and after soundtracks as empty of passion like we heard in Dead Solid Perfect and Three O'Clock High, THE PARK IS MINE is a find and an album forgotten in this torrent of sound ineptitudes that the Dream laid too often in the 90's. This is a great heavy and rhythmic album where the tempos are going adrift in a night-torpor and are surrounded with an aura of mystery which has as much its place as The Keep, Legend and Near Dark in this anarchic discographic disorder of the world of movie music of Tangerine Dream. I easily imagine Chris Franke get bored to death after the departure of Schmoelling. The only one who really knew how to ennoble, due to his sense of melody, the genius work of sequencer of the German percussionist
Sylvain Lupari (March 28th, 2017) *****