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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: The Sessions II (2018)

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

“I am disappointed, as I was expecting more, but the footprint of Tangerine Dream is clearly present, bringing a little bit of comfort ...”

1-1 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush 49:42

2-1 9.55pm Session - The Floating Dutchman 44:32

Eastgate -082 CD (CD 95:14) (V.F.)

(Berlin improvised Berlin School)

Presented as a Cup-Disc, THE SESSIONS II is a continuation of the Sessions that the new trio Tangerine Dream likes to do since the release of the Particles album at the end of 2016. Performed and recorded as part of the prestigious E-Live festival on the evenings of October 21 and 22 of last year, the music of THE SESSIONS II is a vibrant tribute to Edgar Froese with two long improvised structures that respect the Tangerine Dream shows of the Froese, Franke and Baumann years, with the technology and the sound of today.

Huge immersive layers grab our ears on the opening of 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush. An amalgam of lines with violin, flute and synth tones floats in front of a sound mass that waves like waves. Synthesized orchestrations redirect the floating moods with poignant arrangements for some or Luciferians' for others. A form of adagio spreads its presence in this heavy veil of orchestrations with the weeping violin of Hoshiko Yamane which brings us to another port of ambiences where floats a flute uncertain of its tone. The sound waves justify their presence by throwing a depth to this phase which gradually projects a vague plot so that the rhythm chases these atmospheres. Synths and sequencers snore and purr. A line of oscillations projects a sonic lasso effect that comes and goes over percussive elements where hides a bass sequence that accentuates more and more its presence. And that's around the 10 minutes that 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush takes off. Unsurprisingly, the zigzagging movement is faithful to this analogous sequencer that wove lines of variable rhythms and which used to pulsate with more and more weight in its pace. Reverberation effects and sonic lassos make up the bulk of the background, as well as seductive percussive elements. The rhythm accelerates the tempo while layers of voices have just buried the timid lines of violin. The rhythm is wild and catchy, and its minimalist membrane justifies its presence so that Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane multiply effects and melodic lines that constantly enrich this unbridled rhythm. We can hear a flute, like tears of violins, singing on this first phase of 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush which meets its wall of atmospherical effects and where the three musicians seem to seek a common thread in this long ambiosonic delay that restarts with its structure rhythm reduced by a lack of cohesion (wanted?) of the new Tangerine Dream.

After loud applause, 9.55pm Session - The Floating Dutchman begins with a vision that is quite Ricochet. The orchestrations are well drawn with an approach of ceremonial serenity. Synth lines and / or violin, as well as layers of celestial voices, adorn a Zen decor. A bit like in 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush, the pace takes off around the 10 minutes. More structured and focused on an emphasis mode, it presses the pace slowly, the violin and / or the synth throws filaments that sometimes sound like a guitar solo, to reach a velocity much more accentuated with a fairly effective heaviness. In fact, 9.55pm Session - The Floating Dutchman is structured as the performance of the previous day but with more homogeneity and unambiguous complicity between the three musicians. The music will be a little less violent after its ambient passage, still keeping a good energy that will blend better to a more ethereal finale. This one is very good!

I am a little shared with this THE SESSIONS II. I am even more on my appetite than with The Sessions 1. Already that the unconditional fans are shouting to genius, I feel a little apart. The beauty of the improvisations at Tangerine Dream concerts, eras Baumann and Schmoelling, was this connection that united the three musicians. In addition, Tangerine Dream improvised around a frame that we knew vaguely. It's all the opposite here where Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane give an impression to jam with a time limit to respect. And it's very apparent at 10.50pm Session - Tulip Rush. There is little, or almost no, long flights of synth with corrosive and majestic solos, let alone a guitar that gave a short vision of progressive rock in the mid-70s. So yes, I am disappointed, as I was expecting more. But, the footprint of Tangerine Dream is clearly present, bringing a little bit of comfort ...

Sylvain Lupari (August 5th, 2019) *****

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