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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: The Sessions IV (2019)

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

“The Sessions IV shows us that when there is no more juice in a lemon, it can not be filled with the juice of another lemon ...”

1) 10.32pm Session Persepsjontransformasjon 27:27

2) 11.27pm Session

Four Degrees Parallax 36:42

Eastgate ‎| 084 CD

(CD 64:09) (VF)

(Berlin School)

Honestly, the bar was high after The Sessions iii. And that's why I wonder about these recordings that they put on CD. Is this one an essential? Not for me. Is it good? I don't believe so! THE SESSIONS IV shows that when there is no more juice in a lemon, it can not be filled with the juice of another lemon ...

A layer of fog installs the bases of Persepsjontransformasjon. The sounds and whispers of the crowd make me think of an audience recording. An aura of mysticism coats this introduction woven into violin layers and a sibylline choir. Keyboard chords vegetate here and there, placing funeral chords in an introduction sewn in mystery. Like keyboard chords, the percussive sounds land on it like lifeless riffs. A good layer of mellotron raises the song of a flute while the percussive effects come and go without pushing any form of rhythmic life. The mystery gives way to chthonian atmospheres that adorn this opening frozen in a sort of calculated improvisation. The sequencer goes into rhythm mode a little before the 8th minute. There is still a lot of noise from the crowd when this chaotic rhythm jumps awkwardly in sonic spells spread by synths in search of old sound horizons. Make new with old or do anything with new! This is the dilemma of Persepsjontransformasjon which, if manages to make get up the pace, seeks its core of creativity. There are good elements, but I have the impression that everything was said during the first 3 sessions. If the pace starts around the 14th minute, it is predictable. Always, I have this impression to hear a deficient recording. And even these percussive elements, like marble balls that clash and which are usually so attractive to the ears, abound, the charm is broken. Either because of its too long takeoff versus its too short duration or this blurry vision that filled the minutes of Persepsjontransformasjon. The sound quality and lack of dynamism conquer my patience, so I jump at Four Degrees Parallax.

Already, the sound is much better, and I feel the cohesion of the trio. Rippling water effects, also present in Persepsjontransformasjon, paired with synth/violins pads make me think of Pink Floyd post Roger Waters. The flute is in better tune, as are the percussive jingling that clink on the resonances of a good spongy carpet from the bass line. Indecisive layers and mermaid choruses adorn another long intro that seems to sink into nothingness around 9 minutes. The flute always radiates its songs when the heavy and nervous rhythm climbs the ambiances around the 13 minutes. Therefore, Four Degrees Parallax makes bounce its bass sequences with a fluidity finely jerky. More dynamic, with a surplus of percussive effects, the title exhausts its skin changes thru some great sequencing and percussive tones battle.Some of those changes are abrupt, with a bumpy rhythmic cohesion that leads us to a kind of sequencer solos that was clearly lacking dynamism in Persepsjontransformasjon. In fact, the two titles are very similar, too much to occupy the same CD and I have a clear preference for Four Degrees Parallax. Although I think that THE SESSIONS IV is just not good enough in the end to be put on CD. Once again, another good idea from the management of Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane (I don't even dare to write Tangerine Dream anymore because nothing here is Tangerine Dream!) that has shown us time and time again that money is sounding better than music!

Sylvain Lupari (November 2nd, 2019) *****

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