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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: The Sessions V (2019)

The Sessions V arrives with this bitter feeling of deja-vu in the very great story of Tangerine Dream

1 09.12pm Session - IJ 33:27

2 02.28pm Session - Gruenau On The Other Side 43:59

3 11.15am Session – Regattastrecke 20:49

4 11.15am Session - Regattastrecke (Video) 21:52

Eastgate ‎ 086 CD

(CD Digipack 98:15) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, Improvised EM)

After a The Sessions IV that had let me completely on my appetite, THE SESSIONS V arrives with this bitter feeling of deja-vu in the very great story of Tangerine Dream. Recall that the members of the trio Quaeschning, Yamane and Schnauss have all had two big solo years since the release of Particles. Hoshiko Yamane produced her first 4 solo albums. Thorsten Quaeschning went there with an original soundtrack, the excellent Cargo, and Munich, in addition to collaborating with Paul Frick, Ulrich Schnauss and most recently Harald Grosskopf. Ulrich Schnauss collaborated with Nature Of Wires in addition to assembling a huge retrospective work. All this leaves the trio little time to blow on the sails of the late Edgar Froese's musical vessel. And it's okay like that! Tangerine Dream has no reason to exist, although my friend Thorsten can be considered the last link between Edgar and his Tangerine Dream. And all these musical directions and solo works leaves as little time to get involved in this series of Sessions that the management of Tangerine Dream has wrung until the canvas is completely crumbled. Which brings us to this THE SESSIONS V!

The context is conducive to this long introduction of intertwined layers whose bluish colors allow floating riffs and pulsations without organization to filter from 09.12pm Session - IJ's introduction. The 3 musicians are in concert and must find a way to harmonize their vision in a scheme that will seduce us as much as in Particles or in The Sessions iii. It's therefore a stream of arpeggios twisting on itself that the ambient rhythm attempts an approach between my ears. The rhythm that came out is heavy with a jerky approach like in any good improvised Berlin School which has a shy link with the tours of 81-82-83 of the Dream with Johannes Schmoelling on board. The synth throws arcs with Arabic and psychedelic scents while the sequencer sculpts the road with a heavy and lively structure which makes a first stop around 21 minutes. A small atmospheric phase and ottoman! The rhythm returns with more vigor. All this is good. But something is missing. Too long? Lack of practice, of complicity? Passion? Yes, passion and soul are just not there anymore. 02.28pm Session - Gruenau On The Other Side has been lay down in studio on digital reels. Its introduction is very similar to that of 09.12pm Session - IJ and we better recognize the slow agonies of the violin. The noise bustle is set in motion while the rhythm portion is always desired. It's a long introduction, we are in the studios of Betonwerk in Berlin, which leads me to believe that the trio is filling up the CD while gradually velocity and fury at the level of the sequencers and of the bass line bring the music to a core less passionate rhythm than in 09.12pm Session - IJ. In fact, the two structures are almost identical with more heaviness and a longer atmospheric phase in 02.28pm Session - Gruenau On The Other Side. Now 11.15am Session - Regattastrecke!

Little stroke of genius at the marketing level here with an audio version and another on video of this title which is the most beautiful one of THE SESSIONS V. Shoot in black and white, the video casts a very intimate look at the 3 musicians with plans detailed of their gestures and even their moods, in particular the excitement of Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane who seems to float in this tiny practice room. The music? It's cut in the same mold that the first two titles and it's there that we note the extent and the grip of the Japanese violinist on the musical direction. It literally replaces synthesizers, both in harmonies, solos and effects. I must emphasize that she is very talented in the art of tweaking her strings, extracting tones inaccessible to synthesizers. Remember Bernard Xolotl! Her violin cries over jets of sequences and of percussive elements which tie up a chaotic rhythm and rather seductive for the ears. Little by little, this long structure is organized to weave a rhythm as heavy as it's lively. In the end, we have the violin on a bed of sequenced pulses, sequences and other percussive elements to which are added the multiple sound effects of another synth. No synth solos, no guitar! In short, a title that looks like the other two on CD 1, only better. Does that reassure you? Me, it scares me, and it leads me to think that this The Quantum Years stretches an agony already too long to which is added another painful chapter with Recurring Dreams.

Sylvain Lupari (24/02/20) ***½**

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