TANGERINE DREAM: The Sessions VI (2020)
“Half a star out of 5! Do I need to explain…”
10.15pm Session – West 48:36
1 Part 1 4:07
2 Part 2 5:11
3 Part 3 1:54
4 Part 4 9:06
5 Part 5 1:41
6 Part 6 1:02
7 Part 7 6:44
8 Part 8 5:33
9 Part 9 4:24
10Part 10 18:50
Eastgate 088 CD
(CD 48:36) (V.F.)
It had to happen. And we could feel it coming for a few The Sessions. I wrote in my column on The Sessions V that The Quantum Years have stretched an already too long agony. THE SESSIONS VI only proves me right! In fact, I cannot understand the essence, let alone the essential, of this album where 4 musicians, yes Paul Frick is one of them, give the impression of playing alone in their bubble. I found it very cacophonous and I totally disagree with those who ask for a sequel, like roll on The Sessions VII!
Part 1 begins like any EM work. The musicians seem to tune their instruments in the silence of mass. We hear synth lines flying with layers of mist and the fencing of the violin. A mass of sound takes shape in a moment of intensity. It does not develop much except that a system of percussive balls rolls horizontally, thus sharpening the eye of the sequencer and our appetite for the divine machine. There are some intense moments, but nothing takes off in the first 3 parts of THE SESSIONS VI. The mellotron is active and its big misty caresses seem to excite Hoshiko Yamane's violin. But for the rest… There is the game of the sequencer which makes its jumping keys drift at times, especially in the short Part 3 where Hoshiko seems more alive. But it remains without link or continuation! Part 4 plays a synth that releases evasive harmonic loops, but we always go around in circles wondering who will set up the tone and especially… when? It seems to be happening in this part of the improvised concert. The sequencer is very active, even pounding its rhythmic structure that keyboards don't want to follow. It's true, those synths have a Tangerine Dream sound, but they seem totally disconnected from what our ears hear. Nothing happens, nothing is created around the sequencer and its imperial rhythmic structure for this lack of appetite from synths. And still, there is no harmonic vision. We feel that something would like to happen after Part 5 and it gets more intense with Part 6. But there is nothing that takes off! Part 7 still offers this arrhythmic rhythm structure which beats with heaviness and resonance and which takes up all the space, like a bad recording, while the piano tries to offer something that holds together. At this moment, it seems to give a kind of concrete music where disharmony is privileged on a structure which has neither tail nor head. And it continues beyond Part 8 and its bombing warning siren. And why exactly this siren? In fact, you have to wait in the middle of this part to find a form of cohesion between the hammering rhythm and the jerky spasms of the keyboards. There is nothing musical about it, especially not these large masses of reverberating radioactivities which lodge in the ears. And when you think that's it, something will happen, it becomes a wet firecracker.
Oh boy-boy! I hate this kind of review. I hate to say bad things about an album. I prefer to go pass over it and listening something else, but when I read rave reviews that I think are partisan, my claws stick out. After all, it is this kind of review that hurts art! This and in addition to having requests for opinions on the same album, I tell myself that we have to set the record straight. THE SESSIONS VI gives me the impression of hearing 4 intellectual and chauvinistic musicians who do what they want while finding themselves extremely good. While for me, this is the worst thing I have heard from Tangerine Dream!! It is time for Mrs. Bianca to move on. After all, nothing can replace Edgar Froese, not even a talented musician such as Thorsten Quaeschning who seems to lose all his talent in this adventure. Half a star out of 5! Do I need to explain…?
Sylvain Lupari (10/15/21) ½****
Available everywhere and on Groove 😊