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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: The Sessions VII (2021)

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Lack of cohesion and so many other bad things make me write this was my last review about Sessions

1 9.15PM Session: Each Tea Lasts an Hour, Pt. 01 to 09 (39:29)

Eastgate 090 CD

(CD/DDL 39:29) (V.F.)

(Improvised EM)

Yeah, I have to talk about it! I've talked about all the others and why not this one? I might be tired of writing the same thing. That it's not good! That it's just not good and that it's a very far cry from the original concept that reflected this approach of Tangerine Dream shows during the years 73 to 83. In those years, the Dream had something to build on, albums, to improvise these shows. The Tangerine Dream of today led by Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss, Hoshiko Yamane and finally Paul Frick have not released a studio album since...since September 2017 with Light Flux. There's nothing to inspire improvised concerts! Actually, I didn't feel like talking about it. I still get a lot of mails, and idiocies, so that I talk about the new TD releases. And even though I've lost the taste for hearing these improvised mini-concerts and produced like if we were trying to get rid of something boring. THE SESSIONS VII (Live at the Barbican Hall, London) was a big hit on the Net. Especially on the social networks dedicated to the TD cause. And each time, there's a wave of enthusiasm that I can't quite explain. It's like if some people are paid to unreasonably promote everything that comes out of Eastgate. So, how is THE SESSIONS VII? Before I start, a word about the sound. It's far from being famous! At worst it sounds like a bad broadcast and there are Tangerine Trees that sound much better! It's like the sound is too loud and we lose the details. Because there's a whole sound texture around this little 40 minutes of overly improvised EM.

So, it's behind a bad sound capture that Part 01 multiplies its synth layers that sound very Pink Floyd in Wish You Were Here. A rumble of machine settles while a musician tinkles notes at the piano. These reverb spurts come and go to take on different shapes and tones, even flirting with a vague psychedelic approach. Tinkling sounds, as they could even be telecommunication effects, come out of this sound mass as well as knocks that transport us, with the piano chords and a rain beyond the borders of Part 02. These chords, which gradually become sequenced, and the banging are making duel under a bass line with vampiric shadows. Duel which continues on a mellotron layer which spreads a sinister shroud. We enter Part 03 with a phase where the music seems to make a recapitulation, unless the 4 musicians try to find the main thread. I like the dark effect that a line of gurgles introduces. But for the rest, THE SESSIONS VII seems to stagnate, except for the last moments of Part 03 where nervous clanking and those clear arpeggios tap dance on that gurgling wave, guiding us to Part 04. To be honest, Tangerine Dream manages to harmonize a coherent thing that grows in intensity with chords, rhythmic clicks, sequences and arpeggios that froth in an intense sound magma. It's like anticipating the next rhythmic explosion. The violin of Hoshiko Yamane, I already wrote what I thought of it, cools my hopes while the transition to Part 05 always lets us foresee that this feverishness between the percussions and the tinkling arpeggios comes back to rock down the house with a static rock. It does, but the attack remains static too. The cohesion longtime gone and with a stronger sound than a driving beat, Part 05 flows that beautiful piano over an overly heavy bass and old psybient sound effects before the track treads again on the lamentations of strings in Hoshiko. Part 06, and still the piano, becomes a long preamble for the anticipated explosion that occurs on Part 07. An explosion without passion and without driving effects. In short, a damp squib and an album of less than 40 minutes that stretches unnecessarily and that proves that what we hear has nothing to do with Tangerine Dream and that these 4 musicians, too bad for Thorsten Quaeschning, are not even worthy of the name they sabotage.

Lack of cohesion, weak harmonic vision, deficient sequencer, no synth or guitar solos, one musician too many, bad sound recording, and I could find others. Other elements to explain that enough is enough. This was my last review of the Sessions!

Sylvain Lupari (October 26th, 2021) ****

Available at Groove nl

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