TANGERINE DREAM: Views from a Red Train (2008)
Updated: Sep 3, 2021
“The first 2 tracks have undermined my perception towards this album. In fact it's a good one from Edgar”
1 Carmel Calif 7:32
2 Passing All Signs 6:14
3 Leviathan 7:01
4 Hunter Shot by Yellow Rabbit 9:33
5 Nutshell Awakening 6:37
6 One Night in Space 6:55
7 Serpent Magique 9:20
8 Lord of the Ants 9:40
9 Fire on the Mountain 7:41
10 Sound of a Shell 6:41
(CD/DDL 77:47) (V.F.)
How to approach this latest Edgar Froese album, VIEWS FROM A RED TRAIN? Announced as a solo album by Edgar in the summer of 2007, the album turned out to be a Tangerine Dream album in the spring of the following year. What happened? Um...dunno! So, the music was entirely composed by Edgar and performed by the artists that was around him at the time; Thorsten Quaeschning, Linda Spa, Iris Camaa and Bernhard Beibl. So, how is it? It's not the first two tracks that convinced me!
With a hyperactive sequencer that follows the arm work of the beautiful Iris on percussions, Carmel Calif starts off like a lion. Except that it remains a cold rhythm in box that is surrounded by these artificial voices without passion, they are of an emotional platitude, on sober and sanitized arrangements. The corny sequences with futile wriggles lead to rhythms without colors nor flavors too long exploited since the passage of the Dream at Miramar. The famous Seattle Years! In fact, Carmel Calif is not a track that is too enticing to explore this latest offering from the old silver fox. I hear it's a last-minute title...well, it should have stayed in the vaults. But Edgar probably would have passed it later in a Booster. Passing All Signs is a passionless slow song, even if Edgar and his gang try by all means to exploit the heartstrings that cause shivers. By the way, when was the last time TD gave me chills? Oh yes, it was with Mothers of Rain from the Optical Race album. Does The Spirit of the Czar from Dream Mixes 3 count? Still, it's more and more rare and Edgar forces the note on Passing All Signs and the results are not there. But then, VIEWS FROM A RED TRAIN literally takes off. Leviathan! An explosive track with Edgar and Bernhard Beibl in great shape on the electric six-strings. Edgar who rocks on a heavy rhythmic structure like Peter Gun where sequences and percussions try a vertiginous neurotic race. We are warned on Eastgate's website that this album is oriented on rock and guitars. And then it is true! One Night in Space is another heavy track that drags a floating guitar. A guitar with dizzying loops that rolls on good sequences with undulating gravitations and good percussions.
Ditto for Lord of the Ants and Fire on the Mountain, which is less explosive, but just as corrosive with its percussions armed of muffled vibrations and a superb presence of the synth. A beautiful track on accelerated drumming sequence with a nice synth/guitar fusion. On the solid rhythmic level, we must not forget Nutshell Awakening. Less violent, the guitar is still sublime. It floats with good melodious solos on drummed percussions as well as short and curt sequenced pulsations. A beautiful melancholic guitar which joins the sadness of Dalinotopia! On the ballad side, it's a bit thin. Apart from its insipid chorus, Hunter Shot by Yellow Rabbit is a nice one. A dark procession, on light pulsations of a synth with symphonic and dramatic breaths which evolves on a sequenced structure, full of beautiful guitar solos, which goes increasing. Some good Edgar that will please the fans of the Tyranny of Beauty and The turn of the Tides periods. Sound of a Shell concludes with a beautiful romance on acoustic guitar shaken by those damn neurotic sequences that have no relation with the music, even if they are very light. Yes...there are always those insipid choruses, but it's better here.
Well, it's not a masterpiece but it's not that bad. In fact, VIEWS FROM A RED TRAIN is an amazing opus. Yes, there are still those annoying, redundant and anemic sequences worthy of a beginner, as well as those damn insipid choirs with icy harmonies, but Edgar Froese believes in it. And we feel it! But beyond these few weaknesses, there are some beautiful finds and a snarling ardor that shows that Edgar still has a sharp ear. So before saying that this last Tangerine Dream is only worth a flock of nails and that it's an unimaginative void (as I said), you have to go through the first 2 titles and then there's Leviathan and... All my excuses Edgar.
Sylvain Lupari (May 15th, 2008) ***¾**
Available at Groove nl