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Tangerine Dream: Zeit (1972)

click for more info or to purchase!When you hear the name of Tangerine Dream, you might just write them off as generic New Age. That might hold true to most of their 1980s and 1990s works, but what they did in the early 1970s was totally different and WAY more interesting. To say this album is creepy is putting it very mildly. Only in Germany in the early 1970s can a band like Tangerine Dream pull something like this off. It also helped when there was a small German label by the name of Ohr who had the balls to release such albums, and indeed, this is the label Tangerine Dream recorded for from 1970-1973, before moving on to Virgin Records and changing their style to electronic.

This album was the first to feature the classic lineup of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, and Peter Baumann (Baumann was the newcomer). It’s an extremely ambitious, double album set, each consisting of just one side length cut (around 17-20 minutes a piece). Nothing on this album even remotely resembles music (except for the killer organ at the ending of the first cut, “Birth of Liquid Plejades”). Just tons of creepy wind sounds and strange electronic effects from a VCS-3 synthesizer.

The opening cut, “Birth of Liquid Plejades” starts off with a very sinister cello quartet, in which it keeps getting electronically modified to make it even creepier, before the middle part of the cut, which is mainly organ, and Moog synthesizer played by guest musician Florian Fricke (of Popol Vuh fame), the the last part features some truly sinister Pink Floyd-like organ with wind sounds.

The next cut, “Nebulous Dawn,” is nothing else than tons of sinister electronic sounds and effects. “Origin of Supernatural Probabilities” is another really sinister sounding piece which consistes of this spooky droning sound, wind sounds, and strange electronic effects. And the last cut, which is the title track, is little else than wind sounds that sound like it came off Pink Floyd’s Meddle (you know, the middle part of “Echoes”).

This album is nothing like you’ve ever heard before, you’ll either love it or hate it. Jerome Froese (Edgar Froese’s son, and a member of Tangerine Dream since around 1990) hates this album. Personally, I love this album. If you want something totally off the wall and totally unconventional, this is the album to get.
Original year of release: 1972
– Edgar Froese: glissando guitar, generator
– Chris Franke: VCS-3 synthesizer, cymbals, keyboard
– Peter Baumann: VCS-3 synthesizer, organ, vibraphone

Guests:
– Christian Vallbracht, Jochen von Grumcow, Hans Joachim Brüne, Johannes Lücke: cellos
– Steve Schroyder: organ
– Florian Fricke: Moog synthesizer

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