Tan­ger­ine Dream

The Pink Years Al­bums 1970-1973

Classic Rock - - Reviews - David stubbs

First four al­bums from Ger­man elec­tronic gi­ants.

Tan­ger­ine Dream have been in ex­is­tence for more than half a cen­tury and are still go­ing de­spite the death of founder mem­ber Edgar Froese. They’ve re­leased dozens of al­bums, but for many it’s the ‘Pink’ al­bums, their first four, orig­i­nally re­leased on the Ohr la­bel in Ger­many, that are their great­est, their most vi­sion­ary, recorded be­fore they were fully tooled up synth-wise and ar­guably the bet­ter for that.

Elec­tronic Med­i­ta­tion (1970) was their de­but, with Froese, Klaus Schulze on drums and Con­rad Sch­nit­zler, an ‘out­sider’ mu­si­cian re­spon­si­ble for noisy, dis­rup­tive in­ter­ven­tions. There are flur­ries of flute amid the mod­i­fied drones but these sound like the 60s flower power era be­ing slowly stran­gled. By 1971’s Al­pha Cen­tauri, only Froese was left from that line-up as the TD sound – re­mote, pro­longed states of cos­mic sus­pen­sion – be­gan to evolve, tak­ing up where Pink Floyd left off on Um­magumma.

Zeit fol­lowed in 1972, and with the ad­di­tion of Peter Bau­mann the band be­gan to leave all traces of con­ven­tional rock in­stru­men­ta­tion be­hind as they an­tic­i­pated an era of am­bi­ent elec­tron­ica decades hence. On Atem (1973), green shoots of melody ap­peared, at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of John Peel and Richard Bran­son who would launch them prop­erly in the UK via his Vir­gin la­bel.

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