The Pink Years Albums 1970-1973
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.