vendredi 26 novembre 2010

TANGERINE DREAM: Ricochet (1975)

What built the legend around Tangerine Dream were without any doubt the concerts between the years of 74 to 80. There was a whole world of difference between hearing an album and seeing the German trio on stage. More sober in studio, Baumann, Franke and Froese straightforwardly rocked the house down with their live performances. An exploit if one considers that it was only of the pure experimental EM, with a lot of improvisation. Moreover there are multitudes of bootlegs, of which the famous concert at the Reims cathedral in 74 (concert which even heated some butts of Vatican dignitaries) and Ruby in the Sky; the Royal Albert Hall concert in 75. Extremely popular in France, Ricochet was precisely released from these concerts given in France and England churches during the 75 summer tour.
Two long parts compose this great improvised electronic Mass. In those days the analog equipment was very fragile and it was necessary to reprogram synths, sequencers and mellotrons with each move. So, from town to town TD improvised. On the same sequences you will say? Not really. When one listens to pirate live recordings of this period (73-77), one notes that it is pure improvisation. TD, Schulze and Ashra Temple made the delights of 1001 atmospheric nights where cultural shocks were at honor. At the end of the 70’s the improvisations became sequenced, until the arrival of the digital equipments.
Part 1, like part 2, starts very slowly. If a light piano paves the way of the 2nd part, here it is a more atmospheric intro which makes the intro. On both parts tangerine Dream plays with measures and rhythms. Always centered on increasingly mature and lively sequential lines (remember, we are into 75), the drum is more at the image of a progressive rock than of a floating one. Edgar is in great shape and the strikes of his electric six strings on Part 1 remind us that he was also a great guitar player. From a cosmic beat, the trio walks us into atmospheric bad weather and one travels at great strikes of sequencers between rhythm, non rhythm, static and those famous sound loops that mesmerized us since the early moments of TD. A sound feast at the image of Baumann, Franke and Froese creativity! Close to the sound ambiance which reigns on Rubycon, Ricochet is on the other hand more rock and more sequenced. It is a turning point in the evolution of the trio and a classic of EM. Almost 30 years later, the symphonic sound of synths (one would say a multitude of bugle that announces the arrival of a grandiose event) is anchored in the musical structures of imposing groups such as Arc, Arcane and Redshift.
Impressing and very avant-gardism! I know that old fans of TD have Ricochet, but to new fans, like fans of progressive and experimental music, Ricochet is a masterpiece which has its place in any private collection. A musical banquet of high density which is worth the hearing, it’s what we call impossible to circumvent!

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=8261

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