lundi 10 janvier 2011

TANGERINE DREAM: Stratosfear (1976)

I won’t speak about stories of internal tension. Nor of the too much room that Edgar Froese would have taken. Nor of Franke’s ingeniousness who succeeds in rolling percussions on sequential lines, even less about dexterity and genius of Baumann behind mellotron. Not. I’ll speak about music. I’ll speak about Stratosfear, a classic of contemporary EM and an album which drew a more melodious way to EM of Berlin School style. For fans of experimental music, Stratosfear marked the end of the sound experiments of the Dream while for some; it was the beginning of the golden years of EM.
Roaming notes of a soft guitar meet the mists of a somber mellotron. A low and round sequential line follows of which chords roll as percussions and wave in a mordant rhythm on keyboard keys which are melting in a melodious and symphonic synth. The pace increases with subdivided sequences which shape finely feverish percussions, guiding Stratosfear towards a magnificent melodious passage with its ghostly synth. A remarkable passage where we feel the dramatic and mephistolic approach of Stratosfear which reaches its melodious peak with shrilling blows of a spectral synth. With its disheveled rhythm on subdivided sequences chords and random percussions, Stratosfear navigates in troubled waters embracing brief atmospheric passages but always keeping the course on a minimalist rhythmic with fine modulations. The whole thing is admirably capped by the juicy guitar of Edgar Froese. And the remainder is history. Stratosfear, like its eponym track, will mark the destiny of Tangerine Dream, as much as Stairway to Heaven marked Led Zeppelin’s. Whereas EM, or rather space rock, of the 70’s are stuffing oh heavy analog synths (movements supported all the same by Phaedra and Rubycon) as well as long floating and hypnotic lines, Tangerine Dream offers a melodious album. An album which follows the traces of Phaedra and which also combines an experimental electronic music with fusions of a progressive rock with the essence of a misty folk. Big Sleep In Search Of Hades et 3am At The Border Of The Marsh From Okefenokee are perfect examples.
Delicates notes of an acoustic guitar unfold on a tender bass line and an oniric mellotron which breathes beautiful fluty lines. This nice dreamy intro sinks towards a lugubrious approach with pointedlyperverse and intriguing synth strata on a background of heteroclite sound effects. The mellotron and the guitar take again the melodious air of the beginning and send Big Sleep In Search Of Hades in dreamy countries. 3 am At the Border off the Marsh from Okefenokee starts on a dark note which falls with bitterness on harmonica breathes background. The ambiance is anguishing and represents easily the atmosphere of any lugubrious marsh. A track that must has inspired The Sorcerer with its intriguing bass line hopping movement. The mellotron there is suave and Peter Baumann leaves his last musical footprints with a dexterity which won’t be easily replaceable on next TD opuses. Still there, the sequential rolling are sublimes and espouse to perfection adesultory ambiance where Baumann’s fluty mellotron saves twisted and harder to seized passages. This is some great TD which shows that a start of idea can take several forms. Invisible Limits finishes this classic of 70’s EM in a superb way. A fine base line pursues the intriguing atmosphere of the preceding track with weak guitar notes. A soft synth covers the air with Baumann’s ethereal mellotron while Edgar agitates its six-strings with sensuality. This soft intro forks off onto a more liven up movement where electric guitar gets out of mystic mists, melting in a super fusion electric guitar and mellotron strata which float among heteroclites sounds effects and a sequencer which become more and more frenzied. The tempo runs and zigzags accompanied by a strange synth where Froese sprinkles his strings of magic oil because they melt with astonishment in an electro/acoustic fusion. Invisible Limits dies out on a nice nightly passage where a grand piano forges a path among galactic debris and transfers its harmonies to a superb flute, whose breeze torments our ears, many seconds after its last exhalation.
After the release of Stratosfear, Tangerine Dream was going to undertake an American Northern tour which, a few three decades later, remains engraved in many memories. A great tour catches on a sublime double album, Encore.

VIRGIN: CDV2068

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=2713

1 commentaire:

  1. I'll vouch for the memories of the tour remain engraved. As for Stratosfear, it's only fault is it's too short.

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