dimanche 3 février 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: Le Parc (1985)

“Different certainly, Le Parc is nevertheless a beautiful opus filled with beautiful ballads at once cute and well put on rhythm”
1 Bois de Boulogne (Paris) 5:07
2 Central Park (New York) 3:37
3 Gaudi Park (Guell Garden Barcelona) 5:10
4 Tiergarten (Berlin) 4:28
5 Zen Garden (Ryoanji Temple Kyoto) 3:07
6 Le Parc (L.A.- Streethawk) 2:56
7 Hyde Park (London) 3:50
8 The Cliffs of Sydney (Sydney) 5:20
9 Yellowstone Park (Rocky Mountains) 6:10
10 Streethawk (Radio Remix) 3:04

EsotericRecords | EREACD1027 (42:49) ***½ (Melodic and rhythmic EM)

Ah … “Le Parc”! When one thinks about it, it's not a bad album at all. It's like agreeing to a new loving flavor offered by our beloved. We were happy before! We loved these long musical sexual intercourses to surprising outcomes which peppered an excessive listening, amply justified by so much creativity. But our mistress with strings of iridescent diamonds decides something else. And, as every good conquered lover, we agree and, oh surprise, we eventually like it. Except that in secret, our beloved has just thrown the pattern of our future relations; finished the length cavorts now it's time for short harmonious exchanges! For a lot of Tangerine Dream fans, “Le Parc” represents the swan song of a legend. Firstly; it's the last album of the trio with the most electric and most electronic phase of the Mandarin Dream. Secondly; it's the album that is also a major turning point in the career which from now on will move towards more concise and more harmonious compositions. And the story will reveal that the Dream dropped the long and complex musical journeys of the Berlin School to spawn quietly in the American electronic music model; the New Age. Edgar Froese once explains this change of musical orientation this way: “Tangerine Dream is like breathing -- the first 12 or 13 years was breathing out and the other decade is breathing in. The simple concept is the inside and outside world. It's more complicated if you go into it, but breathing in means that by the natural aspect of breathing, it's inside and not spacey. It's not macrocosm, its microcosm.” And it's a little bit of this ideology that lies behind “Le Parc”; 9 tracks for 9 parks that have seduced and inspired Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Johannes Schmoelling. And this album of the Dream has had several editions and remasterings. A cat would lose its young in there! This latest (and last?) edition from of Esoteric Recordings offers a more beautiful definition of the sequences and percussions which are the cornerstone of “Le Parc”, cutting thus the rhythms with more neatness without altering the beautiful melodies that are holding onto it. Besides, this version offers "Streethawk (Radio Remix)" in an allegoric commercial format with a heavier and more nervous rhythm which aims at a clearly younger public.
"Bois de Boulogne" starts this virtual musical journey with a sober rhythm embroidered by a good meshing of sequences and percussions cracking of heterogeneous tones. The rhythm is smooth, sensual to the limit, with a good bass line of which the pulsations resound boorishly around the harmonies of a synth which strew its breezes in multicolored tones, sometimes reedy and sometimes austere. With its percussions which are clicking such as fatigued castanets and its bass line to the hasty notes tumbling down in a street crowded of traffic, "Central Park" has surprised more than one. The music is a kind of rock with curt chords and a splendid keyboard which winds its chords frivolously, bringing a disconcerting melodious aspect into this violent rhythmic context which is just as the image of its city. It's a good track worthily of a high sound level. "Gaudi Park" is striking with its percussions sounding like tom-toms which alternate their hits in an organic surreal musical fauna. The sequencing is magical. Twirling like some snips of scissors in a melodious mist, they draw a harmonious rhythmic schema all in nuance. Some melodious synth layers in the shape of solos are wrapping this tempo with enriched by chorus and by sound effects of all stripes (we are even entitled to some winks of eye from the Poland era with percussion gas), embroidering the outlines of a very electronic ballad which melts into the wonderful and melancholic "Tiergarten" and its piano notes which stroll among cherubs' hubbubs. The rhythm increases all in musicality, beneath these piano notes which accept the caresses of a synth whistling under a radiant sun. This is another very TD melody beautiful melody which ages very well within the years. Without rhythm, "Zen Garden" inhales the Chinese traditional values. The pinched chords of Koto float with lightness in the furrow of powerful pulsations and their resonant echoes, while that choirs and silvery mists blow a kind of calming on a track which distances itself by a dramatic theatrical approach. The title-track lands with velocity on another beautiful meshing of percussions and sequences. The rhythm is frank. Weaved by this meshing, it fattens its rhythmic approach with another sequence line, a more crystal clear one, which waves with frenzy under the charms of a very harmonious synth. It's quite a lively track which finds its wealth in a panoply of sound effects (by far the strength of “Le Parc”) and which became the musical emblem of a cult TV program as well as the single of this album
"Hyde Parc" is a strike of genius! The intro is fed by percussions with strange heterogeneous tones, drawing the plan of a melodic rhythm which skips stubbornly. And on a short lapse of time the German trio managed to build a superb track to royal intonations with this so cherub rhythm which increases its intensity and its hypnotic grip on a constantly evolving melody. Splendid and stoical English-style! After small samplings of gulls' shouts, "The Cliffs of Sydney" pursues with a tempo supported by good rolling percussions and a synth with nice effects of light violins. The approach is very cinematographic and the rhythm is heavy, even black, with resonant chords skipping in the silvery mists of a synth which spreads its harmonious pads on an increasing melodious rhythmic pattern.
"Yellowstone Park" is of an infinite beauty. This very beautiful ballad starts with reedy breezes which mislaid their lamentations in the discord of an orchestra which adjusts its horns and strings. A fine melodious approach is blooming. Such as a tick-tock, it drums its weakened chords which are grafted to the heavy hammerings of percussions, weaving a heavy and suggestive rhythm that the suave voice of Clare Torry (remember Pink Floyd's The Great Gig in the Sky?) caresses of its warm sensual laments. The symbiosis voice and synth is sublime and the whole thing offers a very beautiful suggestive ballad which hammers in our eardrums a heavy and slow melody of which every blow stigmatizes a listening as amazed as dreamy eyes contemplating the images which capture the spirit and the beauty of this magnificent park to thousand treasures.
Different certainly, “Le Parc” is nevertheless a beautiful opus filled with beautiful ballads at once cute and well put on rhythm. We are, on the other hand, very far from the long tracks with evolutionary structures and always so surprising denouements. But this is Edgar's will and “Le Parc” marks this beginning of a new era for Tangerine Dream where equipments and technologies will get the upper hand over the creativity of former days. And it's a pity because the story will show us that there was still room left all over EM for this kind of structures with outcomes as much tortuous as the grooves of a beach abandoned to low tide. Yes, I do like these new flavors that my love proposes me but I miss these long audacious movements which have peppered these listening prisoners of so much diversity and creativity.

Sylvain Lupari (October 29th, 2006 and translated on January 30th, 2013)
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=8976

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