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Tangerine Dream - Phaedra


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Tangerine Dream

Phaedra

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February 20, 1974

37:34

Edgar Froese

Peter Baumann

Christopher Franke

1. Phaedra (17:45)

2. Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares (9:55)

3. Movements of a Visionary (8:01)

4. Sequent C’ (2:18)

Do you smoke massive amounts of weed? Do you consider “On the Run†not only a good song in that it adds to the album Dark Side of the Moon, but a good song on its own? Do you like dark, scary music? Do you enjoy the ambient music of Brian Eno, but find yourself wishing that he was more German? Do you need things repeated to you multiple times for you to get the point? Do you need things repeated to you multiple times for you to get the point? Do you need things repeated to you multiple times for you to get the point? Do you like electronic music of any kind? More specifically, do you like trance? Do you need things repeated to you multiple times for you to get the point? If your answer to any of these questions was “yes,†then Phaedra by Tangerine Dream might be right up your alley.

Tangerine Dream is one of the most important and influential bands in electronic music. Albums like Phaedra and Rubycon were incredibly revolutionary, and still sound unique and new today. Phaedra is pretty much the beginning of trance music. Unlike Tangerine Dream’s earlier, wilder albums, Phaedra is an ethereal and relaxing album. Earlier Tangerine Dream albums were challenging to listen to, but Phaedra is really an easy-listening album. The thing that separates Phaedra from other easy listening albums is its dark and eerie mood. Without the use of any heaviness (or any audible rock n roll influence), Phaedra is darker than Black Sabbath. For an incredibly unique, scary, and relaxingly eerie musical experience, listen to the title track in complete darkness (which reminds me, this album is great to listen to during late night and alone driving).

Another thing worth mentioning about Phaedra is how extremely entrancing it is. Synthesized arpeggios and patterns are repeated over and over and over again, becoming very hypnotic and spacey. Because of this, Phaedra is a terrific album to listen to if you can not focus completely on the music. If you are doing your homework or something, and you are listening to Phaedra, the main idea of the music repeats until it is engrained into your brain, whether you’re listening closely or not. Also, the mood, which is the main focus of Phaedra, is easily captured and enjoyed. For many, this is the only way to listen to Phaedra. Although, that isn’t to say that you can only listen to this album unfocused. If you are patient, you will be sonically rewarded when focusing on the music during the entire album, as you will be able to notice all of the subtleties that make Phaedra such a great, timeless album.

I’m going to be honest; for a fan of rock, this album may be hard to get into. I originally got this album because it was on DDD’s list of 100 best prog albums. When I first picked up the album at the library, it was in the new age section, which I definitely wasn’t expecting after seeing it on a prog rock list. It turned out that Phaedra bears no resemblence to rock n roll. To make matters worse, I read the credits and found that there were no instruments...all three band members played synthesizers and technology. And to top it off, upon my first biased glance, it seemed too repetitive to me. However, after a few listens, I put my biases aside, and was able to lose myself in the layers of synthesized supernatural beauty, and I let the album take me on an amazing sonic journey. Hopefully you will too.

Plus, if you're a weed smoker, this album's reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaally good!

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  • 5 months later...

It is this type of review of an album and a group that I have never heard of that intimidates me and makes me wary of responding. I'm old enough to have heard my fair share of music and I like to think that I know more than the average Joe about many artists and genres. But when I come across a review like this, I realize how little I actually do know. I just feel like I don't know enough to contribute. You make all of your recommended albums sound so fascinating. I appreciate the work you put in your reviews, Batman. I'll try to get over my insecurities and let you know what I think about the albums, whether I know them or not.

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  • 1 year later...

Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra, if you want something that is listenable. After that, there is a long list of artists ranging from the more elaborate, studio-intensive stuff (like Tangerine Dream) to the downright crazy and anarchic sounds of avant-garde artists (Neu! and Cabaret Voltaire). It really depends on your threshold for patience. Everyone's got plenty of time to dig on the more popular bands before they venture out and seek other junk. Hell, at this point, I'd say listen to Radiohead's "Cuttooth" and Neu!'s first album and you'll see the striking resemblance in both (Radiohead has gone on the record as saying they've been inspired by them).

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In 1985, Tangerine Dream released "Le Parc," with notable parks in major cities as the focus. Some years later, in the 1990's, VH-1 used to have a Jazz/New Age/World Music show called "New Visions." The closing video was "Berlin: Tiergarten," which featured Weimar-era film clips, reinforcing the fierce feeling of nostalgia. Some years later, "Tiergarten" was one of the tunes I selected for a memorial music disk for my mother, a former second grade teacher. (It's the kids squealing at the beginning of the track that made it a natural selection.) :hippie:

Edited by Guest
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Yeah, I'm sure they'll see it immediately in my first review...

In The Court Of The Crimson King is graced with wonderful use of the grand piano, harpsichord, synthesisers and washes of freshly washed mellotron. Two of the tracks feature flute, reminiscent of Jethro Tull and Camel, whereas 21st Century Schizoid Man is raw and loud, like something off the album Red, which was coincidentally also released by King Crimson. This is either an excellent King Crimson album or an average album by BARRY MANILOW??!!...

:P

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