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Le Parc

Tangerine Dream

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Album Review

Featuring shorter compositions and an increasingly lyrical lexicon of electronic sounds, Le Parc has more in common with the burgeoning new age movement than Tangerine Dream's earlier, eerier work. The songs are essentially musical postcards from great parks around the world, though the focus is on the mood generated by these places rather than a literal translation of geographic qualities. Thus, "Yellowstone Park" is rendered with an American Indian spirituality, "Zen Garden" is peaceful and mysterious, "Central Park" highly stylized and danceable. Tangerine Dream's music in recent years had shifted toward more accessible and melodic arrangements, so coming from the vantage point of a Phaedra or Stratosfear, the music on Le Parc could be viewed as a considerable "dumbing down" of their artistic origins. Part of Tangerine Dream's earlier appeal was their ability to evoke images in a language alien to the average listener; by adopting contemporary and relatively common sounds for these arrangements, some of their appeal is lost. The band is still capable of delivering engaging electronic music, but Le Parc operates on a more immediate level that values quick gratification over introspective study. That's not to suggest that listeners won't enjoy this record — the warmly remembered "Tiergarten" is well worth hearing, for example — but it operates on a superficial level that longtime fans may find slightly distasteful.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Without doubt, the recordings of Tangerine Dream made the greatest impact on the widest variety of instrumental music during the 1980s and '90s, ranging from the most atmospheric new age and space music to the harshest abrasions of electronic dance. Founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in Berlin, the group progressed through a full three dozen lineups (Froese being the only continuous member with staying power) and four distinct stages of development: the experimentalist minimalism of the late '60s and...
Full Bio