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The Electronic Magic of Tangerine Dream - The Anthology

Tangerine Dream

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Album Review

With Tangerine Dream's recorded output spread across close to 40 years of work, and a variety of record labels as well, a comprehensive overview of their output would be a behemoth of a box set. This two-disc collection of odds and rarities cannot even begin to approach those proportions, but still its journey hits many of the high points that one would hope to find, as it traces band mainstay Edgar Froese at least into the early 1990s. The set opens with a pair of cuts recorded by Froese's pre-Tangs band the Ones in 1967, a couple of darkly atmospheric psych rockers that are far removed from anything he would go on to create. These are followed by brutal live takes on the two-part "Ultima Thule" that marked the Tangs' debut single, but which highlight the new band's personal direction by borrowing much from period Pink Floyd. From there on in, however, Electronic Magic perfectly matches its title, as a clutch of lengthy synth pieces sweeps through the speakers, echoing but rarely repeating the textures and melodies that hallmarked the band's studio output. This is especially true on the early to mid-'70s material, when Tangerine Dream were at their contemplative peak; but even after moving into the '80s, from whence the bulk of disc two is drawn, there is a strength and purpose here that confirms the group's continued importance and influence.

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...
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