Tangerine Dream / Phaedra
Artist Tangerine Dream
Title Phaedra
Format CD
Released 1974
Label Virgin
1. Phaedra (16:47)
(Christopher Franke, Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann)
2. Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares (10:45)
(Edgar Froese)
3. Movements of a Visionary (7:58)
(Christopher Franke, Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann)
4. Sequent C' (2:17)
(Peter Baumann)
Notes Remembering The Dream

Tangerine Dream! The words themselves conjure up a different world - a world of electronic music, dazzling stage shows and long, unfurling, hypnotic concept albums. Of all the German groups who came out of the late 60s experimental explosion, it is Tangerine Dream who are still consistently making music, with around 50 albums to their credit.
The brainchild of sculptor and Salvador Dali protégé Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream were first a eatles-inspired rock band before becoming an experimental electronic group in the Berlin of 1969. Improvisation and the use of studio equipment led to a form of electronic psychedelia on such early albums as 1971's 'Alpha Centauri'. Yet it wasn't until the line-up settled down to Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann and the group signed to Virgin, that the classic
TD sound came into being. Involving long sequenced synth rhythms overlayed by various guitar, flute and organ lines, the new sound was successfully deployed on 1974's 'Phaedra', a massive-selling album whose influence is still being felt today.
In retrospect, the Virgin years produced the most accessible and streamlined TD music of their career. Albums like 'Rubycon' and 'Stratosfear' widened the texture without losing the mesmeric synthesizer beat. The live North American album 'Encore' was to be Baumann's last before he left in 1978 to pursue an important solo career. A young Berlin organist and sampling expert Johannes Schmoelling replaced him, joining Froese and Franke for an historic concert on the Communist side of the old Berlin Wall in January 1980.
Schmoelling's interest in a sleek commercial sound and the quirkiness of automata is apparent on 'White Eagle', 'Logos' and 'Hyperborea', all three released between 1982 and 1983. Even though they were pushing further into the high-tech world of computers and soundtracks, the TD could still cleverly quote their past, as on the final Virgin studio album 'Hyperborea,' whose Eastern flavour casts a clever eye back to Froese's 60s psychedelic inspiration. With their lengthy tracks, mysterious titles and science fiction covers, Tangerine Dream's Virgin albums have, with the passage of time, become archetypes. So, sit back, listen and enjoy!

Mark Prendergast, London, November 1993