Recorded and mixed in June 1981 in Berlin.|
- Kiew Mission
- Pilots Of Purple Twighlight
- Network 23
- Remote Viewing
Composed and played by Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Johannes Schmoelling.
Original sleeve design by Monica Froese.
Released during a period of tense Cold War saber rattling, Tangerine Dream's Exit (1981) shows that even a machine-driven electronic band can claim a social conscience.
Its first track, "Kiev Mission" (which the label misspelled on the album), opens with explosions, siren like wails, and then, against a stark sonic backdrop, a whispered plea (a female voice speaking Russian) to end the threat of a "limited" nuclear war, a genuine and much-discussed danger at the time. Some of the album's atmospheric pieces are a touch dated and static (though the X-Files-like "Remote Viewing" merits a thumbs-up). Still, Exit contains two of the most intriguing short-form compositions the group ever released: the driving "Choronzon" and the pulsing, ever-evolving "Network 23", a truly arresting piece in its day, and one that still sounds good a few decades later.
Exit kick starts with muffled gong noises into the very beautiful track, called Kiew Mission - according to Edgar Froese, the only political song they've ever done.
A female sensually recites, in sotto voce, the message of world peace and nuclear disarmament. Very convincing, although the lyric is in Russian, the mentioning of the continents, gives a great effect. Ultimately, a simplistic, yet universally understandable message.
The sad melody, ends any discussion about naive pacifism, and illustrates their serious intentions perfectly. In addition to this, Exit records were freely handed out by the thousand to Russian inhabitants.
In my picky taste, Pilots of Purple Twilight is a little monotonous, and will for me never stand out as anything epoch-making. Edgar Froese, on the other hand, has called it one of his favorite tracks, from the Virgin era (1974-1983).
Choronzon is groovy synth pop, with a quite happy melody, and the infectious drum beat is heavily reverbed in the middle section. The happiness differs from the rest of the album, which is permeated by depression.
The best versions of Choronzon is found on the many Tree recordings from 1980-81, as they are much longer.
Exit is a depressed track, with a spectacular and tormented synth line, present throughout the entire track. To emphasize the mood of depression, the track ends with rain and thunder. Fabulous!
Network 23 is fierce synth pop with some very aggressive beats after 1½ minute. The production is perfect, and during the middle part, I keep hearing my phone ringing, but it's only a synthesizer. The track ends with the coolest, almost stadium rocking chord progression, the band has done to this date.
Exit ends after only 36 minutes, with the most anonymous track, Remote Viewing - a track I really have no relationship to. I can't really reproduce any of the melodies afterwards.
Therefore this track together with Pilots of Purple Twilight drags the rating of this, almost perfect to a 9/10.
"Exit" is quite a haunting and dark album, while at the same time conveying the sense of travel through a thrilling and dimly lit passage of infinite proportions.
The opening track, "Kiew Mission", with its slow, deliberate beats and the mysterious whisperings of some Russian women, will plaster itself to the inner workings of your mind long after its completion.
Unfortunately this wondrous track is followed by a rather mediocre one (by Tangerine Dream standards) called "pilots of purple twilight", which, although maintaining an interesting and driving melody, is far too repetitive, especially considering its 4:19 length.
"Choronzon", possibly the most thrilling and upbeat song in existence, is another story entirely. Right away its fast-paced beat will draw your attention, and when that wave of synth layers and sounds begins, it'll hit you right between the eyes. Throughout its just over 4 minute length, my mind is to this day awed by its power and majesty.
"Exit" is arguably the darkest track on the album, and conveys a sense of impending danger throughout its 5:33 length.
"Network 23" gives the listener a sense of traveling through an intricate expanse of microchips and circuits, and has a beat that could be mistaken for a modern techno tune. Although this one is fairly simple, it's still endlessly entertaining, and ages well.
The final track, "Remote Viewing", begins with flowing yet ominous synth noises and slowly evolves into a more upbeat track with some very pleasant flute-like meandering and precisely calculated synth stabs. This song has most definitely been enhanced with time, and it is a fitting ending to yet another Tangerine Dream masterpiece.
"Exit", although seemingly of a reduced scope when compared to their other works from that period, is by no means to be underestimated.
2000. Travis Briggs
The last part of Network 23 is A-Maze-Zing!
2007. Mike / USA