Recorded in January 1975 at the Manor Shipton On Cherwell|
- Part One [17:16]
- Part Two [17:34]
Track One composed and played by:
Edgar Froese - Mellotron, guitar, VCS 3 synthi
Chris Franke - Double Moog synthesizer, Synthi A, organ, modified Elka organ, prepared piano
Peter Baumann - organ, Synthi A, E-piano, prepared piano
Track Two composed and played by:
Chris Franke - Double Moog synthesizer, gong, Synthi A, organ
Edgar Froese - organ, Mellotron, guitar, gong, VCS 3 synthi
Peter Baumann - organ, Synthi A Voice, E-piano, ARP 2600
If Froese, Baumann and Franke had only made this album during their entire career it would be enough to place them among the pioneers of ambient music! At that time ( with the exception of Mr. Schulze ) no band created such electronic landscapes in the planet . How different it was from today's inflationated world of electronic music! I recommend it to everyone interested in the origins of ambient and sequenced music.
2002. Manuel Brum / Portugal
Along with Phaedra, this 1975 recording best displays Tangerine Dream's classic sound, reflecting the dark and claustrophobic environment of walled-in Cold War Berlin, while evoking the mysteries of outer space.
The mixture of repetitive sequencer cycles and spacey effects that mark this period of the band's work inspired innumerable energetic synthesizer excursions, and perhaps as many quiet explorations of the ambiences of the spaces between.
2002. New Age Voice / USA
This record was the first Tangerine Dream album I bought. My introduction to Tangerine Dream isn't romantic, although I have great memories from that very autumn of 2002 - the first time I heard the Rubycon and Tangerine Dream.
I had basically read all my rock encyclopedias from A-Z, and the band that I knew I loved before having heard their music was Tangerine Dream.
I found this album, in an original Virgin pressing, for approximately 4 £. After dropping the needle onto the vinyl, a whole new side of music was revealed to me.
When the deep sequencing and backward piano chords unfolded, I was completely mesmerized.
I remember once in the middle of the night I simply HAD TO play this incredible piece of 70's proto-techno to one of my friends - on his answering machine!
(Rubycon convinced him, but unfortunately I had a hard time, introducing him to the other albums!)
Rubycon is an extremely complex piece of music. Unlike the review I made in Danish, I would not make any attempt to make a detailed description of the music this time.
Each rotation reveals a new spectrum, and while listening, all other music becomes insufficient.
No more needs to be said, but the fact that the best version still is the original Virgin V2025 pressing!
2006. Jacob Pertou / Denmark
Regarded by many long term fans as one of their greatest works ever, Rubycon offers fresh vistas on every playing - and some of us have played this one many, many times :) At once strange and yet warmly familiar too, each piece, culled from 20 hours or so of recording, follows the style of strange atmospheric soundscapes to start with, blending into beautiful sequenced main sections, then decaying into the shorter final pieces. There's a well rehearsed warmth and homogeny here, unlike the previous release Phaedra, which is far more "dangerous" and spontaneous sounding.
This is one album I could never live without (along with most of their work from this era [1972 - 1988] in their career) and I recommend it with a passion to anyone wishing to explore this wondrous era of electronic music making...
2007. DSJR / UK
The follow-up to the band's phenomenally successful debut, Phaedra, on Virgin Records, Rubycon is measured in two parts coming in at a very tidy and well-used 34 minutes.
The opening six minutes of "Part One" make for a warmer opening than that of Phaedra. Arising out of the murky depths of shimmering organs, Froese and friends bask the listener in lush swashes of keyboards, the musical equivalent of an aurora borealis sweeping away gently in the distant arctic. However, it is at around the seven minute mark and with the advent of echoing metallic sounds that a more ominous atmosphere begins to take over. Not soon after, the pulsing synth beats and string mellotron that are associated with the band's peak period arrive. Notice how when it begins the pulsing subtly expands from 4/4 to 5/4 to 6/4; I love bits like that. As this section of the piece picks up in dynamic, it reminds me a lot of something one might have found on Pink Floyd's Meddle, even with the same seabed organ sounds and backwards crescendo effects that were used to great effect on "One of These Days."
"Part Two" follows a similar structure to "Part One." It begins with a free-form, rhythm-less opening primarily comprised of audio warping that increases and decreases slowly in register. This dissolves into a void of vocals. At around five minutes, this prelude once again gives way to an echoing, sequenced bass pattern and processed string mellotron. These continue along a steady plane with all manner of effects whisking by, before eventually collapsing back into amorphousness at just under twelve minutes, then finally arriving at an end state of repose (flute mellotron).
This album paints a vast, abstract picture. I would say it is more accessible and less diverse compositionally relative to Phaedra, but by no means less mysterious or powerful. Like its predecessor, Rubycon is another classic Tangerine Dream work that is a must-have for those who want to experience the band on their game.
2006. Joe McGlinchey