Recorded in December 1973 at the Manor/Shipton-On-Cherwell.|
- Phaedra [16:45]
- Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares [10:35]
- Movements Of A Visionary [7:55]
- Sequent 'C' [2:17]
Performed by Chris Franke, Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann.
Tracks 1 & 3 written by Chris Franke, Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann.
Track 2 written by Edgar Froese.
Track 4 written by Peter Baumann.
I like this CD so much, because Tangerine Dream's music inspired Steve Roach's music. Tangerine Dream's music inspired Steve Roach's albums "Now" and "Traveler". O.K. this CD has ebbs and flows of spacey currents, thrills and chills, and of course spooky sounds. With an ultimate "Analogue" sound that touches your heart. If you listen to this CD, you'll also listen to Steve Roach's "Dreaming...Now, Then", "Midnight Moon", and "Streams & Currents".
Stephen Plescia / USA
Released in 1974, this is the prototypical "Berlin School" space music record, with churning sequencers, lush electronic pads and warbling Mellotron melodies. But there are also long stretches of deep space journeys: collages of timbre and texture.
This period of Tangerine Dream's work inspired legions of synthesizer knob-twisters, and pointed the way for countless explorations of tone, freed from the constraints of melody, harmony and rhythm.
2002. New Age Voice
I like this CD soo much, because of it's Steve Roach inspired music.
This CD has been inspired by Steve Roach's "Streams and Currents" and "Midnight Moon". O.K. this CD begins with ebbs and flows of spacey currents, thrills and chills, and of course spooky influences. With a ultimate "Analogue" that touches your heart.
If you listen to this CD, you'll also listen to Steve Roach's "Streams and Currents" and "Midnight Moon".
2004. Stephen Plescia / USA
"Phaedra" spawned an era of some of the best movie soundtracks ever recorded, i.e. "Firestarter", "Risky Business", "Legend" and "Thief" to name only a scant few.
It is easy to see how this group which often performed in total darkness during this period riveted its' audience, and how John Peel felt a responsibility to expose them to the world.
To Mr. Plescia.
Maybe I was wrong but I thought that Steve Roach started to play any music allmoust ten years later than this disk had need released.
2004. Rimvydas Zinkus / Lithuania
Dear,Stephen Plescia / USA, I haven't a clue who you are talking about. Remember, this album dates from 1974!!! After Walter (eh, sorry Wendy) Carlos did great things to classical music electronically, this was a complete change for contemporary music!!!!! This album has absolutely NO predecessors!!!
This is, alongside with Klaus Schulze's "Timewind" my most played album/CD ever (even Miles Davis' "Kind of blue", nor anything by Pierre Henry neither Pierre Schaeffer, Xenakis nor Stockhausen).
I was a young lad in 1974 and this album changed my entire existance.
2005. Lieven Van Paemel / Belgium
Although Tangerine Dream had already carved out a niche for themselves releasing four albums on the German Ohr label, it was "Phaedra", the band's fifth album and debut on Virgin Records, that catapulted the band to 'superstar' status so-to-speak. When the album was released in early 1974, "Phaedra" showed an amazing feat of making the UK top 10 with virtually no air play or heavy promotion. Its success was purely due to word-of-mouth. 30 years later, "Phaedra" is regarded as a blueprint for techno, trance and ambient music and still sounds fresh and vibrant today.
Upon signing with Virgin, the Tangerine Dream band members (Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann) were given a large financial advance which allowed them to purchase the very latest technology on the market. Franke purchased a Moog synthesizer which became the primary vehicle for this album alongside Froese's Mellotron. The new equipment as well as a fresh new musical perspective made for what is undoubtedly a landmark album.
The album opens with its 17-minute title track which begins with a long choir-like drone from the Mellotron accompanied by strange space sounds. From this, a Moog sequencer pulse emerges which sets the pace for the first half of the piece with its hypnotic shifting rhythms. As the rhythmic section reaches its climax, the piece shifts into an otherworldly collage with a droning organ and haunting Mellotron strings and choirs. After the main piece fades out, there is a brief coda of a recording of children playing in a playground.
The second half the album is taken up by three shorter pieces. The first is the nearly 10-minute "Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares". Despite its rather spooky title, this piece is actually a calm atmospheric piece by Edgar Froese performed on the Mellotron along with some embellishments from the VCS3 synthesizer. The mood of this piece definitely creates images of watching an ocean on a clear quiet night.
The next track, "Movements Of A Visionary" begins with what sounds like whispering voices in an echo chamber before giving way to Franke's frantic Moog pulse rhythm. Both Froese and Baumann embellish Franke's sequencer with long held organ phrases and subtle electric piano textures.
The album's closer "Sequent C" is a brief 2-minute coda by Peter Baumann which was either performed by a heavily echoed flute or a keyboard that sounds like one. The echoed and arpeggiated phrases aren't too different from that which is heard on the very early Kraftwerk albums (pre-Autobahn).
This album was only the beginning of Tangerine Dream's very successful run in the 1970's. The next several releases would also become ground breaking classics which would lead to the band's first U.S. tour and first foray into film scoring. "Phaedra" was the beginning of TD's spot in the limelight and displays just how ahead of their time they were at this early phase.
This album is highly recommended not only for electronic music fans but also for those studying the genre's history. This is album that can be listened to and studied time and again and still have new elements be heard in it.
A Definitive Pioneering Opus!!
2005. Louie G. Bourland / USA
In 1973 Tangerine Dream signed with Virgin Records, recorded Phaedra and embarked on the most commercially successful and critically lauded phase of their existence. What made Phaedra different from Tangerine Dream's earlier albums was the use of the sequencer (the band had used sequencers on their previous recording, Green Desert, but that album was not released until much later), a device that was a crucial component of the band's classic style. Take the sequencer patterns out and what you are left with spacey phrases produced by Mellotron, organs and synthesizers isn't tremendously different from what the band had already been doing.
With those patterns in place, though, the music takes on a whole different dimension. What had once sounded airy, atmospheric even free-form moved with significantly more purpose and drive once locked into that mechanical pulse; by contrast, the passages without sequencers are rendered all the more effective. Nowhere are these new developments more definitively on display than Phaedra's powerhouse title track.
Almost as great is "Movements of a Visionary," a piece of similar style that packs in even more of the band's new hi-tech toys.
Ironically, though, it's the sequencer-free "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares" that I think is the album's best. With an unexpectedly moving sense of grace, the piece absolutely perfects the "cosmic cathedral" atmosphere that recurred across the band's earlier records.
Phaedra is a landmark album of 1970s electronic music and was also Tangerine Dream's most accessible and "musical" to date. I think that it is the best of the band's first six albums and one of Tangerine Dream's two or three best overall.
2007. Matt P.