HiQualityCD. Tangerine Dream Eastgate Era collection vol.1
- Astrophel and Stella
- Shape My Sin
- The Blessed Damozel
- The Divorce
- A Dream of Death
- Hear The Voice
- Lake of Pontchartrain
- Mad Song
- One Hour of Madness
- Hymn To Intellectual Beauty
- Solution of All Problems
Track 1,4,6,8,10 and 12 composed by Edgar Froese
Track 2,3,5,9 and 11 by Thorsten Quaeschning
Track 7 is an Irish Tradirional
Tangerine Dream celebrate their 40th Anniversary in 2007 with the release of their latest album - "Madcap’s Flaming Duty".
The album is dedicated to former Pink Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett who died in July 2006.
Recorded October 2006 at Eastgate Studios Vienna and TownEnd Studios Berlin
The lyrics for each of the songs on the new album are adapted from English and American poets from 17th and 18th century literature by Bianca F. Acquaye.
The music is written by Edgar Froese and Thorsten Quaeschning.
Edgar Froese - Keyboards, E-Guitar, Dobro, Blues Harp, Bass
Thorsten Quaeschning - Keyboards, V-Drums, Steel Drums, Recorder, E-bow Guitar
Chris Hausl - Vocals
Bernhard Beibl - Electric+Accoustic Guitars, Violin, Mandolin
Linda Spa - Flute, Didgeridoo, modified Bagpipe
Iris Camaa - Percussion, Drums
Gynt Beator - Irish-Bouzouki, Bodhran
Thomas Beator - Irish-Bouzouki
The album recorded in Vienna and Berlin during October 2006 features Edgar Froese, Thorsten Quaeschning, Chris Housle, Bernhard Beibl, Linda Spa, Gynt Beator, Thomas Beator, Iris Camaa, and Vincent Nowak.
2007. Press Information
Housed in a very weird fluorescent Green jewel case comes TD’s latest CD
Okay let’s get this out of the way, Tangerine Dream can't do vocal music, they’re masters of instrumental music, because well, because...er.
Take a deep breath, because on this album TD blast some of those preconceptions out of the water…
01. ASTROPHEL AND STELLA
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by Sir Phillip Sidney
Edgar kicks the album off with a breathy Blues Harp solo (that's a Hohner Harmonica to you). He hints at times past whilst preparing us for few new surprises to come on this album, and then it's straight into usual intro (as heard on the Tempodrom DVD) a loop of choirs, modulated synths, filtered hisses and bass notes, but this soon deviates from that version with wordless ‘echoed’ (and perhaps flanged) vocal phrases. Drums are introduced and for the first time you can clearly hear Chris Hausl’s voice, emotional and forceful. The mid paced tempo is kept up as instruments swap rolls within the track, with some guitar from Bernard Beibl in the distance. A solid opening track.
02. SHAPE MY SIN
Music by Thorsten Quaeschning, Lyrics by Christian Torsa
Opens with a chugging sequence, with strummed guitar chords with a very simple melody and swooshing synth sounds, later a higher sequence is added. Drums pound metronome like; hinting at TD’s earlier work with drum machines. A catchy chorus is added with Chris’s vocals doubled with an echoed spoken word counterpoint and then things take off into almost pop territory (don't panic though), the piece drops away and then almost stops… and some very TD sounds bring it all back as panned drums are added and the piece ends with a very TD-like pad. Great stuff, TD does pop, with a new twist.
03. THE BLESSED DAMOZEL
Music by Thorsten Quaeschning, Lyrics by Dante G. Rosetti
The track starts with some layered acoustic guitar, with odd echoing vocal phrases. But this time with a lilting vocal phrase, from Chris. The sequence is panned as a chugging tempo builds, full of small clicks and sonar type ‘zaps’ (it vaguely reminded me of OST from the movie The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Plenty of space is left for atmosphere as Chris’s vocals are double tracked, and guitar phrases interplay with an emotional ‘Mellotron like’ string melody as it subtly weaves over the key changes. Bending its way through this comes a sustained melody (perhaps it might be Thorsten using his e-bow on a guitar?). The bass line hints at the Metaphor EP as a breathy synth melody is added, but the track soon fades leaving you wanting more. Subtle and emotional it’s a great track.
04. THE DIVORCE
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by Thomas Stanley
Ah… Edgar’s track on the Road Map to Music EP comes back in new clothes, with Chris’s new vocals and chorused guitar strums following the chord changes. The lush chords of the original have been removed, giving way to a rather digital piece which wouldn’t out of place on most of Edgar’s solo albums. OK, but nothing special but Chris’s vocals lift it nevertheless.
05. A DREAM OF DEATH
Music by Thorsten Quaeschning, Lyrics by Edmund C. Stedman
An atmospheric pad gives way to ‘surprise surprise’ Thorsten’s track from the same EP, with busy drums over soft pads but this time shorn of its awful ‘out of tune’ vocal sample intro. Over this Chris adds some fine breathy vocals which cross-fade into an even more breathy synth note. A few flute notes from Linda and the whole piece takes off into a lengthy instrumental section, with the flute mirrored by a distant guitar, a few bars and Bernard’s guitar takes centre stage, emotional and showing what an accomplished guitarist he is. Chris returns towards the end. Brilliant.
06. HEAR THE VOICE
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by William Blake
Ah now we are talking! Linda plays an emotional flute intro over a rolling/ echoing bass note and percussion pattern, over this Chris’s ‘note perfect’ vocal phrasing plays with weird synth sounds and key changes from Edgar. Subtle electric guitar is added as the tempo builds and the vocals become more impassioned. Guitar parts play against a ghostly backwards version of themselves, with an organic tempo that pulls against the clockwork synth sequences that ripple quietly as Chris’s voice takes unusual key changes to keep things fresh. Towards the end Bernard bringing it into a more Rock area with some tasty ‘Floyd-like’ licks. Loved it!
07. LAKE OF PONTCHARTRAIN
Music and lyrics 'Irish Traditional', Arranged by Edgar Froese and Thorsten Quaeschning
TD’s Irish tune! Which starts, with all things a Didgeridoo, as weird as that might sound, but it fits perfectly. Acoustic (bodhran?) drums pound as a solid synth sequence chugs along giving the track its backbone. Over this Chris’s vocals give a nice feeling to what is a traditional song, albeit given a modern TD feeling. Only TD would dare to do this and pull it off so well. There’s a nice instrumental break in the middle full of acoustic strings over the rubbery synth rhythms. Chris’s vocals return over a woodwind-like melody, with some nice piano from Edgar. If somebody had said that TD would do an Irish tune and told me I would have liked it I would have said they were mad. They weren't and I love it.
08. MAD SONG
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by William Blake
A nice solid track based once again William Blake’s Poem, but this is no Tyger, its modern TD. Chris pulls off the usual pop falsetto phrases very nicely and just when you think it’s just the same old stuff from Edgar, steel drums are introduced over choir pads, with some recorder? & guitar licks added to the mix. Emotional, if a tad MOR, it should be played on the radio.
09. ONE HOUR OF MADNESS
Music by Thorsten Quaeschning, Lyrics by Walt Whitman
Starts with a nice filtered ‘stretched’ sound color (over a repeated synth sequence), with flute trills and bass rumbles. Chris sings ‘One hour of Madness and joy…’ (prophetic words about this album perhaps?) distant chords take the track into a far more dramatic area, tragic perhaps? With panned hard-sync synth sounds, the piece builds again with a chugging bass line and punchy drums. Some rather tasty melodies are added over a fairly static section, only for drums to punch a dramatic break, with electric guitar coming to the fore and things really take off, with Bernard laying down some great and emotional melodies over the mechanical groove. Chords build and build…a crash and it’s over. Superb!
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by George Herbert
Another ‘mid-tempo’ chugging track from Edgar, over a simple plodding rhythm. Chris’s vocals build into a nice track with a Dobro or a steel guitar type melody, either way it saves the track from being too MOR. OK, but nothing special for me.
11. HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY
Music by Thorsten Quaeschning, Lyrics by Percy B. Shelley
A piano repeated sequence plays over a complex echoing arrangement, with a slowed down ‘break beat’ loop. Chris’s vocals add drama with Shelley’s words and the vocals die away as guitar and synths take over, only for the vocals to bound back in, with a yearning and heartfelt phrase ‘Why do we pass away and leave this world…?" Drum hits introduce a few notes from steel drums whilst Chris returns to Shelley’s text, layered with echoing metallic timbres, with speeded up vocal snippets as the cyclic piano phrase repeats to fade. A brilliant track.
12. SOLUTION OF ALL PROBLEMS
Music by Edgar Froese, Lyrics by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Blimey it’s Depeche Mode I thought. Well perhaps not, but it’s not a million miles away nevertheless, with a rather flat recitation from Chris, but it fits the track perfectly. His voice is given a ghostly harmonized tail as a swirling echoed percussion arrangement plays. Distant guitars wail as the track builds with a more syncopated feeling as a synth weaves in and out ‘snake like’ until it takes center stage. The track ends with Chris’s vocals over a rather Gary Numan-like synth sound. A strange way to end an album perhaps, but it’s certainly a nice little track.
Not everyone will like this album, but I loved it, it’s a belter!
2007. Andy K / UK
It the Best Superb Album by Tangerine Dream!
2007. Laserdisc Dream / USA
Edgar Froese founded Tangerine Dream in autumn of 1967 in Berlin, and over the next few decades the band became a pioneer of instrumental and ambient music. Nominated for seven Grammy Awards, the band has done movie soundtracks and survived several member changes. 40 years and many albums later, Tangerine Dream is still making music.
The new album Madcap’s Flaming Duty is true to Tangerine Dream’s form, full of hollow sounds and spacey atmosphere. It is dedicated to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, and the lyrics of each song are taken from the poems of British and American poets, ranging from William Blake to Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman. Depending on your tolerance for such kitsch in your music, the idea is either insufferably pretentious or delightfully frivolous. Either way, the poetry fits perfectly with the layered landscape of the music.
Chris Hausl, the vocalist, inflects the poems with despair, although at times he sounds like he’s doing an impression of Ian Curtis. However, for a band that has often been criticized for failing to integrate vocals effectively within the music, Madcap’s Flaming Duty is a coup. Hausl uses his voice in an understated way, and his reservation manages to mesh with the ambience of the album.
Within an album of sounds, there are specific sounds that absolutely stand out. Linda Spa’s harmonica on "Astrophel and Stella" feels like something out of an old Sergio Leone film.
The synthetic drums on "Solution of All Problems" shake and shine.
The flute on "A Dream of Death" provides a degree of airiness that perfectly undercuts the thudding drums.
Highlight tracks include "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", which has a subtle piano part that underlies urgent singing by Hausl and a soothing guitar part played by Bernhard Beibl.
"Mad Song" has a catchy melody and its pace is fast enough that it almost feels like a pop song.
"Blessed Damozel" is full of blips and beeps, and Hausl’s vocals are deep and robotic.
For people who can’t stand ambient music, this album will seem to break no borders, and thus is certainly not essential. And at 70 minutes long, it can all be a bit much. But for fans of the genre, Tangerine Dream’s sound is challenging, odd and complex. They are legends, and their new album does justice to the reputation they have built for themselves.
Madcap’s Flaming Duty is not groundbreaking like past Tangerine Dream works, but it is a wonderful journey into an odd little musical world.
2007. Edward Xia