The 'Blue Dawn' is a collaboration between an old chap of Edgar, Ralf Wadephul (he accompained TD on their US tour in 1988) and Edgar Froese himself.
- riding the wind
- eagle's crest
- food for the gods
- without a bad conscience
- cardamom route
- a world away from gagaland
- native companions
- blue dawn
It will contain unreleased stuff from the two guys which came out of nightliner sessions, hotel suite compositions and later collaborations.
The material of this album was composed during tangerine dream's north american tour back in August/September 1988. weeks after weeks in tour busses, planes, hotels and various locations gave the two guys here the opportunity to get musically into something different off stage. The plan was to release the stuff as an on and off the road album later in the year. The road feeling as well as the summertime in the states had been a strong influence for these compositions. The album was completed while hanging out after the tour at a friend's place in LA. Because of various reasons the album had a delay for over about seventeen years before it now will be presented to the public.
2006. Press Information
I heard it a number of times now, and it definitely is a 'grower'. Six tracks are credited to Ralf Wadephul and four to Edgar Froese.
Ralf's compositions truly sound as if they were composed and also recorded back in late 1988, whereas I'm not so sure about Edgar..it seems he couldn't resist to re-record some parts, and tracks like "Thunderheads" (even though it's great) sound a bit out of place because of its use of modern technology. At first I didn't like "Blue dawn"..I kept comparing the tracks to "Optical race" (the only true reference point I guess, apart from "Dead solid perfect" which also was performed around the same time, and also with Ralf Wadephul as part of the line-up).
However "Blue dawn" is a bit different both in songwriting (a bit relaxed and slower) and production (sparse compared to the almost overproduced sounds of Optical race). But what both albums do have in common are catchy melodies, nice guitar riffs and a good production.
Maybe you won't find tracks which are as ultra-melodic as for example "Marakesh" or "Optical race", but I am very pleased with this latest collaboration release (at least much more than I was with "Kyoto").
It may not be as powerful as the 'official' studio releases which came out in the late 80's, however this is a CD which is not to be missed! I'm also glad that Edgar kept the 'tangentizing' (re-recording/overdubbing older material with new sounds) to an absolute minimum. It also shows that Ralf Wadephul wasn't just a 'hired gun' for the Optical Race world tour, that guy was able to write some mighty fine tunes (especially "Food for the gods", this sounds very much like Chris Franke's "Pacific Coast Highway" album and I bet he would have included it right away in case it would have been his own composition).
Thumbs up! :-)
2006. Heiko Heerssen / Germany
You know some of this cd is pretty good! There's a little tangetizing in there (not very evident though) but some of the Wadephul tracks remain intact.
There are 2-3 great tracks (if you like the era) and a few tracks that should have been buried in a vault for ever, but its a better and more honest release than "Kyoto"
1.Where dreams are large and airy: A plucked melody counterpoints chord changes with modern sounds (Typical Edgar solo stuff), but with also some classic sounds from the time of the Man Inside OST (sort of a Mandolin sound?). Overall there's very little development sonically, quite good if a low key opening for the album.
2.Riding the Wind: Dark and mysterious opening, with phased noises over a raspy bass note, a simple sequence starts, the piece builds with a few choral sweeps as the drums punch in, each time more powerful. Just as it's about overstay it's welcome Edgar rips in with some very Lily on the Beach guitar, the guitar is overdubbed with yet another wailing guitar melody, (love it...more please). A brief rattle and it's over. Brilliant and a real highlight.
3.Thunderheads: Opens with stereo pans over a repeated sequence and sustained bass notes and few sampled voice whispers? At approx 1.40 a melody starts and meanders about a bit, although there's some nice variations, with some nice noise modulations.
4.Eagle's Crest: Starts with panned percussion over a Fretless bass sound, whilst a soft chord progression subtly plays. A DX sound is added and the chords change, and Edgar's plays a rather aimless melody on his guitar. the guitar drops away leaving a breathy pad for a few bars, Edgar then returns to close. An interesting if not very ground breaking track.
5.Food for the Gods: A light and airy ambient melody plays (with a few toy box notes, bass rubbles and swooshes). Hints of Thief are heard as the piece dies away...only to start again, then a Flamenco (sampled?) guitar starts, faltering at first, and then a great sequence starts (Ennio Morricone meets Canyon Dreams) as the old melody from Dead Solid Perfect is added. The piece builds and powerful bass notes are added, taking over from the melody for a few bars, before the being replaced by an emotional synth melody. Arpeggios are added, and then the DSP melody returns, with a few twists and turns. One of my favorites on the entire album.
6.Without a Bad Conscience (Conscious?): A modern drum machine opening from Edgar hails in a very Dalinetopia track, everything playing at once, with things just swapping and trading places, whilst a lead synth shadows the chord changes. Solid but nothing special IMHO.
7.Cardamom Route: Sample and hold random notes play, with a punchy drum beat, after a few bars Edgar adds rhythm guitar, over a Dead Solid Perfect melody and sequence (more up tempo though)...the volume builds as a sample-like guitar melody plays along, with falling hard sync synth notes. More sequences are added....everything drops away leaving just a couple of sequences to close. A good solid track.
8.A World Away from Gagaland:. A very digital opening melody plays over vocal pads with a plodding drum beat. Once again things are swapped around a bit (sounds more like an out take from Dalinetopia to me).
9.Native Companions: Starts with a DSP sequence, with analog(ish) pads, and ghostly effects, a sampled guitar then takes over (as heard on Dalinetopia if my memory serves me correctly) with a whistling melody. Edgar then adds some real guitar and the track takes off, drums are added, and then into one of the most memorable guitar solos from Edgar ever...stunning, if a little on the short side. You can't have everything I guess...leave them wanting more etc etc.
10.Blue dawn: a meandering sequence plays over a glassy melody and eerie sounds. Blasting it's way through this comes a very overdriven synth sound (I don't think I've ever heard it on another TD album), anyway it's unusual....a powerful Chord closes this part, ...then the piece is built again, this time with a very 80's synth melody (as some people have said very Flash Gordon )....drums pound (and are panned ). The lead changes character slightly as the chords take on a choir like quality...nice stuff....Edgar plays his guitar, and few beats and then everything returns at a high volume, with Edgar adding some solid guitar work. Powerful chords close the track over a train like 'rattling' rhythm.
2006. Andy / UK
My claim that Edgar Froese has become my least favourite Tangerama musician, this side of the millennium, shouldn't be traced back to when I asked him for an autograph, and got a fairly rude treatment. On the contrary, I think the other musicians keep his flag flying, because he's the man behind the legendary band, known as Tangerine Dream.
As an example, I set his son, Jerome Froese's Neptunes (2005) up against his own Dalinetopia (2004) and compare. These two records' individual characteristics are magnificent specimens to distinguish the respective contributions from each other.
Edgar's initiatives are - at worst - completely pointless and annoying... in other words meaningless.
On Blue Dawn, it's not that extreme, but they pale beside, the contributions of his mate.
Blue Dawn follows the concept of Kyoto from last year, that means Edgar allies with a former member, dig out scrapped material from the hiding places, polish and release them.
In collaboration with Johannes Schmoelling, Kyoto was released in 2005, based on recordings from 1983, which was a big success in my book. This time, the turn has come to a collaboration with a lesser known sparring partner - Ralf Wadephul, who should fill out a spot in live context on their North American tour of August and September 1988, when Tangerine Dream were reduced to the nucleus of Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger.
The basic material was actually composed and recorded during this tour, on the tour bus, in hotel rooms, planes etc. and is the symptom of Tangerine Dream's notoriously bad ability to relax, combined with the access to an inexhaustible source of creativity.
Ralf Wadephul only managed to put his compositorical stamp on Iguana from the retrospective i-Box (2000) and Sungate from the 1988 album, called Optical Race. He was out of group the same year.
Then it might come as a surprise, that his six compositions definitely scores the most points of quality, and makes the album enormously attractive. Stylistically, Edgar's contributions reminds of me of what he released on his compilation-series, Ambient Highway, which had as much substance as a wine gum, dissolved in a glass of water. Anyway, he has pitched into the job, to save his face, compared to Ralf's sublimity. He also gains the most of respect for his high-flown guitarsolos he adds to Ralf's tracks.
I think the best thing about this record is that Ralf has brought along some different synthesizers, with a notable difference from Edgar's sound. The sound is warmer, and a clear favourite is the massive, seventh cut, which is blessed by the name of Cardamom Route.
That is an evident pun over the 1983-track called Cinnamon Road - a delicate synth-pop pearl, which split the fan-community, for being just that.
Edgar's track, Without A Bad Conscience is grand in all it's coldsweating melodiousity, but there is an evident quantum leap, when Cardamom Route begins.
It does that together with an excellent drum beat, combined with synthpads, and introduce something as relieving as acoustic guitar chords. When the synth melody starts upon a beautiful synthpad chord-progression, the mood has been manifested. Gradually, more layers are added, the melody is strengthened by a guitar-replica, which doesn't get into an erratic course, and then comes the previous mentioned, almost alien synth sounds. I love the way the track returns to its starting point, as reconstructed with synthpads + the beat, followed by the gradual, melodic structure.
On the surface, this description doesn't make any sense, but compared to other bands, Camel and Opeth are in the closest frame of reference, because it's a bittersweet, confident melody originating from heartbreaking melancholy.
You almost feel as if, the repeat-button was invented for this song.
Then follows two tracks, before the closing title track can knock about.
There are several examples of Pink Floyd-plagiarism, done by Tangerine Dream, but Ralfie's Blue Dawn is the most evident.
After playing a theme from one of their 80's soundtracks, with a totally fat, quasi-analogue synth-sounds, the track mutates into the rhythmics of "One Of These Days". The drum fills could be done by Nick Mason, just as the climax isn't skipped. While you automatically say "One of these days I'm going to chop you into little pieces", Edgar plays a Gilmouresque, sexy, almost vulgar guitar solo.
Blue Dawn is not rounded off with the usual, and releasing calmness. Instead, you're almost knocked over by the violent title track, thinking: Had the band completely disappeared from the interest of the musical press, if Ralf had stayed?
2006. Jacob Pertou / Denmark