Recorded 2008/2009 at Eastgate Studios Vienna and Peninsula Room, Carmel California. |
- Approaching Greenland At 7 pm
- The Moondog Connection
- Screaming Of The Dreamless Sleeper
- The Unknown Is The Truth
- The Dance Without Dancers
- Child Lost In Wilderness
- Sailor Of The Lost Arch
- Verses Of A Sisong
- Silence On A Crawler Lane
Produced, Composed and Performed by Edgar Froese
Chandra - The Phantom Ferry: Story by Edgar Froese based on a manuscript found in a military camp at Greenland anno 1977
'CHANDRA - The Phantom Ferry Part I' is Tangerine Dreamís latest studio album in 2009. A breathtaking science fiction story taking place at a military headquarter near Thule, Greenlandís capital. The protagonist Carlos encounters a strange entity who seems to know more about his life and the world as he ever imagined. TD at itís best Ė atmospheric sounds with a good part of experimental eruptions and well structured harmonies. An absolute must-have for fans.
2009. Press Information
01. Approaching Greenland At 7 pm: The postman has arrived and two minutes later I'm pressing play on my CD player (1.59 minutes of which I spent trying to get the plastic off the case!). To be honest at first I'm thinking 'more of the same old stuff' from Edgar, with a rather weak meandering melody. However the real interest lies in the stomping sequencing and playful touches throughout track, so perhaps a more complex melody line wouldn't have sat well with the busy tempo. As things become bassier, it becomes harder to resist the foot tapping beat. Extra sequences are added, ever spiralling upwards. A few bars of lush chords and it's over. Once again Edgar pulls it out of the bag with a solid opening track. 7/10
02. The Moondog Connection: A panned sequence kicks things off over a long filter sweep. Spiralling sequences are added, which reminded me a bit of JMJ in places, albeit filtered through a Froesen consciousness. Bass is added, with synth percussion and...oh it's over. Way too short, but very nice nevertheless. 8/10
03. Screaming Of The Dreamless Sleeper: A reversed timbre kicks things off whilst another plays across the channels. A low chord slowly states the key changes and breathes emotion as a bass note mirrors it through time. Echoing notes add colour and interest, and soon a panned synth takes centre stage. The rhythm builds. You've probably heard similar from Edgar many times before, but it's the odd touch; here and there that keeps my attention. 7/10
04. The Unknown Is The Truth: A reversed cymbal 'splash' cross fades into vocoded 'sneezes'. Ethereal synth pads drift in and out, whilst fractured 'Summer in Nagasaki-like' sequences loop, echo and repeat...the volume builds and a rather 90's rave sequence jumps into the mix for a dozen or so bars...a chugging sequence takes over, only to drop away leaving behind a bassy echoing electro-rhythm and wordless choirs, perhaps hinting at Edgar's work on Purgatorio?. Things continue as reversed sounds suck and breath beneath the pulse, sometimes phased, sometimes dry. A bass note is added, as the overall tone becomes metallic and buzzy. Just as things get really interesting it fades to close. 8/10
05. The Dance Without Dancers: Should be familiar to everyone who is a member of Tangerine Dream's online club. A nice & unusual track with parts referring back to Edgar's earlier work 8/10
06. Child Lost In Wilderness: Grits teeth...a bit pop this, not that that's a bad thing, so I'll try to hang in there until the end. I like the use of vocoder, some might call it cheesy or worse, but the rest just plods on and on for no apparent reason. Dull & and not my cup of tea I'm afraid. 4/10
07. Sailor Of The Lost Arch: A few new samples and touches from Edgar, but it's basically just more of the same. Solid, but not outstanding 6/10
08. Verses Of A Sisong: Sounds like an out-take from 'Views from a Red Train', and it certainly owes part of it's structure to 'Sound of a Shell', only with poorer results IMHO 5/10
09. Silence On A Crawler Lane: Edgar needs another track for the end of the album and dusts off an old solo track, adds a few studio clothes...a musical hat and a sonic scarf, but all in all and it pains me to say it, it's a poor way to end the album. Going out with a whimper, rather than with a bang 5/10
Overall another solid album from Edgar, even if some tracks haven't connected with me yet I'd still recommend it.
andy k / UK
The first five tracks are really good in my opinion - the opening track is nice and upbeat, a kind of follow on stylistically from the new tracks on the Flame cupdisc.
I think tracks 2, 3 and 4 are perhaps more of a departure for Edgar, and are really good: A little darker than usual, definitely the high point of his recent work.
It goes off the boil at this point though. My opinion of the second half of the album is that every song reminds you of other tracks done previously, like outtakes from the Nagasaki series.
"Child Lost In Wilderness" at 7 minutes meanders badly (it's the only one I actively dislike) and generally outstays its welcome by about 5 minutes (whilst the fantastic 2nd track "The Moondog Connection" is less than 4 minutes). None more so than the final track which is a remix of a track that originally appeared on Beyond the Storm and then reappeared on the Ambient Highway - which could mean it's a remix of a remix. Nice enough though.
I like the album, I don't think it sucks like someone else suggested. It is slightly disappointing though as after the first five track you think it's shaping up to be one of his best in years, then the quality control goes out of the window a bit.
For the electronic purists, fear not, there's not so much as a guitar twang or saxophone parp, and the drums sound reassuringly synthetic. The sonic palate has a few updates on recent efforts but perhaps not enough. Were there more new sounds to the second half of the disc it might have felt fresher. There's an underlying style to some of the songs which propelled much of Spring and Sumer In Nagasaki.
However that does mean it's not a group effort. It's solely a Froesian senior effort. You'll probably enjoy it more if you think of it as an Edgar Froese solo album as it has that ambient feel to it but with a bit of a sci fi feel to it.
Soy un fan acerrimo de mr. Froese y me parece que ha habido un cambio considerable en este disco me gusta y mucho me parece un genio solamente la ultima cancion la podia haber sustituido por otra mas nueva ya que tiene capacidad para componer todo lo que quiera bravo edgar.
2009. Alberto Quer
It took its time to gather my thoughts about this specific work, which arguably made some peopleís blood boil, but with a certain consensus that it won by further listening. The first impression it had on yours truly was a seriously dull, almost impression less album, more like a sign of stagnation. As it came closer, it made me almost furious, as I thought it was an inane interruption in the bandís otherwise so creative and listenable development. So I put the album on the shelf for a little weekís time. And after this hiatus from the cd player, our mutual chemistry was more sympathetic, and I felt my reactions became more sustainable Ė and therefore valid enough to put on a Tangerine Dream blog. But still Ė the accompanying story seems to me deeply uninteresting. Itís written by Edgar Froese in his intricate, and anything but straight manner, and has a theme on higher consciousness. Itís a bit like listening to David Lynch talk about transcendental meditation, when all you want to hear is about the origin of Twin Peaks. It becomes too abstract and uninteresting. And when you are lectured by life from outer space, in the booklet, that we human beings are lower individuals, because we eat meat from animals, it becomes almost hilarious. So for a simple person like me (who previously enjoyed the literary models for various Tangerine Dream albums) I resign on the concept completely, this time. Whatís left is the music. And I must confess that the best is saved for first.
Approaching Greenland At 7 PM: An epic piece with sequencer kicks off the album with a bang. Thereís no doubt that Edgar Froese (only musician on Chandra) has something on his mind. Itís static synth rock with a regular drive and a gradual expansion of energy. Thereís also room for a playful percussion fill, to underline what a sophisticated track it is. A brilliant album- and (possibly) concert opener. 8/10
The Moondog Connection: In my ears, this a half-finished composition, which ends prematurely. Itís like the beginning of three quarters with Klaus Schulze, where it just fades out, before the sequencers has a chance to greet each other properly, and the destination less solos could act as a connecting link. 7/10
Screaming Of The Dreamless Sleeper: Rather boring, but not without a certain aura of mystique. More shape than substance. 4/10
The Unknown Is The Truth: Sound collage mode is on. There are many impressions here, but very few are stored in the memory. A state of dream becomes urgent, and the coherence crumbles. The ranking is based on the atmosphere, rather than the musical quality. 7/10
The Dance Without Dancers: With a sneak preview in the TDOC (Tangerine Dream Online Club), and many listens, one could think that this track was leading in my consciousness and the reason I like it the best. I don't think that is the case. I seriously think itís the best on this album. One could be led to believe that Edgar has found a basic track from either the Tatort episode Miriam (1983) or Heartbreakers (1985) and added some substantial finish. And good it is. Absurdly good! 9/10
Itís now that many (including myself) think it goes downhill for Chandra:
Child Lost In Wilderness: Shallow synthesizer music, build on chords with sporadic vocoder. The prime example of Edgar Froese music without other peopleís objections. Certainly. 4/10
Sailor Of The Lost Arch: Takes up the thread from "Screaming of the Dreamless Sleeper" in its form, but is still more successful. After three minutes, clicking sounds enter and some harpsichord-like figures sound like a drowsy rendition of "Alchemy Of The Heart" from 1987. Smart people are never bored, so I give this track 6/10.
Verses Of A Sisong: I basically agree with Thomas, who points out that this sound like a repetive Flame (2009) leftover, and it becomes better near the end. The very end is actually very beautiful. 7/10
Silence On A Crawler Lane: This is Ė despite a rebuke from a higher authority - a remix of "Moonlight On A Crawler Lane", which is an Edgar Froese track. This thin cup of tea ends Chandra as a regular anticlimax. 3/10
That was the end of 59 minutes. I can't remember last time such an uneven and boring album was released. Transsiberia from 1998 could be a candidate. I do think Iím familiar with my opinion on this controversial work now, but I see the final Part 2 as more of a hurdle, than something I look forward to.
2009. Jacob Pertou