Released: 2005 By TDI Music International
Available on backorder
Louie G. Bourland / USA
It’s almost hard to fathom that it was over 30 years ago when Tangerine Dream made history with their groundbreaking release Phaedra”. The album was partially responsible for changing electronic music as we know it and paved the way for the ambient and techno music that was to become popular decades later.Now in 2005
Jacob Pertou / Denmark
In connection with the announcement of this album, there was from my side, a great deal of skepticism concerning a re-recording of Phaedra – Tangerine Dream‘s biggest commercial success.In the year of 2002 a moderately successful box set entitled The Melrose Years, featuring re-recordings of Optical Race, Lily On The Beach and Melrose, was released.In the years of 2004-5 the entire solo production of Edgar Froese comprising the years 1974-1983 released, with the soundtrack to Fassbinders Kamikaze 1989 being the exception. These releases were acceptable, as some of the original albums are almost impossible to find, and if Edgar wanted to re-release them, he had to re-record, to avoid controversies with Virgin. By the way, I consider Edgar Froese‘s old solo albums a testground for new equipment, and an update was exciting. I jumped at the re-recordings of Epsilon In Malaysian Pale and Macula Transfer, otherwise I would have never heard those two classics.In the year of 1974 Phaedra was released by Virgin Records, their first album on that label. It reached Gold status on the British charts, and many looks back upon it as an electronic milestone – righteously.The original Phaedra is like all the other Virgin albums are, still easy to find, and one could marvel at the purpose of yet another re-recording.Ironically, Jerome was heard on the original album, at a playground, at the end of the title track, but he didn’t participate in the 31st anniversary recording, of that very album!Nevertheless, the year of 2005 didn’t see much collaboration between father and son. While Jerome used unheard long time to redefine his own sound on the outstanding Neptunes, Edgar’s earlier visions of a true progressive band was replaced by (more or less successful) retrospects on the last 31 years – album wise that is. The best being his collaboration with Schmoelling on Kyoto, where a contemporary stamp was added to the 22 years old tapes. The worst example was Phaedra 2005, only recorded by Edgar Froese, and a little flute by Thorsten Quaeschning on Sequent C.The project was almost doomed from the beginning, as you easily could pretend how the album would sound, when you already had heard some of the re-recordings of the aforementioned solo albums. It may sound like a paradox, as I find these albums alright. What I am trying to say, is that Phaedra from 1974, doesn’t have the same status. It’s because Phaedra.. …Isn’t impossible to get. …Not only is Edgar Froese, but also Peter Baumann and Chris Franke….is perfect and doesn’t gain anything artistically relevant by a re-recording.
Edgar hasn’t even dared to change anything on the originals. The title track is based upon the 1988-version, at that time a modern item on the Optical Race tour, here with the usual addition of unfocused synthpads – aka Tangentization. I wouldn’t mind this layer being completely scrapped, because it would remind me of the version they performed, when I saw them at the Shepherds Bush Empire in 2005.At this very concert, where they promised to perform the entire Phaedra live (they didn’t), one could buy the ep called Space Flight Orange. This ep included the track called Jupiter Space Doors, which was built upon the same foundation. This track was remixed in the Dream Mixes genre, apparently by Jerome, and had more youthful vitality and nerve. Not a bad starting point, if works are to be updated!Structurally, Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares sounds very unchanged, but the analogue sounds has, in comparison, been replaced by a tame digital sound. The version reminds me suspiciously a lot of the Tangents version!Movements of a Visionary suffers from the same digital fate, but a rhythmic sound of a train on railroad tracks, reminiscent to Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk, raises the level a bit. Sequent C is the most successful of the re-recorded tracks, because Thorsten Quaeschning plays the flute, and adds a fresher approach, than the old, bilious Edgar Froese.The bonus track is called Delfi, and the self-important Press Information claimed it to be written in a 70’es style. It is quite a good EM-track, but with a snag in the fact that it’s just another track from the new production!
Phaedra was mostly like I expected it to be. Delfi was heard a few times on Edgar Froese‘s homepage, and only the three-minute track, called Sequent C, attracted some attention. Phaedra 2005 is easily enjoyable and listenable, but not necessary, honestly.I think Edgar has changed his view on the old material quite sometimes. In a statement in 2003 he refused to do a ‘wheelchair’ version of Rubycon (i.e. performing Rubycon with old equipment) at the London gig . At the same time a re-recording of Phaedra, the all time classic, could also be labeled ‘wheelchair’, if you interpret the word as ‘uninspired’ and ‘not being creative to the originals’! A Rubycon 2007 might be in the melting pot?!?
2006. Jacob Pertou / Denmark
DSJR / UK
The original 1974 Phaedra was an epiphany for me and the repercussions from my first listening to this album shortly after release have stayed with me for life! The fact that so much of the original title track were improvised (the sequenced part at the beginning was apparently a slowed down bass burble” that was slowed down to its component notes and brought into tune with Edgar’s Mellotron I understand) gave it a spontaneous and almost dangerous quality that hasn’t dated.So what of this version then? I’d seen in a record shop a disc with Phaedra 1988 on it and at the time didn’t buy it for one reason or another. However this re-make caught my interest and being such a fan of the original
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