Tangerine Dream - Oasis

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Miramar
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:53:00

The opening piece on Tangerine Dream's Oasis, "Flashflood," builds the tension slowly, leaving you with the sense that something is going to happen - that in the next moment symbols will crash, drums will thunder, and this tune will spin out of control. Well, this is Tangerine Dream, so nothing that drastic happens, but the momentum does build, quickening the pace, as keyboards appear above the synth washes. The momentum is tweaked again as brushed cymbals are added to the mix, giving this an almost techno feel. Not having seen the video the music accompanies, I can't tell you what visuals go along with it, but there is the sense of watching a flashflood in time-lapse photography, and up close, as the mud and water spreads over an ever wider area.

The subtitle of this disc is "Natural Wonders of the American Southwest". I think the music captures the feel almost perfectly, with titles like "Zion," "Cliff Dwellers" "Hopi Mesa Heart" that alone evoke the Southwest. Picture wind- and water-sculpted formations rising up out of a desert floor, their rust and yellow stratas marking the passage of time, the bright, clear sky stretching to infinity. Tangerine Dream have captured this, allowing each of the compositions to clearly illustrate the wide-openness of the Southwest.

Whether this can be considered progressive is up for debate - this probably falls more into the maligned category of New Age, but electronic/ambient is a much better term, as pigeonholes go.

And yet, while certain passages may allow you relax and take it all in, the overall sense here is edgy, each track walking on the edge of possibility. The keys often take on a more percussive style, leaving one with the sense of motion.

Anyone who has ever watched a PBS Nature Special, for example, will be familiar with the filmic device of flying low over the landscape, taking leisurely swoops and dives as the terrain warrants. Eyes closed, you too can skim over the Mojave Desert, skirt along the edges of the Grand Canyon, or frolick among the cacti.

"Cliff Dwellers" has an catchy drum beat, which unfortunately, reveals itself too obviously as a programmed bit of drumming. An odd thing to say, given the genre, I know. And yet, it is catchy enough that I found more than once I was tapping along.

Is this the best Tangerine Dream album to date? I'm not intimately familiar with the vast - and I mean vast - catalogue of Tangerine Dream. And I suspect fans of earlier Tangerine Dream find modern Tangerine Dream a bit more like Tangerine Merengue. Whatever its place in the entire TD ouvre, it is a pleasant and enjoyable listen.

It's hard, though, to look at all that they've produced in thirty odd years and not view this somehow as more product. I'm sure that's not the idea behind it. Edgar Froese is no slouch in the music crafting department and Tangerine Dream are surely asked to be part of a project for more than the name factor. But because this doesn't seem like they are challenging themselves, it seems more like ... like product.

I don't want to slag Tangerine Dream, either. I happen to like this album, the music is engaging. If it weren't this would be a one sentence review.

So, the bottom line is, should you buy it? It wouldn't be essential to your collection unless you are TD completist, but if you like contemporary instrumental music (or New Age, Ambient, Electronic...) it's worth considering. If you are just exploring TD, it isn't a bad place to start as it documents where Tangerine Dream are today.

Flashflood (7:00) / Zion (5:43) / Reflections (5:08) / Cliff Dwellers (5:06) / Waterborne (7:20) / Cedar Breaks (5:07) / Summer Storm (6:06) / Hopi Mesa Heart (5:53) / Chia Maroon (4:10)

Edgar Froese and Jerome Froese

Electronic Meditation (1970)
Alpha Centauri (1971)
Zeit (Largo In 4 Movements) (1972)
Atem (1973)
Phaedra (1974)
Rubycon (1975)
Ricochet (1975)
Sorcerer (1975/1993)
Stratosfear (1976)
Encore (1977)
Cyclone (1978)
Force Majeure (1979)
Tangram (1980)
Exit (1981)
Quichotte (1981) (Germany only; live LP, see Pergamon)
Tangerine Dream '70-'80 (1980) (4 LPs)
White Eagle (1982)
Thief (1982)
Logos - Live At The Dominion (1983)
Wavelength (1983)
Hyperborea (1983)
Risky Business (1983)
Poland - The Warsaw Concert (1984)
Firestarter (1984)
Flashpoint (1984/1995)
Heartbreakers (1985/1995)
Le Parc (1985)
Legend (1985/1995)
Pergamon - Live At The Palast Der Republik (1985) (same as Quichotte)
Shy People (1985)
Dream Sequence (1985) (3 LPs)
Green Desert (1986) (recorded in 1973)
Underwater Sunlight (1986)
The Collection (1987) In the Beginning (1986) (6 LPs)
Near Dark (1987)
Three O'clock High (1987)
Canyon Dreams (1988/1991)
Tyger (1988)
Live Miles (1988)
Dead Solid Perfect (1988)
Optical Race (1988)
Lily On The Beach (1989)
Miracle Mile (1989)
Melrose (1990)
Destination Berlin (1990)
The Man Inside (1990)
Rockoon (1992)
Deadly Care (1992)
220 Volt Live (1993)
Turn Of The Tides (1994)
Catch Me If You Can (1994)
Tyranny Of Beauty (1995)
Zoning (1995)
The Dream Mixes (1995/1998)
The Dream Mixes (1996) (Special UK release)
Goblin's Club (1996/2004)
TimeSquare - Dream Mixes II (1997)
Tournado Live (1997)
The Keep (1997)
Ambient Monkeys (1998)
Atlantic Walls (1998)
Atlantic Bridges (1998)
Dream Encores (1998)
The Hollywood Years Vol. I (1998) (unreleased material)
The Hollywood Years Vol. II (1998) (unreleased material)
Oasis Soundtrack (1998)
Quinoa Extended (1998) (ext. ver. of fanclub only CD)
Transsiberia (1998)
Valentine Wheels (Live In London 1997) (1999)
Sohoman (Live In Sydney 1982) (1999)
What A Blast (1999) (except USA)
Architecture In Motion (1999) (What A Blast USA)
Mars Polaris (1999)
Great Wall Of China (1999) Tang-go (2000)
Soundmill Navigator (2000)
Antique Dreams (2000) (comp)
The Seven Letters From Tibet (2000)
I-Box (2000)
Dream Mixes 3 - The Past Hundred Moons (2001)
Inferno (1st Part of Dante Alighieri's 'La Divina Commedia' (2002)
The Melrose Years (2003) (Re-recordings of Optical Race, Lily On The Beach and Melrose)
Mota Atma (2003)
Dream Mixes 4 - DM4 (2004)
Rockface (Live In Berkeley 1988) (2004)
Purgatorio (2nd Part of Dante Alighieri's 'La Divina Commedia') (2004)
East (Live In East Berlin 1990) (2004)
Arizona (Live In Scottsdale 1992) (2004)
Rocking Mars (Live At Klangart Festval 1999) (2005)
Jeanne D'Arc (2005)
Paradiso (3rd Part of Dante Alighieri's 'La Divina Commedia') (2005)
Phaedra 05 (2005)
Blue Dawn (2006)
Paradiso (2006)
TD Plays TD (2006)
Summer In Nagasaki (2007)
Cyberjam Collection (2007)
Ocean Waves Collection (2007)
Bells Of Accra (ep) (2007)

Canyon Dreams (VID/DVD) (1987)
Three Phase (VID) (1992)
The Video Dream Mixes (VID/DVD) (1996)
Oasis (VID/DVD) (1996)
Luminous Visions (VID+CD/DVD+CD) (1998)
Architecture In Motion/What A Blast! (VID/DVD) (1999)
L'Inferno 1911 (DVD) (2004)
Dante's Inferno (DVD) (2006)
Tempodrome Live Concert 2006 (DVD)
35th Phaedra Anniversary Concert Live In London At The Shephard's Bush Empire 11th June 2005 (DVD) (2007)
Madcap's Flaming Duty (DVD+CD) (2007)
London Astoria Live Concert 2007 (2007)

Genre: Electronic

Origin DE

Added: April 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.tangerinedream-music.com
Hits: 1004
Language: english


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