Tangerine Dream - Transsiberia


Year of Release: 1998
Label: TDI Music
Catalog Number: CD012/EFA 63012
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:25:00

I don't think a year goes by without a Tangerine Dream release or two. New music, soundtracks, re-releases, whatever ... there never seems to be a lack of new TD product on the shelves. Now, I don't use the word product derogatorily, but factually. They have released a product. Transsiberia falls into that middle category, soundtrack. Subtitled "The Russian Express Railway Experience," it is the soundtrack to a documentary, part one, it seems, of the "Russian Heart" series.

First, a little history/geography. The Trans-Siberian Railway runs across Russia from St. Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok in the east. Although not all the locations mentioned are on the Trans-Siberian ... it looks like Yaroslaw is north of Moscow ... they are all along Russian trainways. On the route, however, is Lake Baikai, in southwest Russia; and the Jenissi River (one of various spellings throughout the years) runs down about the middle of Russia. Ulan-Ude is a town west of Baikal, where a number of rivers converge, including the Uda. The railroad was built from 1891 to 1904.

The soundscapes here sparkle with their clarity ... which means that on the production end of things, this is a damn good release. There aren't really instruments to pick out ... there are synth washes, percussive sounds, driving keys ... there is a strong sense of motion in the music, but whether that is helped by the pictures featured in the booklet, I can't say. So much of this music, TD and others, is designed to create a sense of movement ... without lyrics, without soaring guitar leads, etc ... the repetition of note sequences creates the kind of rhythmic lull one gets into when travelling by car or, as here, by train.

And yet, if it goes on too long, then it becomes extremely repetitive. And just when you start thinking that about the second track "Smoky Karlow," it makes a subtle shift, up an octave, and a slight variation in pattern. Both the first track "Yaroslaw Station" and the third "Siberian Nights" begin with percussive sounds at the forefront. But for the synth washes, and the occasional tooting of trumpet like keys, you'd think this was techno - the percussion has that kind of heavy beat. You can dance to it, actually.

And here's an odd association ... the beginning part of "Jenissei River," for the first five or ten seconds or so ... maybe longer ... sound like the opening notes to Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is" ... I said it was an odd association. Imagine being trapped in those first few moments ... actually, never mind that Foreigner track. The sense here is of suspension ... of being on the verge of something ... maybe floating peacefully along the river, while unbeknownst ahead are raging rapids. I don't know if that is true about "Jenissei" ... I gather not as there is just so much of an underlying peacefulness here ... This is such a beautiful peace of music.

"Baikal Sunrise" returns us to the techno beat beneath synth washes and strumed sparse notes ... actually, take out the percussion, and this is atmospheric Pink Floyd a la A Momentary Lapse of Reason. You know, that ambient intro.

Although I like techno music, here the ambient are more appealing to me. "Samowar Juri" begins with a funky bass line which melds into cold sounding keyboard notes playing the same rhythm. The bass lines are warm, open ... bum, de bum bum ... bum, de bum bum. When drums ... digital drums ... take over ... their tone is too much like a preset to me ... making them seem cold, too. I suspect then, this track accompanies the footage of trains passing through the frozen, icy parts of Russia ... Siberia, I guess. The more sustained keyboard notes, the symphonic ones carry on the warmth of the bass though they aren't playing the same notes. Actually, there is the feeling of violins here, slow, sustained ... emotive.

Even warmer is the tender "Ulan-Udi" ... you can almost imagine this being played by a full orchestra. The visuals are a night scene ... well, my visuals are ... watching the train make its way aross the landscape. As the music builds, the scenery below changes from flatlands to mountains to towering snow capped moutains, glistening in the moonlight ... looking majestic ... this is such a beautiful composition.

Tangerine Dream fans of yore ... before their slicker, smoother sound of today ... will probably be disappointed. But for fans of evocitive soundscapes, this is the ticket ... so ... um ... get on board.


Tracklisting:
Yaroslaw Station (4:52) / Smoky Karlow (9:25) / Siberian Lights (4:01) / Jenissei River (4:44) / Baikal Sunrise (4:42) / Samowar Juri (4:40) / Ulan-Ude (4:35) / Chingan Night (6:55) / Russian Soul (4:13) / The Golden Horn (5:18)

Musicians:
Edgar and Jerome Froese - keyboards

Discography:
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: August 17th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.tangerinedream-music.com
Hits: 857
Language: english

  

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