Tangerine Dream - Zeit

Year of Release: 1987
Label: Zomba Entertainment Inc.
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 75:55:00

So here I am, having reviewed five more recent Tangerine Dream releases, taking a look back to their early years, starting with Zeit (1972), one of their first. But, first, a little background, not on Tangerine Dream but on my experience with Tangerine Dream.

My first Tangerine Dream purchase was Canyon Dreams - I'm not sure what prompted me to pick this cassette out of the handful of Tangerine Dream disks there, but I suspect it had to do with release dates (some bizarre notion of mine to start with the recent and work backwards). At any rate, Canyon Dreams was the first, others followed, including the "going backwards" of buying Zeit.

At first, then, I wasn't very impressed with this album - the more new age/rock styling being what I had been used to up until that point, meant that I found this very unmusical. I'd yet to truly discover Steve Roach, Robert Rich, etc. and ambient as a whole. With that said, I now listen to Zeit with older, more experienced ears.

Zeit is subtitled "Largo In Four Movements." The first movement is "Birth Of Liquid Plejades," which at first sounds like an orchestra tuning up for the performance as strained, sustained violin-like notes hover as if in a moment of suspended animation. But not quite so still as they waver, breathe, while richer, cello-like tones lean in and out, as if making caressing gestures. A look at the guest credits tells us that these are no synthesized cellos, but real-life cellos - four of them in fact (but no violin). Certainly there are synthesizer tones in there, as Chris Franke and Peter Baumann are playing VCS 3s and guest Florian Fricke (Popul Vuh) is playing a Moog (on this track only).

But, you can almost imagine a galaxy on the cusp of birth - some undulating something waiting to burst forth, and while it doesn't burst, it does expand. There is a quite stillness surrounding the music that evokes a sense of the universe, of a great, unfathomable expanse. The latter half of the movement simply shimmers, where synths are the fore, undulating hypnotically.

"Nebulous Dawn" (Second Movement) continues almost seamlessly (though there is a break between movements) from the end of "Birth." Gentle, rolling percussion is pushed along by ? well, undulating synths ? Other synthetic sounds rumble beneath? High-toned chime-like effects cut sharp lines across the dark tapestry? deep, dramatic, churning sounds bubble up from below, only be quelled?the tension of this track is great, as it gently, dramatically builds?then falls back. This dawn slowly grows chaotic as chopper-blade like sounds flit in and out, only to be replaced by other exotic sounds? the sound of water or liquid dribbles in momentarily, merging into big bubble like sounds?

The third movement "Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities" starts out with understated strummed notes over subtle keyboard drones - perhaps the former is Froese on gliss guitar (though looking at the related musical term glissando, perhaps not). More darkly percolating tones oscillate like a heartbeat, albeit, a racing one. This "origin" is alive. There are sections, during the third movement where light, operatic voices float up from the void, voices that at almost angelic.

Why try to describe what I'm hearing? And to such a degree? Because if, like me, your familiarity with Tangerine Dream extends only as far back as the 80s, or maybe only the Legend soundtrack, you can see why long time fans have issues with more recent fair. Nothing of theirs from the last decade, at least that I've heard, is anywhere near as ambient as this.

And where does that leave me? With me thinking this is a great, atmospheric suite of space rock - another fine example of the juxtaposition of stillness and movement.

This was a cassette reissue, and maybe not even official, since I find no other info about it; here my gathered other release info: 1986 by Jive/Electro (C Tang 3), 1996 by Castle (ESM CD 347) (remastered), 1999/2000 by Castle (CMA CD 555), and 2002 by Sanctuary Records (CMRCD490), 2003 by Castle US and again in 2005 by Castle US/Ryko - ed. Dec 2005

Birth Of Liquid Plejades (20:00) / Nebulous Dawn (18:00) / Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities (20:12) / Zeit (17:43)

Chris Franke - VCS 3 synthesizer, cymbals, keyboards
Edgar Froese - gliss guitar, generator
Peter Baumann - VCS 3 synthesizer, organ, and vibraphone Steve Schroyder - organ
Florian Fricke - Moog (1)
Christian Vallbracht, Jochen Von Grumbcow, Hans Joachim Brune, Johannes Lucke - cellos

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: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.tangerinedream-music.com
Hits: 1027
Language: english


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