lundi 27 septembre 2010

TANGERINE DREAM: Alpha Centauri (1970)

Here’s what I could call the first EM album ever. Even if Alpha Centauri is much more ambient than sequenced, it’s the very first EM album to shows moves and moods, not only noise on noises or experimental abstract music. An album made in the late 60’s and early 70’s Alpha Centauri influenced the world of rock music and changed the way artists imagined prog music and later, world music and techno.
After the experimental Electronic Meditation, Tangerine Dream is amputated of 2 members; Schnitzler and Schulze. Edgar Froese won’t change his mind and wants to pursue his exploration of sounds and its ambiguities. He recruits in turn Chris Franke and Steve Schroeder to reform the Dream. The new trio introduces VCS 3 synth new measures, which Pink Floyd will use on Dark Side the Moon some two years later. More structured than Electronic Meditation, Alpha Centauri is distinguishing by a deepen approach of organs which Froese and friends had the leisure to test during 3 weeks, just before starting Tangerine Dream superb musical adventure. Distant guitar chords pave the way to Sunrise in the Third System. A low droning rolls up this intro where organ float in an atmosphere both tenebrous and celestial. Floating and spatial movement, Sunrise in the Third System tergiversates in the cerebral limbs with a morphic softness. The sound experimentation becomes more complex with Fly and Collision of Comas Sola intro. Caustic oscillations bite eardrums, swirling in imperfect circles, leaving a sonorous powder drags which buries first measures of timid guitars and shivering organ. The cacophonous intensity decreasing, one is seized by a melodious traditional approach of an ethereal organ, though heavy, accompanied by a dreamy flute. Under cosmic thunders, the movement becomes more rock with a superb performance of Franke which unrolls his drum skins with fury, obstructing in no way Udo Dennenbourg’s flute. One of the first good TD structured music piece which lurches between Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma and Green Desert atmospheres. The title track is a splendid mixture of EM and prog rock. Floating cymbals introduce a heteroclite hovering sound fauna, but a quite intense one, plunging the listener in the curious musical world of Floyd on Saucerful Of Secret but with the addition of the VCS 3 synth. A musical universe which glitter beneath a beautiful use of flute and celestial choruses, in a dark and atonal cosmos, a little as if an Aurora Borealis could turn his colors and specters into sounds. A small musical jewel for progressive music die hard fans, a style which borrows random paths of a being born EM.

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

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