mardi 30 novembre 2010

TANGERINE DREAM: Poland (1984)

WoW! This got to be my best TD album ever….Well, if we make abstraction of Phaedra:). Ah Poland! How many times did I listen to Poland? Seriously, if I didn't listen Poland not more than 1 000 times, than I never heard it! I laughed, cried and dreamed through Poland. So much that the story became mythical to me. The ambiences are variables; from ambient to frantic sequential driven rhythms covered by metallic synth pads and layers. Unique moments that have influenced lot of young artists and sound engineers and a story that magnify again the legend of Tangerine Dream. A rendezvous with time. A historic cultural rendezvous, because Poland did change the course of EM.
In 1983 Tangerine Dream released the stunning Hyperborea. Innovators, TD members, with Franke ahead, assembled lots of sampling from various percussion tones and created new rhythmic structures which melted on harmonies, when they are not used themselves as harmonies. New sound and sampling structures that where going to sharpened their teeth during concerts in Japan and Greece in the summer of 83 and finally in Warsaw, Poland on December 10th 1983. An icy cold weather raged there. Tangerine Dream was ready to give 2 concerts; one in the afternoon and the other in the evening at the Ice Stadium in Warsaw. The natural elements were against TD with a severe cold and a plentiful of snow that was going to make collapse a part of the roof. But Franke, Froese and Schmoelling didn't want to displease their numerous fans and decided to give both concerts in arctic conditions. Just imagined, there were boilers of boiling water to warm Franke, Froese and Schmoelling hands while they where playing. Through power cuts and this icy atmosphere, the Berliner trio will be incredibly inspired and will give a stunning performance and Polish fans will attend to a magical concert from which will be born a wonderful album; Poland - The Warsaw Concert. We feel this icy vibe when a heavy note, a little as on the opening of Sphinx Lightning from Hyperborea, charges the beginning of the eponymous title track. A slow hypnotic beat is being heard and draws the line to 22 minutes of pure magic. Slow percussion, layered by a synth of which the foggy reverberations crisscross beautiful melodious layers to form a hatched structure where ghostly streaks and choirs glance through a wide range of crackling percussions. Percussions which collide, like a thousands of magnetic balls hitting hard each other, and converge into an harmonious rhythmic bullfighting stuffed with percussions which bounce in a soft sound anarchy. A magical and unique moment in EM which will serve as model for future sequential electronic percussion movements. This powerful cacophony gives birth to an unstable rhythm which dances on a sequencer and a guitar which become more aggressive. Dying, Froese’s six strings are crashing on an ambient passage where we find a first quietude. And even in these moments of tranquility, the German trio keeps our attention. The atony filters synths just like a discreet wind and the beat moves on synth pulsations which increase the pace on scattered percussions. The crescendo is rising on brilliant effects sound and a silky synth with fluty glints. A feast for ears, Poland ends on a catchy synth refrain and rumbling of infernal percussions. Yet today, there are few tracks that can surpass the rhythmic and harmonic complexity of Poland.
Tangent begins on a melodious synth amalgam. Slowly a vaporous cloud throws its exhalations and a good sequenced percussion play draws the line of a tempo suavely sensual from which mellotrons embalm of very suggestive voices. This long ambient passage ends in a more joyful rhythm and livened up of Logos colors. Barbakane frees a light flute on a synth cloud. This soft lament is livening up more and more on a sequencer, sound effects and percussions which are unifying to form a static rhythm which is surrounded by unidentified sound objects which are leak away in a short atmospheric silence. We have to seize that moment, just to fix the oblivion and being carried away by the waves of Barbakane finale. Because it’s here that is hiding one of the most beautiful harmonious moments in TD’s career; Warsaw in the Sun. Available also in maxi single, Warsaw in the Sun is a hymn to freedom, brotherhood and love. An extremely strong melody which blows our spine and doused our body of 1 001 shivers. Shivers of incredibility, in front of such a melody, that chases us non-stop and which, 30 years later provokes the same effect, on and on. Horizon ends this concert with a very ambient intro. Synth breaths cross discordant notes which seek to form a harmony. A cold harmony which is tracing on a warmer line, guided by sequential percussions and synth pads. Synth groans glance through an intersidereal oblivion. Fans of TD, we know. We know how TD ends their concerts. We know that TD will flood our ears, but never were we expecting such a finale! The sequencer is running wild on percussions which roll and are jostling. A total discord which gains in rhythm with Edgar six-string assaults and Franke sequential charges. Stoic, Schmoelling hangs tough with a synth as dominant and harmonious. Today the finale of Poland still remains a highlight in TD stunning career.
With Poland, Tangerine Dream has insufflated a revival in EM. Today it is not rare to hear here and there, sequential lines that go out quite straight ahead of the unbridled imagination that we find almost everywhere on Poland each track of this unique concert. In my opinion, Poland is a classic of the modern EM. A major work that every EM, even techno, fan should possesses, just to understand and appreciate the evolution of synth and sequential harmonies. It’s among my Top 5 to life. A place and opinion shared by many fans of electronic, progressive and experimental music.

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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