vendredi 2 novembre 2012

TANGERINE DREAM: Wavelength (1983)

“Wavelength is a very good soundtrack which really sticks to the idea of a futuristic invasion of aliens on a music that will always be a source of remembering”

1 Alien Voices 0:16
2 Wavelength Main Title 1:54
3 Desert Drive (Quichotte Part One excerpt) 2:00
4 Mojave End Title 3:59
5 Healing 2:23    6 Breakout 1:09
7 Alien Goodbyes 1:50
8 Spaceship 2:18    9 Church Theme 3:41
10 Sunset Drive 3:23
11 Airshaft 3:10    12 Alley Walk 2:55
13 Cyro Lab 2:13
14 Running Through the Hills 1:30
15 Campfire Theme 1:23
16 Mojave End Title Reprise

VARESE SARABANDE | VCD 47223 (CD 37:55) ***½
For some of us (remember the 80’s? When Internet didn’t exist and that in the Canada/Usa countries, there were few information about TD?), 1984 was a ghostly year regarding Tangerine Dream. No album, no concert. Does the Dream still exist? In reality the German trio was more than busy. The German wonder men were polishing new equipments and were still under the spell of writing shorter tracks with the sound extravaganza known since Exit and White Eagle, its digital era. Within the years 1983 and 1989, Tangerine Dream will produce more than 15 movie soundtracks. Some were great. Others were fair and /or nastily bad. Soundtrack meant shorter tracks and a commercial bend that will sign the halt of making longer evolutionary tracks with these legendary turns of structures so dear to the psychedelic/electronic years of the Mandarine Dream. With hindsight, we notice that Hyperborea's Sphinx Lightning will be the last long track in studio by the Froese gang.
Wavelength” is among the good soundtracks from Tangerine Dream. Mostly unknown from a wider audience, it literally surfs on the waves of great albums like Logos, White Eagle and even Force Majeure to name a few. But the material in it is not as what we can call new music. It’s a kind of musical mosaic made of bits and pieces picked here and there from these albums, moulding thus an interesting futuristic soundtrack. Each of these small jewels that forge “Wavelength” will bring you at the doors of classical works from Franke/Froese and Schmoelling. Titles like "Desert Drive", "Healing" and "Spaceship" come from the Quichotte, Pergamon and Tangram era, whereas that "Church Theme" and "Sunset Drive" are alternate versions of "Silver Scale" and "Remote Viewing". But there are still some interesting fresh ideas behind “Wavelength”. Titles like "Wavelength Main Title", "Breakout", "Alien Goodbyes" and "Spaceship" bring reminiscences of Force Majeure or Thief while that "Mojave End Title" has that little something which ties it to the numerous classics of the band. It's a great track with a lively and catchy harmonic beat.
Unfortunately “Wavelength” is out of print. I don't think that it's an inescapable work but it has its charms. I do believe that it's a nice compilation of different musical visions of titles already known with some nice new music which has the unique signature of the Dream. This is why I think that it's a very good soundtrack which really sticks to the idea of a futuristic invasion of aliens on a music that will always be a source of remembering. If you come across it buy it, but at a fair price and you will be happy.

Sylvain Lupari (October 8th, 2006 and translated on October 31, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

3 commentaires:

  1. Your reviews are always very accurate & have a good vision. I've read most of your td80s review articles, IMHO they are the best I've ever read.
    I think the track "Breakout" is originally from a Froese Score album called "Kamikaze".
    ThanQ 4 Great Reviews & Keep Up The Good Work. ;)

  2. Thanks a lot for your nice comments and your update about Breakout. It's very appreciated

  3. Following up on details from your recent review of Sequential Dreams' Quantum Earth album I found this reference to TD's Wavelength soundtrack. I'm glad I did. This may be new since the review, but at least a digital download of the album can be found on iTunes (including Canada) and in the US, also Amazon. EBay prices can be steep when factoring in shipping. That said, onto the music. I do recognize many of the idioms of other work of the era. However often tracks did sound a bit more coarse and less mastered. Perhaps that mastering took place for the film, but perhaps that phase in the process may have been a bit rushed for the soundtrack album. But in a way this can also make it interesting, allowing discovery of some root facts for the period. I found this album had less of the mastering polish of other releases and many of the synths reveal the fact that this was a period in technological history where "DCO" synths where convenient due to best MIDI implementation, as well as some of the earlier digital synths. Looking at early-era DCO waveshapes reveal a distinct signature as they try to approximate true analog curves. As for early digital synths, the wave samples can often be at a low bit rate. Together, that makes for a grittier era-signature sound. But these details aside, musically this album is a compendium of Tangerine Dream signature sounds and compositional style for the era. Because of the cut-the-corners mastering, it felt more like a "pre-hash" than a "re-hash" of the material as we've come to experience over the years, where in more recent productions, the container is increasingly polished but the content not always having the creative spark of the earlier years. For me, this is more a positive than a negative as it is a bit more primal. I really like this album for a number of reasons, first of which is that the material is very musical. If you like the TD material of the era, and don't mind the technical issues I raised, then this is a welcome addition to your collection. Thanks again to Synth and Sequences for bringing this gem to my attention!


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