Tangerine Dream

Released 1972 on Castle / TADream
Reviewed by Rockmoose, 03/01/2003ce

I’ve loved this album for years, since I first heard it. Organic space-rock unrolling through drifting celestial cloudscapes. It’s one of the most enveloping sounds ever to come from speakers, and in re-mastered form has scrubbed up reasonably well on CD (the cover notes by Julian are cool too). The use of distorted organs, string quartets and a battery of analogue synths drag you straight through a wormhole to a different place in the order of the universe where the usual rules don’t exist. What is a pity is that it is only in 2 channel.
Fuck that. Time to go radical.
I’ve never owned a quad system (though I’m buying an SQ decoder for reasons which I will describe in a future review). And I hate the new digital / pro-logic decoders. ’Sound quality’s crap. So what to do?
Last time the disk was spinning I got thinking about how to make improvements, before remembering I had a spare amp and pair of speakers lurking in a cupboard. ’Got them out and connected the tape out on my usual stereo amp to the aux input of the second. Wired the second pair of speakers normally, and stuck them to the sides of my armchair, facing in, and down a few db from the front. Then I stuck Zeit back on.
Bloody hell. The stereo image seemed as wide as the universe as the first, distorted strings from ‘The Birth of Liquid Plejades’ dragged themselves across the room with an image depth and focus that I just hadn’t dreamed would be either been available or even possible before. You seemed to now exist within the music, hearing the grandiose thunder of Frose and co. opened out into the ether-filled emptiness of ‘Nebulous Dawn’ and ‘The Origin of Supernatural Probabilities’ before calming into the epic, organic, slowly never-seemingly changing title track, with more distorted echoes panning with infinite slowness across the room. I spent the next four hours just spinning the disk. This is freak-out spacehead rock lifted to a new level. Even through 2 speakers ‘Zeit’ is a must listen, and unlike anything else ever made. Essential purchase.
Do yourselves a favour though if you want to experience the full majesty of this album. For the minimal outlay of a second cheap amp and pair of speakers (get ’em second hand & rescue a classic that nobody thinks can make their room rock anymore: how wrong they are!) and try this out. You will not believe the places you will be taken.

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