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It pictured a black box on a floor. On the side of the cube that could not be seen from "camera" angle, the box was opening, throwing a ghastly light on a woman, cringing wide-eyed and screaming, perched atop a chair in her throws of agony.
The caption read: "There Is No Escape From A Tangerine Dream."
Of course, this was "the" announcement for Stratosfear and the introduction proper to the USA of the German band. Curiosity got the best of me, and with no inclination what-so-ever, I took a slash! I plunked my hard-earned money down and took home The Dream, and I've been with her ever since. Up to that point, the earlier albums (phaedra and the progenitors) were only available as "import" albums, at least in my cow-college town in eastern Washington state.
I have to say, I've been entranced reading almost every review for all these "old" and "new" TD albums here. It has been quite entertaining, especially the divisions between the old fans and the newer, in what they like. Franke-ly (pun-intended, I missed his leaving), I like them all! Each incarnation of TD has something new and creative to offer, and at my age, if I don't keep an open mind, and enjoy new flavors of the month, then I might as well just lock myself in my room with my Beatles, James Taylor, and Pink Floyd records and never come out.
For those of you actually reading this review, here's what I really have to say. Start your Dream collection with this CD. Then work your way slowly in both directions (before and after).Read more ›
The general sound world is rather different from earlier Tangerine Dream albums too: something that is obvious from the very opening, with its gentle guitar introduction. For although the earlier hallmark swept filter treatments are still very much in evidence throughout the disc, this album uses many more synthesiser voices that are imitative of traditional instruments (albeit usually with a new twist) than can be found on earlier TD albums. Whereas previously the extension of the sound world into new and previously unexplored realms was the main aim, here the band is clearly more concerned with the traditional musical elements of harmony and counterpoint - as well as with a somewhat punchier presentation.
Not that there is anything the slightest bit traditional about the music on this disc, mind. All four tracks here are routed firmly in the world of 1970's synthesiser music. They are all good strong compositions with a nice amount of variety of pace, mood and style.Read more ›
The musicians on Stratosfear comprise the classic TD lineup and include Chris Franke (mini-moog, Hammond organ, percussion, loop mellotron, and harpsichord); Edgar Froese (mellotron, mini-moog, 6 & 12 string guitars, grand piano, bass guitar, harmonica); and Peter Baumann (mini-moog, Project electronic rhythm computer, Fender electric piano, and mellotron). Just a quick scan of the instrumentation indicates that this is a mellotron-heavy album with instruments typically associated with a rock band, e.g. guitars, bass guitar, and (believe it or not) a harmonica. Trust me, they do a great job of making the harmonica sound "otherworldy" and eerie and it fits right in with the generally creepy mood of the album.
The individual tracks are somewhat short by TD standards and range in length from 4'32" to 11'35". My general impression of the overall sound is that along with the brooding electronica, there is a bit more of a psychedelic feel to the tracks (especially The Big Sleep in Search of Hades). Specifically, there are times when the music sounds like the dreamier moments of late 1960s Pink Floyd...the track Julia Dream comes to mind in fact. This has a lot to with the instrumentation, which includes passages of bass guitar, acoustic piano/Hammond organ (with minute modulations in minor keys a la Rick Wright) harpsichord, heavily echoed mellotron (with flute setting), and soft electric guitar. Of course this is a Tangerine Dream album however, and the psych passages pretty much take a back seat to the pulsating and brooding electronic soundscapes that made them famous. I just love the combination though.
All in all this is yet another wonderful album by Tangerine Dream and is highly recommended along with all of their albums released from 1970-1980.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of all the Tangerine Dream Albums I have heard, this is to me the most profound. I have the original Vinyl record in immaculate shape, and I have found that this represents a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by mobiusklien
I kept buying Tangerine Dream albums and was always dissatisfied. Then I took a chance on Stratosfear. Right away I liked it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Rockprophet
The music is great as I expected. Wish the CD had more tracks but otherwise great. If you like to let your imagination fly this group can take you.Published 9 months ago by Luke
I don't think that Tangerine Dream ever made a bad album. This one is no exception. It is a wonderfully innovative collection and I will enjoy it for many years to come.Published 11 months ago by Zeke
This goes back to the beginning of electronic music, it was called "Moog" music. It seems a bit basic now but I think it is timeless. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dah Hopper
I bought this on vinyl when it originally came out and hadn't listened to this for years and years. It was a pleasure to get re-acquainted with this Gem from TD again!Published 17 months ago by Elvis Industry