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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally spellbinding!
"Zeit" was only Tangerine Dream's third album release and a more courageous popular music release would be difficult to imagine. I mean, what group nowadays would be likely to use an instrumental line-up of four cellos, organ, vibraphone and gliss guitar for its opening number? Or dare attempt a work of almost 80 minutes duration with not a single drumbeat, tune or...
Published on June 2, 2000 by Steve Benner

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So what is this exactly?
The VCS3 was a small but highly programmable synthesizer in the early 70's and allowed you to make a wide range of strange if not particularly musical sounds. It was easy to make beeps, rumbling drones, bees buzzing, strange bells, unearthly trills, grinding rhythmic noises and a very convincing water splashing sound. It was not so easy to make popular music with it but...
Published on November 22, 2011 by Scott W. Larson


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally spellbinding!, June 2, 2000
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
"Zeit" was only Tangerine Dream's third album release and a more courageous popular music release would be difficult to imagine. I mean, what group nowadays would be likely to use an instrumental line-up of four cellos, organ, vibraphone and gliss guitar for its opening number? Or dare attempt a work of almost 80 minutes duration with not a single drumbeat, tune or melody, or even variation in pace from the deathly slow? No record company would surely release anything like this today! "Zeit" dates from 1972, but for many, this music remains completely outside of time and stands forever timeless (German speakers will note the pun!) [Ohr's faith in Tangerine Dream must have been enormous, given that this was a double album when released on black vinyl! I remember my (imported) copy, bought in my student days, cost almost a whole term's rent!]
Subtitled "largo in four movements", "Zeit" is, in fact, a single, large-scale work, intended to be experienced at one sitting and I would encourage you to play it this way. The pace is, as the title suggests, unremittingly slow. And the volume level is never high (indeed, there are times when it descends to levels barely audible). You can expect no excitement here. And yet, this music is never boring. From the moment the cellos begin their long drawn out groans, until the music's final dying gasp, the slow unfolding of magical musical ideas is always completely captivating and absolutely spell-binding with the power to hold one's attention throughout the whole 76 minutes. And although the disc's analogue origins are noticeable at times, they are never intrusive.
As I have already suggested, the sound world of "Zeit" is completely unlike any popular music release either before or since (not strictly true: there were a couple of German groups attempted to emulate the style shortly afterwards, but not with any degree of success) and it remains hard to categorise even now, but then one thing that this music opens to the mind to just how pointless it is to try! The movements' titles (and the cover's paintings) indicate a spacey theme to the music, suggested, I suppose, by the tranquil and meditative nature of the playing and also by the futuristic glissando tones that feature throughout, and gurglings and bubblings of early synth oscillator circuits (beautifully used). Ironically, anyone looking for similar material would do well to try the visionary organ works of Olivier Messiaen, or the works of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, both of whom will be filed away under the Classical music heading here on Amazon.
Whatever your normal musical tastes, I urge you to try this disc, as it is a thing of rare beauty. But beware: it may alter your whole life...
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeit: A Masterwork of Experimental Music., April 4, 2004
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This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
German synthesizer pioneers Tangerine Dream reached the height of their early experimentation with their third studio album, 1972's "Zeit" (the German word for "Time"). This album marked the debut of the band line-up consisting of TD-founder Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann - the line-up which would go on to make some of the most influential music under the TD-band name over the next several years.
Unlike the psychedelic acid rock of their first two albums, "Zeit" takes on a different direction entirely. The album was conceived as a 'Largo in Four Movements' with each track taking up an entire side on the original double-LP. The music is completely void of rhythm and displays a dark layered textured sound. Synth pioneer Brian Eno would later coin this type of music as 'Ambient music'.
In addition to the band line-up of Froese, Franke and Baumann, the band employs several guest musicians on "Zeit" including former TD-member Steve Schroyder on organ, the late Florian Fricke of the experimental band Popol Vuh on the Moog synthesizer and a cello quartet consisting of Hans-Joachim Brune, Johannes Lucke, Christian Vallbracht and Jochen Vom Grumbcow. The band itself begins to add more keyboard dominance to its sound as demonstrated by the use of primitive VCS3 synthesizers (used here with outstanding results by Franke and Baumann), audio generators (handled by Froese) as well as the usual electronic organ.
The entire "Zeit" journey begins with the strangely-titled "Birth Of Liquid Plejades". This 20-minute piece is divided into three distinct sections. The opening section is domintated by the four cellists droning around a stationary A-minor chord. The eeriness of the cellos is further enchanced as the synthesizers begin to drift around the same chord. After the chilling cello section begins to fade out, a quiet organ passage peers in along with a Moog synth-lead from guest Florian Fricke. There is a certain calmness and peacefulness to this section which is a sharp contrast to the chaotic opening part. This is followed by a more dominant cathedral-sounding organ which takes the piece to its final fade-out.
The second piece "Nebulous Dawn" is an 18-minute track which is highly experimental and atonal. It begins with a series of dark grunting notes and shimmering vibraphones. The piece then shifts to rumbling wall-shaking tones along with random glass-like notes. The final half of the piece is dominated by siren-like noises and wigged-out spacey electronics which carry the piece the rest of the way. An extremely weird track indeed.
"Origin of Supernatural Probabilities" is another experimental piece that has slighter hint of melody to it as opposed to the previous track. Edgar Froese's guitar opens this piece with some quiet almost inaudible chords. This is followed by a choir of howling voices that sound like they were either created by synths or a slide guitar. This leads into a low-throbbing synth pulse accompanied by a droning cello and various outer-space noises and sounds. Several minutes later, the pulse synth exits the mix and the ghost-tones return along with whining shreiking background noises. Edgar's guitar intro returns briefly to bring this drone-fest full circle and to its logical conclusion.
The album closes with the 17-minute title track which is probably the most etherial track on the entire album. The entire piece consists of haunting wailing notes with dark forboding synth sounds. There is a brief passage of vibraphones from "Nebulous Dawn" heard towards the end of the piece as well as what sounds like a mistake played from Edgar's guitar (heard clearly at around 14-minutes into the track). The piece ends with the same passage of ghostly choir sounds that dominated the previous track. This brings the entire album to a close.
Since it's initial release in Germany in 1972, "Zeit" has gone onto become a classic of Tangerine Dream's early work. Although, it was not so well received when it was first released, it is now embraced with open arms by many musicians and critics alike. Many later electronic musicians such as Steve Roach, Robert Rich, the French band Lightwave as well as the aforementioned Brian Eno would go on to make music with the same asthetic as "Zeit". Edgar Froese and friends should be well applauded for their pioneering work on this album. What raised many eyebrows in 1972 is now well accepted over 30 years later.
"Zeit" is a timeless piece of art that can be listened to and studied over and over again and still have undiscovered elements emerge from the speakers. A Highly Recommended Masterpiece.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in the interest of full disclosure, June 14, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
The review credited to Kim Fletcher for this album was copied word for word from the liner notes for the Sanctuary reissue of "Zeit," written by Paul Russell. Otherwise known as plagarism.
Good album, though.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Cosmic Music, July 2, 2003
By 
N. Jacobs (Fish Creek, Wi USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
One reviewer said that this album is like a black hole that sucks you in, and I can say that I completely agree with that...
I'm most fond of TD's albums Phaedra, Rubycon, and Ricochet, so this album took a little more getting used to. First of all, it's a LOT darker than anything else that I've heard from them. The second track features throbbing organs, and in the middle of it, some weird gurgling sound that freaked me out the first time that I was listening to it. (Well, I do have to admit, it was in my bedroom, late at night with only a red light shining, so the creepiness factor was at a definate high.) Secondly, Zeit is much slower than anything else that they've done. I'd compare it to giant planets moving about in the cosmos, slowly rotating and floating. Finally, this is without a doubt the most uncommercial thing that these guys have ever done. If you're not in the appropriate frame of mind for listening to this album (you've got to be sitting down, relaxed and patient), you're going to miss out big time and not enjoy it at all. If, however, you let the album take you over and pull you into its dark cosmic glory, it will take you on a journey of outer space. I'm serious! This album has a really specific flow, and even each song blends into the one before it. Really cool stuff, but be forewarned that you might not be able to look at music the same way after getting into this album...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone, October 30, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
Zeit is a seminal work in electronic music and should be considered as a milestone, inspiring masses. The point of Zeit is not to entertain the listener, but to suck her into the black cosmic hole, to meditatize her so that she loses a sense of time and space. I claim that only those who really appreciate every sound in a given score, will achieve a state of mind that is synchronized with Zeit. I happen to loop the introductory track, "Birth of Liquid Pleiades" and enjoy. The level of enjoyment is as far from standard as possible. That is difficult to explain, but the first track is consistent with my own personality, my own brain waves. Hence I really feel relaxed, and abstracted out of current world. Highly recommended for meditation. No dancing. No rhythm. Just beauty, however demanding. One remark: do not try to persuade others to Zeit. It won't work. One must discover it himself. Hell, it really takes balls to get through this album if one is a starter.
In 1971, after Schroyder vanished from Tangerine Dream, they found Peter Baumann, a perfect complement for Franke and Froese. Free-spirited, adventure-oriented Baumann found Tangerine Dream to be a perfect world to live in. At least for some time. Zeit features even more electronic equipment than its predecessors. In particular, they invited a guest musician, Florian Fricke, who possessed a legendary Moog synthesizer. This move was necessary, as the band could not afford their own at that time.
Organs are muted. Gliss guitar is muted. Synthesizers are muted. Your MIND is muted. After bombastic intro of six cello symphonic performers, you enter the world of static time, the black hole of universe. Completely in tune with Tangerine Dream, you wake up in a different world of medieval alchemist's laboratory. The impressions you may have vary each time you listen to the second track, "Nebulous Dawn". Nebulous indeed. As an applied mathematician, or, in other words, a mathematized economist, I found the third title hilarious: "The Origin of Supernatural Probabilities". My Freud's omission suggested at first that the last word is spelled... pleasures. The same goes for the first track, which is even more funny. If you can play the game for over 70 minutes with Zeit's accompaniament, you will discover that this album is the work of gods. Nothing can fit better. Her? Either she'll love it, or she will dump it off the window, with you following the CD right afterwards. Tell you what, it's worth your risk.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zingy Funk Madness, March 28, 2000
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
One: Tangerine Dream's all-time classic record, and one of the top-five 'krautrock' records ever (given that 'Kraut' is German for 'herb' that's probably a double-meaning), 'Zeit' is German for 'Time', which is quite significant in some kind of deep way that I'm sure somebody else can probably cover better than me.
Two: Two discs, four tracks of droning electronic noise, best described as being 'oceanic'. It starts with some cellos droning away in an alien tuning, but beyond that it's hard to focus on it - it's the musical equivalent of those thousand-word speils for Internet Pyramid Selling Scams, in that it goes on for ages and after it's over you can't really describe it in detail. Track three has some echoey guitars.
Three: Predating Brian Eno's ambient music by several years, 'Zeit' album comes across as a dark, nasty, proto-'illbient' version of 'Music for Airports', and is probably Tangerine Dream's most timeless and enduring record.
Four: Listen to it at an impressionable period (as I did) and your brain will be forever changed, as you wonder how on earth something this strange can exist without people noticing it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangerine Dream Does It Again!, January 20, 2005
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
After TD's "Alpha Centauri" experiment,the band had changed its musical sound,from the rock of "Electronic Meditation",to the early dark ambient/space music style the band had grown to love.It seems that Tangerine Dream had decided that they were not done with the space music experiment yet,because while listening to their 1972 release,"Zeit",their 3rd album,you could swear for a minute that you were listening to "Alpha Centauri" Part 2.However,this time around,the tone is much darker,as dark as you can comprehend.Apparently,TD wanted to go for a darker space music experiment,and it worked.One of the most significant reasons for the different tone is the arrival of the new bandmate,Peter Baumann,who would become part of Tangerine Dream's lineup at their peak popularity,and would go on to perform on brilliant ambient projects for the next 5 years in TD's history before calling it quits.Focusing on this album,Baumann does a fine job on his first collaborative performance with the band,and it shows.While the same basic instruments from the previous album are present here,like the organ and the VCS 3 synths,there is also a small change in sound,at least on the first few minutes of the opening track,"Birth Of Liquid Plejades".The band invited a local German cello quartet to set some extra ominous moods to open up the first piece,and the quartet did a fine job with not only setting a more ominous mood to the piece,but also did well in opening up this album of 4 space music opuses.After about 6 minutes or so,the cellos start to fade and the ever-present synthesizers take over,continuing on with the later presence of a beautiful organ,right on to the end of the mega-piece.The second piece,"Nebulous Dawn",is a much darker piece,perhaps the darkest track on the entire album.Rising,wailing,and oscillating,the synths on this piece never let go,and,as this piece advances,the synths eventually start to sound much like sirens you might hear in the minutes preluding a disaster,and evokes images of the end of the world.A disturbingly haunting piece.The third work,"Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities",starts out with beautiful,but brief guitar work that is barely audible,before surrendering once again to the dominant synths.The synths on this piece pulsate with the likeness of a living,breathing being,and when you add this with the equally vivid title,"Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities",its almost as if you are in the prescence of an alien being.Finally,this brings us to the last piece,the title track,"Zeit".This final piece is all about the synths,no organs,and only sparse guitar work,because the synths are in charge of this journey.The whole piece contains wailing,emotional synths that oscillate between loud and soft,from the bottom of the sound spectrum to the top,and back again,the synths sometimes overpowering,but never annoying or disruptive,but just right.By the time this mega-opus of an album is over,you will find that a whopping 70 minutes of time has passed,but indeed,it certainly was time well spent,and besides,when you are listening to music like this,who cares about time,because,as far as you are concerned,you were hoping the music would never end,because for once,you were actually able to escape from the stresses of life without falling asleep.Such is the power of this 1972 space/early ambient masterpiece of music.It is proof that there is more to music than the human mind can comprehend.A true masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Birth of Liquid Music . . ., January 2, 2006
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
Zeit is one of those albums that always seems to provoke a fierce reaction from its listeners. On this, their third album, Tangerine Dream managed to produce something that was totally unique, never really heard before or since. To some, this album is a masterpiece of minimalism, a deeply moving album that requires nothing less than the total attention and patience of whoever dares to put it in the stereo. To others, it is simply a horrendously long album in which "nothing ever happens." To be fair, both of these assessments are truthful, to one degree or another. Zeit is considered by many to be one of the quintessential pieces of ambient music, taking what was as the time a burgeoning form of musical expression and showing just to what extremes it could be stretched. At the same time, true to the ideals of ambient, nothing much ever really happens. Ever. This is one of those albums designed to blend into its surroundings, not filling up space, so much as just being. What is important to remember, though, is that the action of this music is not what makes it a timeless work. Rather, it's the lack of action, and the reaction of the audience that make Zeit stand apart from the rest.

"Timeless" is very much an apt word to describe Zeit, for "Zeit" is the German word meaning "time." It's been said before "Time" is also accurate because this album takes up so much of it. The four songs span a full 80 minutes, and while that is not the most lengthy album ever recorded, 80 minutes of Zeit can well feel like 160 minutes of anything else. The subtitle to this album is Largo in Four Movements. Those with a musical knowledge will know that "Largo" is a music term meaning "slow." A more accurate description has never been spoken. In these four movements, "slow" is without a doubt the most accurate description possible. For eighty minutes, there is virtually no rhythm, melody, clang, whack, hit, thud, beat, or structure of any kind. Zeit moves like a river of molasses, a liquid blob of sounds that ever so slowly ooze together to form more or less an amorphous whole.

Take the first song, "Birth of Liquid Pleiades." This twenty-minute piece is basically comprised of three main sections, all of which are equally slow and plodding. It starts out with a string quartet fading in on a long, low drone note. This fade-in itself takes a good bit of time, and all the while the instruments rarely change pitch. The music gets louder and more intense, the vibrations of the differing strings sending deep waves through your whole body. The strings eventually are replaced with keyboards, and the tone of this one note progressively becomes weirder and more synthesized. The note finally begins to fade until we can hear almost nothing. A soft, muffled organ can be heard in the background, playing low-pitched chords. The organ slowly - always slowly - begins to fill the silence. This beautiful section is equally slow, but much less intense. Instead, it is mainly comprised of the organ, muted and subdued, playing a handful of closely positioned chords, the transition between these chords itself being very minimal and without action. We are soon treated to another droning note, this time a high-pitched one, and for the next long space of time we have just this one note being played over the soft organ. Occasionally, the one note jumps for a second - not a note change, but a musical hiccup that soon settles back to the original note. Imagine a heart monitor reading an incredibly slow and erratic pulse. The last bit is made up of yet another organ playing even more chords. These chords are slightly more involved, and the organ this time has a much brighter, tinny sound to it. As the organ cycles through its chords, it begins to pulse, fading in and out in probably one of the few examples of anything even remotely approaching a rhythm. This eventually fades to quiet.

While this may sound incredibly uninvolved, it is by no means boring or simple. The mood created here - and of course this piece is all about mood - is one of deep submersion, like listening to music far below the surface of the ocean. Imagine low-pitched whale songs vibrating through your body. Imagine echoes under the water, your ears hearing the sounds but never being able to focus directly on them. The noise surrounds you like water itself, immersing you in that river of molasses and forcing you to change your own shape to match the music.

Zeit remains as one of the pinnacles of ambient music. The subtle movements (and outright intensity of some of the sections) provide a different kind of power that most music today never seems to reach. It's a power not of noise and speed but of ideas and voiceless emotions. Keep in mind this slowness was intentional, and it's not on purpose that Zeit comes across as eighty minutes of nothing. When you can finally work yourself up to listening to all of this in one sitting - the way Zeit was meant to be experienced - you can be assured of being taken on a journey to a landscape you could never have imagined before.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangerine Dream's Most Daring and Greatest Work, October 26, 2000
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
Never before in the history of rock has an album achieved such a feeling of darkness and beautiful melancholy as this brilliant CD. "Ziet" is four 20 minute-long compositions of ethereal synthesizers, gritty and dissonant string quartets, and raw organs. It is a profoundly moody and dismal album, and helps you get in touch with that dark side of the human spirit that people these days don't often embrace. It is an absolute must for fans of ambient/electronic music, and demostrates how early tape loops and electronics can create sounds of unparelleled beauty and atmosphere. I simply can't reccommend this work enough for anyone who has an ear that is open to new experiences. It's a masterpiece.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, hard-core introspection, May 4, 2003
By 
J. MacAyeal (libertyville, illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zeit (Audio CD)
This is the one TD Cd to get (if you can) when wordless and complex moods are what you seek. Beyond the space rock of Pink Floyd or 2001 Soundtrack enthusiasts, this is an aural soundscape of something so subjective that even writing this favorable review seems trite. I have read that many TD fans hate this era of their music and that this album is the equivalant of a gigantic comma...a pause of statement rather than a concrete creation. I disagree. This is my favorite. This is the recorded journey of TD. Only they could know what inspired and moved the sounds they chose. We as listeners can bring our own minds to their 50 yard-line and create a true interactive experience of our own. Just get it.
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Zeit
Zeit by Tangerine Dream (Audio CD - 2000)
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