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  • Sylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Turn of the Tides (1994)

Updated: Apr 21

“Contrary to a lot of opinions, this Turn of the Tides is truly worth a small amount of money because of its melodious aspect but before all; the presence of Zlatko Perica”

1 Pictures at an Exhibition 3:01 2 Firetongues 6:32 3 Galley Slave's Horizon 7:47 4 Death of a Nightingale 5:30 5 Twilight Brigade 9:45 6 Jungle Journey 6:34 7 Midwinter Night 4:38 8 Turn of the Tides 7:40 9 Story of the Brave 5:17 Miramar CMPCD 2806 (1994)

(CD 51:27) Eastgate ‎– 232651 (2009)

(Digipack 56:44) (V.F.) (Electronic Rock & New Age)

It has been a long time since I wanted to review some old albums from Tangerine Dream. The same goes for Schulze and Vangelis as well as Ashra/Göttsching, but the stupefying number of requests from artists, sometimes it's upon my own requests, divert me from this objective so important for me and for my ears which tend to forget or to have missed old albums which worth, or not, the spending. And I tell you straight away, this TURN OF THE TIDES is worth a small amount of money. Less cold and less hard than the insipid Rockoon (I apologize to those who liked it) this 49th (sic!) album of Tangerine Dream positioned the music of Edgar and his henchmen in the chessboard of New Age on the American market. The album was even nominated for this category at the very prestigious Grammy's of 1995. In so doing, Tangerine Dream aimed at a new public who knew little of EM, even less the Berlin School, and its uncountable creative possibilities. No! The gang of Froese aimed at the profitability and at the fame on the other continent for the benefit of its creativity.

Hoofs on the pavement and neighs of horses give a theatrical approach to Pictures at an Exhibition. Applauded by a new generation of fans, this pompous version tosses onto the void the very strong performance of Emerson Lake & Palmer in the 70's. These years are very far from the new artistic direction of the Froese tandem which maximizes their compositions with the coldness of the digital and the metallic sound of the beat-box. Firetongues follows exactly with a rhythmic of the kind ballad rather comfortable and by chords of melodious keyboard on a pattern of percussions which couples rock to a more tribal approach. The title reaches a heaviness with effects that we hear inside a submarine and embraces a furious approach of Flamingo in a rock mode with a wonderful Latin guitar of Zlatko Perica and of which the speed over the strings has all it needed to compete with any synths. This title composed by Jerome Froese is a part of the good shots in this section of career of the Dream. Galley Slave's Horizon begins with a heavy and slow structure which evolves by phases, with a small soft environment of tenderness in the middle, before reaching this kind of electronic rock which Tangerine Dream will serve us for a few years to come. Read me well! This isn't a pack of mud, it's even hyper melodious, but there are so many sounds and tones of compressed that it becomes too much for nothing. Death of a Nightingale is a beautiful ballad which introduces Linda Spa's saxophone. A controversial addition which will charm an American public fan of New Age or Easy Listening. And I just can't believe that these 2 words can fit into any reviews of TD's music!

Death of a Nightingale is a title that I don't hate at all because of the agile and magic fingers of Zlatko Perica who fills up our ears with series of notes, riffs and soloes which extirpate this title from its heavy sound entangling which makes the music so full of inconsequentialities, as in Galley Slave's Horizon. And that is going to follow the next years of the Dream which demonstrates that EM is more a story of crisscrossed sounds over flabbergasting beatboxes than a story of passion, soul and ingenious creativity. Jungle Journey is a good rock a little more purified with just what it needs of percussions and of rolls of drums which cross the unbridled movements of sequences, except that the symbiosis is well cemented. The guitars are very good with a good dosage of solos and harmonies. It's doubtless the first title written by Jerome to have seduced me so easily. It's just so impossible to not like the very good ballad which is Midwinter Night. I am not a big fan of Linda Spa but her sax sounds very good here. The title-track is a strange thing with a hopping structure where the fuzz wah-wah guitar is too much far from the Funk years in a style which makes rather Mexican rave party. Edgar Froese tries to blow hot and cold on a structure of 8 minutes by proposing changes, diversity on a thing which never cements. TURN OF THE TIDES went reedited a few years later, in particular on TDI in 1999, with a bonus track; Story of the Brave composed by Edgar and Linda Spa. It's a beautiful and very melancholic ballad with layers of voices from young virgins on a rather lively rhythm. The bass is very good, it reminds me of Patrick O'Hearn, while the synths are in mode prudence. There are some sax parts, but it's not the worst sax that I heard. It's like to listen to nice orchestrations. And there is a huge mass of sounds … Like if Edgar never stopped finishing a piece of music.

After all, this TURN OF THE TIDES had all the tools to make Tangerine Dream a success story on the West American market. There is rhythm, a lot the sounds at square inches, melodies, big percussions, guitar and synth. But few of sequencing main lines of rhythms nor synth solos. But that rocks, it's lively and that goes well between the ears. The nostalgic of the Dream from the Virgin and Jive years have all the reasons to dislike it, while the new clientele has all the reasons for not to hate. In brief, an eternal debate which will stretch until Thorsten Quaeschning turns up in 2005. But there were good shots in the meantime! TURN OF THE TIDES is one of those.

Sylvain Lupari (November 1st, 2017) *****

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© 2019 by Alexandre Corbin for Synth&Sequences \ Sylvain (A.K.A. Phaedream) Lupari

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