måndag 1 augusti 2016

Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centuri + 8cm Mini EP Med Bildomslag 1971

240:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition + 8cm Single. Gruppens 2:a album med en extra 8cm singel med bildomslag. Albumet är lätt begagnat men har inget som stör. Utgiven av det Japanska bolaget "Arcangelo". Mycket svår att hitta.)

Alpha Centauri is the second album by the German electronic music group Tangerine Dream. The music on this album is quite different from Tangerine Dream’s first album Electronic Meditation, partly because of a heavier reliance on keyboards and electronic technology, although they still mostly remain in the background: the dominant instruments on the album are organ and flute. 

The other difference is that this album focuses on dark, spacey soundscapes as opposed to jam sessions. The shift in instrumentation resulted in an atmosphere dubbed by Edgar Froese himself as Kosmische musik.

This album sold 20,000 copies in their native Germany, nearly four times as many as their later classic Phaedra.

A nowadays extremely rare single "Ultima Thule" was released in the same year. Side 1 employs the same guitar riff as "Fly ...", but the single was at the time otherwise an unconnected release. Re-releases of Alpha Centauri in the 2000s have however included either or both parts of Ultima Thule as bonus tracks.

Tangerine Dream already witnessed a lineup change. Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler are now out of the picture. Schulze then went on to Ash Ra Tempel, ended up with the Cosmic Jokers that sure didn't please him at all, and of course his famous solo career. New members include Christopher Franke, still in his teens, and Steve Schroyder. 

That means already the only thing Tangerine Dream had in common with their debut and "Alpha Centauri" is Edgar Froese himself. With this album, the band decided to drop the guitars and most of the drums and went for an exploratory brand of space "music" that would define them for their next two albums.
The music is quite a bit more lengthy than before, no more raw, aggressive psychedelic guitar jams here.

"Sunrise in the Third System" proves that, with strange sounding electronics, and some sort of strange string keyboard. "Fly and Collision of Comas Sola" starts off with more electronic effects, with spacy organ (almost sounds like a pipe organ). It won't be until the end when Franke gives us some drum work. This is the only cut the album with drums. 

Then you get the side length title track. This is the band going in to exploratory space "music", if you want to call it that. Strange wind sounds, lots of flute to go with it and all sorts of strange assorted electronic effects. I like how this piece ends with some sinister spoken dialog in German against a backdrop of organ and wordless voices. Not exactly accessible (Exit this is not), but this is recommended for those who want something more adventurous.

01. "Sunrise in the Third System"  04:21
02. "Fly and Collision of Comas Sola"  13:23
03. "Alpha Centauri"  22:04
04. "Oszillator Planet Concert"  08:03
05. "Ultima Thule, Part One"  03:24
06. "Ultima Thule, Part Two"  04:24