Tangerine Dream - Particles album review

Electronic combo carry on in honour of Edgar Froese

Cover art for Tangerine Dream - Particles album

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This double album comprises a studio disc and a live disc, both recorded following the death of Tangerine Dream’s founder, Edgar Froese, in 2015. Thorsten Quaeschning is now the musical director of the band, with Ulrich Schnauss on keyboards and Hoshiko Yamane on violin and cello.

Side one’s lengthy opener 4.00pm Session is typical of later-period TD (circa 1980 onwards), when they went from so awesome to so-so, as their early dark ambient lapsed into a softer, melodic, sequencerdriven vein. The cover versions on the live disc emanate from that period as well, while titles such as Power Of The Rainbow Serpent are evidence of a lapse into new age reverie.

There is, however, a cover of the main theme to Stranger Things, itself avowedly influenced by Tangerine Dream, and whose caustic, menacing bursts of synth burst through the customary dully benign drones that hang elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a cover of Rubycon from 1975 is a healthy reminder of why Tangerine Dream, despite the lengthy and ongoing tail end to their career, have a vital historical role in the development of electronic music, projecting a chill, static awe that has never dated.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.