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TD's Style: Turn Away From The New Age?

(Dream Collector #9, November 1994)


Their name has been the embodiment of several styles: In the early seventies, the German Ohr label and its spacy founder Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser launched a promotional campaign for Tangerine Dream's "cosmic" music (Alpha Centauri). The late seventies saw the band as a paragon for music of the spheres (and, outside Germany, for "Krautrock"). In the early eighties, TD supported the peace movement, but its alternative majority regarded the music as cold and technocratic. The late eighties forced the band into a role that they never wanted to play: TD were said to provide the musical score for the New Age movement. Now, in the nineties, a lot of Ambient/Techno musicians search for their roots in early TD compositions...

Tangerine Dream -- misunderstood for 25 years? Indeed, the "public opinion" and the reviewer's ideas of TD were often totally different from the thoughts the members had had of their band. This is one of the reasons why Edgar Froese does not like the way most of the music journalists see TD. Both sides talk at cross-purposes.

However, Turn Of The Tides caused much more feedback in the print media than its predecessors did. A lot of music magazines and daily newspapers -- especially in Germany -- tried to define the band's new musical position featured by this release, even if Virgin still simply calls them the "superstars of the New Age scene".

The media did not find a new embodiment for TD's style of the nineties but came to very different points of view of the band and its CD. A short synopsis:

"It is the irony of fate that Tangerine Dream now, just when they are re-discovered by the dancefloor Generation, turn away from Techno and play guitars and other acoustical instruments."
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Cologne/Germany

"No! That can quite impossible be the band which once revolted against mainstream with albums like Alpha Centauri, Rubycon or Encore. [...] The Turn Of The Tide for Froese & Co. will be long in coming."
- Tip, Berlin/Germany

"With Turn Of The Tides, Tangerine Dream turns away from contemplative sensuality and New-Age-dingdong towards to a more rocky (instrumental) style. The result sounds good, but also unteachable New Age fans will further take pleasure in Froese's music."
- Südwest Presse, Ulm/Germany

"Tangerine Dream do not succeed in the turn back to world completely. [...] The instrumental and electronically filtered CD tempts into dreaming and drifting away into a new (New Age) world."
Weser Kurier, Bremen/Germany

"Glorified as a New Age star in the USA, Froese was disposed of as a bore often here in his country. The new album Turn Of The Tides gets on the nerves by gluey guitar solos striving after effect."
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich/Germany

"After a career spanning 25 years and double the amount of albums, [...] the true question is: have they anything worthwhile left to say?"
i/e, USA

"The new CD should turn attention to Tangerine Dream also in their own country."
Berliner Morgenpost, Berlin/Germany


© 1994 by Christian Horn, Siegfried Lindhorst, Rolf Sonnemann and Peter Stöferle
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