Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tangerine Dream - 1979 - Force Majeure

Tangerine Dream 
Force Majeure

01. Force Majeure (18:18)
02. Cloudburst Flight (7:21)
03. Thru Metamorphic Rocks (14:15)

Total Time: 39:54
Recorded in 78 with a new introduction of acoustic instruments such as drums, cello, various guitars and flute. The track »Through metamorphic rocks« found its roots in the sudden malfunction of an out board piece of equipment. The malfunction occurred during the final mix and accidently became part of the song's basic structure.

- Edgar Froese / synthesizer, bass, guitar, composer, keyboards, producer, mixing
- Christopher Franke / keyboards
- Edgar Meyer / cello, engineer
- Klaus Kruger / drums

Of the few albums TD released during their brief symphonic prog era, this is by far the most accomplished: "Force Majeure" makes an impressive catalogue of inspired musical ideas, tight performances, and ambitious artistic splendour. Edgar Froese and Chris Franke work as a duo, assisted by drummer Klaus Krieger, and occasionally by cellist Eduard Meyer. The 18+ minute namesake suite is a well crafted succession of beautiful, captivating sections, which range from spacey intro and interludes to orchestrated passages with guitar solos and synth harmonies; there is even a folkish motif toward the end played on synths and electronic percussion, a bucolic piece wrapped under a Kraftwerk-like clothing. The melancholy synth layers that comes afterwards closes up this suite in an amazing manner. It would be certainly hard for the other two pieces to make the listener forget the impression left by it, and indeed, they can't go that far. Yet, they're still beautiful tracks. 'Cloudburst Flight' is something like Moon Madness-meets-Wish You Were Here, emphasizing the melodic aspect and not letting the expansions of the main theme stretch out too long: as a matter of fact, I wish it had been a bit longer, since the fade-out seems to come across too soon, right in the middle of an eerie synth solo. 'Thru' Metamorphic Rocks' is divided into two diverse parts, not fluidly intertwined as in the different successive sections of the 'Force Majeure' suite, but abruptly connected in a dramatic contrast. Part one is symphonic oriented, just like the preceding track, while part two is an aggressive, dense electronic tour-de-force, very much in the vein of what you usually come to expect from a TD recording - at times it reminds me of some of TD-alumnus Klaus Schulze solo work. The fact that there were engineering mistakes during the mixing process of this track actually works as a happy accident, since the contrast serves as an effective channel for musical tension. In conclusion, a very brilliant album that shows the duo Froese/Franke as perfectly capable of going on evolving artistically while the 80s were waiting just around the corner.



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