Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:11 AM

After Froese and Schulze parted company in 1970, the band was lucky to find a replacement in Christopher Franke, an extremely talented musician, who will be one of the first people on earth to explore the power of synthesizers and translate technology into musical notes. From 1970 Franke and Froese will constitute a nucleus of the Tangerine Dream band, accompanied by more or less important temporary members. Unfortunately, after 18 years, their cooperation ended abruptly, with no particular benefit for what remained of Tangerine Dream.
Alpha Centauri, their second album, is a significant step forward in their career. The first change one notices immediately after turning the album on, is the quality of the sound. Unlike its predecessor, this album was not recorded in an old factory warehouse, but in a studio. Guitar is not a dominant sound anymore - it is messed into the musical texture that in turn consists of landscapes created by VCS3 synthesizer performed by Franke and "church-like" organs maneuvered by both Froese and Schroyder, the latter having a very temporary adventure with Tangerine Dream. Still, there is lots of experimental stuff in this recording. One does not have to look far - the whole "side B" of vinyl consists of a single, title track that does not possess a musical leading line. It is hard to digest only at the first trial or for "unaccustomed ears". Do not give up, however. Come back to Alpha Centauri every now and then and maybe, as I certainly hope, you will find a fly in a collision with Comas Sola somewhat attractive, even if pure historical reasons are not convincing for you at this time.

The second track is the most structured, which seems to be against their hitherto worshipped motto of complete freedom. Under heavy stratum of organs, we can dig the buried neoromantic tune - trying to catch it is by itself a pastime. Then they slowly progress with pompous symphonic schwung that culminates in hysteric looping of the tune and organs and blasted altogether with acoustic percussion solo by Christopher Franke. The whole album ends with German recitative. I love this language, although I understand as much as from Eskimo.
1. Sunrise in the Third System - Tangerine Dream, Franke, Christopher
2. Fly and Collision of Comas Sola - Tangerine Dream, Froese, Edgar
3. Alpha Centauri - Tangerine Dream, Froese, Edgar

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