'Phaedra' is a touchstone in ambient and electronic music alike, often considered to be the Berlin band's greatest record. Soaked in layers of moog synthesizer, organs and piano, the record remains a prime example of what the word soundscape truly means, although Tangerine Dream also had a knack for developing their sound into something more pulsating, such as on the title track, on which analog synth moves the song along into hurried, darkened territory.. 

Vinyl LP £20.49 5351878

180g vinyl reissue LP on Back To Black.

  • Includes download code
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Vinyl LP £15.49 VR2010

Gatefold rereleased fit looking job on Virgin.

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Phaedra by Tangerine Dream
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9/10 Mike 03 September 2014

What is there to say about Tangerine Dream's 'Phaedra' that hasn't already been said? Precious little, I expect. The 1974 classic makes a welcome return to vinyl this week courtesy of Back To Black and it's making for a nice gentle start to my day. It's mastered from the original analogue and the pressing is excellent.

The album signified a leap forward for both the band and electronic music in general as for the first time they incorporated the Moog sequencer into their sound ("first time on a Rock & pop record" says the press release, and who am I to argue?), with the side-long title track beginning as a taped Moog improvisation, with flute, bass and Mellotron overdubs added later. It's still a totally absorbing piece of music, straddling the worlds of cerebral experimentalism and blissed out ambience with its gently pulsing and droning layers of synthesis conjuring up images of futuristic skylines and flying electric cars.

Broadly speaking, side A's lengthy tour de force has is more on the rhythmic pulsating kosmische synth side while things get a bit dronier on side B's 'Mysterious Semblance At The Strand of Nightmares' with lots of wibbling and phasing Mellotron action before the Moog comes out again for the loopy, dream-like ambience of 'Movements of a Visionary', full of wispy drones and wandering melodies underpinned by a dinkily repetitive Moog undercurrent that sweeps you along in its warm milky softness. Still a good album, and given the recent kosmische resurgence it sounds almost like it could've been made yesterday.


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