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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tangerine Dream

Le Parc

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a musical exploration of a number of parks in different parts of the world. Each track, like each park, I assume, has its own distinctive flavor and character. While the overall tone of this represents the electronic based texture of acts like Kraftwerk, Synergy, Vangelis and Tomita, this is distinctly Tangerine Dream.

Note that I've done this review as an individual retro review here, but it's actually part of a brand new box set that I've also reviewed for this issue. This review is included in that one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bois de Boulogne (Paris)
Keys bring this into being gradually, and the track works out from there to more of an energized groove. While this is deeply electronic music based, it gets into some rather symphonic territory at times. There are also hints of space rock in the mix at times.  Around the four-and-a-half minute mark this drops back to mellower sounds that eventually take the number to its closing.
Central Park (New York)
There is a definite energy and excitement to the electronic textures that open this cut. The number moves at a good pace and seems tastefully busy.
Gaudi Park (Guell Garden, Barcelona)
Percussive elements bring this thing into being. It drives forward from there in a rhythmic way. While keyboard textures rise up, even those are more part of the rhythm section that melodic at first. Eventually a layer of textural melody emerges, and the cut begins to evolve. This is very much in line with what you might get if you combined Kraftwerk with Vangelis and Tomita.
Tiergarten (Berlin)
I love the piano melodies on this cut. They electronics that accompany it lend a lot of texture and magic to the piece. This one really makes me think of Vangelis in a lot of ways.
Zen Garden (Ryoan-Ji Temple, Tokyo)
The sounds of nature begin this piece. It has a world music bent to it as the music kicks in. Still, this is recognizable instantly as Tangerine Dream with the electronic concepts.
Le Parc (L.A. - Streethawk)
I love the smoking hot keyboard textures on this. It really feels like something that would have been at home in the movie Koyasnisqatsi. There is a lot of energy and drive to the number.
Hyde Park (London)
Effects open this. Electronics start to rise upward, tentatively and sporadically at first. This works out to just the kind of electronic music tapestry you would expect.
The Cliffs of Sydney (Sydney)
The sounds of the sea begin this. The cut grows out into a dramatic and powerful electronic arrangement.
Yellowstone Park (Rocky Mountains)
A powerful and pretty piece, this really does capture the kind of majesty that I imagine Yellowstone conveys. There are some non-lyrical, almost operatic vocals here.
 
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