Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Tangerine Dream

Quantum Gate / Quantum Key

Review by Gary Hill

This new double disc set includes not just the latest album from Tangerine Dream, but also the EP that preceded it. Perhaps it might have made sense to put the EP (Quantum Key) first since it was released first, but the real focus here is on the album, so that disc is included first. Besides, you can always reverse the order when listening. I've reviewed both of these sets individually, too in this same issue, but this is really the best way to get them as far as I'm concerned. The booklet here talks about how these discs came about (considering that Tangerine Dream's main person Edgar Froese died before the release). Let's cut to the chase and say that he appears on these recordings and had planned in advance for this once he knew he wasn't going to live to finish the work. All in all, this is quite a solid set and is highly recommended for fans of Tangerine Dream. I've included my individual reviews below to flesh out this review.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc One
              
Quantum Gate
This album finds Tangerine Dream landing heavily in the keyboard oriented electronic sound for which they were often known. This is an effective instrumental set that has enough variety to keep it from ever feeling redundant or tired. A couple notes I'd like to make. First, I've reviewed this both individually and as part of the set Quantum Gate / Quantum Key. The same review appears in both places. While I think this is well worth having in this format, I suggest getting that double disc set because you get more music that way. I should also note that the closing song here is the opener on the Quantum Key set. For the sake of consistency, I've used the same track review in all three reviews (this one, the one for Quantum Key individually and the one for the Quantum Gate / Quantum Key).
Sensing Elements
Weird percussive textures lead this out. Some keyboard textures rise upward as it begins to grow. This gets into some pretty intense electronic modes as it continues to grow. It doesn't change quickly, but there are a lot of different moods and textures built into this epic (over 13 and a half minutes) piece.
Roll the Seven Twice
More cool electronic keyboards open this number, and it works out from there in fine fashion. There is a definite EDM vibe here, but it has a lot in common with things like Kraftwerk, too. It gets quite lush and powerful.
Granular Blankets
There is a rather dark and dramatic texture to this cut. It's a powerful piece but not a huge change from the other material around it. It has some great musical moments and potent textures.
It Is Time to Leave When Everyone Is Dancing
There is a lush kind of almost soaring element to this piece. While this is set in much the same electronic soundscape, this one has a bit of a lighter, more positive vibe than a lot of the predecessors. It seems less serious and more packed with a spirit of fun.
Identity Proven Matrix
I love the energy, vibe and groove of this killer piece. It isn't a huge alteration, but it's just very effective.
Non-Locality Destination
Coming in rather trippy and mysterious, this grows outward gradually. I love the vibe of this piece of music.
Proton Bonfire
I dig the electronic rhythmical elements on this piece. It's another cool excursion that lands in the vicinity of EDM. It's not a huge change, but is quite effective. This gets quite powerful before it's finished.
Tear Down the Grey Skies
I'm reminded quite a bit of Kraftwerk on this number. It's a powerful piece.
Genesis of Precious Thoughts
Coming in gradually, the electronic rhythmic elements and musical drama build nicely. It drops back as it approaches the two and a half minute mark and some violin really adds to the magic of this mellower movement. As works back upward the electronic groove of the piece is just so classy and strong. The violin continues to contribute nicely. Around the five and a half minute mark there is a slightly weird, but still very cool sped up section. The track continues to evolve nicely from there. It gets quite lush as it approaches the end.
Disc Two
              
Tangerine Dream - Quantum Key
This is a recent EP from Tangerine Dream. The story behind this and the album that followed is an intriguing one since it was a path started by Edgar Froese and realized after his death by his wife and his musical cohorts. I'm reviewing this individually, but also as a the two CD set along with that album, Quantum Gate. While this is worth having on its own, getting it in the box set makes a lot of sense. The story behind this whole project is documented in the booklet to the box set. It should be noted, too, that the opening track here is the closer for the Quantum Gate album, and I've used the same track review in both reviews for the sake of consistency.
Genesis of Precious Thoughts
Coming in gradually, the electronic rhythmic elements and musical drama build nicely. It drops back as it approaches the two and a half minute mark and some violin really adds to the magic of this mellower movement. As works back upward the electronic groove of the piece is just so classy and strong. The violin continues to contribute nicely. Around the five and a half minute mark there is a slightly weird, but still very cool sped up section. The track continues to evolve nicely from there. It gets quite lush as it approaches the end.
Electron Bonfire
Rising up gradually, this works out to some pretty and quite powerful electronic sounds. There are some cool melodies built into this thing. The textures that serve up are just plain classic, too. I really love the violin work on this piece.
Drowning In Universes
This comes in lush and quite pretty. It grows outward to cool electronic sounds and textures. This continues to evolve as it drives onward with tasty sounds. This is precisely the kind of thing you'd expect from Tangerine Dream. There is a lush, almost soundtrack like vibe to it all. By around the seven minute mark it drops way down and the violin guides a spacey, kind of trippy journey. A mellower electronic element rises up and holds the track until it eventually ends.
Mirage of Reality
Tasty electronic textures rise up to move this forward as it starts. It shifts and grows in some tasty ways as it continues to evolve. There are some intriguing twists and turns along this road, but nothing changes quickly.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2018 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com