Zeit album cover

Tangerine Dream


True story: When I was 13, I heard Aqua, by Edgar Froese and Music For Airports on the same day. I was looking for the Eno, which I’d read about, and was lucky that a friend of my Dad’s had a copy. The Froese is what haunted me, though. It seemed to move like an organic, living creature. I also could not remember what it was called, so I bought the Eno and that was that. Zeit is 74 minutes of water and fire and elemental churn, a close relative of Aqua’s. That cello from the first Tangerine Dream album, as played by Conrad Schnitzler, got into Froese’s matrix, and some of the best stuff here pits the synth against the cello. Heavy drone energy here, almost Eliane Radigue-level stuff. This music is just so confidently detached from normal pitch and rhythm. The second disk of this double LP is sort of sound design as much as music. It’s all, as Cope suggests, really powerful stuff, not easily ignored. Froese and his crew seem to know how sound operates and what kind of music can come from this new gear. If Zeit does any single thing, it establishes that the sustained tones and subtle modifications that come from synthesizers are not something to be taken lightly. They will have their own logic and way of moving forward. Tangerine Dream got that memo before most.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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