Tangerine Dream ‎– The Sessions II

Eastgate ‎– 082 CD
Quantum Years – Seventh
2 × CD, Album, Cupdisc

Companies, etc.



Notes from release:
"Recorded live at 'E-Live Festival', Sociaal Cultureel Centrum De Enck Oirschot/The Netherlands; 21st & 22nd October 2017"
"In honour of our musical hero Edgar Froese. R.I.P."
"The Sessions II - The seventh release of the Quantum Years"

No catalog# appears on release itself but is denoted as eastgate 082 CD on the official Tangerine Dream site/shop.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 0 705632 703939 >
  • Barcode (Scanned): 705632703939



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April 4, 2018
Recorded live at the E-Live Festival in the Netherlands, the fresh double CD by Tangerine Dream comes shortly after their 50th anniversary of continuous electronic music making.

As one of the pillars of the so-called Berlin School of electronic music, their musical output has always been a demonstration of how often the most cutting-edge technology can be just an instrument in, rather than an overpowering dictator of, an artistic vision.

While Kraftwerk is currently touring with their decades-ago created music that had built a unique aesthetic of a future world that is by now firmly in their (and our) past, Tangerine Dream has not stopped creating and imagining new sonic worlds. The latter visions are not those of some Mensch-Maschine, on the contrary - once again, Tangerine Dream creates an eminently human sonic Universe.

The two tracks, both of almost fifty minutes in length, are live improvisations.

As the band founded by the late Edgar Froese has been doing, this album, too honours the listener with a high degree of trust: in a world where attention spans are shrinking to a point singularity, Tangerine Dream trusts us to follow their journey through tens of minutes of continuous musical adventures.

And adventures they are indeed...

Both Tulip Rush and The Floating Dutchman unleash vast powers from analogue and digital engines at work on stage - but this is no self-indulgent showing off.

While largely improvised, the discipline with which the sonic paintings are structured, elements are introduced and layered, the way in which the technological beasts are unleashed and tamed in mind-blowing cycles is quite remarkable.

The sheer expanse of the musical pieces benefits from the possibilities of the medium itself - we could not imagine this in the era of vinyls, exactly as Klaus Schulze in the past could not truly expand his lengthy sonic visions to their full scale.

There is something about Mellotron (or nowadays Memotron) flutes, choirs and strings that is simply addictive, especially when Tangerine Dream layers them with, or sets them up as counterpoints to, pulsating and mind-bending sequenced patterns.

These two vast tracks are no exception, and if we wish to feel nostalgic about the tonal world of let's say Rubycon or Phaedra, then yes, even for just that one aspect, this double CD is a must-have.

But... the double album is so much more.

It does not do justice to the tracks to pick out elements or details, and one would highly recommend to actually treat the two pieces as a single sonic experience...

However, who can forget even after a first listening session the way in which in-between Earth-moving unleashing of sequencer improvisations (oh yes, Tangerine Dream have always shown us this is not a contradiction in terms), Hoshiko Yamane's violin gently steps in with soaring improvised lines that float above the electronics?

It is a testament to the eminently human, and not man-machine, electronic music produced by the band that one of the most organic and emotive instruments, the violin, finds a natural-sounding cosy home among the electronics. It does not sound like a sonic contrast, on the contrary, it blends in seamlessly with the synthesized textures.

Or, how those Mellotron flutes delicately soothe us before and after the tectonic movements caused so thrillingly by the intricate and complex multi-layered sequences that still to this day only Tangerine Dream can truly execute, in a live setting no less...

The listener is treated to lush chords, serene intros and interludes between these cosmic tidal waves of power, delicate melodic elements and self-confident power trips. Something is always changing, evolving, and nothing loses its way into some kind of self-indulgent technology showing-off.

This is TD, with an unmistakable and trademark sound - the post-Edgar Froese line-up of Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss and Hoshiko Yamane take us on a very human and utterly passionately improvised journey that fully benefits from the possibilities of current digital media.

Recently, after the utterly superb Quantum Gate and Sessions I albums, the topic of whether the present TD is "still TD" has come up in an internet discussion. One may have the audacity, after having listened several times to the full Sessions II, to state that if there was a fresh and resoundingly affirmative answer to that question, then it is this live release.

Anybody familiar with the introspective, but at the same time expansive and perfectly structured, Tangerine Dream compositions is guaranteed to enter a familiar, but even after half of a century, a constantly evolving and surprising sonic world.