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Sebastian H. M. Murdock

Tangerine Dream - Zeit 2nd Movement - Nebulous Dawn [1972]

1,171 views 6 months ago
Unlike most 'classic' albums where listeners are ultimately able to come to a loose consensus on whether it's good or not, "Zeit" remains a hot topic, forty years after its release. Even Tangerine Dream's core fanbase often finds itself divided on the issue, with some listeners deeming it among the greatest, most groundbreaking electronic albums ever made, and others marginalizing it as bong-addled nonsense. In a sense, Tangerine Dream's third record is the "Tales from Topographic Oceans" of progressive electronic music; a quintessential 'love it or hate it' affair, with convincing arguments on both sides. Ultimately, it's up to the individual listener to make up their own mind on the matter. It's an album that could be incredible or trite, simply based on the time and place a listener is when they listen to it. For all of its surface listlessness however, "Zeit" is as rich an ambient experience as they come. It is as challenging today as it was forty years ago, and though it's possible only Tangerine Dream's more devoted fans will have the patience for its listlessness and quiet hum, there's a massive atmosphere here that could never have happened any other way.

Taken at face value, it's a sprawling, drawn out sound experiment, turning its nose on melody, harmony and rhythm in order to focus solely on the texture of sound. It's as if the neoclassical composer Gyorgy Ligeti composed an electronic album. Although Tangerine Dream's 'golden', pre-soundtrack era was defined by longwinded compositions and spacey atmosphere, "Zeit" seemingly takes the 'composition' out of the equation, leaving Froese and co. to focus solely on the way the music sounds. "Zeit" is the German word for 'Time', and it's curious that Tangerine Dream would give that title to a piece that seems to eschew the concept entirely.

"Nebulous Dawn" is similarly abstract, but changes the palette of sound considerably. Here, Tangerine Dream evoke a much spacier impression, with sounds ranging from a looming hum, to ominous bubbling and the sounds I can only imagine would be heard most comfortably in the anal probing room of a UFO. Unlike "Birth of Liquid Plejades" however, there is less sense of progression, save for the gradual increase of the background hum. Once again, there are no melodies or apparent rhythmic structures- only a thick slab of sonic experimentation. Throughout the track, there is the perpetual image of a nano age super highway in a far future metropolis. Think the crowded, dark realm of Blade Runner, and that may be a good indication where "Nebulous Dawn" leads the listener.

text taken from http://www.prog-sphere.com/... Show less
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