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Thread: Tangerine Dream's Phaedra at 40

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    Tangerine Dream's Phaedra at 40

    Tangerine Dream's "Phaedra" was released on Feb 20, 1974. We'll be celebrating it on Echoes with a special feature of musicians looking back on Phaedra's influence including Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Shreeve, Steve Roach, Ian Boddy and Robert Rich. That's on Thursday, Feb 20. And tonight we'll feature a live performance by one of Tangerine Dream's musical children, Vic Hennegan. http://wp.me/pgATL-2Jr
    You could argue which of the four classic era albums, Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet or Stratosfear is the best, and that's been done a few times on this list, but there's no doubt that Phaedra was the first in establishing the classic sequencer sound that's behind everything from Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" to most techno and electronica albums today.

  2. #2
    Back in the day, some of their fans thought they "sold out" with PHAEDRA! Certainly a groundbreaking album. Froese re-recorded it on the 35th anniversary to mixed results.

    I personally like RUBYCON a bit better.

  3. #3
    My favorite era of TD hands down. Hoping to find a webstation where i can listen to the broadcast!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by the winter tree View Post
    Froese re-recorded it on the 35th anniversary to mixed results.
    I greatly admire your generous restraint in describing Phaedra 2005

    The title track was actually just the 1988 tour recording, with some extra bits thrown on top. The balance of the tracks were the standard "album playback with digitial synth noodles on top."

    Like you though...I enjoy Phaedra but prefer Rubycon from that era a bit more.
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by the winter tree View Post
    Back in the day, some of their fans thought they "sold out" with PHAEDRA!
    Yes. After albums like Zeit how dare they introduce rhythm.

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    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Yeah, it was practically Sussudio!

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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    I enjoy Phaedra but prefer Rubycon from that era a bit more.
    Their magnum opus, IMO. I never tire of Rubycon. I think I'd take Atem and Zeit over Phaedra as well, but it's a very solid record nonetheless.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    I guess I'm strange, I always got more out of Stratosphear

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    Member MmusicM's Avatar
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    40 years! Wow! I discovered it 32 years ago as a 19 year old looking for something "different" to listen to, & was blown away! I bought the Phaedra, Ricochet, & Rubycon LPs at the same time - based upon the album cover art & someone telling me TD was "really trippy, man!" I soon followed with Cyclone & Force Majeure. I bought Exit, upon its release, but they kinda lost me there. The first 7 LPs of the "Virgin" years are all ultimate listens, IMO. I tend to gravitate more to the Ricochet album, but am a fan of them all.
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand...

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    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    First album I ever heard from Tangerine Dream, and it opened up a whole new exciting world of musical enjoyment for me...
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Haven't heard it in a really long time but I've always liked it. It has a very hypnotic trance like quality to it. I remember back in the late eighties listening to it while there was a big thunderstorm going on outside. That was pretty wild.

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    My favorite album from TD. Mysterious Semblance At The Srand of Nightmares is a stone cold classic.

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    Great album, a wonderful album to listen to on headphones.

    I saw the classic lineup twice, at the Santa Monica Civic and at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, ca. 1976-77. What incredible sounds they got from the modular Moogs and the other synths they used at the time. I lost interest when Peter Baumann left, but the run of albums of Phaedra, Rubycon, Richochet, Stratosphere and Encore got played constantly by me back in the day.

    EDIT: I love the Internet so damn much. The Santa Monica gig was 4/25/77, the Greek was 7/12/77, it's hard to imagine now that they were popular enough to play a 6,000 seater like the Greek.
    Last edited by Jeremy Bender; 02-19-2014 at 01:34 AM.
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    Member Yanks2014's Avatar
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    I first heard this album around 1986. Hated it. But there is more to the story thankfully. I first became aware of TD in 1984 upon renting the movie "Risky Business". I really liked their soundtrack work for this. In 86 I heard some of the far more mainstream "Le Parc", which made me a fan. Wanted it, but only found a couple alubms as the local record shop, and I bought them, "Cyclone" and Phaedra. I instantly loved the Cyclone track "Madrigal Meridian". But Phaedra, just too damn weird and creepy. Listened a few times but it didn't do anything for me. So every year or so I'd pull it out and try again. I swear it took over 20 years for it to fully click. And it did, big time. Now it's one of my favorites of theirs. Shocking something so unique like this came out 40 years ago. Music from another planet, I can only imagine what people thought hearing this back then. OK, correct that to non-stoned people. Must have been a wild head scratcher. Brilliant work. And yes, I still think it's creepy.

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    Given the album's reputation I thought it would be a good idea to fall asleep to it as a first listen. Found it too interesting to sleep through and kinda despised it for that reason

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    I guess I'm strange, I always got more out of Stratosphear
    And Riccochet

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Yanks2014 View Post
    I first heard this album around 1986. Hated it. But there is more to the story thankfully. I first became aware of TD in 1984 upon renting the movie "Risky Business". I really liked their soundtrack work for this. In 86 I heard some of the far more mainstream "Le Parc", which made me a fan. Wanted it, but only found a couple alubms as the local record shop, and I bought them, "Cyclone" and Phaedra. I instantly loved the Cyclone track "Madrigal Meridian". But Phaedra, just too damn weird and creepy. Listened a few times but it didn't do anything for me. So every year or so I'd pull it out and try again. I swear it took over 20 years for it to fully click. And it did, big time. Now it's one of my favorites of theirs. Shocking something so unique like this came out 40 years ago. Music from another planet, I can only imagine what people thought hearing this back then. OK, correct that to non-stoned people. Must have been a wild head scratcher. Brilliant work. And yes, I still think it's creepy.
    That is Phaedra.Creepy.I didn't get it on first listen either.Best describes on those moog sounds is "like Johnny Cash on acid".I have one lovely memory from Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares. And Phaedra is the most ever wonderful track to listen and to smoke the pot.Incredible.

    Tangerine Dream -- Phaedra (1974)
    Last edited by Modry Effekt; 02-19-2014 at 09:08 PM.

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Not sure if it's actually true or not but I read in a rock encyclopedia a long time ago that about 6,000 people were stuffed into a venue that normally only held 2,000 for a TD concert in the mid seventies or so(I think in England but not sure).

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    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I really can't split Phaedra, Ricochet & Rubycon as my favorites.
    Ian

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    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modry Effekt View Post
    Best describes on those moog sounds is "like Johnny Cash on acid".
    For about a half minute, that's Froese playing countryish bass guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ndOHPxYGQM#t=278

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Not sure if it's actually true or not but I read in a rock encyclopedia a long time ago that about 6,000 people were stuffed into a venue that normally only held 2,000 for a TD concert in the mid seventies or so(I think in England but not sure).

    source / http://voices-in-the-net.de/1974-12-13.htm
    From 30 Years Of Dreaming
    On 13th December, Tangerine Dream gave a spectacular concert at the cathedral in Reims in France. The atmosphere in this gothic church enlightened by candles was the perfect background for the music of Tangerine Dream. The music, which was performed by Froese, Franke and Baumann who sat almost motionless in the semi-darkness in front of their electronic altars, created a mysterious religious mood. A lot of people made a 'pilgrimage' to this event, and the cathedral with seats for approximately 2,000 people, had to make room for about 5,000 people that day! This of course did not go by unnoticed, and afterwards this old Catholic cathedral was left in a minor chaos!

    Froese: "It was a terrible situation. People couldn't move, they had to piss up against the walls. You can imagine the mess by the end of the concert. What's more, we got the blame for it!" (Melody Maker, 8th October 1994)

    The consequence was that the Pope Paul VI sent out a bull of ex-communication, which banned Tangerine Dream from ever performing in a Catholic church anywhere in the world in the future. This sort of ban is not something that happens to you every day and of course it created a lot of publicity at that time. Both in private and on stage the band have always been very withdrawn and they have never been surrounded by any rock-star status, so here was finally something for the public eye to dig into. The ban might be lifted now, but the event is something that often gets mentioned when someone in the media is doing a fast review of Tangerine Dream's career.

    The concert was by the way broadcast on the radio and the music played is very typical of Tangerine Dream at this point -- a lot of improvisation -- based on long floating soundscapes - played in the minor tone colours.

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    They also apparently played a lot of shows in darkness or near darkness(which was mentioned in your post too actually).

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    It's happening tonight. Today is the 40th Anniversary of Tangerine Dream's "Phaedra." Celebrate with interviews from Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Redshift, Ian Boddy, Alan Howarth and Edgar Froese tonight on Echoes http://wp.me/pgATL-2Jv

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    Member Casey's Avatar
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    I discovered TD through "Phaedra." To me, it was an extension of what I loved about Pink Floyd's spacier music. After TD, I found Klaus Schulze. All three, although different, are very satisfying to my musical needs.
    I've got a bike you can ride it if you like

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    I really can't split Phaedra, Ricochet & Rubycon as my favorites.
    Yup, that's pretty much the holy trinity right there.

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