Tangerine Dream


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Tangerine Dream returned to the American Southwest as the setting for another soundtrack, Oasis. Like Canyon Dreams before it, this music stands on its own musically, even while it seems to interpret its subject matter only loosely. Edgar Froese and Jerome Froese (the only two members present on this recording) eschew club rhythms for percussive patterns and forego any audible traces of guitar, which represents a departure from the more dance-oriented music of recent efforts. The songs, rich in atmosphere, have a stillness that approaches solemnity in some cases, notably on "Cedar Breaks" (one of two songs inspired by national parks). Although electronic percussion still appears throughout the music, it doesn't drive the material so much as embellish it. The music's most tangible qualities are a humid layer of synthesizers, heroic themes, and mesmerizing keyboard patterns, suggesting in some ways a return to the music of Force Majeure. Many of the tracks ply the same sonic territory, which makes sense given the disc's limited regional scope, but this doesn't lend itself to standout sections. Still, "Flashflood" (which appeared on the live Tournado) and "Zion" are good examples of the disc's strengths. Oasis lacks the urgency of Goblins' Club or Tournado, but the evocative textures are conducive to introspection, something that new age fans will find appealing. There are actually few attempts to incorporate traditional Southwestern sounds into the music -- "Hopi Mesa Heart" employs what sounds to be regional percussion, relying instead on an electronic palette of colors to communicate the spirituality and epic nature of the landscape. Note that the compact disc includes a bonus track, "Chia Maroon."

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