Optical Race is one of Tangerine Dream's most accessible releases. The melodies and hooks are as strong as on any Dream production, and are complemented by the electronic washes of sound. Pared down to the duo of founder and visionary Edward Froese and fellow synth wizard Paul Haslinger, the music is complete yet questioning, the hallmark of all the best Tangerine Dream recordings. Stylistically it straddles the ground between the preceding Underwater Sunlight and the earlier Tangram. Optical Race also marked a reunion of sorts with former Dreamer Peter Baumann, then head of the Private Music label, which for a time became known for its edgy, electronic music by the likes of Yanni, Azuma, Eddie Jobson, and Tangerine Dream. (Following its purchase by fellow new age label Windham Hill, Private was reborn as a blues label.) The title cut, with its insistent electronic percussion pushing the beat, is a highlight.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ross Boissoneau