Tangerine Dream

The Bootmoon Series: Ottawa 1986

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By 1986 Tangerine Dream had morphed from atmospheric Krautrock pioneers into new agey soundtrack merchants, although they still specialized in the idea of mood over melody. One result of the new approach was the idea of the short track, which would have been anathema to them a decade before. But they were appealing to a new audience as well as the old, and those recent fans had come to them through their film work, without the patience to listen through the epics that littered the band's part. They could still more or less make it up as they went along, however, though by now it was more painting by numbers rather than any genuine sense of adventure. The portentous, sometimes inadvertently hilarious titles to some of the pieces more or less tell the story of what's going on here: "Pilots of Purple Twilight," "Ride on the Ray," and "Dolphin Dance." Of course, there are a few recognizable pieces thrown out as crumbs, like "Bois de Boulogne" and "Zen Garden," and even a none-too-successful attempt to garner muso credibility by throwing in a piece of Mozart. Yet while there are occasional minutes when the music quickens the pulse, they're few and far between. Instead, this is a dream that seems to be on the verge of sleep -- or possibly coma.

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