Tangerine Dream – Atem
A sharp-dressed, clean-cut and fragrantly scented Tangerine Dream release is always a reason for celebration at HFoS. Reactive’s tasty, sleeve-bound reissue of 1973′s Atem, in a double-disc format, proves to be no exception.
Featuring what legendary bumbler John Peel would make his 1973 album of year on disc 1, remastered and given a thorough seeing to with the feather duster, as well as a previously unreleased live recording – the excellent ‘the deutschlandhalle perfomance’ – on disc 2, Atem provides a cornucopia of ambient wonders for the kosmische musik devotee.
The last album recorded for the influential Krautrock label, Ohr, prior to TD jumping ship to bearded twat Richard Branson’s embryonic Virgin, Atem comprises of four tracks: ‘atem’, ‘fauni-gena’, ‘circulation of events’ and ‘wahn’. A searching journey across the sonically-crafted landscapes of the German trio’s minds, moods and tone, dictated via the considerable Mellotron, organ and synthesiser rigs that the band employed.
High drama and slower, atmospheric compositions flow together seamlessly throughout, with the 20 minute title track a particularly fine example of this aural juxtaposition, taking in rapid-fire percussive bursts betwixt the more enigmatic, celestial passages. If you ever wished to know what the outer cosmos sounded like, while tripping on some particular potent Portabello mushrooms, then ‘atem’ is probably as good a place to start as any. Just be sure to keep on your toes, as solar flares and the occasional atmosphere-singed dog hurtle by.
‘fauni-gena’, in turn, finds Tangerine Dream’s vessel grounded and the electronic voyagers exploring an extraterrestrial, sub-tropical rainforest, resplendent with birdsong and murmurings among the flora. Remember the Genesis cave in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? That.
Nicely rounded off with two shorter pieces – the second of which, ‘wahn’, with its avant-garde beginnings and gradual ascent into intergalactic melody, provides a fine coda to the album – Atem is a crackingly good and emotive ride; an undoubted pinnacle in the ongoing saga of Edgar Froese’s ambient soundscapers.
Atem by Tangerine Dream is reissued by Reactive and available to buy from Amazon.co.uk
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