Tangerine Dream Scores in Hollywood: Tangerine Dream‘s name is often mentioned in the same breath as Kraftwerk, because they both pioneered electronic music back in the late ’60s/early ’70s, and probably because they’re both German.
But honestly, the similarities kind of end there. While Kraftwerk revel in sparse arrangements that seem to attempt to convey the human experience as something entirely robotic, Tangerine Dream create lush, orchestral art. It’s little wonder they’ve long been a top choice when movie creators are looking for scores.
We did a “Not Another DJ” column with them in May, and bandleader Thorsten Quaeschning told us that, “It’s an everlasting evolving and morphing process, learning from every note ever played and combining things that were explored and set as rules inside our microcosm. We are combining Synthesizer from all decades, hardware, modular, software to come as close to the sound, created in our heads and imaginations, as possible. Edgar Froese, the founder of Tangerine Dream that sadly passed away in 2015, had a very detailed vision of what Tangerine Dream should do, which scales we should use, there are even many rules when it comes to program step-sequencers, melodies and structures. The source should always be a deeper intention and emotion transferred to the computer, sequencer and instruments. Peter Baumann once said that the concept of Tangerine Dream is stronger than the single musician, a bigger sum of the parts, and that is why Tangerine Dream could live forever. Every single musician’s role was to be part of that concept and giving triggers out of their personal strengths.”
That level of detail was apparent at the swanky Vermont Hollywood club on Tuesday evening. Much is made of the fact that there are no original members left following the death of Edgar Froese, but any criticism misses the point. Froese set this project up to me more like an orchestra than a traditional band. People will come and go but the concept remains the same.
In this latest incarnation, Quaeschning is joined by Hishoki Yamane and Paul Frick. The three of them line up on the stage, surrounded by all manner of synthesizers and computer equipment, perfectly in sync.
The set was quite magical — it was easy to get carried away in their sea of mood-setting sounds. It was wonderful to hear “Love On a Real Train,” from Risky Business, but the show was less about individual songs and more about the whole.
Sure, we’d love to have heard something from Stephen King’s Firestarter (the original, not the recent remake), or the theme from ’80s TV show Street Hawk (kinda like Knight Rider with a motorcycle). But we weren’t complaining.
With Tangerine Dream, the sum of the parts has always been the most important thing, and this latest lineup does the legacy of this incredible collective proud.
Visit tangerinedreammusic.com for more info.
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