Reinterpreting the form that they helped establish, over a series of concert realizations Tangerine Dream emphasizes the unimaginable gulf which lies between interstellar space and the listening mind. Their 1977 double LP Encore (71'49") helped free us from the confines of the present in a metaphoric language belonging more to the dream lands than to our daily routine here on Earth. Listening to Encore decades after its recording we remain in its thrall. On an engrossing escape into the innovative past we are still struck by TD's originality and continuity of vision. Encore offers a radical musical perception into reality while conferring something passionate and eternal. Like all good live albums Encore exudes the danger and excitement of discovery. Its four side-long jams propel the audience into distinctive storyscapes. Through the coded references of the now classic flute, strings, choir and other ethereal Mellotron sounds we feel the pull of the cosmos. Giving rise to a rousing sense of propulsion, creamy synth leads hover wistfully above the throbbing pulse of interlocking, multi-layered sequencer patterns - which race ahead, then diminish into a swirling atonal ether. As a wandering electric guitar solo plays out into the the upper regions, strange modulations and deep somber chords make contact with the inner dark of Spacemusic - and fuel our headspace journey. In the disoriented frenzy of a nightmare the harmonic assembly of tones reveals a luminous treatment of texture and shadow - and conjures primitive realities from an unsettling remoteness. Further in, as strange forms climb into existence and hover all around us, those attending this music find an allegory for the limits of reason and rational thought. Summoning the imagination Encore was among the first releases to encourage a deeper form of listening - one that helped us reconnect with our own true selves, and to those of others. Defined by its ceaseless reinvention and transformation the early innovative works realized by Tangerine Dream in the 1970s combined the human desire to invent and innovate with a highly personal notion of beauty as a quieter counterweight to the truths of post-war Berlin. This shaping of the future continues to this day - and is compellingly revealed in each successive generation of players and artists in Electronic Sound.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 25 May 2023