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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Cast/crew biographies - A brief history of Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream - The Video Dream Mixes

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 60 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Formed in late 1967 and founded by electronica pioneer Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream has made, without doubt, the most influential impact on the development of instrumental music throughout the 1980s and 1990s, dictating everything from the course of new age and space music to the most abrasive variations of Hi-NRG dance. Experiencing no less than thirty-three different lineups - with Froese, as the group’s nucleus, being the sole member to survive each incarnation - Tangerine Dream’s three decades in the music industry has seen it undergo four distinct stages of evolution.

From the experimental minimalism of the late 1960s to the darker sequencer-based, trance-orientated phase toward the latter part of the 1970s - which proved to be their most influential period - Tangerine Dream’s instrumental style became increasingly more organic and textured in the 1980s with their prolific studio recordings, as well as their participation on numerous synthesised film scores, including Risky Business, The Keep, Vision Quest, and Firestarter. As the 1990s arrived, heralding the triumphant rise of techno-orientated music, the group developed a more progressive dance style, and continued to provide inspiration to future artists such as Robert Miles, The Crystal Method, Beats International, Leftfield, and Sash!

Born in Tilsit, East Prussia in 1944, Froese’s greatest artistic inspirations were derived not from music, but from the Dadaist and Surrealist art movements, as well as the literary giants, Henry Miller and Gertrude Stein. During the 1960s, Froese hosted annual multimedia events at Salvador Dali’s Spanish retreat and began to experiment in the fusion of his artistic and literary influences to satisfy his musical aspirations. Refining its unique take on acid rock, Tangerine Dream performed at prominent student events about Berlin, before the release in 1970 of the album, Electronic Meditation - which was, in fact, a session tape that was never intended for public exhibition.

Constantly striving to break the limitations of the space music genre with the albums Ziet (1972) and Atem (1973) - efforts that, supported by the glowing accolades of distinguished musical personalities such as British DJ John Peel, brought the group to the attention of audiences outside of Europe - Tangerine Dream’s first album for tycoon Richard Branson’s Virgin label, Phaedra (1974), saw the outfit leap into the British commerical charts, despite hostile reaction from mainstream critics. Keeping in theme with Froese’s philosophy regarding the synergetic relationship between music and sound, Tangerine Dream used sampling techniques for the first time on Le Parc (1985), marking the group’s tentative excursion into the realm of trance.

Towards the end of the 1990s, Tangerine Dream’s musical style reflected the cultural trend of electronica and dance that the group itself helped instigate. Under Froese’s astute guidance, the outfit continues to remain a potent force in the future development of electronic music, actively recording and releasing live albums, studio albums, remix albums and soundtracks at a feverish pace, averaging in at least two releases per year.

Produced and directed by Froese, Tangerine Dream: The Video Dream Mixes showcases tracks from their 1995 album The Dream Remixes, and is nothing short of unconventional. Instead of producing yet another collection of manufactured promo clips, Froese’s intention was to communicate complicated musical ideas through the accompaniment of picturesque and, at times, surreal imagery, which veer from being enchanting to strangely disquieting. Also featuring the group's current fellow members, Linda Spa (keyboards, sax) and Froese's son, Jerome (keyboards, guitar), The Video Dream Mixes is the digital equivalent of an acid-fueled hallucinogenic experience which can be perceived as either an exhilarating sensory journey, or a dubious exercise in hedonistic self-indulgence.

Track Listing (58:59)

  1. Main Title / Bride in Cold Tears
  2. Catwalk
  3. Jungle Journey
  4. Touchwood
  5. Change of the Gods
  6. Rough Embrace
  7. Little Blonde in the Park of Attractions
  8. San Rocco
  9. End Credits / Fire Tongues

  Video
Contract

Presented in an anamorphic screen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Tangerine Dream: The Video Dream Mixes is a rather difficult beast to properly critique due to the basis of its hallucinogenic presentation, rendering any normal criticism totally ineffectual.

Containing footage shot on film and video, and incorporated with computer animation, the visual presentation is somewhat schizophrenic - ranging from a combination of hypnotic slow-motion and soft focus photography, reverse negative imaging, to what seems to be heavy light exposure; subsequently; Tangerine Dream: The Video Dream Mixes exhibits frequent oversaturation, which often results in bleeding. Due to the nature of the program and Froese’s artistic leanings, it can be safely assumed that this is intentional and should not be considered an inherent flaw in the transfer itself.

Allowing for aesthetic license, there are no problems associated with sharpness, but delineation is often accompanied with slight, albeit perceptible, grain. Throughout the presentation, there is a great degree of ‘ghosting’, resembling edge enhancement, that affects almost everything from urban architecture to the Tangerine Dream members themselves. No doubt, this is the direct result of transferring material shot on video onto the digital format; however, in other instances, it is evidently a deliberate artistic decision.

  Audio
Contract

Between the choice of the Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 mixes, there can be no comparison. The 5.1 option features a prominent (yet not overbearing) bass, while the front and rear soundstages mesh together to provide an exceptional immersive experience that is both seductive and intoxicating. Unquestionably, the listening highlight here is Rough Embrace, which features a series of multi-layered tribal rhythms constantly varying in beat and structure, supported by a complex arrangement of sequencers and synthesisers; with iconic visual imagery and dreamlike soundscape, it is the perfect union of sight and sound.

  Extras
Contract

Extras features on Tangerine Dream: The Video Dream Mixes are restricted simply to the informative, and sufficently in-depth, five page document, ‘A Brief History of Tangerine Dream’.

  Overall  
Contract

Tangerine Dream: The Video Dream Mixes is an acquired taste and should not be recommended to those expecting a collection of industrially manufactured commercial clips. Yet, there can be no doubt as to the calibre of Edgar Froese’s artistic integrity, both as a performer and as the director of this presentation. With the increasing prominence of trance music, and the movement's long-overdue acknowledgment as being not merely a legitimate musical art form, but also the frenetic voice for an entire sub-culture of clubbers and ravers, The Video Dream Mixes’ release is timely, and certainly warrants a rental. For Tangerine Dream fans, it is essential.


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      And I quote...
    "The digital equivalent of an acid-fueled hallucinogenic experience, featuring a mind-altering barrage of ethereal imagery set to pulsating trance-orientated electronica... "
    - Shaun Bennett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Panasonic SC-HT80
    • TV:
          Panasonic TX-43P15 109cm Rear Projection
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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