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Tangerine Dream — Alpha Centauri
(Esoteric Recordings EREACD 1021, 1971/2011, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-10-01

Alpha Centauri Cover art

McLatchey's Second Tier

I've checked off Zeit, Phaedra, and Rubycon so far and have two more this round. The first of these is the group's second album which already had a big personnel change moving out two other legends, Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler and bringing in long-term mainstay Chris Franke with Steve Schroyder. If their debut was identifiably post-Hendrix, Alpha Centauri was the group's new sound, not quite electronic music yet, but definitely predicting it, almost as if the group used a mix of effected electric instruments with early synthesizer effects. The short opening piece with its jagged guitar outbursts and heavily reverbed organ end up giving way to longer space-concept pieces with all sorts of effects, sounding like satellites floating by, the echo of vacuum, strange radiowave static over cavernous organ-effected atmospheres. In the days of modern synthesizers these kinds of things are easily produced but to create such a work out of things like coffee machines in the early 70s seems akin to the creativity of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop of the time.


Filed under: Reissues, 2011 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream, Christopher Franke

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