All things Tangerine Dream

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by hEARt PhoniX, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. Jaar21

    Jaar21 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Watford UK
    @uzn007
    RE: TD "live"

    Your question is interesting but both Logos and Poland had mostly unreleased material. Even though we can find some embryonic ideas they developed on Poland and Logos on some of their soundtracks- ie The Soldier, but my next question would be how much improvisation was there in the studio concerning these supposedly "live" albums? Was their approach to composing different when they knew this would be released as "live" albums? As far as I am concerned, it does not bother me all that much...what matters in the end is the result, the fact that both these albums should be great is what remains. Maybe, they should have done with Logos what they did with Ricochet avoid putting "live" on the album cover!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 10:28 AM
  2. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Forget the albums. I'm interested in the live experience. In the 70s, if you bought a ticket for a Tangerine Dream show, you saw a mostly-improvised performance of unique material. By 1982, you were getting the playback of a backing tape. What prompted that change?
     
    Stephen Palmer likes this.
  3. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Shrewsbury
    I'd like to know as well.
     
  4. Beeb Fader

    Beeb Fader Forum Resident

    Location:
    Yorkshire,UK
    They (ie Edgar) basically stated that they wanted each concert to be consistent with the last. Also by this time they had begun composing shorter segments of music.
    I guess it was Johannes Schmoelling joining the band which also helped usher in this new era. It was a strange hybrid, because they didn't really go out and play the albums as such. 95% of the music you were hearing (I saw them from 1980 onwards) at the time was new and unheard. Quite often it would appear on a subsequent album but at the time it was fresh enough. We didn't know it was on tape at the time.
     
  5. Bruno Republic

    Bruno Republic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm guessing it had to do with how their overall output changed. Up until Stratosfear, the albums were based around improvisation as well, just heavily edited, overdubbed, and reorganized. Stratosfear marked the point where they switched to composition and more conventional structure.
     
  6. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Shrewsbury
    We didn't, Beeb Fader. And it was always a stunning experience...
     
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  7. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    I wonder what prompted this change in attitude. It didn't seem to be a concern prior to that.
     
  8. Bruno Republic

    Bruno Republic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I have to laugh at the absurdity of a group which put out "live" albums which were studio creations and not their actual live performances... but the live performances themselves were also largely studio creations.
     
  9. moomaloo

    moomaloo All-round good egg

    I went to see them in the late 90's and didn't recognise a single thing played... Mind you, I was a little 'relaxed' at the time...!

    (I may have shouted "Take it to the bridge" at one point. But I'm hoping that didn't happen... If you were in the Birmingham Symphony Hall on the 3rd November 1997 and some oaf annoyed you, that was almost certainly me. Sorry...)
     
  10. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    They took improv as far as they could - having done it up to early 1980.

    I guess that when Johannes joined (him being a more or less traditional keyboard player, with little or no experience of synthesisers until he met Edgar & Chris) things were no longer all in one key and tended to change signature throughout, rather than the previous modal system of before. That's a hard thing to do live, if you are all improvising. You've got to remember that it took EF/PB/CF years to get to that level over possibly a hundred gigs?. As Peter said in a radio interview in 1977, when they first started playing with each other they would start with a single note, had to get used to where they would go from that, who would go higher or lower, and how what they were playing would fit in.

    With Johannes they didn't have that, he joined and was playing in months and just didn't have that experience with them (look how Hoenig was dropped after the OZ/RAH tour in 1975). The other thing I would say was commercial pressures, to be honest, when Cyclone came out it seemed pretty at odds with where the collective zeitgeist was. Sales were dropping, the press's attention was focusing on other things and TD were seen as aging hippies (to some - see Record Mirror etc). If you look at when Johannes joined I think you'll see the natural progression from FM to Tangram. But by EXIT and the influence of working on THIEF, they knew they couldn't go back to the old whig-out ways of the past (it would come around again for others, but for them, it was over).

    In the end, I don't think there is ever a single reason why TD and or Edgar did something, it's more complex. Just my view
     
  11. Deibu

    Deibu I Dream of Tangerines

    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Well, no matter how much or how little was actually performed at the show, it's still awesome music.

    I do admit I'm a little miffed about the way they did Stratosfear on the 86 tour. You can hear the original guitar part even though I'm sure Edgar wasn't even holding one.

    Still, I didn't want this to become a discussion bashing TD for using backing tape. At least they had to play it for the recording. And Schmoelling has some good keyboard chops. :)

    Regards,
    Dave
     
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  12. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    well, they were hardly the only ones, even in electronic music. Let's not look behind the Wizard's curtain?
     
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  13. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Re the change from Improv to programmed* - as Peter Baumann said to me privately in 2016 'You've got to remember we weren't very good keyboard players' (and Baumann was the worst of the lot). So basically if you can't play complicated things with key changes and lots of chord changes and progressions then you have little choice than to improvise (you can't repeat things exactly). This what 'krautrock' comes from - German bands couldn't copy people like Hendrix or Cream etc, and through that inability they created something new.

    When they later got very good keyboard players in like Johannes/Paul and latterly Thorsten then they could play other styles - if they wanted to.

    *you also can't do programmed music before programmed music was possible. Good multi-note sequencers like the Roland MC-8 were only available by 1978, before that you were chaining Moog and PE step sequencers together with programmers which made things harder and slower - although it has to be said that the MC-8 was hardly easy to program (at least looking back from today)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 11:44 AM
  14. Deibu

    Deibu I Dream of Tangerines

    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Imagine if TD continued the improv route with a jazz approach... compose a head figure and chord progression, then take turns soloing over that chord progression, then return to the head figure. That wouldn't have been a natural transition from what they did in the '70s. And that required some serious chops by the performers.

    The one thing I take issue with is when songs taken from previous albums sound just like listening to that album. Luckily they didn't start doing that fully until the '90s. The remixes and extensions of the concert versions made them worthwhile.

    Regards,
    Dave
     
  15. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I don't always buy into the fetishization of improv (although that's what I do myself - as I'm a bad keyboard player). Albums like LOGOS or POLAND did not and never will come out of improv (as in everyone sitting down playing together - they are composed vertically, whereas improv such as RICOCHET is composed horizontally - ie it starts and then you grows through time, not by you having a good idea and then you going back the start of show and adding a bit - programmable time-machines hadn't been released at the time ;)
     
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  16. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Interesting. Thanks.

    I don't know. The White Eagle material on the third Official Bootleg box sure sounds a whole lot like listening to the album.
     
  17. Beeb Fader

    Beeb Fader Forum Resident

    Location:
    Yorkshire,UK
    I think they got tired of the difficulty of keeping all that equipment in line, plus when they lost Peter Baumann, they lost someone who was crucial to that approach.
    The 1978 tour continued the improvisation post-Baumann but in most people's view unsuccesfully, and that's when they had a re-think I guess. Plus they were getting into film soundtracks and short compositions a lot more, I guess they saw it as a better way to showcase the group. The albums from Force Majeure onwards displayed a more
    `episodic' approach to sets of music, and technology was changing allowing more complex things to be programmed/sampled, something that Chris Franke in particular took full advantage of.
     
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  18. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    You can see the same approach with Edgar on his solo albums - the moment when equipment came along that could create repeatable structure it was used (STUNTMAN - KAMIKAZE 1989 etc).

    The thing with improvised studio albums, is that you can't recreate them live (which is a rod that the current lineup of TD are learning how to deal with as their next studio album comes out of improvisation, albeit given structure by sampling 32 bar sections)
     
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  19. Deibu

    Deibu I Dream of Tangerines

    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    That's why I added the word 'fully.' Yeah, they already started sounding exactly like the album versions in the '80s, but not all of the tracks did. By the mid '90s, that was 100% the case, except for some live percussion, etc. I'd rather save my money and ears and listen to the CD. :shake:

    Regards,
    Dave
     
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  20. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    cos, more or less you are, although the structure on the backing tape is changed slightly - to give room for a few synth solos, the same way that the long very of Chronozon has been changed from 6 to 8 bar loops
     
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  21. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    slightly contradicting myself here I will add that I'm sure (as I was there at the time) that at least on a couple of occasions the stage sequencers were actually doing something on stage (possibly for an encore) as I remember Johannes stopping the sequence and looking a bit embarassed
     
  22. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Another reason why they changed from improv was that the equipment was terrible, or at least terribly unreliable and had to be repaired from show to show. It's rumoured that some of Chris's modules' knobs actually worked back to front because they were always being repaired in a panic. I think the Cyclone tour possibly finished them off as some of the new gear was a waste of time (step forward the Birotron which would chew up tapes on an almost nightly basis). The shipping charges were also bankrupting them (back then bands made money from albums and if they were lucky they broke even with tours - most tours lost them money)
     
  23. Jaar21

    Jaar21 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Watford UK
    I would not want to rub some people the wrong way but when it comes to electronic music, the live issue is a bit of an open secret…whether it be TD, Kraftwerk… I remember seeing Schulze live and my impression was that except for the Minimoog not much else was live. To me it is more a question of whether the concert has been well “prepared” or not with new ideas to offer... this is obviously poor consolation for people who expect their music to be played live. Coming back to the TD sphere and more recent concerts, it would be interesting to know how things have changed recently and how much was live for instance in the Quaeschning vs Frick Seaside Stage Session in Detmold...
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 1:45 PM
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  24. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I saw TD live in NYC in 1988 (Optical Race Tour). There is an audience recording of the show out there. There is also another audience recording of another show on that same tour. Although similar, there are definitely differences, which I must assume were improvisations of some sort..
     
  25. 24db

    24db Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Paul or Ralf played a few notes over the top, with the only major live sound being played being the piano and during Edgar and Paul's guitar section. TD left real improv back in 1980 - and then picked up again at the end of 2014
     
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