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November 10, 2017

Denver Film Festival - Revolution of Sound: Tangerine Dream


Margarete Kreuzer - 2017

Even for someone like myself, with only casual interest in Tangerine Dream, will find Revolution of Sound to be of interest. While most of the film centers on founder Edgar Froese and his search for new sounds, the film also follows the evolution of Tangerine Dream from psychedelic rock band to an entity that changed personnel and sound every few years, to its present incarnation without the late Froese, as a trio exploring Froese's musical ideas.

Considering the under ninety minute running time, and that documentarian Margarete Kreuzer had access to documentary footage of Froese from as early as 1966, I have to wonder how much was left out with the 8mm home movies, home videos, and televised performances, covering a period of sixty years. That early, black and white footage, is from Froese's first band, The Ones. The band's minor European hit, "Lady Greengrass" can be heard on Youtube. The lyrics include a reference to the sky as tangerine in color. A fortuitous encounter between the former art student and Salvador Dali in Spain encouraged Froese to change musical directions.

There are also the standard talking heads - musical collaborators such as Queen's Brian May and Jean-Michel Jarre, several former members of Tangerine Dream including Froese's son, Jerome. Directors Michael Mann and Paul Brickhill discuss why they chose to have their films, Thief and Risky Business respectively, scored by Tangerine Dream.

The music of Tangerine Dream has sometimes been described as "space music". While that description might be simplistic and misleading, it could well be that Froese's musical inclinations may have been in part a reaction to growing up in West Berlin, at that time an enclosed city surrounded by the then Communist East Germany. It wasn't only the line-up that changed over the years, but the combination of different instruments including the human voice in a later version of the band, as well as the inclusion of female musicians. With the current trio active, the Dream isn't over.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 10, 2017 09:14 AM