One of the musical highlights for this writer during 2004 was the issuance of these five, 2-CD sets by the pioneering electronics band, "Tangerine Dream." Founder and guitarist Edgar Froese was the backbone of a unit that witnessed several personnel changes spanning the late ‘60s onward. Essentially, these companion type offerings provide a worldly glimpse of the band’s often-affecting live act. Culled from concerts recorded in Montreal, Paris and elsewhere, the music pretty much sums up the group’s conspicuous aura. And while there have been numerous copycats over the years, Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno for example, opened the pearly gates for the progressive-rock stylized, electronica movement.
The recordings sound surprisingly good, sans a few spots marred by audience chatter, amid the musicians’ wall of synth sounds and Froese’s oscillating guitar lines. There is some overlap of material. Yet, their penchant for dishing out, cyclical rhythms amid haunting synth treatments sometimes serve as vehicles for shifting improvisational type opuses. Either way, melody plays a vital role throughout. Whether the ensemble is chugging along via sequenced rhythms and elongated theme pieces, they generally fuse elements of intrigue with tuneful choruses. Imagine embarking on a trip through the cosmos, ultimately leading to an indefinable embracing of the mind and spirit. (Recommended - - especially for diehard fans)