Music, My Stories

1976 – Part 5.5: Tangerine Dream – Stratosfear

Tangerine Dream didn’t exist in my world until a mate mentioned to me how Steve Harris said in an interview that they are an influence. Since I couldn’t confirm it and why would my mate need to make stuff up, I seeked them out.


The ambitious 10 minute opener. A repeating synth lick keeps building. Just think of how the synth pattern sounds in “Stranger Things”.

It’s nothing flashy as the synths are the dominant instrument. The guitars finally kick in around the 7.30 mark for some boring and uninspired leads. But they only last for 15 seconds. The drums are low in the mix and it makes me wonder if a human even played em. Did drum machines exist in 1976?

There is this repeating synth percussion pattern that reminds me of Tool and the pattern at the start of “Eulogy”.

At 8.40, a strummed and shimmering arpeggio guitar pattern begins with the synth playing a little lead. It could be used for mindfulness.

But when the song finished, I said to myself, that is 10 minutes I will never get back.

For a title track and album opener, it is the worst track I have heard by far. And I can’t believe I wrote that many words about it.

The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades

It could have come from a sword and fantasy movie. It’s cinematic, just under 5 minutes. But it’s a skip for me.

3AM At The Border Of The Mars

The synth plays a riff that sounds like water dripping from the tap and hitting the metal sink surface. The violin and harmonica sound western like, but the eerie synth patterns makes it all feel other worldly.

Invisible Limits

At 11.29 in length I wasn’t expecting great things. And i was right.

By the end I was thinking, what did Steve Harris like about this to influence him?

Was it the explorative song structures or the futuristic soundscapes?

I didn’t know it at the time that “Stratosfear” was the seventh studio album.

And I always thought that Tangerine Dream was British, but they were German. I also presumed that it was a traditional band, with guitars, bass, synth, vocals and drums, but that wasn’t the case either. Its three dudes playing the Moog Synthesizer, smoking a lot of weed and taking a lot of acid.

Listen at your own risk.

And my mate told me he made it all up just to sound cool.


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