Album review: TANGERINE DREAM with BRIAN MAY – Starmus – Sonic Universe

Tangerine Dream

A double CD recorded at the Starmus festival on the island of Tenerife back in June 2011. The Starmus festival was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Juri Gagarin’s first spaceflight and guests on the night included Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. As well as Tangerine Dream they had a special guest in keen astronomer and Queen guitarist Brian May.

The first CD kicks off in spectacular fashion with ‘Supernova’, a song that features the real sound of acoustic pressure waves from stars recorded by Professor Garik Isrealin, who is also the brains behind this unique concert. Queen fans will recognise ‘Lost Horizon’, a Brian May solo track given the Tangerine Dream touch with May on guitar.

Tangerine Dream has certainly changed since I last saw them live back in 1990! Sole remaining original member Edgar Froese is still leading the music and band, and now they have a sax player and violinist amongst the six piece line-up.

The sound recording is top notch as you’d expect from this band and the music has a lot of variety, from the guitar and keys working in harmony on ‘Janus Parade’ through to ‘Loved By The Sun’, which may sound a little Kenny G to some.  It is very laid back and New Age in sound and again features a soaring guitar solo from Bernhard Beibel. He’s a brave man playing guitar solos when Brian May is around. This is Tangerine Dream at their most accessible, possibly not prog enough for their old school fans.

The CD is worth getting alone for the jaw dropping version of ‘We Will Rock You’. Edgar Froese sings the vocal parts, although Brian May and the Tangerine Dream arrangements are the real stars. The Brian May solo cleverly lifts part of his live ‘Now I Am Here’ solo mixed with some newer parts.

A unique space related evening where Tangerine Dream provided a suitably themed musical show, aided by Brian May.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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