I was fortunate to be at the London Concert gig in 1992 and see Chris Franke effectively say farewell to his Tangerine Dream roots. After all those years in the Dream he ventured forth and carved a career primarily by producing music for films and TV series.
So what of the album? I purchased this CD when it was released (and the accompanying single) and it's only recently I dug it out again after many years of neglect and have now played it quite a few times. It's been interesting to reassess the longevity of this album having heard so much good music since. Interestingly it stands the test of time quite well, at least as well as some of TD's earlier albums and much better than a lot of the traditional electronic scene out there.
The album is a blend of Chris' solo material from that era (i.e. his first solo CD Pacific Coast Highway) and before (Vermillion Sands which first appeared on the KLEM CD) melded with his trademark sequence driven material and it pulls in reinterpretations of classic TD pieces. The beautiful Cloudburst Flight is fantastic.
Chris Franke's solo material is nicely interleaved with the Dream material and there are some great segues as one piece merges into the other.
The final concert track, Mountain Heights, also comes from Pacific Coast Highway and is a reflective and positive piece which blends some nifty lead melodies with sequencers and powerful percussive and effects segments.
However, Dolphin Dance, the first bonus track, whilst nice, doesn't quite work for me (which is a shame because the original TD album this is lifted from, Underwater Sunlight, is a masterpiece). It feels like it has a faster tempo than the original and, whilst some of the more modern sounding patches and deft keyboard work are great, it's sort of lost a little in translation. It's still a nice piece, with some clever Franke touches, but I've been spoilt by the original.
Private Diaries is an upbeat and uplifting piece which typifies some of Chris' material from that era.
Overall, the original concert tracks are grade A TD-Franke pieces and the two bonus tracks are nice to have along for the ride. TD could really do with Chris back though I know that'll never happen. OK if other bands have managed it then just maybe ... in another dimension ...
If you love TD then you probably have this anyway, if not WHY NOT? If you don't have any TD but are curious then give it a try. If enjoy any of it then give the Dream's Underwater Sunlight or Tyger a spin too!