Music Review: Raum – Tangerine Dream

Written by on December 11, 2022

Raum is Tangerine Dream’s 86th album in 52 years, but the German electronic pioneers are not showing any signs of exhaustion. This could be due the band’s Theseus-ian nature, still ongoing with no current original members, since founder Edgar Froese’s death in 2015. The oldest current member joined the band in 2005. The band made their name in the scary, ambient-like electronic music of the 70s, before developing signature sounds of 80s music with their heavily-programmed and beautifully realized soundtracks for films such as Thief and Risky Business. Still releasing albums every year for years to come, they are probably best known to people my age for the work composing the score to Grand Theft Auto V, a deliberate call-back to their work on the Micheal Mann films that inspired the game’s story of sad men performing high tech heists. Still releasing albums continuing Froese’s legacy after his death seven years ago, Raum shows that no matter who is in the band, the Tangerine Dream name has not missed a step since the early seventies. This album seems to have callbacks to many eras of the Tangerine Dream story. For example, songs running up to twenty minutes like B-sides of their early albums, the repeating motifs present main character energy as much as anything on the A-side of 1983’s Hyperborea (my favorite album to listen to just walking down the street). The production of the songs seem very similar to what the band were going for in GTA V (I’ll be honest, I love the 80’s stuff and I’ve gone through the 70s catalog, but I’m ashamedly unfamiliar with what they’ve been doing since then). Whatever is being referenced, Froese’s legacy of music to plan heists and be existential to is continued on Raum. Seriously, put this album on, drive through some downtown streets and tell me you don’t want to plan an elaborate robbery that goes a little wrong but you eventually come out on top though maybe your wife dies or something. Songs like the 19-minute long In 256 Zeichen and 15-minute long Raum present this same mood, just you wish you were doing it in space.

Overall, this beautiful electronic album by an almost 60-year-old band provides some updated beats to Tangerine Dream’s usual melancholy and ambient moods.

 

Top 3 Songs

  • Portico
  • You’re Always on Time
  • Raum 
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