[Review] Tangerine Dream: Ricochet (1975)

A live album featuring two new sides of music that continue on the same journey as the albums before and after.

Kronomyth 7.0: Rubyconference.

I often wondered how Tangerine Dream would reproduce their amorphous tone poems on stage. Ricochet, their first live album, answers the question by avoiding it altogether, instead presenting two sides of completely new music billed simply as Part One and Part Two. In these live shows, Tangerine Dream operate as chemists in a quasi-religious laboratory of their own devising: rows of candles, acid imagery and the trio encased in banks of synthesizers and sequencers, touching keys and twisting knobs, wizards of electronic magic.

As a visual experience, the early TD concerts were a wonder to behold. Beyond some applause at the beginning and end of the performances, however, Ricochet ceases to be anything but the next album from Tangerine Dream. Electronic sounds percolate, patterns shift, loops rise and fall, drums and cymbals come crashing in and listeners strap themselves in for another space journey.

In a developmental sense, Ricochet breaks little new ground, instead returning to the ebb and flow of electronica until a new organism should come bubbling out of it as an “Invisible Limits” or “Madrigal Meridian.” Part One is the darker of the two pieces, a deep space trip in the vicinity of Phaedra. Part Two is brighter and features a tighter pattern of sequencers, similar to the music that followed Rubycon and on. Some have championed Ricochet as one their best efforts, but I’ve always heard this as simply a swatch of the broader, classic canvas.

In 2019, Steven Wilson remixed the album, and those tracks were presented alongside the originals in an expanded reissue. I would imagine this version with the Wilson remixes, and not the 1995 remaster, is the true “definitive edition” to own.

Original elpee version

A1. Ricochet, Part One (17:02)
B1. Ricochet, Part Two (21:13)

Composed by Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann.

CD reissue bonus tracks
3. Ricochet: Part One (Steven Wilson new stereo remix)
4. Ricochet: Part Two (Steven Wilson new stereo remix)

The Players

Peter Baumann, Chris Franke, Edgar Froese. Produced by Tangerine Dream; recording engineered by Chris Blake; mix engineered by Mick Glossop.

The Pictures

Cover photographs by Monique Froese. Layout by Graphiti.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in December 1975 in Germany and the Netherlands (Virgin, 89 679 XOT), the UK and Canada (Virgin, V2044), Australia (Virgin, L35736), France (Virgin, 2933 718), Italy (Virgin, VIL 12044), Japan (Virgin, YX-7090-VR), Mexico (Virgin, LA-067) and Yugoslavia (RTB, LP5596); reached #40 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1984 in the US (Virgin, VI/VIC 2044), the UK (Virgin, OVED/OVEDC 26) and Italy (Virgin, OVEDK 26).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in the Netherlands (Virgin, 840 064).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1987 in the UK and France (Virgin, CDV 2044).
  4. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1988 in the US (Virgin, 90932-2/4).
  5. Re-released on Definitive Edition remastered compact disc in 1995 in the UK (Virgin, TAND7).
  6. Re-issued on remastered compact disc on July 23, 1996 in the US (Virgin, 86063).
  7. Re-released on super audio compact disc in 2015 in Japan (Universal, UIGY-9675).
  8. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc in 2019 in Europe (Universal, 774 788-8) with 2 bonus tracks.

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