I am never sure how to write about Tangerine Dream.
I have never been particularly good at describing music, the ebbs, the flows, the peaks and troughs, the dissonance etc.
My favorite instrumental music is often electronic, I am however awful at remembering names of bands and performers so it is hard to gather a suitable collection of music, I do however like Tangerine Dream, at least up to the mid to late eighties, after that it gets hard as there is so much to hear and try and they seemed to become a soundtrack band which seldom interests me especially when the film may have been bad.
Poland the Warsaw Concert was released in 1984, a strange Orwellian year. Also the year I went to college and this was the first album I remember buying as a liberated student no longer living with my parents. My dad had asked me to leave the family home despite me going to school less than 12 miles from my home. I think we had collectively had enough of each other by 1984, he was sick and I was an arrogant childish adult. Most of my 18th year I had been oblivious to the struggles of my parents, health wise and financially, they had protected me from a lot, but things had gotten to the point when my dad was done, and probably justifiably so.
In his words, “Neil moved out at 18 and never came back and seemed to get farther away geographically as we got closer.” eventually I ended up 6,000 miles away, I don’t think either of us expected that. My mum may have never forgiven either of us.
I bought Poland about 8 weeks or so after moving into the dorm/halls of residence, pick your name, and about 4 weeks before I was asked to leave. I was living alone for the first time, with an income of some sort, was answerable I thought to nobody and free to be me. The problem was the me I was chasing to be was not particularly easy to live with according to my neighbors, and then I had to move out to share a small room in a house near Sefton Park in Liverpool. I am sure one of the contributing factors to being so difficult to live with as Poland.
Today I would say I may have been depressed. I used to sit on the floor in the dark and play the album loudly, loud enough to rattle glasses and cups. I would play all four sides repeatedly eventually ending up laying on the ground being overwhelmed by the music, only rising every 20 minutes or so to flip the album.
Being thrown out may have been the best thing for me. I started to communicate with others, shared meals and cleaned up after myself, learned to get the rent in on time and even went to classes eventually. I also learned that when you live on one floor of a large terrace house you had to turnt hat shit down, unless it was mutually agreed to turn that shit up.
I put Poland away and never played it again, until this week when I bought a copy and slipped it on. I sat on the floor in the dark, the dog put his head in my lap and I thought of all those miles between me and my dad and how close we were. I was also aware I live in a home with four generations and exercised some control on the volume. Seems that I have come full circle in some ways.
As to the music, it is four tracks of pulsating, rhythmic synth excellence and thankfully it doesn’t take me back to that strange time of liberation and loneliness.