Putting out an album that hopes to be contemporary even as it marks 50 years since your first release is ambitious enough. Doing so even after the head honcho passed away two years previously is a tall order indeed. Still, spectacular superannuation and decrepitude to the point of being no longer with us is perhaps merely admin. If there’s a good record to come out, hopping off to the afterlife need be no more than a slight hurdle.
Where exactly Quantum Gate sits in terms of achievement for the late Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream is slightly beyond the abilities of your reviewer. When a band gets to over a hundred releases, you either need to be a massive fan or have a lot of time on your hands. I don’t have the latter but on the strength of this album, perhaps could become more of an enthusiast than before. It’s certainly an intriguing record. If nothing else, as it pulses along in an entirely contemporary fashion, it doesn’t sound like something dreamed up by a pensioner. A dead one at that.
Tracks like ‘Roll The Seven Twice‘ bump along in a groovy and subtly over the top way – contradictory thought that sounds. It’s space disco with perhaps the only thing separating it from more floor-friendly, Nordic takes on that idea being the lack of a hefty kick drum. It’s ‘E2-E4‘ by Manuel Göttsching compared to ‘Sueño Latino‘ by, well, Sueño Latino. Essentially the same record and records but with one aimed more squarely at the dancefloor, the other to the head and the heads. The same swirling, dreaminess and ecstatic moods but with differing levels of oomph. To use the technical term.
All of which is going to correctly identify this record as music that washes around and is about mood far more than anything as base as a song. Straight to the point, it is not and some tracks drift past the ten-minute mark with not a care in the world. They’re off on a trip around the cosmos and that’s that. You can see why punks hated them.
Your reviewer doesn’t, however. Quantum Gate is an immensely enjoyable record. Yes, it’s faintly preposterous but it’s not overblown to the extent of ridiculousness. Jean Michel Jarre, it ain’t. More a trip around inner and outer space with a load of throbbing and quacking sequencers. A link between hippies gone by and electronic musicians today. You can also see why they are so revered by many contemporary producers. We even do actually manage a pretty driving club track with ‘It Is Time To Leave When Everyone Is Dancing‘.
Well, Edgar Froese, you really did clock out after leaving us with this one. And thank you for the parting gift. Right, only another 99 albums to get through.