Phaedra is the fifth major release and fifth studio album by German electronic music group Tangerine Dream. Fortunately, after a two-day break in the countryside a new start brought a breakthrough.
Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares. I called in the studio engineer and recorded it in one take on a double-keyboarded Mellotron while Monique turned the knobs on a phasing device.
The All Music Guide to Electronica describes the album as a milestone for the band as "one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music".
"Sequent C'" is a short but memorable piece by Peter Baumann on flute, with tape echo. Some of the music was recorded with the help of Froese's wife, Monique.
, Writing in his 2000 Ambient Century, Mark J. Prendergast describes the title track: "At over 17 minutes it conveyed feelings of the cosmos, of giant suns exploding, of huge ocean movements, of mythological lands, of eddies and drifts.
Just tuning the instrument took several hours each day, because at the time there were no pre-sets or memory banks. 'Mysterious Semblance' was recorded on Dec 4th. By the 11th day we barely had 6 minutes of music on tape.
Perhaps even more powerful as a musical landmark now than when it was first recorded, Phaedra has proven the test of time. It was recorded during November 1973 at The Manor in Shipton-on-Cherwell, England and released on 20 February 1974 through Virgin Records. Both the title track and "Movements of a Visionary" rely on Franke's use of the Moog analog sequencer as a substitute for bass guitar. Given focus by the arpeggiated trance that drifts in and out of the mix, the track progresses through several passages including a few surprisingly melodic keyboard lines and an assortment of eerie Moog and Mellotron effects, gaseous explosions, and windy sirens. It achieved six-figure sales in the UK, reaching number 15 in the UK Albums Chart in a 15-week run, with virtually no airplay, only by strong word of mouth. The album marked the beginning of the group's international success and was their first album released on the Virgin label. "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares" is a solo Edgar Froese song that uses some surprisingly emotive and affecting synthesizer washes, and "Movements of a Visionary" is a more experimental piece, using treated voices and whispers to drive its hypnotic arpeggios.  In the Q and Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album also came in at 38 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". ", "Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares/Phaedra", Live At The Philharmony Szczecin - Poland, Dream Music – The Movie Music of Tangerine Dream, In Search of Hades: The Virgin Recordings 1973–1979, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phaedra_(album)&oldid=983825295, Short description is different from Wikidata, Album articles lacking alt text for covers, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares", This page was last edited on 16 October 2020, at 13:20.
"Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares" features Froese soloing on a Mellotron which is treated to slowly sweeping filter effects. In the Q and Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album also came in at 38 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". And this practice was to continue for the rest of the session..
As the equipment warmed up, some of the oscillators began to detune (they were highly temperature-sensitive), which was responsible for some of the changes in the music towards the end of the piece.
The protagonist Stefan receives a list of music recommendations, featuring such artists as Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream, Bauhaus and The Cure. The tape machine broke down, there were repeated mixing console failures and the speakers were damaged because of the unusually low frequencies of the bass notes. ", The title track and "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares" are both featured in the 2018 interactive Netflix film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
During the years Phaedra suffered from multiple changes in the line-up but gradually the situation became more stable. Pete and Chris were asleep after a long day's recording session so I invited my wife, Monique, into the studio. , The All Music Guide to Electronica describes the album as a milestone for the band as "one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music".
Interviewed by Mark J. Prendergast, Froese recalled: Phaedra was the first album in which many things had to be structured. This piece is on the record exactly as it was recorded that day.  The album title refers to Phaedra of Greek mythology. Phaedra´s music blends dark Scandinavian dream pop with psychedelic folk and a dash of old soul, creating its own distinct sound ranging from the organic and subtle, to the synthetic and orchestrated.
It also earned the group a gold disc (500,000 copies) in seven countries, and yet in their native Germany it sold barely 6,000 units.
The result is best heard on the 15-minute title track, unparalleled before or since for its depth of sound and vision. They did concerts and festivals, their setlist was a blend of own material and covers, from Genesis, Yes, Rush en Marillion. The reason was that we were using the Moog sequencer (all driving bass notes) for the first time. Layer upon layer of futuristic sounds piled one on top of the other until the whole thing climaxes in some interstellar void. Phaedra is one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music, a brilliant and compelling summation of Tangerine Dream's early avant-space direction balanced with the synthesizer/sequencer technology just beginning to gain a foothold in nonacademic circles. We worked each day from 11 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock at night.
After 12 days of this we were completely knackered. The sleeve design and cover painting are by Froese. The entire album was recorded in less than six weeks, with the first recording session taking place on 20 November 1973. The debut album is The Sea (2011). , Listed in "A Classic Space Music Countdown to Liftoff: 10 Essential classic space music albums, counting down from 10 to 1", "Kosmische Musik and Its Techno-Social Context", "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time", "The Official Charts Company - Tangerine Dream - Phaedra", "Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | Tangerine Dream –, "Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock - 40 Cosmic Rock Albums", "In 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,' Should You Pick Tangerine Dream Or Tomita?  Phaedra is commonly cited as one of Tangerine Dream's best albums and is listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Despite the impending chaos, the track sounds more like a carefully composed classical work than an unrestrained piece of noise.
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