This weekend I went record digging at one of Miami's last used record shops, Yesterday & Today Records, which was very therapeutic since I haven't done that in a very long while. It's so wonderful flipping through records, feeling the breeze of each record you flip through carrying that unique used vinyl smell, in the zone, searching for that perfect copy. It's purely mental, but it's definitely an addiction. I know I've written a post about Tangerine Dream on here before, but I had to write this as I came across a few early discs of Tangerine Dream and one of them being the great recording that is 'Poland' which is a live set from the Warsaw Concert. Recorded against all the odds at a concert played in sub-zero temperatures and plagued by powercuts in communist Poland in December 1983, 'Poland' represents the very pinnacle of Tangerine Dream's live achievements in their 1980s' incarnation of Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Johannes Schmoelling. It also marks the band's break from Virgin records, being the first of their releases on the Jive-Electro label, and thus the first album of their so-called "blue years". At that time, Poland recovered from the politcal turbulence it has been undergoing for the last three years, and Tangerine Dream was one of the first "western" bands to visit Poland in the 1980s. That was not a novum for them, since just three and a half years before, they had performed in East Berlin, being in fact the first western band allowed to do so.
The opening track comes in with a raw, sick electro beat and a driven melody that not even Anthony Rother can compare or step to. I still haven't been able to find another Tangerine Dream album that equals this one, truly brilliant. If you're used to newer electronica and synth music, this album may be a bit slow for you, and it's much closer to classical music than to William Orbit or Moby. Like a lot of older electronic music, this album needs to be listened to, not just played in the background. It's great music for writers, as the development of the music sets your imagination loose and makes you forget all about the world around you. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, if you're seriously interested in eighties avant-garde, the development of electronic music, or just brilliant psychedelic synth work, 'Poland' is a fantastic album. Check out some great shots of Tangerine Dream below. Stay up on their latest here.