In the early 70s German rock bands and classically-trained musicians armed themselves with synths and set the controls for the heart of the sun under the Krautrock banner. Particularly fascinating were startlinglypackaged outings on the Ohr label, including several by Tangerine Dream, whose albums until 1973 were spookily atmospheric, often using Mellotron to build eerie banks of melodies, then synths to charter the unknown. 1973’s Atem was generally regarded as the turning point, leading to a deal with Virgin which yielded the following year’s highly-successful Phaedra, whose hauntingly beautiful Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares is the highlight of this new compilation from Los Angeles operation Cleopatra.
The box set follows a similar format to their recent MC5 compilation: two CDs, badge and sticker. The music kicks off intriguingly with Edgar Froese’s pre-Dream garage-psych outfit The Ones and 1972’s Ultima Thule single, while Asteroid Agenda is an example of this classic period when they were truly floating in space. The remainder of the two discs then electro-glide through live or re-recorded versions of tracks mainly dating from the mid-70s onwards, all soaring melodies and pulsating sequencers, demonstrating why Froese and crew became so in demand for movie soundtracks and mountain climbing documentaries.