Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
New Music for Films, Vol. 1
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
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Very successful marriage of electronica and orchestra
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having left Tangerine Dream in summer of 1987, Christopher Franke emigrated to America, where he settled in California, hoping to start a new career from scratch - a career of scoring motion pictures. As he admits in interviews, he needed a long break from the industry he lived in, as that was what Tangerine Dream was in the mid-80s. After more than a year, he signed up for several movies, and started to think of recording the soundtracks. To this end, he explored an idea he was toying with in the old times of Tangerine Dream, namely with orchestration of electronic music. Back in late 1986, the band released "Near Dark", a dark album with simulated orchestral sounds. In 1989, Franke decided to continue in that fashion, and he did. Instead of simply augmenting the texture of electronic music, he decided to make an additional move - to marry electronica with real orchestra. To this end, he founded Berlim Symphonic Film Orchestra, for which he composed music using real notes on sophisticated musical software. The results exceeded all expectations. In 1989 and 1990, Franke scored three movies ("Eye of the Storm", "McBain" and "She Woke Up"), the music from which appeared on a compilation CD in 1993, issued by his own musical label, Sonic Images. This album, somewhat awkwardly entitled "New Music for Films Vol.1" is much like a set of bridges thrown between "Near Dark" as a symbol of electronic orchestration, the real acoustic classical orchestra, and pure ambient sound. Even if this music was not available until later, some limited edition promo singles were released much sooner than 1993, when Franke was already in full swing of his career. In addition, in 1989 he re-composed and re-recorded one of his old compositions, which was often used in Tangerine Dream gigs. His first official solo track, 'Vermillion Sands', was published in 1989 on a KLEM compilation CD, along with his old employer's Tangerine Dream's tune. The latter didn't stand up to comparison. 'Vermillion Sands' was superb, dynamic, arrpegiated and extremely sophisticated, a move forward, whereas the forgettable track of Tangerine Dream was like a throwaway hopeless track refused for publication during "Lily on the Beach" or "Destination Berlin" sessions. In 1989, we already knew that their paths diverged, and wondered what happened to Chris. With KLEM's compilation, I was happy again. "New Music for Films Vol.1" is a very interesting CD, I dare claim a masterpiece, considering the high ambitions the composer had. It's of the highest class possible, comparable to the best music of Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith, and all other classical composers who work for the film industry. If you are fond of the old days, if the movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" or other ones with Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Rita Heyworth are to your taste, then you should reach for this CD, whether or not you like Tangerine Dream or Franke himself. This music is universal, beautiful and touching. It's timeless. Just about an hour long, this album is very eclectic, since it contains numerous experiments with sound, from piano, electric piano, delicate electronica (later to be developed to perfection on "Pacific Coast Highway"), horns and oboes, to full-fledged orchestra, with violins, contra-bass, cellos, gongs - oh my, it's the audiophiliac's feast! The atmosphere of this music is sometimes so grave and scary, that I have cold sweat on my spine. Other times it is lyrical, with solitary violin or cello, or piano - jerking tears out of your eyes."New Music for Films Vol.1" is one of the best albums of Christopher Franke, and a must in the collection of anyone who loves high quality music, and/or who is very fond of soundtracks."
Like stop and go traffic
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I really don't have a problem with Chrisopher Franke's post Tangerine Dream work. I know many cry for the old, pure electronic days, but wedding the orchestra to electronica isn't a bad idea (Klaus Schulze was successful enough on his "X" album, and other film composers have taken the opposite tack and been adding synthesizers to their orchestras). The problem with this particular album though isn't the music, it's the arrangement. On the "New Music For Films" releases (2 so far) Franke takes the music as originally scored for each film image. That makes for 1 hours worth of music, but 24 different pieces. On his "Babylon 5" compilations, Franke arranged the music into suites, and so there was a better flow to the music (in addition, the electronics were a bit more prominent). If you can get past that, you may enjoy this, as the music can be very good."