Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Zoo of Tranquility
Genres: New Age, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
Alchemy of the iron heart
loteq | Regensburg | 02/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Johannes Schmoelling's second album is less synthesized than its much acclaimed predecessor, offering more piano and ambient sounds in the style of Harold Budd. The music was inspired by a British artist who built some 'mechanical animals' (are you thinking of Marilyn Manson right now! ), and Schmoelling tried to capture the magic of these funny, motor-driven machines. Overall, I have to admit that this album is not particularly innovative and some tracks are pale and boring. But the 10-minute title track is great and reminds me of Tangerine Dream's "Tangram set 1". Starting out with scanty, ringing sound, this tracks suddenly gets darker. Schmoelling adds rocky synth guitar chords(!), percussions, and other instruments, creating a dense and intriguing atmosphere. The first two tracks are very nice, too. All in all, I think this CD is worth the price for the incredible title track."
Not as good as the original...
Neil Thompson | Birkenhead, Wirral United Kingdom | 07/27/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm one of the lucky few to own a copy of the original Theta cd release of "Zoo Of Tranquility" that was deleted long ago.At the time I was amazed at how far ahead of it's time it was; the use of innovative sampling techniques and Schmoelling's always wonderful melodies was inspired. It seemed a great leap forward from both Schmoelling's work with TD, but also from his (also excellent) first solo effort; "Wiuvend Riet".Consequently I was not as eager to buy this re-release as some who had been unable to find the original, but being something of a completist regarding TD and the solo work of the members, I decided I had to have it.What a disappointment! Gone are the curious sounds that made tracks like "The Anteater" quirky and amusing, replaced by acoustic piano; heresy to a synth purist like myself! And where has the tempo gone?I think a re-re-release of the original mix is in order..."
Ill-advised remix of a classic album
gilbert | 08/14/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I guess this review is an echo of the last one. What a letdown this newer remixed version of "The Zoo of Tranquillity" is! I too bought the original Theta cd when it came out way back in summer 1987 and was totally blown away. The creativity of Schmoelling's inspired samples and the overall fresh feel to the album was a revelation at the time. Pieces like "The Woodpecker" and the title track had such a quirky charm about them. An almost funky, playful indulgence is apparent in every track. If I was reviewing the original I would give it 5 out of 5 - no question.But something went wrong with this remix. The two new tracks are hardly worth the effort of listening to and as for re-recording flawless classics like "The Woodpecker"....words fail. Someone else mentioned problems with the tempo on some of the rejigged pieces and I can see what they mean. Replacing delicious synthesiser solos with piano was also a mistake. Some guitar parts on the title track are missing in this new version and "The Wedding Cake" has been tampered with so much it is barely recognisable from the original.Why didn't Schmoelling just re-release the original version? Has he got the same problem Edgar Froese has? That is, an irrational desire to ruin his own back catalogue of classic material? I hear next in the firing line is "White Out" from 1990. Perhaps I'm being cynical....I shall reserve judgement on that one until it comes out.Just for the record I love all of Schmoelling's albums including the most recent one "Songs Without Words" - but this remix adds nothing to the original. A great pity. I would recommend getting the Theta version instead but that has become one of the most sought after cds ever. I'm hanging on to mine!"