Saturday, April 09, 2022

Stratosfear Itself

Things are real tough right now, but I have been working up this monster anniversary excursion for a few weeks and it's reached its time to shine.

This isn't a post about the anniversary of a concert or someone's birthday associated with one, but concerns instead the anniversary of a music festival's birth.

22 years ago today, the inaugural iteration of this festival took place. I don't see any record of them happening after 2011, but they might still have them, I'm not 100% certain.

Each one from 2000 has taken place in a different location in the world, selected for its relevance to locales referenced in the music of Tangerine Dream, around which the festival itself kind of revolves.

For this is a gathering at which electronic musicians from the world over get together and improvise in the style of the classic TD records of the 1970s and '80s.

Judging from the (largely sublime and 100% extemporaneous) recordings, an ambrosia of arpeggiation on a surfeit of sequencers and synthesizers was served up for a decade-plus by a whole host of participants.

Some of it happened in venues in front of audiences, but a lot of it was more along the lines of a bunch of musos uniting in private session behind a common interest: reverence for vintage T-Dream tracks like Ricochet, for which the festival is named.

It's from those sessions, recorded over the first decade of Ricochet Gatherings, that the little 220 minute (and 220 volt!) odyssey I have constructed comes, loving improvisation with electronic instruments -- especially ones usually utilized in a more premeditated, arranged setting -- as I always have.

And what have I done? Well, I've married different pieces, taped at different Gatherings over the 2000s, of the same key together to weave in and out of each other like an alternate universe of Stratosfear.

I put it into several sections, each in its own key and with a common tonal center, to form an imaginary concert covering each of the first 10 festivals.

I worked pretty meticulously on it, so hopefully it works and coalesces into something that sounds all of a piece. It would make for pretty decent music to sleep to, at any rate, if insomnia's got your tail.

Ricochet Gathering
Ricochet Passage

01 Grand Prismatic Spring 4
02 Sounds from a Southern Marshland
03 Invisible Gates (conclusion)
04 Stranded At Minnie's Lake
05 Horizon Memories (excerpt)
06 Suwanee Riversill
07 Dr. Moreti's Visit
08 Croatia 2009 (excerpts)
09 Red Star
10 Have a Nice Dave ("Ricochet" excerpt)
11 Ricochet Passage
12 220 Volt Koenig
13 Londermolen #21
14 Area 201
15 Easy Papa
16 A Night At the Museum

Total time: 2:20:43
disc break goes after Track 09

mixing desk sessions recorded at the various Ricochet Gatherings from 2000-2009, assembled, denoised, remastered and sequenced by EN, March-April 2022

766 MB FLAC/April 2022 archive link

I'm having a tough time domestically but I will try to assemble this other (unprecedented, never attempted) compilation I have planned this week, to post next Saturday. Then we can get back to the concerts, but if you love TD, Klaus Schulze or whatever of that style, I'd advise not tryna miss this one right here because it's authentically Dreamlike.--J.


  1. What a great idea - and thanks for seeing it through. It sounds like a TON of work! I'm only a few tracks in and loving it so far.

  2. Thank you so much for this. Greatly appreciated. Grabbed the Phalanx set as well. Don't know how I missed that one.

    1. that was part of why I put it all in one folder

      less likely to miss anything if they're all lined up in a row