Published on 29th May 2020
Edgar Froese – Dalinetopia
For lovers of the weird and wonderful, the late Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, who produced some wonderful atmospheric albums; my first being Aqua, my mother’s interpretation being something along the lines of “Can you shut that bloody racket up!?” Personally, I enjoyed the mix of ambient, natural and industrial sounds, through headphones or a decent stereo, and sometimes in quad.
Dalinetopia was released in 2004 and is here re-issued by Cherry Red Records, on the Esoteric Recordings label, exponents of many good re-releases.
Now back in 2004, Edgar wrote of this release that the music he had written reflected upon Dali the man rather than Dali the artist, often quoted by others who reviewed this album on its original release as slightly pretentious. Froese knew and had worked with Dali, so may have retorted a la Miss Piggy: “Pretentious? Moi?”
For those of you that remember Aqua and maybe Stuntman, this is not it. Composed in his home studio, it rarely ventures into those experimental areas, or even the stylings of mother group Tangerine Dream. But it does have its moments, some of beauty, some of wonder, and the best way to listen is in an environment with full stereo separation. There you will find the nuances that are not apparent on the old tin box or in car entertainment.
Then there is the secondary aspect, Froese’s interpretation of Dali the man. I like the tunes, even the slightest is a welcome diversion, but as a representation of character or aspects thereof, I just do not get it. What I get is music that, produced in 2004, I would say has been potentially influential now. I hear aspects of it, and even stylings in the works of modern electronic progressive music, such as Anathema.
What stands out in a list of Daliesque titles? Daleroshima opens well, insistent drum machine, repetitive keyboards and, to be honest, of its time. Slight oriental tinges but tiresome towards the end. Dalozopata is Japan-like, but the band rather than country, Sylvian/Sakamoto. I like this stuff, but my expectations meet at a plateau rather than ascend to great heights.
Dalerotica has a driving beat, pleasant background, it excels but does not accelerate. No chance of leaving the comfy chair, quite pedestrian really. Daluminacian next, strident, spacial, probably my most played track, and in a darkened studio, the music fills the air.
Dalaluna is a foot tapper and it is hard not to get up and boogie. Possibly overly long, but more excitement than most, and influential. Dalysisiphus is a more than diverting piece, probably the closest in terms to full-blown Tangerine Dream, and soundwise I think the richest in tones, but even then I don’t feel the need to spout endless drivel in an attempt to make you part with your pennies. Similar sounds are available from Public Service Broadcasting, and I have to say the narrative they would provide is more interesting. Last of the D’s, Dalinetopia concludes the album, lush but not overly, seeing us out.
Would I return? At the right time, just not now. One for the completists, lovely reference material but fails to excite.
Edgar Froese plays all, as a legacy. It is a fine piece, buy it. Thanks to Cherry Red/Esoteric for releasing.
01. Daleroshima (6:47)
02. Dalozapata (5:19)
03. Dalamuerte (5:26)
04. Dalerotica (6:57)
05. Dalesquador (5:57)
06. Dalumination (9:24)
07. Dalagalor (6:54)
08. Dalaluna (7:14)
09. Dalysisiphus (7:48)
10. Dalinetopia (7:48)
Total Time – 69:33
Edgar Froese – All Instrumentation