The Meandering Hexagon
Artist: Mike Oldfield
Release Date: 25 May 1973
Date Listened: 27 September 2017
Remarks: The original masterpiece. It's a must listen of course, and in many ways worth the hype. Perhaps it is the closest we have yet to come to fusing classical and minimalist high art with youthful rock n roll energy.
Stand Out Tracks: Part One is better than Part Two.
Artist: Brian Eno
Release Date: Sometime in 1985
Date Listened: 26 September 2017
Remarks: It's ambient. You can't say it's not. My first real foray into the world of Eno leaves me feeling... A bit empty. But it's a unique emotional piece and makes for great background noise as I write.
Stand Out Tracks: Tracks. What an old fashioned idea.
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Release Date: December 1975
Date Listened: 25 September 2017
Remarks: As much as I loved Phaedra and Rubycon, I have to admit that they were quite similar in a sonic way. I had to listen several times to both in order to differentiate them clearly in my mind. After that, I was ready for a breath of fresh air. Ricochet is that breath of fresh air, as full of power as a breeze signaling the coming of Autumn. Compiled from live recordings, (their first attempt to do so) and featuring a return of the acoustic instrumentation largely relegated to the background after Alpha Centauri, and possessing an undeniable energy without sacrificing an iota of their classic sound, Ricochet is a masterpiece.
Stand Out Tracks: Both. Like many TD albums, it works best as a whole. Special notice goes to the opening of Part II.
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Release Date: 21 March 1975
Date Listened: 18 September 2017
Remarks: Out of all of TD's discography, this is one of two albums that always rises to the surface in any discussion about the band. The other, of course, is Phaedra, which I logged earlier this year. It is the better selling of the two, but I find it slightly inferior in some ways. Rubycon takes what Phaedra began and raises it to the next level. The driving sequencer is mellowed with haunting orchestral inspired passages. I'm still not sure ultimately whether I prefer it to Phaedra (or my previous favorite: Alpha Centauri) but maybe that's the whole point of TD's music. It exists somewhat outside the realm of "normal" music. It's not at all catchy, and it requires a certain amount of focus to get where it is going, but boy does it ever get there!
Stand Out Tracks: It's kind of one song, but the first half strikes me as a little better.
Artist: Herbie Hancock
Release Date: October 13 1971
Date Listened: 9/12/17
Remarks: Great, accessible, pure jazz. From the cover, to the B side, I loved every second of this record. It definitely makes me want to dig into Hancock's discography more!
Stand Out Tracks: Chameleon, Watermelon Man
Artist: Ryo Fukui
Release Date: 7 September 1976 (recorded)
Date Listened: 4 September 2017
Remarks: It's instrumental jazz piano, but with a bit of a kick. Fukui adds some special punch that is not often heard. Fortunately, this album is on it's way to be rediscovered thanks to YouTube's suggestion algorithm snatching it from obscurity.
Stand Out Tracks: Just throw on the whole thing on a quiet afternoon and revel in the jazz.