Tangerine Dream, Rubycon

Another ostensible masterwork of the 1970s synthesizer craze, I have always had the sense that there was a greater picture here, that the album's palpable formalism was artfully obscuring some greater musical basis my ears and soul were yet to discover. Technically, it is daring and rich, and I suppose with appropriate chemical support one might dig it in the abstract. But this album, every bit the foamy river of myth its name descends from, has one flaw, and it's a big one: its appalling tracking. If the group could have made it a single 35 minute composition, pinning you to your chair, forcing themselves upon your auditory canals, chaining you to the hi-fi so that you couldn't get away, they would have; only the realities of the LP caused them to relent, if only a little. Seventeen indivisible minutes a side of music so experimental it would weird out Philip Glass is not an album to be enjoyed — it is an album to be endured. (Content: pure instrumental.)