Tangerine Dream-The Video Dream Mixes (1996)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||1996|
|Running Time||58:59 (Case: 60)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Audio Format Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Edgar Froese|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.59:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Background song "Firetongues"|
Hmm, what can I say about this DVD (given that I was stupid enough to get the Region 1 version and have since regretted that decision)?
Tangerine Dream - The Video Dream Mixes is a collection of "music videos" accompanying or supplementing the Tangerine Dream CD "The Dream Mixes" which was an attempt by Edgar and Jerome Froese to remix some of their songs with a disco beat for the dance crowd. This CD turned out to be a surprise hit and outsold their regular albums so I imagine this is an attempt to cash in on that success with a video release.
Now don't get me wrong. I am actually a fan of Tangerine Dream, one of the pioneer German electronic/synthesizer bands from the 1960s (and still going strong). Tangerine Dream as a band has undergone about as many changes in the musicians as Spinal Tap has had drummers over the years. The band itself is extremely prolific and has consistently released an average of 1-2 albums/soundtracks per year since the 1960s - I own about 20 CDs and I have less than half of their discography!
Over the years, the band featured several musicians who have gone on to establish solo careers (with varying degrees of success), including Klaus Schulze and Chris Franke (music score composer for the science fiction television series Babylon 5). In recent years, the band has more or less coalesced into the father and son team of Edgar and Jerome Froese.
The band have undergone about as many changes in musical style over the years as band members. Their music in the 1960s was highly experimental and avant-garde (and many long-term fans believe this was their best period), then became kind of ambient, then more "commercial sounding" with a strong rhythm beat and more accessible melodies. They have also been involved in many film soundtracks, including "Risky Business", "Legend", "Thief", "Sorcerer" and "Firestarter."
My favourite Tangerine Dream album is probably either Tangram or Tyger (their only album to date with vocals featuring Jocelyn Smith singing lines from the poems of William Blake).
As mentioned before, the songs from The Video Dream Mixes are taken from The Dream Mixes album, which in turn are dance mix versions of songs from several albums from the "Seattle Years" period, from Rockoon to Goblin's Club. The concept is fine, and unlike several other Tangerine Dream fans I am actually somewhat partial to the dance mixes, however the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Basically we get what appears to be a very amateurish production of music videos of Edgar and Jerome accompanied by Linda Spa, an ex-model turned saxophone player featured in some of the Seattle years albums, as they visit various locations in the world - primarily California, Venice, and parts of Austria, India and South East Asia, interspersed with brief concert footage. The footage looks like it was shot with a cheap home video camera. Edgar and Jerome may have shot and produced this video "just for fun", but I wish they had kept that fun to themselves instead of disappointing their fans. The videos, poorly shot as they are, would still have been okay except for a bizarre decision by them to post process them and replace the colours with monochromatic shades of extremely loud and garish colours. The result is almost painful to watch.
|1. MAIN TITLE: Bride In Cold Tears|
3. Jungle Journey
5. Change Of The Gods
|6. Rough Embrace|
7. Little Blonde In The Park Of Attr..
8. San Rocco
9. END CREDITS: Fire Tongues
The Region 1 version (which is actually not region coded) has a full frame transfer, but many of the frames are letterboxed and/or mail-slotted to varying aspect ratios. For some reason, the Region 4 release has decided to grace us with a 16x9 enhanced widescreen transfer (approximately 1.59:1 with mail-slotting). Direct comparison between Region 1 and Region 4 transfers would indicate that the Region 4 version simply crops the top and bottom. I am not sure this is preferable to the full frame transfer.
There is an adage that bad films tend to get superb video transfers. If that was true, then we should be getting a reference quality transfer, but for once the transfer is as bad as the material. The transfer is soft, riddled with composite video artefacts such as chroma smearing, and features exaggerated over-saturated colours. In fact, the transfer seems to be a veritable catalogue of commonly encountered video artefacts such as low level video noise, aliasing, shimmering, pixelization, and so forth. In other words, the transfer appears to be taken from a VHS-quality video source, thereby adding further weight to my suspicion that this was shot on a home video camera.
I suspect the video source may have originally been in 4:3 and someone decided to do us a "favour" by cropping it into widescreen and then scaling up the resultant image. In comparing the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this disc, the quality of the transfer in Region 1 is superior only because the Region 4 version scales up the cropped NTSC image into widescreen PAL and thus exacerbates the poor quality of the transfer.
There are no subtitles on this single sided single layered disc, but you don't need any as there is no dialogue.
There are two audio tracks on this disc: Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s), and Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s).
Both tracks sound quite decent, though it is clear that the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is artificially generated from a stereo source. Curiously, when I engaged Dolby Pro Logic decoding for the 2.0 track, I got quite a lot of surround activity in the rear speakers, in fact maybe even more than in the 5.1 track. This surround activity is also present on the Region 1 version of the disc (which only has a stereo PCM audio track). I suspect the rear speaker activity is an artefact resulting from the mastering process (which is a proprietary process called DQC used on all recent Tangerine Dream albums as re-releases of their earlier albums).
Both audio tracks are excellent. Compared to the PCM audio track available on the Region 1 disc, the audio tracks here sound harsher and slightly attenuated in the high frequencies but there is really nothing to complain about. Obviously, with no dialogue, audio synchronisation is not an issue. The subwoofer is used lightly to support the low end of the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
There aren't many extras on the disc but at least more than the Region 1 release which has no extras.
The menus are also 16x9 enhanced (1.59:1 mail-slotted), and feature animation as well as background audio. The chapter (song) selection menu bothered me because it doesn't list the songs in chapter order.
This is a set of stills containing text similar to that found on the official web site. For some strange reason, the biography here is incomplete (in comparison to that on the web site) - almost as if the DVD author got tired about half way through and gave up.
This is a short video segment crediting those involved in the production. If I had been involved in the production, I think I would prefer to be uncredited.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
Both versions are equally bad, and there is no compelling reason to prefer one over the other.
Tangerine Dream - The Video Dream Mixes contain some appalling video accompanied by dance mix versions of selected Tangerine Dream songs from the latter part of the "Seattle" years. I urge fans to stay away from this one and buy only if you are obsessed with completing your no doubt extensive Tangerine Dream collection. It is presented on a DVD with a terrible video transfer that crops the top and bottom into a 16x9 enhanced 1.59:1 aspect ratio, and acceptable audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1). The extras are limited to a biography of Tangerine Dream, which appears to be truncated.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|