KALEIDOSCOPE - Tangerine Dream

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This is a Japanese reissue from the mid-00s. It comes with the full art work, liner notes in Japanese, obi strips but the discs are professional CD-rs for the press that they did. Kaleidoscope's debut is heavily debted to Syd Barrett in both lyrical and musical sense but in many ways theres a more orchestrated approach here that makes this stand on its own rather well. Sometimes theres a hint of very early Bee Gees and the Byrds.

"The opener, "Kaleidoscope," makes it clear that this is 1967 British psych: a driving piano riff backs harmonizing vocals as they describe a vibrant perception of busy streets. Yep, we're in trip-land now, and if you don't like that kind of music, you're probably in the wrong place, because Tangerine Dream is catchy, trippy rock from start to finish. What's great is that even though Kaleidoscope is playing in an idiom sparked by the Beatles with Sgt. Pepper etc., they certainly aren't derivative. Less hard-rocking than, say, The Move or the Small Faces, and not quite as virtuosic as The Soft Machine--more along the sweet, off-kilter sounds of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn-era Pink Floyd, or Tomorrow.

Overall, this is one of the better British psych albums I've come across--I've enjoyed it enough to check out their second, Faintly Blowing. As with their usual standards, Repertoire's reissue is great--glossy digipak case, lots of photos (check out those guys' clothes and hairstyles!), some enlightening notes, and some worthwhile bonus tracks--single versions of a few, and the flawless, jaunty pop of "Jenny Artichoke." Since Kaleidoscope had to make a few hit singles before a record company would invest in Tangerine Dream, it's cool to hear the songs that got them their record deal. If you like British psychedelic, chances are you'll enjoy this record.
" - AMG