Widely considered one of Tangerine Dream's masterworks, fallout from the sonic phenomenon that is PHAEDRA can still be found lingering in the ambient movement of the early '90s and in much of contemporary electronica. The aural architecture that the band built from scratch remains unparalleled. Tangerine Dream was truly ahead of its time--the four epic-length tracks on PHAEDRA revealed a band that fully understood--and loved to manipulate--the complex array of knobs, dials, and switches that protruded from their synthesizer facades.
The title track is an almost spooky exercise in synth/sequencer tension and dynamics: while eerie atmospheres of Mellotron go head to head with spiraling Moogs, dense, humming sequencer webs percolate along the surface, motile and mobile. The album's closer, "Sequent C," leaves the listener breathless, as black electronic clouds form and dissipate and the surrounding space becomes corporeal sound. PHAEDRA remains one of the seminal recordings of the electronic movement, and stands up--even years later--as an original, stunning piece of music.
Q (5/95, p.134) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...[a] remarkable achievement, given the then fledgling nature of synthesizer technology and the leading role therefore thrust upon the unwieldy and limited Mellotron..."
Q (Magazine) (p.141) - "There are few more inspire albums of German cosmic music than Berlin instrumental pioneers Tangerine Dream's breakthrough."