?Canyon Dreams? revisited?but something is missing
Steve Benner | Lancaster, UK | 02/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This disc presents some 40 or so minutes worth of music by synthesiser specialists, Tangerine Dream, accompanied by spectacular time-lapse and close-up images captured in the canyon lands of the American Southwest. And while that may sound odd put that way round, it is abundantly clear that the music is intended to be the main feature here, with the images adding another dimension to Tangerine Dream's haunting music. And, yes, if you think you've seen and heard it all before with "Canyon Dreams", you're quite right! This is very much a rehash of that film. It is slightly longer (not much) and with better, more polished images and stronger music. So it should be better, right? Ah, well...The images presented are certainly all very beautiful-although some of the repeated camera tricks become a little tiresome on occasion-and the music is an absolute delight (I've reviewed that separately in the CD section of Amazon). The trouble is, I'm not entirely sure that the two actually work well together. I found that I would be concentrating on either one or the other, but never both together. I also never gained any sense of the two being actually connected in any sense. I suspect that there are two reasons for this. The first is the complete absence of any sounds other than the music. Although wind and water sounds, bird song, etc, feature in each chapter's title screens, none of this carries through into the tracks themselves. This results in a completely artificial view of things, with the complete loss of the natural aural environment-highlighted, of course, by its presence during the title screens. This loss is sometimes very annoying, particularly during scenes which would carry a lot of natural sound-like the views of rushing water, for instance, or close-ups of the wind rattling Aspen leaves-leaving me at times with the feeling that I'd been struck deaf! This problem is then compounded by the lack of any cueing of visual events to events within the music, further emphasising the lack of connection between the two. For these reasons, the parts of this production that work best are those in which the images are sufficiently abstract for the brain to accept the music as the natural accompaniment to the images. The `Reflections' chapter is the best example of this, with colourful close-ups of water surfaces, or a time-lapsed retreat of the tide from a beach creating fascinating and oft-times hypnotic images which Tangerine Dream's music complements to perfection. Such moments are in the minority, however, and for most of the disc, images and music actually seem to be in conflict, with each fighting the other for the viewer's attention. Altogether a great shame!The disc's uncompressed PCM audio soundtrack ensures that the reproduction quality of the music is exemplary. Sadly, the image quality is not of a similar high standard. Although generally good, resolution is not always as high as one would expect of DVD. Pity too that it isn't in widescreen format-a treatment that the canyons surely scream out for?If you're a fan of Tangerine Dream, you'll undoubtedly want this disc. Lovers of natural beauty will like the cinematography, but might just find the soundtrack a little annoying. Of course, if you're the sort of person who tours the Grand Canyon with your Walkman in your ears, and turned up full, this is just for you! (Let me know when you'll be there and I'll keep away!)(Incidentally, this disc has no region encoding on it and should play on any DVD player.)"
Music rated 5, Video rated 1...
B. martin | wimberley, texas USA | 05/26/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am and have been a TD fan since the Rubycon days. I had owned the Tangerine Dream CD "Oasis" for quite some time before purchasing the video. There is nothing technically wrong with the video, but I believe that the music stands on it's own without the visuals. In my opinion, the video does not compliment the music. I still listen to the CD on a regular basis, but haven't been inclined to watch the video anymore."
A great blending of image and music, Tangerine Dream style!
Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 11/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought my very first DVD player, the first disc that I bought to try it out with was Tangerine Dream's "Oasis". Was it a wise choice? Absolutely! I have been following the music of these German synth-rock legends for over 15 years, and I have seen the band go through many changes of membership and musical direction, so as a long-time fan I can honestly say that there is nothing about "Oasis" that disappointed me! If you are looking for a Tangerine Dream concert video, then "Oasis" is not going to be what you are looking for (although I would strongly recommend T.D.'s fine 1992 concert video "220 Volt Live"). For those new to the group, "Oasis" is a sequel of sorts to one of T.D.'s earlier video releases, "Canyon Dreams", which boasted a similar visual and musical format. Recorded in 1998 by the father and son keyboard team of Edgar and Jerome Froese, and with images courtesy of video artist/director Gary Warriner, "Oasis" is an expertly crafted blending of beautifully-filmed American Southwest landscapes, and T.D.'s pulsating, sweeping, intense, texural synth music. It's really quite amazing how well that the picture and sound just blend into one another as a unified whole. The music here is easily among the group's best, and I must confess a special fondness for the tracks "Zion", "Reflections", "Waterborne", and "Summer Storm" . Perhaps my only complaint is that with a running time of only 44 minutes, I could have watched/listened to a lot more of this! NOTE: The audio CD version of "Oasis" (released by Tangerine Dream's own label, TDI Music) includes a bonus track not featured on the DVD, as well as a longer, superior version of the track "Hopi Mesa Heart" (which is heard briefly over the closing credits of the DVD.) If you are interested only in the T.D. music, and don't have much interest in the visual aspects, then the CD will probably a better value for your money. Although for the die-hard fan, I recommend owning both."
Steve Benner | 07/21/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having bought the DVD instead of the tape, I was a little dissapointed in the digital transfer. Having said that, I guess I don't really mind it after about two minutes. Most of Oasis is filmed with in 200 miles of the Grand Canyon. I have been to about 80% of the places shown in the video. For me, this is a video album with music that captures the area of southern Utah where Zion N.P., Bryce N.P., Rainbow Bridge N.M., Cedar Breaks N.P., and many other places. Matter of fact, they show more of Bryce than Cedar Breaks in the song Cedar Breaks. Habing seen the Canyon Dreams video eons ago and found it a little boring, this I can watch over and over when I want to relive a little of my past. The only are on the DVD that is not anywhere near the Grand Canyon is during the track "Summer Storm". That was filmed more to the south around Pheonix and/or Tuscon. The catus type shown is only found in southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and Northern Mexico. I think I am going to get Canyon Dreams though so that I have it because I keep seeing a section of it on a local independent TV."