Tangerine Dream: “Betrayal”
March 9, 2015
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Tangerine Dream is one of those bands that just gives me goosebumps. They’re like an even weirder and darker version of Pink Floyd, but without lyrics (most of the time). They started out in the late 1960s, creating eldritch sonic soundscapes that last for well over twenty minutes a track. But they made their big breakthrough in 1977, when William Friedkin (director of 1973’s The Exorcist) enlisted them to score his latest project, Sorcerer.
Sorcerer is an ambitious remake of the 1953 French film, The Wages of Fear, which was itself based on a book by Georges Arnaud. It tells the story of four low-life criminals from different countries who are each hiding out in the jungles of rural Central America. These truly dispicable people include a gangster, an assassin, a money launderer, and an anti-Israeli terrorist. Together, these guys end up driving trucks full of nitroglycerin through the uncharted jungles, and all sorts of horrible things happen to them while they do. Sorcerer has nothing to do with the supernatural and was relentlessly panned when it first came out, but it has a large cult following nowadays, and if you can stand watching some truly horrible characters suffer through some truly horrible things, it’s actually quite brilliant. (One thing’s for sure; William Friedkin pulls this kind of misanthropic nihilism off much more tastefully than Rob Zombie does.)
But long before I ever saw the film, I heard the Sorcerer soundtrack, and it made me fall in love with Tangerine Dream immediately. It also made me dream of things that I won’t describe here (since I’m trying to write them into a book). Suffice it to say that while the film may not involve the paranormal, the film score is extremely provocative thereof, painting images of dark mythological beings bending infinite universes to Their wills. I might very well post other tracks from this album at some point, but the following is my very favorite: “Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme).”