Listen to "Love Theme."tough to access the legacy of artists like this (and jean michel jarre, klauz schultz) because what made them good was essentially that they were complete fucking oblivious idiots. the earlier modernists were sharp enough to realize that electronic music afforted new compositional possibilities, had the potential to drastically differ from what came before in terms of how it was both heard and composed, but the results of all their work were often abstruse and unsensual. on the other hand, it never even occurred to people like vangelis that they should do anything with the new tech but what was most obvious, what it had already been drilled into their heads that musicians should do: namely, noodle around on a standard tuning keyboard until they'd arrived at a few pleasant tonal chord progressions and melodies. this worked out because, as suspended has talked about, traditions often exist for a good reason, and to western ears simple tonal music is often pleasant and easy to emotionally access. but the "futuristic" qualities in this music that mean so much to the over 40s who were blown away by blade runner or whatever as kids are entirely to the credit of the people who designed the tech itself. not the egotists who saw electronic music as piano playing with a few extra bells and whistles added. vangelis et al were simply lucky enough to get there before the millions of people who make comparable music now. tbf they were no doubt also a bit more naturally gifted, a bit more industrious as well. but still. their music is a glorified synth demo. there was no lateral thinking involved, they just had to decide which chord to hold down after selecting a preset. before and after his death vangelis has been touted as this "visionary" but he was the complete fucking opposite, a complacent unthinking conduit of his time.
tl;dr i'm sure if i dug into his back catalogue i'd find some music by vangelis i liked, but i know he wasn't an Audio Animator, he wasn't a genius.
I'm sure you've heard it before. Listen again.
Do you hear the way it breathes? The way the sax drifts and floats like smoke from a cigarette, into a night sky filled with bright, arpeggiated stars?
The way those keyboard "stars" ascend, so your gaze is drawn up into the depths of the sky, the cosmos, the unknown, with them? How much dark space they inhabit, alone, and yet manage to light up? How despite the sad, quiet darkness, there is an undercurrent of hope in their beauty and light?
Yes, they're simple synth chords underneath, but the restraint. For a while it's just I and IV chords. Their alternation says: "Sometimes the world is like that. But sometimes it's like this."
And then how, when the minor 7 comes in, it's so full of mystery and intrigue? These moments of wonder and dark complication that suggest there is a whole unknown world beyond the I and the IV?
Do you see how the first ten seconds are like dropping a big red curtain over the stage, only to lift it and reveal the drama to come? Can you feel how that drama is somehow both intensely micro—small, personal, irrelevant—and cosmically large and eternal?