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Tangerine Dream Founder Edgar Froese Dies Aged 70

Tangerine Dream's owner Edgar Froese

For recognition of one of German rocks most iconic figures, here at cone magazine we have dedicated a feature to commemorate the legendary life of Edgar Froese.

Last month Edgar Froese founder of Tangerine Dream died aged 70, of a pulmonary embolism, which was announced on his official Facebook page.

Born in Prussia 1944 on D-Day, he went on to study art in West Berlin and then formed the psychedelic rock band The Ones. Their band were invited to play at Salvador Dalí’s villa, where Dali had a profound influence on Froese, inspiring him to pursue more experimental directions in his work. The band only released one track entitled Lady Greengrass before it disbanded in 1967.

Probably the most recognise efforts in Edgar Froese’ lifetime was founding Tangerine Dream in Berlin 1967. Though the band undertook many personal changes throughout its lifetime, Edgar Froese was the only continuos member of Tangerine Dream.

Tangerine Dream has made over 100 albums in its 45 years, with their Pink Years albums playing a pivotal role in the development of the genre Krautrock. Their 1970 album Electronic Meditation being the first electronic punk album in history.

Edgar Froese’ contributions to the UK coined Krautrock came in their early years, with a similarity to bands like Neu!, Faust and Can. They were picked up by John Peel with their 1973 album Atem, which was dubbed his album of the year. This led to a signing with new label Virgin Records, by Richard Branson.

Virgin gave Tangerine Dream the financing and equipment required to direct all of their focus on producing the 1974 album Phaedra. This was a landmark album for electronic music, being one of the first albums to introduce the sequencer technique, made possible through Froese’ collaboration with the man who discovered the technique Christopher Franke. This technique created the bands signature spacey atmospheric sound.

But the groups aforementioned personal developments saw a shift towards more organic instrumental based sound composition in the 80’s. The group began to write many succesfull film scores during this period including Tom Cruise’s breakthrough 1983 film Risky Business, Michael Mann’s Thief, The Keep and Legend. This could be considered the most influential period for Tangerine Dream.

Despite the bands obvious influence on electronic music, Edgar Froese deterred from this recognition in electronic. In an interview with The Quietus he says “We’ve never ever created “electronic music”. He goes on to say, “Such music emphasizes the intellect and is normally produced as a pure studio event.”

Before Froese death, he published a 500-page autobiography entitled Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure – 1967 – 2014. 

Froese was a hard working creative genius. His Abstinence of meat, alcohol and drugs are alone testament to his almost perfect character. His contributions to music have not gone unrecognised, and even in the afterlife he will continue to inspire and entertain.

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