R.I.P. Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese
In a truly sad bit of news, Edgar Froese, the legendary founder of German electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream, has passed away after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He was 70 years old.
The band’s influence spanned genres and decades: Along with the likes of Kraftwerk, Can, and Neu!, they were pivotal in the development of the experimental electronic-rock hybrid known as krautrock. Later they had a major impact on ambient and new age music and helped define the spacey Berlin school of electronic music. Tangerine Dream’s music lent itself to movie soundtracks, so Froese scored numerous films ranging from the Tom Cruise romp Risky Business to the vampire Western Near Dark. Froese was active up until the present day; Tangerine Dream recently contributed the score for Grand Theft Auto V. His impact on modern music is incalculable.
News of the musician’s death was shared via the group’s Facebook page today (January 23), with the post confirming that Froese had died “suddenly and unexpectedly” in Vienna on Tuesday (January 20).
“The sadness in our hearts is immensely [sic],” the post reads. “Edgar once said: ‘There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.’ Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.”
Froese formed Tangerine Dream in 1967, following the breakup of his psych-rock outfit the Ones. Over the years, Froese had produced an absurdly prolific catalogue of experimental electronic music with a revolving cast of supporting players. Debut LP Electronic Meditation was a Krautrock-leaning tape collage experiment, while landmark effort Phaedra was an expansive exploration of modular synth work, ambient tones and drones. The group’s last studio LP was 2014’s Chandra – The Phantom Ferry Part II.
Edgar Froese, the founder of pioneering electronic band Tangerine Dream, has died at the age of 70. According to Tangerine Dream’s Facebook page, Froese passed away “suddenly and unexpectedly” from the effects of a pulmonary embolism. He was residing in Vienna, Austria.
A native of West Berlin, Froese founded Tangerine Dream in 1967 and remained the band’s only constant member through its six decade existence. The band is well known for its mammoth creative output, having released over 100 albums in addition to scoring countless movie film scores and soundtracks.
Alongside fellow German outfits like Kraftwerk and Can, Tangerine Dream was a torchbearer of the Krautrock genre. In the 1970s, Froese began experimenting with new studio techniques, including sequencers and the Moog synthesizer. It was during these years that Tangerine Dream experienced the height of its critical and commercial success, as 1973’s Atem was crowned album of the year by influential UK DJ John Peel, and 1974’s Phaedra reached No. 15 on the UK charts.
For many, Tangerine Dream is familiar for its soundtrack work in films including Sorcerer, Risky Business, Firestarter, Flashpoint, and The Keep. More recently, Froese scored the video game Grand Theft Auto V.
Froese remained active up until his death: In June, Tangerine Dream released a new studio album entitled Chandra – The Phantom Ferry Part II.