Saturday, January 24, 2015

Electrobit: Edgar Froese

Edgar Froese, founder of Tangerine Dream, had died.

The band announced his death via Facebook:

Dear Friends,

This is a message to you we are very sorry for…

On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna.

The sadness in our hearts is immensely.

Edgar once said: “There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address."

Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.

Born in East Prussia, and exiled as a child to West Berlin when the address was still a political statement as much as a geographic fact, Froese was one of the pioneers of the electronic-driven Berlin School. With Moog, Synth and the support of the-then-interesting Virgin Records, Froese and the Dream effectively created an ambient music blueprint that - through years of watering down, mistranslation, and 'improvement' - would eventually lead to the churning out of countless CDs with the word 'chill' somewhere in the title.

But you can't blame the man for what followed in his wake. And you've got to be impressed with the way Tangerine Dream quickly established themselves as the go-to team for film soundtracks where the budget didn't run to a full orchestra. Froese's work underscored Tom Cruise's "what the fuck"ery in Risky Business, and, erm, Tom Cruise's "don't touch the fucking unicorns" in Legend. They also did some films which Tom Cruise wasn't in. A lot of films which Tom Cruise wasn't in.

It's not surprising that the band made the leap to scoring computer games, although they waited for the artform to catch up with them; Grand Theft Auto V was that point.

Froese also produced a body of solo work, although confusingly some of this was released under the name of his collective.

Still working in 2014, Froese was 70. He died Janaury 20th.