Edgar Froese, the electronic music pioneer who formed Tangerine Dream in 1967, died on Tuesday in Vienna, Austria due to a pulmonary embolism. He was 70.
Froese’s son Jerome issued the following statement:
Dear friends & colleagues, the Captain has left the ship . I’m very sorry to inform you that my father Edgar Froese passed away on Tuesday afternoon (20th of January) in Vienna. And as you already know: Life plays no encores. Rest in peace Edgar, you will be sadly missed.
A representative for the band posted the following on their website Friday:
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.
TANGERINE DREAM TEAM
Froese was born in Tilsit, East Prussia during the height of World War II. He started taking piano lessons at the age of 12 and guitar at 15 but, although musically talented, he gravitated toward art and enrolled in the Academy of Arts in West Berlin.
In 1965, Froese formed a band called The Ones and, during a special show at Salvador Dali’s chateau in Spain, became inspired in the more eclectic side of the arts. He started taking his music in experimental directions and, after the breakup of the group in 1967, started Tangerine Dream.
It was Froese’s intellect that initially drove the group. He experimented with building his own instruments and would often record sounds during his travels with plans to use them later. He was an early user of tape loops to repeat a sequence of music or sounds and would be on the forefront of the use of sequencers in music.
Dream was originally a constantly changing lineup of musicians with most only collaborating with Froese for less than a year. Still, the output of the group was extraordinary with over 100 albums released between 1970’s debut, Electronic Meditation, and today.
In 1973, the band released their fourth set, Atem, which British DJ John Peel named the album of the year. The exposure led to their signing on a fledgling Virgin Records and their next album, Phaedra, became Tangerine Dream and Virgin’s first bonafide hit, going to number 15 in the U.K. Phaedra also was the band’s first album to heavily venture into the world of electronic music with its use of a Moog Synthesizer
Their next album, Rubycon, was their highest charting in Britain, reaching number 12. Over the next thirteen years, sixteen of their albums would make the U.K. top 100. In the U.S., seven of the band’s albums made the Billboard 200 but only one cracked the top 100, Legend (1986 / #96).
Over the years, Froese and the band have become known for their live shows which were often very free-form in nature, leading to a big market in bootlegged recordings. They have also released a number of these shows, normally with overdubs and additional material, which fans consider part of the 100+ studio albums.
Froese also has scored over twenty motion pictures including Sorcerer, Risky Business, Firestarter and Legend. In many cases, the soundtracks included reworked versions of songs from their studio repertoire.
Starting in the 1990’s, Froese’s son Jerome started taking the band in a more Electronica direction but Edgar steered them back towards a more traditional sound after Jerome left the band.
As if 100+ albums with Tangerine Dream were not enough, Froese also released a number of solo recordings starting with 1974’s Aqua. He also recorded a series of singles under the name TDJ Rome.
Froese was married to his wife Monique from 1974 until her passing in 2000. He was married to his second wife, Bianca Acquaye, at the time of his death.