Skip to Main Content

Electronic Meditation
Thursday January 29th, 2015 with Sean McFee
Tangerine Dream

Today we mark the birthday of Peter Baumann and the passing of Edgar Froese.
Tangerine Dream - Electronic Meditation - Esoteric
Sunrise in the Third System
Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri - Sequel
Birth of Liquid Plejades
Tangerine Dream - Zeit - Esoteric
Circulation of Events
Tangerine Dream - Atem - Castle
The earliest material is experimental, cold, and austere. For me something like Zeit is the true "space-rock". It sounds like waiting for the end of the universe. Florian Fricke of Popol Vuh guested on that track. The line-up settled into the classic trio by Zeit, with Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann. Baumann would stay in the band until 1977; he wasn't there for most of their material, but he was there for almost all of the most essential.

Following Atem the band signed to Virgin. Virgin was looking for the next accidental hit like Tubular Bells. This led to the accidental release of a number of great albums on a major label, by Clearlight, Gong, and others. Phaedra and Rubycon are archetypes of Berlin-school music, with increased sequencer use. This was potentially appealing to fans of, say, Pink Floyd's spacy material. Naturally Virgin had them produce an album-long piece, which was Rubycon. A long and successful career followed, with the inevitable fall from public notice followed by a critical resurgence; along with some major soundtrack work, by the end of his life Froese was contributing music to the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack!
Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares
Tangerine Dream - Phaedra - Virgin
Part Two
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon - Virgin
From here we segue into the solo material of Edgar Froese. The first two albums, Aqua and Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, came out the same years as Phaedra and Rubycon respectively, and can be heard in some ways as Froese's contemplative replies to the more outgoing nature of those albums. Stuntman came out in 1979 and Pinnacles in 1983; these are more in line with Tangerine Dream's work of that period. It is more commercial music, perhaps, maybe more in the vein of Jean Michel Jarre or Vangelis at points, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's fun to listen to something off Pinnacles and compare it to Zeit; both have their place.

As a side note, one Froese solo album from the period (Macula Transfer) was only released on Brain and never co-released on Virgin; as a result it has not yet seen CD reissue. I will play material from this album on a later show.
NGC 891
Edgar Froese - Aqua - Virgin
Maroubra Bay
Edgar Froese - Epsilon in Malaysian Pale - Virgin
Edgar Froese - Stuntman - Virgin
Specific Gravity of Smile
Edgar Froese - Pinnacles - Virgin