Edgar Froese, the leader, and heart and soul of the band Tangerine Dream passed away on January 20th, 2015, just over two years ago. I wrote this short bit following just a few days after his passing, and today Facebook brought it up as a 'memory' for me. Reading it again, it reminded me of how much his death affected me, because Tangerine Dream's music meant so much to me growing up.
The album Exit was the first Tangerine Dream I ever heard. I was 16 years old in 1981 and had just started doing a radio show that summer at the university radio station. Exit came into our new release bin in September, this mysterious slab of vinyl by a band I had never heard of before. I pulled it out and was immediately intrigued by the song title Pilots of Purple Twilight (I always loved colour in music), so I slapped it on the turntable and gave it a play. The hypnotic, pulsing rhythms of the synths drew me right in, the subtle melodies emerging underneath. This was like nothing I'd really heard before. I still had yet to discover their classic 70's albums and their brilliant, early kosmische albums (Alpha Centauri (1971) and Zeit (1972) had a huge impact on me), but the journey had begun, and continues to this day. I only got the chance to see them live once. I remember the most thrilling moment like it was yesterday, when, amidst all the throbbing synths and electronic drums, Edgar Froese whipped out his guitar and cut loose. I have so many memories associated with Tangerine Dream's music, as it has been so much a part of my life. A friend of wrote after Edgar's passing about how when he was younger, every new TD release was a highly anticipated day filled with excitement, and I remember that same feeling, as I split open the shrink wrap, and carefully slid that beautiful vinyl disc out and put it onto the turntable, eager to hear what they would do next, and then musing over the mysterious artwork on the cover while listening to it. From Electronic Mediation (1970) to Underwater Sunlight (1986), there was just pure magic in every one of those releases. After Underwater Sunlight the magic faded a little for me, but I continued to return to those early albums and Edgar Froese's solo albums again and again, possibly more than any other band I know. Edgar, you will be missed, but thank you for all the amazing music, the inspiration, the memories and the dreams.