Edgar Willmar Froese (6 June 1944 – 20 January 2015) was a German musical artist and electronic music pioneer, best known for founding the electronic music group Tangerine Dream in 1967. Froese was the only continuous member of the group until his death. Although his solo and group recordings prior to 2003 name him as “Edgar Froese”, his later solo albums bear the name “Edgar W. Froese”.
Froese was born in Tilsit, East Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), on D-Day during World War II; members of his family, including his father, had been killed by the Nazis and after the war his mother and surviving family settled in Berlin. He took piano lessons from the age of 12, and started playing guitar at 15. After showing an early aptitude for art, Froese enrolled at the Academy of the Arts in Berlin to study painting and sculpture.
One of his most lucrative jobs was to design advertising posters for the Berlin buses. He started an evening degree in psychology and philosophy and received his doctorate on Kant’s categorical imperative. Since his interpretation was not in accordance with the academic way of thinking, he left the college with the remark: “The dust of the universities is like a shroud over the truth.”
In 1965, he formed a band called The Ones, who played psychedelic rock, and some rock and R&B standards. While playing in Spain, The Ones were invited to perform at Salvador Dalí’s villa in Cadaqués. Froese’s encounter with Dalí was highly influential, inspiring him to pursue more experimental directions with his music. The Ones disbanded in 1967, having released only one single “Lady Greengrass” (b/w “Love of Mine”) on Star Club Records. After returning to Berlin, Froese began recruiting musicians for the free-rock band that would become Tangerine Dream.
Froese declared himself to be vegetarian, teetotal, and a non-smoker; he also did not take drugs. Froese was married to artist and photographer Monika (Monique) Froese from 1974 until her death in 2000. Their son Jerome Froese was a member of Tangerine Dream from 1990 through 2006. In 2002, Edgar Froese married artist and musician Bianca Froese-Acquaye.
Froese died suddenly in Vienna on 20 January 2015 from a pulmonary embolism. He was posthumously awarded the Schallwelle Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2015. He was quoted by the BBC as having once said: “there is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address”.
Froese was a friend of such artists as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, George Moorse, Volker Schlöndorff, Alexander Hacke and Friedrich Gulda. Pop and Bowie lived with Froese and his family at their home in Schöneberg before moving to their apartment on Hauptstraße. Froese also helped Bowie with his recovery and introduced him to the Berlin underground scene. Bowie named Froese’s solo album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale as a big influence and a soundtrack to his life in Berlin.
If you are familiar with Tangerine Dream’s typical sound developed during the “Phaedra”, “Rubycon” period you will be very enthusiastic by this second Edgar Froese’s solo album. The electronic / synth explorations are also clearly similar to “Aqua”. This record announces the colour with concrete sounds taken from ambient samples of monkeys. “Concrete” experiences were also delivered on the previous “Aqua” with aquatic, airplane sounds. Next to this brief and original introduction we fall into a hypnotic and contemplative electronic adventure, dominated by Mellotron parts, sometimes experimenting acoustic elements as the flute (already used in the sad, melancholic TD’s track “sequent C”).” Rubycon” & “Ricochet” fans will enjoy all the old analog synth melodic parts accompanied by heavy / rhythmic electronic arpeggios. Froese’s best effort in solo, a landmark and a memorable album of experimental / electronic prog music. (Philippe)
In other words: a masterpiece !
Edgar Froese (electronics, all instruments)
01. Epsilon In Malaysian Pale 16.27
02. Maroubra Bay 16.57
Music: Edgar Froese
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