Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese – “We’ve Never Created Electronic Music”

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Tangerine Dream has reissued some of its classic Berlin School releases, Phaedra and Rubicon, on vinyl. They’re also back on the road, touring music from the bands’ 40+ year career.

Tangerine Dream founder Edgar Froese is has been performing as Tangerine Dream since 1967 – but he still has surprising things to say about the group and electronic music. 

In fact, in a new interview Froese says that Tangerine Dream doesn’t make electronic music:

We’ve never ever created “electronic music”!

Such music emphasizes the intellect and is normally produced as a pure studio event. Working with synthesizers is a completely different approach to electrified music.

We’re open to all kinds of modern music developments and wouldn’t be interested in the locked up situation you’re into while working in a musical ivory tower. Of course, I love the guitar a lot, Motown stuff as well as modern progressive rock music. Finally it’s all a crossover within all musical landscapes and if you’ve never stopped learning from others, you have always creative inputs for your own work.

Froese also gives kudos to Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre for their approaches to synth music:

If there is a true possibility of creating modern synthesized music without any mental barriers, I would consider myself as one of the strongest followers of such movement. It doesn’t matter if you call it Pan-European or Anglo-American or Contemporary Asian artistic development – it is always world music if you’re willing to follow not just the ethnic term.

As far as Vangelis and Jarre are concerned, I’m of course familiar with what they’ve done during their career. For their serious approach towards an individual musical expression, I respect them a lot.

See the full interview at The Quietus.

19 thoughts on “Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese – “We’ve Never Created Electronic Music”

  1. Nope, 40 years of producing instrumental music with synthesizers, samplers and sequencers how ridiculous for people to label it electronic music. TD composes country music and early Big Band! LOL.

    As much as I love Edgar and respect his astounding body of material and work ethics, sometimes his 30,000 feet abstract too clever by half answers can drive you batty. OK Edgar we'll call it "Pan-European Contemporary Asian World by not literal ethnic" if that works better for you! Jeeze.

    I've been making music for 25 years with synthesizers, samples and sequencers – like TD, Jarre and Vangelis. Guess what its called – electronic music! (head shake)

  2. Nope, 40 years of producing instrumental music with synthesizers, samplers and sequencers how ridiculous for people to label it electronic music. TD composes country music and early Big Band! LOL.

    As much as I love Edgar and respect his astounding body of material and work ethics, sometimes his 30,000 feet abstract too clever by half answers can drive you batty. OK Edgar we'll call it "Pan-European Contemporary Asian World by not literal ethnic" if that works better for you! Jeeze.

    I've been making music for 25 years with synthesizers, samples and sequencers – like TD, Jarre and Vangelis. Guess what its called – electronic music! (head shake)

  3. If it walks and talks like a duck………..well it's a duck. Perhaps it's a matter of long-term perspective, but it's difficult to say that the bulk of early to mid material from them that was at minimum 80% synthesizer-based, isn't electronic.

    I remember years back when Edgar was quoted in an interview, chiding Kraftwerk's focus on technology in music as a "mistake".

    Perhaps this is why nowadays, TD plays bland, boring music IMHO.

    TD's influence in me (also been playing electronic music for over 25 years) is indelible, but what I got out of them was absolutely and undeniably electronic. They made me have a life-long love affair with the synthesizer and what it means to utilize music BASED on synthesizers – not just use them as a studio crutch or trendy soundscape.

  4. If it walks and talks like a duck………..well it's a duck. Perhaps it's a matter of long-term perspective, but it's difficult to say that the bulk of early to mid material from them that was at minimum 80% synthesizer-based, isn't electronic.

    I remember years back when Edgar was quoted in an interview, chiding Kraftwerk's focus on technology in music as a "mistake".

    Perhaps this is why nowadays, TD plays bland, boring music IMHO.

    TD's influence in me (also been playing electronic music for over 25 years) is indelible, but what I got out of them was absolutely and undeniably electronic. They made me have a life-long love affair with the synthesizer and what it means to utilize music BASED on synthesizers – not just use them as a studio crutch or trendy soundscape.

  5. To me electronic music is any music you can not play on traditional instruments without loosing something essential to the music.

    A lot of TD work falls under that blanket statement. I do not think anyone would listen to a song like Thru Metamorphic Rocks and think "oh, that sounds nothing like electronic music!"

  6. I need to find more sources to back this up, but haven't Tangerine Dream knocked Kraftwerk on a number of occasions? I thought there was a bit on their FAQ where they made a snide remark about Kraftwerk's "lack of emotion" but I could be entirely misremembering that. However, I did find this:

    RS: "For a while, Kraftwerk were regarded as your most potent competitors…"

    EF: "Kraftwerk? I only could find them enjoyable after I've seen them in prima ballerina tricots of the Bolshoi ballet. They still lack that pivotal Kling-Klang pirouette, that final torsional moment in music transcending the mundane. I rather prefer the morbidity of the Ruhrpott, the true German underground."

    Source @ http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/forum/viewtop

    Also keep in mind sometimes interviews are translated poorly; many of Vangelis' interviews make him seem like a moron who talks in circles, when I'm sure the original Greek is a lot more poetic and eloquent.

    I agree TD are playing it too safe now. They're remaking their earlier stuff over and over, even if it isn't explicitly named as such. Occasionally there's a break (like a foray into vocals) and I have yet to hear Dream Mixes V which I've read is entirely Jerome's work, but if Kraftwerk had been has prolific as Tangerine Dream, that might have been a severe GOODBAD thing.

    I see some humor in all of this, though. Electronic music is appalling when genre labels are used to segregate, and Edgar's comments point towards a more open approach, regardless of terms. Note "individual musical expression" instead of making generic identikit minimal or trance. 😉

  7. I need to find more sources to back this up, but haven't Tangerine Dream knocked Kraftwerk on a number of occasions? I thought there was a bit on their FAQ where they made a snide remark about Kraftwerk's "lack of emotion" but I could be entirely misremembering that. However, I did find this:

    RS: "For a while, Kraftwerk were regarded as your most potent competitors…"

    EF: "Kraftwerk? I only could find them enjoyable after I've seen them in prima ballerina tricots of the Bolshoi ballet. They still lack that pivotal Kling-Klang pirouette, that final torsional moment in music transcending the mundane. I rather prefer the morbidity of the Ruhrpott, the true German underground."

    Source @ http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/forum/viewtop

    Also keep in mind sometimes interviews are translated poorly; many of Vangelis' interviews make him seem like a moron who talks in circles, when I'm sure the original Greek is a lot more poetic and eloquent.

    I agree TD are playing it too safe now. They're remaking their earlier stuff over and over, even if it isn't explicitly named as such. Occasionally there's a break (like a foray into vocals) and I have yet to hear Dream Mixes V which I've read is entirely Jerome's work, but if Kraftwerk had been has prolific as Tangerine Dream, that might have been a severe GOODBAD thing.

    I see some humor in all of this, though. Electronic music is appalling when genre labels are used to segregate, and Edgar's comments point towards a more open approach, regardless of terms. Note "individual musical expression" instead of making generic identikit minimal or trance. 😉

  8. I need to find more sources to back this up, but haven't Tangerine Dream knocked Kraftwerk on a number of occasions? I thought there was a bit on their FAQ where they made a snide remark about Kraftwerk's "lack of emotion" but I could be entirely misremembering that. However, I did find this:

    RS: "For a while, Kraftwerk were regarded as your most potent competitors…"

    EF: "Kraftwerk? I only could find them enjoyable after I've seen them in prima ballerina tricots of the Bolshoi ballet. They still lack that pivotal Kling-Klang pirouette, that final torsional moment in music transcending the mundane. I rather prefer the morbidity of the Ruhrpott, the true German underground."

    Source @ http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/forum/viewtop

    Also keep in mind sometimes interviews are translated poorly; many of Vangelis' interviews make him seem like a moron who talks in circles, when I'm sure the original Greek is a lot more poetic and eloquent.

    I agree TD are playing it too safe now. They're remaking their earlier stuff over and over, even if it isn't explicitly named as such. Occasionally there's a break (like a foray into vocals) and I have yet to hear Dream Mixes V which I've read is entirely Jerome's work, but if Kraftwerk had been has prolific as Tangerine Dream, that might have been a severe GOODBAD thing.

    I see some humor in all of this, though. Electronic music is appalling when genre labels are used to segregate, and Edgar's comments point towards a more open approach, regardless of terms. Note "individual musical expression" instead of making generic identikit minimal or trance. 😉

  9. I need to find more sources to back this up, but haven't Tangerine Dream knocked Kraftwerk on a number of occasions? I thought there was a bit on their FAQ where they made a snide remark about Kraftwerk's "lack of emotion" but I could be entirely misremembering that. However, I did find this:

    RS: "For a while, Kraftwerk were regarded as your most potent competitors…"

    EF: "Kraftwerk? I only could find them enjoyable after I've seen them in prima ballerina tricots of the Bolshoi ballet. They still lack that pivotal Kling-Klang pirouette, that final torsional moment in music transcending the mundane. I rather prefer the morbidity of the Ruhrpott, the true German underground."

    Source @ http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/forum/viewtop

    Also keep in mind sometimes interviews are translated poorly; many of Vangelis' interviews make him seem like a moron who talks in circles, when I'm sure the original Greek is a lot more poetic and eloquent.

    I agree TD are playing it too safe now. They're remaking their earlier stuff over and over, even if it isn't explicitly named as such. Occasionally there's a break (like a foray into vocals) and I have yet to hear Dream Mixes V which I've read is entirely Jerome's work, but if Kraftwerk had been has prolific as Tangerine Dream, that might have been a severe GOODBAD thing.

    I see some humor in all of this, though. Electronic music is appalling when genre labels are used to segregate, and Edgar's comments point towards a more open approach, regardless of terms. Note "individual musical expression" instead of making generic identikit minimal or trance. 😉

  10. Lets see ,Edgar Froese entire Being is his own Mr.ZZ..all his misterious ,vissionary,fused to elements and Abstract music produces you to such comment..Tangerine Dream is untochable is your own expression of what you perceive ..Edgar,Franke,Schmoellling,Haslinger ,Jerome(apllausses to Jerome)..bla bla..ethnic?..jajaja..Tangerine Dream ¡¡ ..hey ZZ ..love Edgar,respect Edgar??..dont even use your tongue or type any word ..before you do it TD is creating new paths ..new Crane's Passages..hey zz ..The unknown is the truth..hey zz Julies eyes?..hey zz Ashes to Ashes?..SEAN..Tangerine Dream separates superflous from truth..taht impercepteble fine veil that makes you write comments and dare you to say "if that works better to you "..alligne your self to the unknown zz and you will accept truth..Tangerine Dream..jajajaj SEANNNNN

  11. Synthhead..its hard to imagine because your imagination is not making you possible to reach your imagination..take the synth from your head and maybe you will understand what Musical Master Froese is trying to help you. with Art…SEAN

  12. Torley..TAngerine Dream is exquisite..dont look for sources ..Dream mixes V entire Jeromes work?..and ??..entire TAngerine work with entire Jerome work ..jajaja…If EDGAR did not had his son Jerome ..Jerome couldnt do it..and if Edgar didnt had TAngerine Dream?..whats first the egg or the chiken..the chiken or the egg..
    I think that every comment is reluctant to an aproach that every person wants wit TD..they are untochable..you can meassure velocity and position at the same time..when you comment they are far far far away..but your comments although are EDUCATED..you comment like opened to earn more..thats kool..but TD is an expression of you..keep knowing you and aplausses to Edgar and his ART..he is an ARTIST and always searching for TRUTH..byeee SEAN

  13. Rob ..thats your problem if it talks and walks like a duck..wel its a duck..
    your imagination as well it seems..
    Boring?..you are bored..
    Rob you have along long long long long way to go…
    Sean..UNDENIABLY..jajajaj

  14. nOw you KNOW where to look for answers…in sEAN's rEAR. hIs tangErine is tHere… bauMANN stole the soul of Tangerine DReam………after crosSING th e phaedra and heading to the STRATOSFEAR. . Though you think you KNOW, you oNly KNOW that YOU THINK. lols flancher

  15. I kind of understand him, Jarre once said ‘it’s the instruments that are electronic not the music’. I suppose it’s just an easy label to slap on and cover all, but you have to admit there are many wonderfully different styles around.
    I started with a desktop PC 7 years ago and now use an iPad, so I’m probably classed as computer/ipad musician. When I create compositions with them they are only my tools of expression.

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