Follow TV Tropes


Music / Tangerine Dream

Go To
Tangerine Dream, circa 1981 (l-r: Christopher Franke, Edgar Froese, Johannes Schmoelling)

Tangerine Dream is the name of a German Electronic Music act founded in 1967 by the late Edgar Froese. Over the years, they have undergone numerous lineup changes, with Froese as the only continuous member up until his death in 2015. Among its former members are Christopher Franke, who later went on to compose the soundtrack to Babylon 5, and Klaus Schulze, who left the band in 1972 to pursue a solo career and has since become a prolific and influential artist in his own right. Although the band has released innumerable albums over the course of its long history, they are best known for their film soundtracks as well as collaborating with Oh No and Rockstar familiar Woody Jackson on the original score for Grand Theft Auto V. They published their 86th album in 2022.

Some of their albums:

  • Electronic Meditation (1970)
  • Alpha Centauri (1971)
  • Zeitnote  (1972)
  • Atemnote  (1973)
  • Phaedra (1974)
  • Rubycon (1975)
  • Ricochet (1975)
  • Stratosfear (1976)
  • Encore (1977)
  • Cyclone (1978)
  • Force Majeure (1979)
  • Quichotte AKA Pergamon (1980)
  • Tangram (1980)
  • Exit (1981)
  • White Eagle (1982)
  • Logos Live (1982)
  • Hyperborea (1983)
  • Poland (1984)
  • Le Parc (1985)
  • Tyger (1987)
  • Livemiles (1987)
  • Optical Race (1988)
  • Lily on the Beach (1989)
  • Melrose (1990)
  • Rockoon (1992)
  • Quinoa (1992)
  • Turn of the Tides (1994)
  • Tyranny of Beauty (1995)
  • Ambient Monkeys (1997)
  • Mars Polaris (1997)
  • Tangerine Dream Plays Tangerine Dream (2006)

Some of their film soundtracks:

Thru Metamorphic Tropes:

  • Boléro Effect: Like many graduates of the Berlin School of electronica, they rely heavily on sequencers to produce this effect.
  • Drone of Dread: Most of Zeit sounds like this. Of particular note is "Nebulous Dawn" with its dark, brooding, Alien-like howling sounds. In fact, Zeit is seen by many as an early example of the dark ambient sub-genre.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • Especially common on their early albums. For example, the title track from Phaedra is well over 17 minutes long. Same with all four tracks on Zeit.
    • This is also a regular occurrence with their live performances, where tracks crossing the 40-minute mark aren't uncommon. Klangwald for example, added as a bonus to later releases of Zeit, is combined about 77 minutes long.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: The liner notes on Electronic Meditation list a coffee machine and an Addiator as part of the band's arsenal in addition to manipulated tape recordings of such sounds as broken glass, burning parchment, and dried peas being shaken in a sieve.
  • Instrumentals: The albums Cyclone, Tyger and Madcap's Flaming Duty all feature vocals, but otherwise the majority of their work is instrumental.
  • Long-Runners: Founded in 1967 and still going. Even the death of their only consistent (and founding) member Edgar Froese in 2015 didn't stop them.
  • New Sound Album: Their albums are generally broken up into seven eras by fans. The beginning of each era is typically either a change in band line-up or a change in record labels. They often used the opportunity to modify their sound. For instance, when moving from the Pink Years to the Virgin Years they became a lot more melodic and less ambient.
  • The Place: Pergamon is named for the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, located across the street from where the original concert that formed the basis of the album was held.
  • Pop-Star Composer: In addition to the above-mentioned films and GTA5, they also scored the television series Street Hawk, two episodes of Tatort, and Rabbit Ears Productions' retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Rearrange the Song: They loved doing this, especially on their soundtrack albums. For just one example, "Guido the Killer Pimp" from Risky Business and "Igneous" from Thief are remixes of "Cloudburst Flight" and "Thru Metamorphic Rocks", respectively, from Force Majeure.
  • Shout-Out: "Pilots of the Purple Twilight" from Exit derives its title from a line in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Locksley Hall".
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: After the death of Edgar Fröse in 2015, is Tangerine Dream still the same band as in 1967? If yes, why? If not, why?
  • Ur-Example:
    • Alpha Centauri and especially Zeit are considered the first examples of dark ambient
    • Their 80s output is considered by some to be the first instance of Synthwave.