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Music / Tangerine Dream

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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.


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:

Tropes associated with this band include:

  • 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, the album is seen by many as an early example of the dark ambient subgenre.
  • Epic Rocking: Especially common on their early albums. For just one example, the title track from Phaedra is well over 17 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.
  • Pop-Star Composer: In addition to the above-mentioned films and GTA5, they also scored the television series Street Hawk and two episodes of Tatort.
  • 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.

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