Tangerine Dream Founder Edgar Froese Dead at 70

Edgar Froese
Virginia Turbett/Redferns

Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream photographed in Berlin in 1981. 

Pioneering electronic musician Edgar Froese died Tuesday, according to the remaining members of Tangerine Dream, the immensely influential German band he founded in 1967.

"This is a message to you we are very sorry for," the band wrote on its Facebook page. "On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna. The sadness in our hearts is immensely [sic]. Edgar once said: 'There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.' Edgar, this is a little comfort to us."

Froese founded Tangerine Dream in 1967 Berlin and was the group's most consistent member through a number of lineup changes over the decades.

The band's early albums were an essential part of Germany's burgeoning "Krautrock" genre in the late '60s and early '70s, whcih included Kraftwerk, Neu! and fellow soundtrack-crafters Popul Vuh. Unlike the extremely propulsive music of some of their peers, Tangerine Dream's electronic music was less about mimicking the rhythms of urban landscapes and more about evoking cosmic, space-y landscapes.

1974's Phaedra and 1975's Rubycon were incalculably essential works for the ambient and electronic music scenes. While their studio albums were far from chart-toppers, their unique sonic soundscape captured the attention of The Exorcist director William Friedkin, who tapped them to score his 1977 film Sorcerer.

Hollywood took note, and during the '80s, Tangerine Dream would go on to craft iconic musical scores for Thief and Risky Business, adapting those scores from parts of their 1979 album Force Majeure. In recent years, Tangerine Dream contributed music to the Grand Theft Auto series.