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TD and Techno's Oedipal Traumas...

(Dream Collector #10, March 1995)

Froese Doesn't Want To Be The "Grandfather" Of A New Movement

When reviewing Tangerine Dream's new releases, for today's media the band's influence onto the Techno scene is getting more and more important. At the same time, Edgar Froese honestly approaches the scene.

For about two decades, TD were the electronic music band and they were mostly to play for a specialized audience. This has changed fundamentally within a few years. Today, a new kind of electronie music -- titled Techno, Ambient, Trance or Chill -- has become music for the masses, while the old sounds of TD, Klaus Schulze, a handful of other originators and legions of imitators still are some kind of art for a minority. Phaedra may have been typical for electronic music 20 years ago; today's musicians who are typical for electronic music are bands like The Orb and Future Sound Of London or DJs like Sven Väth. "Electronic" is no longer the "cosmic music" of the seventies or the sequencer work of the eighties, but computer beats and the soundtrack for "mass-raves".

Even the machine music of a so-called "Generation X" -- which refuses to all kinds of tradition -- does have parents; it "somehow belied Techno's oedipal traumas", the British magazine The Wire stated about TD's influence. After a Generation of Ambient-inclined musicians has weaved the music pioneered by TD into an entire subculture, the British Record Collector called Edgar Froese "a guru for the post-Grunge Generation".

Froese, however, had already foreseen the development of Techno, House and Ambient in the late eighties, he explained in an interview for the British Future Music magazine: "I hate to be confronted with stuff that is close to what we did. It would have been far more preferable if people had done something completely different and left Tangerine Dream for what it is." But this did not happen, and Froese decided to move on to song structures with his own music then to avoid being called the "grandfather" of the new movement. Anyway, he could not prevent this.

Bands like Future Sound Of London have paid continiuos homage to TD in recent years. They sample TD sounds, and the British Q magazine appointed them to be "the Tangerine Dream of the nineties". Froese does not comment this statement, but he regards such bands serious and professional. "Obviously, it is more or less what we tried to do back in the seventies", he said in Record Collector. But: "In fact, it's not my thing right now. I wouldn't do it. But it's interesting to hear what other peopie do with the same philosophy of music". The founder of TD is "interested in what some of the DJs do", he said in The Wire. But he is "astonished that they don't go further than sampling and scratching. They could add so much more."

So, once again, it will obviously be up to Tangerine Dream to go one step further in the development of music...


© 1995 by Christian Horn, Siegfried Lindhorst, Rolf Sonnemann and Peter Stöferle
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