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by Edgar Froese

- Studio, released June 1974 -


LP release Germany 1974
Design: Monique Froese

CD release UK 1987
Design: Monique Froese

Promo-LP release France 1974

CD release Germany 2005
Artwork: Edgar Froese

Download release 2007
Artwork: Edgar Froese

CD release Japan 2009
Artwork: Edgar Froese


1.Aqua 17:01
2.Panorphelia 9:41
3.NGC 891 13:52
4.Upland 6:42
Total running time47:16
1.NGC 891 13:50
2.Upland [Different Mix]6:10
3.Aqua 17:00
4.Panorphelia [Different Mix]9:25
Total running time46:25
1.Aqua [2005 remix]16:55
2.Panorphelia [2005 remix]7:57
3.NGC 891 [2005 remix]9:13
4.Upland 6:35
5.Upland Dawn [2003 remix]4:15
Total running time44:55


Recording dateNovember 1973 - March 1974
Recording site(s)Berlin
Recording engineer(s)Edgar Froese
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke
Musician(s)Edgar Froese


While many band members of Tangerine Dream started a successful solo career after they had left the band (Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Peter Baumann, Johannes Schmoelling, Chris Franke or Paul Haslinger, only to name a few), TD's founder Edgar Froese launched his solo career in that year TD got their contract with the British record label Virgin. His debut album Aqua was recorded in winter 1973/1974 in Berlin at the same time TD's Virgin debut Phaedra was recorded in England. The reason for Edgar Froese to produce an album on his own was the need of additional financial support. It allowed TD to develop their custom-built equipment. According to Edgar Froese, his advance was immediately invested in the acquisition and development of the then unknown sequencers and modular synthesisers. The water that can be heard on the title track is the water tube in his apartment.


Edgar Froese used an Artificial Head System (a replica of a human head fitted with condenser microphones, built by AKG and Sennheiser) for recording noises, especially those of airplanes approaching the Berlin airport. Unfortunately the resulting three-dimensional effect could be reproduced adequately only with headphones but not through two speakers. Thus this experiment was not continued on later recordings by Edgar Froese or Tangerine Dream.


From 30 Years Of Dreaming

Shortly after the recording of Phaedra, Edgar Froese began to work on his first solo-project -- Aqua. This album was recorded between November 1973 and March 1974 and it was released on both Brain and Virgin Records by the end of 1974.

On Aqua, Edgar Froese did some experiments with artificial stereo as one of the pioneers in this field of recording; two microphones were put inside the ears of an artificial head and were supposed to hear -- and record -- as a human being would hear things. One side of the album is recorded with this new technique, which should help improve the stereo image and make a more realistic 3D-sound.

Froese was not completely alone on Aqua; Chris Franke made some of the sounds on a Moog synthesizer, which was an instrument he was beginning to master quite competently. Chris Franke had spent hours and hours trying to figure out how this vast machine worked and along the way he discovered how it could be used to create different rhythm patterns sequences which was his trademark.

© 1999 by Kent Eskildsen


The album was originally released in two different versions, one by Brain Records in Germany, and the other by Virgin Records in the rest of the world:
  • The track order for both these was different (by exchanging side a of the record with side b).
  • Two tracks (Panorphelia and Upland) were mixed differently.
  • The background image of the cover was rotated by 180 degrees (thus, the front cover of the Brain release uses the upside-down back-cover of the Virgin release and vice-versa).
The reason behind these differences is unknown.


Aqua has also been issued in a special French version, called Aqua II, to promote the release of the CMC 440 multiterminal system.




The album was released on CD in 1987. Later the CD was also released as part of a 3 CD box set called Ambient, together with the albums Timewind by Klaus Schulze and Blackouts by Ashra.


In 2012 the original album was re-released as part of the compilation box Solo (1974-1983) - The Virgin Years, which was carefully remastered and provides an excellent sound quality (probably much better than the original release).


The 2005 Re-Recording


In April 2005 a reworked version of this album has been released by Edgar Froese. All tracks from the original album have been more or less 'tangentized', that is, remixed and partially re-recorded in a similar way like on Beyond The Storm and the Ambient Highway series. Especially the title track is underlayed with modern sounding rhythm and bass sequences, which completely change the mood of this composition in an interesting way. While the composition Upland seems to be the untouched version of the original release, the heavily reworked version of this track, as known from Beyond The Storm and Ambient Highway Vol. 4 (retitled Bourbon Street Parade on the latter) re-appears as kind of bonus track, now titled Upland Dawn. Anyway, like with similar reworkings Edgar Froese has done before, it is left to the subjective opinion of the listener whether he prefers the original or the new versions. Though the inner page of the 2-page insert clearly states that the album contains new recordings, the fact that this CD does not feature the original versions is not recognizable from the outside.


Like on all releases since 2003, the artist's name now includes his middle initial W. on the cover and in the credits. The early cover previews of the forthcoming 2005 re-releases used an identical style of artwork, featuring the same typeface and the reduced original artwork (or an excerpt of it) in a monochrome, wide frame, which made these re-releases some kind of a series. Of the final releases only Ages and, to a certain degree, Epsilon In Malaysian Pale used this artwork style. The re-release of Aqua now features a completely new design using artwork by Edgar Froese instead of the original photo by his wife Monika.


The Aqua Zoom-O-Graphic

The front cover artwork of the 2005 re-release is based on an excerpt of a Zoom-O-Graphic by Edgar Froese, titled The Mechanical Side Of Love. Notably, the very same Zoom-O-Graphic was reused a few months later for the Tangerine Dream release Jeanne d'Arc.


The order number is neither printed on the package nor the CD, but the number given below is the order number the Eastgate Music Shop lists this release. Copies sold in the UK have been found with an additional barcode sticker showing the TDP number listed below.


The Eastgate Music Shop about the 2005 CD release"Edgar's first solo trip into the wide and open landscape of sounds. Back in 1974 when this record was released for the first time, no 24 multitrack machines did exist. With the money Edgar earned with Tangerine Dream, he bought himself a couple of Revox 1/4 inch tape machines to record this music under very adventurous circumstances. Edgar said during his first press conference as a solo artist, it might have been the first 'bed and bathroom' recording ever done. The water you can hear is the water tube in his apartment. The airplane had been recorded with a so-called artificial head system hanging out of the apartments window when planes were approaching the Berlin airport. Today it is a classic within the field of chilly ambient music."


In January 2007 this release became available as MP3 download at the Tangerine Dream Download Shop.


In June 2009 the 2005 re-recording of Aqua was re-released in Japan as part of a series of HiQualityCDs with mini LP paper sleeves featuring a slightly changed cover artwork, changing the album title to Aqua 2005 and leaving out Edgar Froese's middle initial again.


1974: Virgin
LP [a]: L 35247; multi-coloured labels, foc
1975: Virgin/SOM
Promo-LP [a]: VRLP 11993; multi-coloured labels with sticker
LP [a]: VRLP 11993; multi-coloured labels
1974: Virgin/CPF
LP [a]: 840 041; multi-coloured labels
1974: Virgin/Polydor/CMC
Promo-LP [a]: 2812 022; blue labels, cardboard box
1974: Virgin/Polydor
LP [a]: 2933 725; green labels, foc
1974: Brain/Metronome
LP [b]: 1053; green labels
LP [b]: 1053; black labels
1976: Brain/Metronome
LP [b]: 0001.053; yellow labels
1981: Brain/Metronome
LP [b]: 0060.404; black labels; front cover with imprint "1st Brain Recordings"
1987: Virgin/Ariola
CD [a]: 258 447; identical to UK version; sticker with German number on jewel case
1993: Virgin
CD [a]: 787 214-2
2005: Eastgate
CD [c]: eastgate 004 CD; red/white disc; matrix code: 49004
2007: Eastgate
Download [c]: complete release or individual tracks as MP3
1974: Virgin/Dischi/Orrizonte
LP [a]: ORL 8368; red/green labels
1974: Virgin/Dischi
LP [a]: VIL 12016; multi-coloured labels, foc
1975: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
Promo-LP [a]: YX-7015-VR; multi-coloured promo labels, foc
LP [a]: YX-7015-VR; multi-coloured labels, foc
1978: Virgin
Promo-LP [a]: VIP-6921; white promo labels, foc
LP [a]: VIP-6921; green labels, foc
1990: Virgin
CD [a]: VJCP-23045
2009: WHD Entertainment
HQCD [c]: IECP-10183; cardboard sleeve, obi; limited edition
Promo-HQCD [c]: IECP-10183; same as regular release, but with additional red promo sticker
1974: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 88 861-I; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: 88 861-I; red/green labels, foc
1974: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2016; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2016; green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: OVED 20; red/green labels, foc
1987: Virgin
CD [a]: CDV 2016
1974: Virgin
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-111; multi-coloured labels, foc with sticker
LP [a]: VR 13-111; multi-coloured labels, foc
1987: Caroline
CD [a]: CAROL CD 1624
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