Thursday, June 06, 2019

"The Keep" You Accompany: Edgar Froese 75

There's like a million big birthdays on June 6th, but forgive me in advance for selecting someone I've covered before to commemorate a big milestone he never lived to reach.
I just tributed his old bandmate Christopher Franke a couple of months ago, but something's come up that needs to get around so I'm revisiting that territory today.
Really there's no need for introduction. The bottom line is that 45 years ago the equipment didn't exist to do what our birthday lad had in mind.
So he conscripted some friends, and through the Art Of German Engineering, they created the first arpeggiating sequencers: the machines that form the basis of almost all electronic music and EDM today.
The group of which he was a central, founding part of began to integrate these machines into the mostly keyboard-driven concert improvisations for which they became famous. He was named Edgar Froese, and they were called Tangerine Dream.
Then, in around 1977, they began to score films, and the rest is history. They scored a few memorable ones and became even more in-demand when Tom Cruise was seen fucking the stuffing out of Rebecca DeMornay on a subway train -- to the otherworldly sounds of those bubbling sequencers -- in the 1981 megahit Risky Business.
Legend has it that the director Michael Mann saw their London concert in November of 1982, just as they were premiering their Logos masterwork onstage.
He called dibs on several pieces, causing them to set those tracks aside and leave them off the subsequent Logos live LP, to work on for the trippy, ultra-gothic horror flick Mann had in mind.
That's where the fun really started, I'm afraid. Budgets were exceeded, and then surpassed again. Scripts were torn up. Studio execs looked up from ample piles of good Eighties cocaine to remonstrate angrily. The director dithered over details whilst the production kind of fell apart.
The film almost didn't get made, and the version that did come out fell pretty much flat. But the music took on a life of its own.
As the story goes, no soundtrack LP was ever released -- save for a promo LP from 1984 that is the stuff of urban legend -- but over the years music from the movie leaked out into the trading community and became highly prized.
One of these tapes was purported to have been smuggled out of the editing suite in which Mann was cutting the film, onto a cassette that became generated down through the years as it was copied and copied again.
An nth generation copy was eventually cleaned and released as part of the band-sanctioned "official bootleg" series that started surfacing in 2004.
Fast forward to this Spring, when a much lower gen tape of said cassette came ashore through the mists of time, prompting the folks who created the original series to remaster it to replace the old, generated volume that circulates.
This revised edition of Tangerine Tree #54 is here today, hot off the presses and I'm proud to be the first blog to share it, accompanied by the only circulating full Logos concert from Berlin -- given a week after the London one -- that also features as Tangerine Tree #61, and whose music forms the basis of so much of the incredible soundtrack to The Keep.
Tangerine Dream
Tangerine Tree 54+61

Internationales Congress Centrum 
Berlin, Germany

01 Logos Part I
02 Heritage Survival
03 Mirage
04 Sign In the Dark
05 The Night In Romania
06 Dreamscape
07 Choronzon
08 Tangent (excerpt)
09 Mojave Plan
10 Logos Part II
11 Logos Part III
12 Logos Part IV
13 Logos Part V
14 Logos Part VI
15 Logos Part VII

Total time: 1:28:22
disc break goes after Track 08

Edgar Froese - synthesizers, sequencers, vocoder, guitars & electronics
Christopher Franke - synthesizers, sequencers & electronics
Johannes Schmoelling - synthesizers, sequencers, drum computer & electronics

1st gen soundboard cassette, remastered by (Side Effects) as #61 in the Tangerine Tree series
The Keep: An Alternate View
Revised and updated edition, May 2019

01 Stormbringer (Main Title)
02 Dinu Pass
03 Release
04 Awakening
05 Black Soldiers
06 Reunion (Cuza's Theme)
07 Gloria
08 Incarnation (Molasar's Theme)
09 Betrayal
10 Glaeken's Death
11 Talisman
12 The Final Conflict
13 The Evil Within
14 Fisherman's Morning
15 Walking In the Air (End Titles)
16 The Journey - 'The Keep' Main Title (bonus track excerpted from "The Keep Cues" promo CD)

Total time: 1:19:58

Edgar Froese - synthesizers, sequencers, vocoder, guitars & electronics
Christopher Franke - synthesizers, sequencers & electronics
Johannes Schmoelling - synthesizers, sequencers, drum computer & electronics
with unidentified orchestral elements and boy soprano

newly unearthed lower gen (possibly 1st gen) cassette of the material used to make Tangerine Tree #54, remastered May 2019 by Morgan Feldon;
bonus track added by EN, June 2019

both sets zipped together
This music is so eternally beautiful and beloved that there's even a cover of it, improvised live and recorded for this amazing record you should go purchase right this minute, because you're not just a virtue signaler and you really do support great indie bands and artists.
I'll be back on Saturday with the last post before #500 -- yes, he's almost to 500, folks -- but never forget Edgar Froese, born this day in 1944 and author of some pretty astonishing sounds... and, maybe more significantly, a primary instigator of the technological breakthoughs that often make such sounds possible.--J.
6.6.1944 - 1.20.2015