The story of Tangerine Dream is essentially the story of the late Edgar Froese. At the beginning of the 60s, Edgar Froese was studying art in Berlin. He made the acquaintance of Salvador Dali, and in 1967 he took up the latter’s invitation to visit Dali’s villa, where he gave a number of private concerts.
In the same year he recorded the single “Lady Green Grass”, with his band at the time, The Ones, for the Star Club label in Hamburg. Following this, he eventually formed Tangerine Dream at the end of 1967. In various formations, the band played several important festivals, including the “Essener Songtage” in 1968. In 1969, Edgar met Klaus Schulze, who was playing drums for the group Psy Free at the time.
Klaus Schulze had a talent for expressing experimental music through his drumming. The trio was completed by Conrad Schnitzler, who was a student of the performance artist Joseph Beuys. It was this formation that recorded the first album, “Electronic Meditation”, which was more or less accidentally released on Rolf Ulrich Kaiser’s ‘Ohr’ label, and which was in fact recorded with virtually no use of electronic instruments. At the end of 1970, Klaus Schulze joined Ash Ra Tempel, only to depart again shortly afterwards.
Conrad Schnitzler also left Tangerine Dream to form Kluster (later called Cluster).They were replaced by Christoph Franke from Agitation Free, and by Steve Schroyder. Together, the trio recorded the single “Ultima Thule” and the album “Alpha Centauri”.
The phrase “cosmic music” was being used, long before this attribute became a label for Rolf Ulrich Kaiser’s later musical catalogue. Steve Schroyder was replaced by Peter Baumann, and there followed a consistent, successful line-up that continued for many years. In 1972, the double album “Zeit” (“Time”) saw the first intensive use of the synthesiser, and it established the group’s reputation in neighbouring countries. The third album “Atem” (“Breath”) was picked up by John Peel, and in 1974 “Phaedra” finally brought the international breakthrough.