Esoteric recordings are pleased to begin their series of Tangerine Dream reissues with a two CD anthology covering the best of the legendary experimentalists material originally released in Germany on the OHR label between 1970 and 1973.
Tangerine dream was formed in Berlin in September 1967 by Edgar Froese. Froese had been a member of German beat group The Ones since 1965 and had played guitar for the band on live dates in Germany, France and Spain. In 1967 with the birth of psychedelia, Froese steered the ones in this new direction, releasing the single Lady Greengrass that year.
However, a desire to explore new musical directions led to Edgar forming the first line-up of Tangerine Dream later that year. He had met surrealist artist Salvador Dali whilst in Spain with the ones and wanted to take music down a similar route as Dali had done with his art. Influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd, the early Tangerine Dream was a band based on extended psychedelic improvisations backed by a liquid light show. By 1969 the line-up had stabilised to include Froese, Klaus Schulze on drums and Conrad Schnitzler on cello, electronics sounds and violin. After a performance at the 1969 Essen festival, the trio came under the wing of electronic music composer Thomas Kessler and were guided by his influence to head into a more avant-garde direction. A recording session at Mixed Media Studios in Berlin in October 1969 produced the band s debut album Electronic Meditation. The tapes came to the attention of Ralf Ulrich Kaiser, who was in the throes of launching an underground label, OHR records. Impressed with what he had heard, Kaiser signed Tangerine Dream to his label and released Electronic Meditation in June 1970. Following the release of the album both Schnitzler and Schulze departed the band leaving Froese to assemble a new line up of the band with Chris Franke and Steve Schroyder. Now almost entirely keyboard based, Tangerine Dream developed a sound based on the use of synthesisers and the Farfisa organ, first revealed on their marvellous Alpha Centuari album in 1971.
In Britain, DJ John Peel soon began to promote the band on his influential radio show and the album, along with follow ups Atem and Zeit sold in healthy quantities in Britain as imported titles. In 1973 Tangerine Dream recorded the album Green Desert (not released until many years later) and became one of the first acts to sign to Richard Branson s newly established Virgin label. Tangerine Dream s early recordings (later referred to by fans as the pink years ), would serve as an influence to a whole host of later musicians such as Julian Cope, and this anthology gathers the highlights of this period in the life of the group.
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