Another year has come to an end. While 2015 was full of life in so many vivid ways — creatively, intensely, and tragically — it also presented its own set of challenges and obstacles to overcome in the new year. And as a year also brings, we also lost many shining figures in the music world, among other fields.
Here’s a look of some of those figures who touched our lives and will continue to do so always as we remember some of the key people in music, people who are legends, pioneers, luminaries, inspirations, and above all, timeless.
Edgar Froese, who helped pioneer what was to be known as Kraut Rock, which utilized rock elements with electronic sounds, most notably in Tangerine Dream, died on January 20, 2015, of a pulmonary embolism. The musician was in Vienna, Austria, when he died suddenly, according to a post on the Tangerine Dream Facebook page. He was 70.
Starting in 1967, Tangerine Dream was one of the most prolific and versatile bands that ever existed. With Froese as the only constant member through over 100 albums — many which used high amounts of synthesizers most notably the Moog, which had been dabbled with by various artists prior (The Monkees, Wendy Carlos) — Tangerine Dream became one of the leaders of the aforementioned Kraut Rock genre, and they shared success side-by-side with other legendary bands of that ilk like Kraftwerk and Can. Under the aegis of Froese, the band found its peak in the mid 1970s, having much success in the UK. Elsewhere, the band was revered in cult circles, something it remains to this day. In fact, the band was a curio at best to a lot of people, and was immortalized in Gonzo critic Lester Bangs’ unforgettable cough syrup-soaked wild bender piece, “I Saw God and Or Tangerine Dream.” In the piece, which originally ran in Creem magazine back in 1973, Bangs waxes while speeding on Robitussin about the visual and aural joys of attending a Tangerine Dream light show.