Edgar Froese

Ambient: Aqua/Blackouts/Timewind

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In 1994, Caroline Records, a division of Virgin Records, released the Ambient three-pack. It is actually three reissues of classic Berlin school e-music and not really ambient at all -- at least not by Brian Eno's definition. The reissues are Aqua by Edgar Froese, Blackouts by Ashra, and Timewind by Klaus Schulze. Each disc is an absolute timeless classic in its own right; having all three as a set is a phenomenal find. Froese signed a recording contract with Virgin while Tangerine Dream was just beginning to prosper. He did so merely to help finance the expensive equipment that he and the band needed to create this cutting-edge music. It is right on the forefront of new developments. Aqua, from 1974, is not a whole heck of a lot different than TD's music of that era. That is a good thing, because it is excellent. Ashra evolved from Ash Ra Tempel, an ensemble featuring Schulze and Manuel Göttsching, among others. When Schulze left, Göttsching shortened the name. Blackouts is essentially a solo album by Göttsching. It is an e-music classic with lots of dense sequences and electronic riffs. There are, in all likelihood, hundreds of e-music fans who recognize Schulze's Timewind as the album that introduced them to the genre. It is quite remarkable and, for vinyl days, quite long (just short of 59 minutes). It features two long compositions, and Schulze dedicates it to Richard Wagner. Each of these analog gems is a classic in and of itself. The three albums recall the best efforts of Pink Floyd, Wendy Carlos, Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, and T.O.N.T.O.'s Expanding Head Band.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 17:00
2 9:41
3 14:01
4 6:41

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:52
2 28:29
blue highlight denotes track pick