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Berlin band Tangerine Dream is coming to Metro in Chicago


“Fun fact: all three of us are only children,” says composer and keyboardist Paul Frick. “But that’s probably not why we gel. I think it’s because we all have the ability to introspect. “We are capable of making music together for a long time without getting bored.”

Frick is the newest member of Tangerine Dream, a synth-mad Berlin trio with a surprising capacity for renewal. Three years ago, he was baptized into the congregation, joining Thorsten Quaeschning (the most senior in the group) and Hoshiko Yamane (an Osaka-born violinist). None of them were involved in Tangerine’s founding, but it seemed they would rather die than betray the group’s morality. “Raum” is their first album featuring Frick. It came out in February 2022, but “Raum” is, in a sense, an old Tangerine Dream. experience, an adventure outside gravity with all the cosmic monosynth you could want. But the music is also airy, flexible, and more detoxified than ever before. When it comes to this version of Tangerine Dream, only the coolest color palettes will do.

“The goal was always to achieve futurism, to look contemporary,” says Quaeschning. “The idea was never to be a museum or just look at the past. “We always strive in the hope of finding something new.”

The band’s history is not free of flaws, as Quaeschning, 46, can attest. (He joined in the prehistoric days of 2005.) For a while they experimented with the schlocky, “jazzy” hardware of middle-of-the-road rock, a decision that irritated Quaeschning quite a bit: “I’m the saxophone. There’s actually a weird story about that. As a teenager, I was into progressive rock, “I was very interested in classical music and krautrock. I associated the saxophone with Tina Turner (laughs). It was the antithesis of everything I was interested in.”

There were other changes to the band’s live show, including a significant overhaul. If you’ve seen Tangerine Dream in concert, you know partly what to expect: a riot of colors bordering on psychedelic. That’s still true, but the bulky, imposing modular setups that were once synonymous with the Tangerine Dream are gone. Quaeschning says it’s “impractical” to move that much cargo around North America.

In fact, little remains of the group as it was founded during the Froese era. The founder and keystone of the Tangerine Dream—and the only member exempt from constant turmoil—was Edgar Froese, a thick-chinned blonde famous for his expansive ambition and chaste lifestyle. What started as a krautrock band before Berlin’s reunification in the late ’60s soon became a much more extraordinary enterprise. Tangerine Dream maybe the The story of 1970s electronic music is extremely fluid in the world of film scoring, not to mention a highly sought-after commodity. To date, Tangerine Dream has composed or had their music used in dozens of films and TV shows, from “Risky Business” and Michael Mann’s “Thief” to “Stranger Things”. They composed hours of music for the “Grand Theft Auto V” video game.

“Being an instrumental band is beneficial,” Quaeschning says of the band’s film work. “We are used to triggering emotions without words. We are used to being servants of music. Once you get used to playing these 20-minute pieces, it becomes easier to meet the moment.” We can only hope that the group will one day secure an Oscar; They will be the most deserving recipients since Three 6 Mafia.

What do Tangerine Dream and American hip hop group Three 6 Mafia have in common? Both groups were pioneers in their respective fields (electronic, hip hop). Both have undergone numerous lineup changes. Both have deep connections in the film world.

How fitting that Tangerine Dream is featured on Three 6 Mafia’s “Rainbow Colours”; this song casually quotes “Search,” one of a dozen songs Tangerine made for William Friedkin’s geopolitical drama “Sorcerer.” This soundtrack, like everything else in Tangerine Dream, is captivating, gripping and indescribably cool. Take it from us; You won’t be bored.

Tangerine Dream, with Forest Management, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.; tickets $43-$50 (ages 18+) metrochicago.com

MT Richards is a freelance writer.


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