Cosmic Shock: The passing of Edgar Froese & Demis Roussos

Written by

Although both legendary artists deserve their individual respective eulogies via post, there is a timely and sadly poetic charge their passing, so I felt it compelled to remember their respective legacies in tandem.

I mean no disrespect by it, it’s just so sad and weird to lose both Tangerine Dream‘s Edgar Froese and Greek superstar Demis Roussos (also of Aphrodite’s Child) within days of each other.

In revisiting their respective musical output I was immediately struck by how artists like Froese and Roussos are not only unique by virtue of their astonishing output, but also how they are both iconic of an era in musical history in which looks and accessibility were not pre-requisite for fame.

It’s not to say they were “unattractive” men.

But in their time, stars were measured by versimilitude, actual musical virtuosity and ingenuity. In their time, clarity of vision and intention were the sterner stuff legends were made of.

As the brainchild behind Tangerine Dream, Froese ushered in a transition from Krautrock to Kosmische Musik, thus changing the landscape of psychedelia.

His work laid the foundation for expansive Ambient excursions and minimalist New Age questing as pop music. Where peers Kraftwerk laid the groundwork for Techno, Tangerine Dream was creating 90s “IDM” and reinventing the film score. Froese’s cooly emotive style has an inherently cinematic feel that lead to Tangerine Dream‘s work becoming the stuff of now legendary film soundtracks in the 70s and 80s. Decades before that notion was fashionable.

Roussos took World Music-y, Folky pastoral sounds and made dreamy European Soft Rock.

His tracks, like his voice, had grit but also had a blissfully romantic catch that lead to his “I Dig You” to be turned into both undeniable Disco fire AND early Euro New Wave.

Additionally, his super wavy Prog project with Vangelis, Aphrodite’s Child made gloriously devastating stuff.

The Four Horsemen is a shattering, perfect apocalpytic trip as pop. If you like Beck‘s “Chemtrails,” know that it simply could not exist if not for that song.

Both Froese and Roussos were pioneers. Strange men of vision and passion, unfettered by space and time. Cosmic cowboys exploring the sonic landscapes that future generations would build their cities on.

Do right and honor and explore their legacies and never forget them.