Edgar Froese, the founding member of the German electronic group Tangerine Dream, has died in Vienna, aged 70.

Froese died unexpectedly on Friday after a pulmonary embolism, his son, Jerome, said.

Edgar Froese

Tangerine Dream’s psychedelic and trance-like use of synthesiser sound was a significant influence on the development of electronic music.

Froese was born on D-Day – 6 June, 1944 – in Tilsit in East Prussia, now the Russian city of Sovetsk.
Froese’s father and other relatives were killed by the Nazis and the family lost all their belongings in the war.
His mother and the rest of his family settled in West Berlin, where he studied art.

Froese formed Tangerine Dream in Berlin in September 1967 with fellow students.
The band was known for its uncompromising anti-pop performances and played at the villa of surrealist artist Salvador Dali in Spain.

The group later signed to Virgin after Froese had undertaken “several bouts of chess on Richard Branson‘s houseboat on the Thames”. The resultant album, Phaedra, in 1974 was considered a key work in the early electronic genre, with its sequencer-driven sound. The album reached No 15 in the UK charts although it sold only a few thousand copies in Germany.

Froese was a prolific artist, and from 2003 onwards created solo work under the name Edgar W Froese.

The note on the band’s website said:

Dear Friends,

This is a message to you we are deeply sorry for…
On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna. The sadness in our hearts is immensely.

Edgar once said: “There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.”

Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.

Froese founded Tangerine Dream in 1967, and remained the band’s only constant member through their long existence. They released dozens of studio albums and composed the soundtrack for movies such as Firestarter and possibly their greatest soundtrack, Scorcerer (William Friedkin’s version of Wages Of Fear.) Tangerine Dream were influential in developing the sounds of Krautrock, ambient, and electronic dance music.

Most recently, Froese collaborated on the score of Grand Theft Auto 5 for Rockstar games even performing the soundtrack as a live concert.