VR 13-111 Aqua
Produced by Edgar Froese
Released on 1974
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
VR 13-111 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

L ong before Underwater Sunlight reached our ears, Edgar Froese went on an aquatic excursion of his own, the first of several ‘70s solo albums from the primary brain behind Tangerine Dream. Aqua is as much sound as music, designed (with the benefit of an “artifical head system” developed by Gunther Brushcen) to be experienced on headphones. In such a setting (which I haven’t tried since the days of the Stax electrostatic ear speakers), it’s easy to imagine the listener fully immersed in Froese’s waterworld. If electronic meditation is your bag and Klaus Schulze your green grocer, Aqua might be what you’re thirsting after. What occur here are soundscapes and linear journeys that suggest Tangerine Dream on a more intimate scale. Rather than three voices telling you what to watch out the window, there’s only Froese’s voice (although Chris Franke does add moog sounds on the tunneling “NGC 891”). The result may strike some as unambitious, creating individual worlds of sound rather than Phaedra’s universe. At least that’s how I felt when I used to hear this. Cluster’s “Grosses Wasser” seemed the grander water portrait, Peter Baumann’s Romance ’76 the louder declaration of independence. But Aqua didn’t need to make a big statement; after all, Froese had Tangerine Dream for that. Instead, the composer explores some avenues he might have entertained along the way, from an electronic interpretation of nature (“Aqua”) to experiments in King Crimson’s contained energy (“Panorphelia”). Phaedra and Rubycon are the better albums, but Aqua could otherwise be seen as an introsopective cousin to those works. If their later albums (White Eagle et cetera) didn’t float your boat, a return to Aqua may be in order. Also recommeneded to anyone who was tickled pink over Meddle’s “Echoes.”

VR 13-111 inner gatefold VR 13-111 back cover
VR 13-111 inner gatefold VR 13-111 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. AQUA    16:58
  2. PANORPHELIA    9:38
  3. NGC 891    14:50
  4. UPLAND    6:31

    All songs written by Edgar Froese

CREDITS

EDGAR FROESE -- instruments
Chris Franke -- Moog sounds (3)
Gunther Brushcen -- artificial head system
Monique Froese -- cover design and photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
GER 1974 Brain LP 1053 gatefold laminated cover
UK 1974 Virgin LP V2016 gatefold cover
US 1974 Virgin LP VR 13-111 gatefold cover
JPN   Virgin LP YX-7015-VR insert
UK   Virgin LP OVED20 gatefold cover
NET 1988 Virgin CD 87214  
UK   Virgin CD CDV 2016  
US 1990/2 Caroline CD CAROL 1624  
  October 1994 Caroline 3CD CAROL 1763 repackaged w. BLACKOUT + TIMEWIND

 

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