[Review] Edgar Froese: Stuntman (1979)

A musical, melodic and slightly more streamlined vision of Tangerine Dream’s electronic music at the time.

Kronomyth 6.0: The adventures of Helmet Zimo.

I’m in one of my “Edgar Froese is a musical genius” moods, so you’ll have to forgive me. Yesterday I was in a “Fluorescent light bulbs are a work of genius” mood. (So many geniuses, so little time.) My fancy for Froese didn’t spark out of the blue, but from listening to Stuntman for several weeks now. And I’ve come to the conclusion (or crept up on the conclusion and am now poking it with a stick to test its consistency) that Stuntman is a work of natural music genius.

Now you noticed the “natural,” didn’t you? That’s my way of saying that Stuntman doesn’t try any new tricks. New songs, sure, but they flow from the same creative spring that fed Force Majeure and Tangram. Like Aqua before it, Stuntman is an extension of his musical art at the moment rather than a departure from it. So I listen to a “Stuntman” or “Drunken Mozart in the Desert” and it’s like sneaking into the museum basement at night or hopping a fence to find a walled garden (or like buying a compact disc for fifteen bucks and sitting on my butt and listening to it, if I really wanted to embellish).

As much as I like Phaedra and Rubycon, they were a little static (I thought). Beginning with Stratosfear, the band began to paint with smaller strokes and more color. Stuntman is Edgar Froese with a full paint box, a brush in each hand, replicating (with perhaps a bit less precision) the music of Force Majeure and Tangram. These songs are more than sketches from the same creative period, they’re finished paintings. And the more I listen to it, the more I see the genius in its handiwork: the sounds, the melodies, the mastery of mood, the cold nurturing bosom of analog synth wrapped tight around its electronic soul like a, well, like a fluorescent bulb.

Original LP Version

A1. Stuntman (4:13)
A2. It Would Be Like Samoa (10:40)
A3. Detroit Snackbar Dreamer (6:26)
B1. Drunken Mozart In The Desert (9:55)
B2. A Dali-esque Sleep Fuse (8:26)
B3. Scarlet Score For Mescalero (4:12)

All titles written by Edgar Froese.

The Players

Edgar Froese (electric analog and digital equipment, grand piano). Produced, engineered and mixed by Edgar Froese; mix engineered by Eduard Meyer.

The Pictures

Sleeve photographs by Monique Froese.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in 1979 in Germany (Virgin, 201 036), the UK (Virgin, V2139), the US (Virgin International, VI 2139) and France (Virgin, 2933 789) with picture sleeve in some regions.

  1. Re-issued on elpee in 1984 in the UK (Virgin, OVED21).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in the UK (Virgin, CDV 2139) and the US (Caroline, CAROL 1628).
  3. Re-released on remastered compact disc in 2005 in Germany (Eastgate).
  4. Re-issued on remastered compact disc on April 25, 2006 in the US (United States of Distribution, 726) with a different cover.

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