Even Baumann is skeptical. The original band’s success, in his view, was less about genius than serendipitous timing. “You can’t really recreate what happened in the ’70s,” he said. “You don’t have the same kind of instruments, you don’t have the audience, you don’t have the atmosphere, you don’t have the cultural environment.
“There’s nothing wrong with a cover,” Baumann added. “But it’s not the original, you know?”
Quaeschning has heard it all before, even in response to projects led by Froese, like a cantata trilogy based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” In the 2000s, Froese himself recorded new versions of several Tangerine Dream albums, including “Phaedra,” “Tangram” and “Hyperborea.”
“I’m used to people saying, ‘This is not Tangerine Dream,’” he said, laughing. “But what is Tangerine Dream?” Anyone hearing “Electronic Meditation,” the group’s clangorous 1970 debut, then “Phaedra,” its sequencer-driven 1974 landmark, and “Optical Race,” a slick digital release from 1988, would find it hard to reconcile the differences, he said.
“It’s hard to spot the Tangerine Dream sound from a distance,” Quaeschning said, “but the feeling and the concept were always there. And it feels quite right at this moment.”
“Quantum Gate,” released in 2017, and “Raum,” its 2022 follow-up, sound very much like Tangerine Dream, and not just because material by Froese was used. “The idea was going back to everything Edgar had done with Tangerine Dream in the ’70s and ’80s,” Quaeschning said, “with contemporary sound design and the idea that everyone has a role in the band, like an orchestra.”