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Electronic music pioneer, Grand Theft Auto 5 composer Edgar Froese dies at 70

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Edgar Froese, the founder of pioneering electronic music band Tangerine Dream and a composer of Grand Theft Auto 5's original score, died on Tuesday. GTA publisher Rockstar Games paid tribute to the musician when news of his passing spread on Friday.

Froese, 70, led Tangerine Dream and directed its distinct instrumental synthesizer sound for more than 40 years. The band is closely associated with the rise of electronica in the 1970s and 1980s. Tangerine Dream's work entered the mainstream with a song for the train sequence of 1983's Risky Business, and an adaptation of an earlier work that became the theme for the 1985 action show Street Hawk.

Froese and Tangerine Dream are credited (along with three others) on the 22-track original score for 2013's Grand Theft Auto 5. Rockstar offered this example of his work for them in tribute.

"A true musical icon, his body of work spanned across six decades," Rockstar said last night. "He was a huge inspiration to us and we are honored to have worked so closely with him on the GTA 5 score."

Froese founded Tangerine Dream in 1967, inspired by psychedlic acts of the 1960s and curious of the capabilities of electronic synthesizers that were entering mainstream music at the time. With an earlier band he performed at the home of Salvador Dali, and met the artist. The encounter shaped Froese's experimental approach to music.

"I feel like the rug has been pulled out," Jack Hotop, the senior voicing manager of KORG USA, told the Los Angeles Times. "It's a great loss to the synthesizer or electronic music community.

"Edgar and Tangerine Dream had a really unique sound that was different from the other bands that were emerging at that point in the timeline," he added.

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