On This Day (September 26)…’Epsilon in Malaysian Pale’ is Released

I loved doing Epsilon, because it was so simple, just took three days. I played it right away with the mellotron, no tricks, no effects, just played what I felt.

Edgar Froese about the creation of Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. From a 1986 interview. Retrieved from here.

Edgar Froese released Epsilon in Malaysian Pale on this day in 1975.

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Album cover by Monique Froese. Retrieved from here.

Early in 1975, Froese journeyed to Australia with Tangerine Dream to undertake their first major tour outside of Europe. While there, Froese got a chance to visit Malaysia as well. These experiences gave him a great deal of inspiration for a second solo album. This album was created after he returned to Germany and had a chance to put his impressions of the trip into musical form.

The album consists of two long pieces of music. The first piece, the album’s title track, was based on a walk in a Malaysian jungle. The second piece, “Maroubra Bay”, was based on a place in Australia, Maroubra. The name apparently comes from an aboriginal word meaning “place of thunder”. It is a suburb of Sydney, which Tangerine Dream performed at early in their Australian Tour. During that time, Froese visited Maroubra itself.

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View from Maroubra Beach in 2006. Retrieved from here.

Froese created and performed all the music on the album. Mellotrons dominate the sound, though he apparently used a great deal of synthesizer and even some modified organs as well. Just a few days after the album was released, Tangerine Dream began their 1975 UK Tour.

While I have been unable to find any evidence that the album had any major commercial success, it helped inspire other artists. Notably, David Bowie cited it as a great inspiration during his own time in Berlin. While composing Low, Heroes, and Lodger, he listened to this and other similar albums a great deal, inspiring his sound. These days, the album is held in high regard by fans, scoring high on such sites as Progarchives and Allmusic.

If you’re not already familiar with Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, today’s as good a day as any to listen to it for the first time. Or, like me, for the fiftieth time!

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