Wednesday 28 October 2015

Back 2: New Wave

Moving on to other Genres of the era, a little more spread out this time however. The 1980's also saw New Wave burst onto the scene and stick it's synthesized self firmly on the charts, often accompanied by people looking moody at keyboards. You should all know by know that I adore Electroclash in all it's trashy glory, and New Wave contains much of the similar formula so it should come as no surprise I have a soft spot for it too. Let's have a look.

Patrick Nagel - 1310

A lot of this stuff is what kicked off my interest in all things electronic (not the first though, that honour goes to Autobahn). Among the earliest I can cite is The Human League. The eventual influence on Electroclash is most clearly seen here on the lyrics, I could easily see Miss Kittin & The Hacker giving this one a crack at some point. You've probably already heard this one a fair few times, and it's not aged well in parts for sure, but I do remember being mesmerised by the opening bars and the equally weird music video.

On the flipside, I think Blue Monday still holds up today very well. It's more than earned it's place in electronic music history but every time it comes up I am always surprised just how modern it sounds. Every single time I fall in love with it, from the instrumentation down to the stoic, disconnected lyrics. Granted, this isn't the original release from '83 (but it's the one I have to hand) so there are minor differences there, but it's largely the same.

Moving away from New Wave / Synthpop slightly to cover some Italo-Disco. Italo is very much a product of it's era, and there are more than a few tracks that are straight up bad by today's standards, but it's still a very important milestone in electronic music history that has influences to this day. For example, eagle eared listeners may recognise this as the sample on both Washed Out's Feel It All Around and Miss Kittin & The Hacker's The Beach.

There's plenty more I wanted to cover here but I think I've gone on enough here, and I would like to save some ammo for whenever I decide to resurrect this idea once again in future!

-Claude Van Foxbat

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