Sunday, November 2, 2008

SynthPop 101: Children of Kraftwerk

It's a bit unusual for a blog called Rock Revival to have a look at SynthPop but we are really open to any type of music in the history of rock and this has certainly been hugely popular.

Synthpop is essentially a subgenre of New Wave, defined by it's heavy use of synthesised sound

The first band to really use synthesisers was probably the Beach Boys but the Fathers of the real synthesiser sound has to be the krautrock of Kraftwerk, a band that in 1970 predicted synth-pop, techno, electronica and even hip-hop.

After them Jean-Michel Jarre is probably the earliest popular artists (1968),son folllowed by Brian Eno, Bruce Haack, Hot Butter, Ralph Lundsten, Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis.

The true boom in synthesiser music, however, came from the UK in the late 70's. Gary Numan, Ultravox, OMD and Human League took the lead from Kraftwerk, followed by Depeche Mode, Yazoo, the Eurythmics, and thousands more.

By 1984 synth pop was dying, the synthesiser was picked up by Eurodisco, evolving most unfortunately into Stock/Aitken/Waterman. This production team essentially stripped synth-pop of it's art school roots creating some of the worst 'music' that the world has ever heard, including Rick Astley, Kylie and Bananarama

Nowadays there is a massive revival of synth pop that takes the genre back to the quality of the early 80's ; The Postal Service, The Bravery, Datarock, The Presets, etc.

and the Presets (great aussie band)

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