Part 2 of 3 installments. Part 1 here.
***Like the 80’s Never Ended***
Everything ends; nothing ever really ends.
If the wave of electronic music in the 90’s crested, broke and rolled back, every big wave leaves behind its imprint on the shoreline’s altered topography. The music didn’t really vanish; many of its tricks just got absorbed into the mainstream – a lot of subsequent mainstream pop music is far more electronically-produced than not.
So it’s fitting that currents of earlier pop music from the prior swell of electronic avant-garde assimilation in the late 70’s and early 80’s seem to resurface periodically in the new millennium.
For example, this song always makes me think of Berlin’s “The Metro”:
Ladytron – International Dateline
So-called “electroclash” was a genre name in search of an identity, as far as I was concerned – but if the name turned some people on to straight-up sturdy old-school Electro along the way, then it wasn’t a total loss:
Felix Da Housecat – Madame Hollywood
“Sturdy” is one word to describe the EBM-and-industrial-veined Klunk, by Motor.
Other words would be “dirty” and “relentless”:
Motor – Botox
Robert Smith should just make an entire album with these guys:
Crystal Castles – Not In Love ft. Robert Smith
That is BRACING! I like that “screeching tires” noise.
***Or the 90’s, For That Matter***
Speaking of screeching noise, somewhat less predictable was the movement to approximate the epic guitarscapes of the shoegazers, using primarily electronic means.
This track always gives me a pleasant vertigo, with its seemingly-endless ascending spiral trickily looping back on itself, Ouroboros-style.
Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink
If that last one gave you a headache, here, lie down, have some Paracetamol, or “Freedom Tylenol” as we call it in America:
Ulrich Schnauss – Monday Paracetamol
The time-travelers in M83 ended up landing in the 80’s, but first they stopped in the 90’s to make some dreampop:
M83- Run Into Flowers
I don’t know much about these guys, but always liked this track:
Jatun- Ghost and Grey
Here’s some artists and tracks I wanted to work in, but couldn’t figure out where to slot.
Alex Smoke’s excellent Incommunicado is what I wanted Matthew Dear’s Leave Luck To Heaven to sound like:
Alex Smoke – Lost In Sound
Purity Rings’ Shrines gets a bit same-y, but it’s a good sound nonetheless. I like the tender-yet-slightly-disturbing lyrical imagery here. They also have a neat stage setup live:
Purity Ring – Fineshrine
This song aches, and this video is nigh-on perfect for it:
Telefon Tel Aviv – Bubble and Spike
Part 3 next week.