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As long as there have been synthesizers, there have been composers creating pop synth music. Many of the earliest synth albums were ‘switched on’ or ‘mooged out’ versions of pop tracks, and tracks like Gershon Kingsley’s Popcorn and Kraftwerk’s Autobahn were the first synth music that many people ever heard.
But it took another decade for synth pop to take off as a genre, lead by artists like Gary Numan, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ultravox & Depeche Mode. And it’s never really gone away since. Continue reading
Reader Arron Clague (Eight to Infinity) offers a synthpop take on the holidays with Christmas: Single.
Reader Zac Bentz let us know about a couple of new albums released by his project The Electric Witch.
On both albums, Bentz makes extensive use of iPad synths, including Animoog, DM1 and Sunrizer, along with some microKorg vocoding.
The albums are available now for $1 or more. You can stream them for free via the links above, and Bentz has released a free track for each album.
You can download a free track from Assassin, the title track, above.
Laibach covers The Normal’s Warm Leatherette.
“A Laibachised song is sometimes more kitsch, sometimes more serious and sometimes more emotional than the “old original” it is based on,” says author Alexei Monroe. “Laibachisation re- and de-animates a song, reviving it for long enough to dispatch it again.”
Gary Numan, in a live performance from 1979.
Synth pop pioneer and ambient artist John Foxx is the subject of the most recent Electronic Independence:
We went to visit John Foxx deep in the darkest depths of Shoreditch, East London, at the studio of his latest collaborator, Benge.
The studio isn’t far from where Foxx’s infamous “The Garden” studio once laid (on top of multiple Roman graves no less) and it’s also the location where the duo cut Interplay, the latest album by John Foxx and the Maths.
The notoriously quiet man sat down with Jordan to wax nostalgic about Foxx’s time in Ultravox, synths (obviously) dub techniques, drinking and eccentric sex. Finally, John was kind enough to demonstrate his infamous drum machine and play us some of the patches from his highly influential first album, Metamatic.