Open Mic: What Record Got You Hooked On Electronic Music?


Open Mic: For most electronic musicians, there’s a track or an album that got them hooked on electronic music.

You hear the music and wonder how the artist made it – and soon you want to be making sounds & music like that. Next thing you know, you’ve got a home studio and a wall of gear.

Was there a track or an album that did it for you? 

Leave a comment and let us know what got you hooked on electronic music. Extra credit if you remember where you first heard it – and where you bought it!

Image: psi_storm

394 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Record Got You Hooked On Electronic Music?

  1. Organisation by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Very dark and atmospheric, but totally got me hooked. It still sounds good today, and it’s telling that the synth manufacturers are going back to their analog roots.

  2. Jean Michel Jarre Oxygen definitely was the one. I first heard it when i was 7 years old on a documentary broadcast at the Greek National Television and i was so impressed….I bought the vinyl when i was eight from a small record store at the centre of Athens. Happy Easter to everyone!!!!

  3. Gershon Kingsley’s hit Popcorn made me wanna eat brown beans, fart and play Moog all the time.. now I have a wall of synths. I do it every day..

  4. Three albums – I can’t split it down, all three had a huge pull at around age 11:
    Tangerine Dream – Sorcerer Soundtrack
    (first heard in an audiofile friend’s quadraphonic listening ‘station’)
    Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger
    (first listened to on headphones on my way home from the gas station where I bought the cassette – I seem to recall it was an XDR tape with the tones at the very beginning -remember those?)
    Tears for Fears – Shout (Single)
    (On a 45, purchased at a dusty department store, listened to it on my grandmothers turntable the first time, also thru headphones – the B side “The Big Chair” really grabbed me, all Fairlight, very moody/atmospheric – when I eventually picked up the album “Songs from the Big Chair” and found that the titular song was missing, I was very disappointed!)

  5. -97 Prodigy – Funky Shit. Then the french turned up and Daft was a fact. Ivar like 9 yrs when i started to pump it. And now I’m totally lost in this stuff. Living from it.

  6. it was Frankie goes to Hollywood actually, the way that Trevor Horn programmed the sequencer hooked me til today. I bought the album “Welcome to the pleasure dome” in 1986 on a black market, paid a lot of Ostmark.

  7. White Noise – An Electric Storm (1969): David Vorhaus and Delia Derbyshire doing it the hard way and blowing minds everywhere. First heard in a South London commune a few weeks after it’s release. I’m on my third copy – vinyl, of course.

    1. David Vorhaus was a serious Putney user. I have a pic of him seated at the big BBC Synthi 100. He did a song called “Black Hole Blues” that was hilarious. He’s one of those “fringe” people who should be more widely known, because his synth work was a standout for the time and still holds up today.

      1. Agreed. I bought my own VCS3 about four or five years later – the guy in the showroom insisted that it was ex–radiophonic workshop, but provided no evidence so it may just have been a story. On the other hand…

  8. Front Line Assembly – Tactical Neural Implant, bought it when released after hearing it on a friends decent hifi set up, was a total metal/thrash head at the time and led the way to all sorts of music including techno, hardcore as in old skool breaks hardcore, early Warp, Rephlex, R&S and so on!

  9. I was always fascinated by synth music of the 80s such as Jean Michel Jarre and TV themes such as Knightrider, Airwolf and Streethawk but the one album that did it for me was also Tangerine Dream’s Exit.

  10. My older brother sat me down in front of an old AM clock radio when I was 8 years old in 1973 and said “This song is called ‘Frankenstein’ ” (Edgar Winter) Probably because I was obsessed with the Universal Horror / Boris Karloff monster. My love of electronic music was born. I also loved ‘Popcorn’ by Hot butter around the same time. From there to Devo, Kraftwerk, Jam Hammer, Jean Michele Jarre, Gary Numan, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, etc.

  11. Human League “Dare”. Bought at Woolworths in Southport! It took me 3 years to save for a Jen Sx1000. 33 years later I’m still at it.

  12. The 3 Lp’s that had a big effect on shaping my musical path were….
    Vangelis – China
    Tangerine Dream – Stratosfear
    Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters

  13. Would have to say Depeche Mode – Violator
    ELO- Time – yours truly
    Duran Duran- Save a prayer for me now
    A-ha- hunting high and low- used to jam this so hard when i was about 11
    New Order- Bizarre Love Triangle
    NIN- head like a hole- terrible lie back in 1990
    and naturally Daft Punk- Discovery
    Have to thank my mother and father for brainwashing me as a child

  14. I am a little late to the party (young synth head), I just discovered the 90s electronic music about 2yrs ago. The first electronic music that got me hooked was shpongle in 2010. My dad played prodigy fat of the land when I was a child in the 90s, and more heavy electronic based music NIN, skinny puppy etc. I found kraftwerk 2yrs ago, learned about drum machines, synthesizers, and jumped into the 90s. Orbital was the first 90s electronic music that really got me hooked, made me realized I want to do this. Saw orbital at moogfest 2012 (thanks to synthtopia). Within the past year I just found underworld, who have taken over all of my listening. It’s funny I am just finding these now, yes I am late to the party, yes I am a young dinosaur. Tons of love to synthtopia ~!

  15. Hard to say exactly who or which song, but it would have been something like early 1990’s Ministry, Front 242, Depeche Mode, Meat Beat Manifiesto.

  16. Klaus Schulze’s “Timewinds” for pure synth mystery.

    Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley, for the Funny in synths.

    A respectful split between Wendy Carlos and Tomita for classical hugeness.

    Larry Fast’s “Synergy: Realizations For Rock Orchestra” for modern grandeur.

    Mitchell Froom’s “The Key of Cool” for down-home, syncopated, gut-bucket synth-a-billy.

    Lancaster & Lumley’s “Marscape” for superior proggy-fusion goodness.

    That leaves out notable things like Ralph Towner’s subdued synth playing with Oregon, Michael Cotton of The Tubes and Tim Blake’s synth work with Gong. If you start including those who were more part of an ensemble, we’d be here all week. Great music, all of it.

  17. RMB – Love Is An Ocean (Stephenson Remix)

    I heard this one for the first time on a rave party in Belgium 1995/1996?
    I was 15 years old and I swallowed a very good xtc pill.
    I remember that there was green flashing strobe lights
    when the snare roll starts during the break till the drop.
    And the db level was very loud on this party.
    Those days party’s had everything and without stupid people that stands there watching to a dj and recording with their mobile phone.

  18. Probably a combination of:
    Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy
    DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
    DJ Spooky – Songs of a Dead Dreamer
    Squarepusher – Selection 16

  19. can’t name just one … 🙂
    oh boy … definitely Oxygene which i first heard at this age of 7 on radio broadcast.
    the first electronic records i bought on the same day when i got to become 11 were :
    Logos – Tangerine Dream
    Oxygene – Jean Michel Jarre
    Computerwelt – Kraftwerk
    Speak & Spell – Depeche Mode
    See You Later – Vangelis

  20. Popcorn was probably influential at early age but Oxygene was the deal breaker and Man Machine was then the most important album for years.

  21. Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Orbital II

    In 2008

    (I have never claimed to be in touch with pop culture)

  22. I rediscovered Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra and Rubycon a couple of years ago, then went backward to Morton Subotnick and Vladimir Ussachevsky (always liked Kraftwerk but any EDM leaves me cold). Bought myself a synth a few months later and haven’t looked back since.

  23. ‘WIDE ANGLE’ by Hybrid. First heard it about 1999-2000. The production was so expansive that I immediately wanted to dedicate my life to music =)

  24. Isao Tomita’s version of Mars: The Bringer of War, and everything off of his greatest hits album. Then, Drpeche Mode’s Some Great Reward, Peter Gabriel’s “Security” album, and Thomas Dolby’s The Flat Earth.

  25. Very interesting reading the replies above as they’re all from a much more recent frame of reference!

    For me it was indubitably a combination of Walter (as then) Carlos’ “Switched on Bach” and Isao Tomita’s recordings of Debussy. These recordings burst out in a world where all sounds I had heard previously were made by rubbing things together or hitting things. Hearing synths for the first time was probably as massive an innovation as moving pictures, colour TV, or the first Pixar animated short.

    I was immediately hooked by these first recordings, and even more so when a friend first let me play his Juno 106 about 10 years later.

    I was also fortunate enough to be one of the millions in Jean-Michel Jarre’s epic performance in Paris where he played in la Defense, lining the streets all the way up the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triiomphe.

    (BTW, if you’re a J-M Jarre fan, do check out his father’s compositions too: Maurice Jarre)

  26. The moment my passion for electronic began to overtake any other kind of music was when I found
    ADD N TO (X) – On the Wires of Our Nerves

  27. I go all the way back to the beginning – Walter Carlos’s “Switched on Bach.” I was 8yo when my mom brought home that record and put it on the stereo console (remember those?) and those amazing, synthetic tones wafted upstairs to my room. It’s been a love affair ever since. In my teen years, I discovered artists such as Tomita, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, The Human League, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan.

  28. Gary Numan – Cars
    It was on the radio every morning when I was getting ready to go to classes. There was a little record shop in a basement below a sewing machine repair shop near my apartment that had imports – Numan/Tubeway, Ultravox, Human League, Simple Minds, Nash the Slash and a whole lot more.

  29. Evening Star, from Fripp & Eno
    Sonic Seasonnings, from W. Carlos
    Ricochet, from Tangerine Dream
    Mirage, from K. Schulze
    Con, from Conrad Schnitzler

  30. Sven Vath & Richie Hawtin — The Sound of the Third Season. I first heard it the way home from discgolfing, under the influence of psychedelics. Never bought the mix, however, I did buy turntables and many of the records featured on it.

  31. Tangerine Dream – Tangram Set 1 & 2
    ( JMJ – Oxygene, Equinox, Magnetic Fields
    Synergy – Chords
    Pink Floyd – On the Run, SOYCD )

  32. “See You” by Depeche Mode. I saw the video on MTV in 1982, and then purchased their first two albums at Cut Corner Records in Lexington, KY.

  33. Tubeway Army ‘Are Friends Electric’. I was heling out st my mum’s place of work during the summer holidays and it came on the radio…I was hooked. Opposite was a Kwik Save with a small record outlet and I bought my girst of many Numan discs that very lunchtime.

  34. Radiohead got me hooked on electronic music. And then when Atoms for Peace started it got worse. Then I discovered Son Lux and I was done for.

  35. Amon Tobin’s Foley Room was my first real introduction to IDM/”experimental” electronic back in 10th grade in high school, although growing up I always enjoyed acts like The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method. Beck’s Guero was the first album that I listened to religiously, and Foley Room was probably the second.

  36. I had been making tape music in my room since I was 13 and listening to a lot of stuff like Psychic TV and Front 242 but it was hearing 808 State’s Newbuild album in 1988, especially “Flow Coma,” that turned me onto dance. It was the first time I wanted to reproduce a specific sound, namely the 303. That album still sounds like beautiful magic.

  37. Klaus Schulze’s Timewind did it for me. I still think it holds up really well.

    In the 70’s there was a record store in Kansas City called Music Exchange. Lots of Head Music, if you know what I mean!

  38. Assault on Precinct 13 – the Main Theme.

    Heard it through the wall as my father watched it on VHS in the early 80s.

  39. Enola Gay by OMD – I must’ve been 2 or 3 at the time. But it was Music for the jilted generation by th Prodge that made me want to make electronic music for myself.

  40. I bought the Holiday 80 EP by the Human League and Messages by OMD on the same day. That sticks out as the first electronic stuff that I really got into. And around that time PIL’s Metal Box just because it sounded so different.

  41. I was recording the dance station on Heard a song that took me away unlike anything else I’d ever heard. Was unable to ID the track for years until recently but this is it:

    Synergy – Hello Strings (Benya Remix)

    After hearing the synths in that breakdown, and seeing how they could take you to outer space, I was hooked!

  42. Oh boy am I dating myself here…
    Switched-On Bach was the kickass kickoff; the Dick Hyman Moog album followed closely behind. I’d have to say, however, that it was TD’s Phaedra that really sealed the deal for me.

  43. first encounter: Jean Michel Jarre: The concerts in china
    then: Duran Duran: Arena, Pet Shop Boys: You are always on my mind (single), New Order: True Faith (single)
    then: Inner City: Paradise
    then: Logic Trance 2, Sasha & John Digweed: Renaissance

    Difficult to say that there was a single one that got me hooked

  44. Brain Salad Surgery with my first J in the basement of my cousin house. The album got
    me really going though was Crystal Method Vegas. (Another time another place/Trip Like I do)

  45. Orbital – Orbital
    FSOL – Accelerator
    Prodigy – Experience

    All of the above have a good deal to do with why I have a room full of more synths than I need now!

  46. 1. Die Roboter/Spacelab single. Spent so much of my pocket money on the jukebox at a camping site.
    2. Gesang der Junglinge by Stockhausen.
    3. Akos Rozmann: Images of Dreams and Death. 100 minutes of Buchla and tape/mixerboard distortion bliss.

    That last is a listening tip, go for it! Youtube: eGB_o5WJrVA

  47. Kraftwerk “Tour de France.” I was 4 yrs old watching Breakin’ with my brother. The scene where Turbo dances with the broom left a huge impact, and that track was a huge reason why it was so cool! Depeche Mode has always been a favorite too. “People Are People” is the earliest song I can remember hearing on the radio.

  48. JMJ’s – Oxygene – all cool parents seemed to have a copy when I was young.
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here – that “Shine On…” intro blew me away when I first heard it in my teens
    Rainbow – the intro to Tarot Woman- pure Minimoog goodness!
    Marillion – Misplaced Childhood – that albums just has such a wonderful melancholic atmosphere created by classic synths like the Jupiter, PPG Wave, DX7 and the Pro One.
    Jan Hammer – Miami Vice – my first synth had a sound obviously inspired by Crockett’s Theme
    Cosmic Baby – Stellar Supreme – I wasn’t much into techno/trance then but I’m still listening to this album regularly

    I started making music myself rather late, in my thirties, by then I had soaked up so many influences that it’s hard to pinpoint only one or two artitst/ albums that got me into synthesizers, but I definitely lean more towards electronic instruments in a rock band setting, rather than pure electronic music, let alone EDM.

  49. aphex twin, DJ shadow and amon tobin – anything they ever done before 2004. and before that there was only heavy metal for me, the heavier, the better.

  50. Screen by Jaap Vinck – you can find it on YouTube old but so wonderful. Heard that and knew I wanted to get involved. Took a while for the technology to come about to be affordable though.

  51. “From Here to Eternity” by Giorgio Moroder and “I’m a Man” by Macho. Balls to wall electronic disco as it should be – musically sound and hard-driving.

  52. Alberto Balsalm – isn’t it the track that got everyone into electronic music?! (or at least the entire ‘i care because you do’ album did)… can’t remember where i bought it, i don’t think i ever did! >;D
    (just kidding, i have it on vinyl :p)

    1. Yep, I’m pretty sure I had that.. Right around the first time Napster went online..

      No problem though, I know RDJ hasn’t seen the last of my money, just yet..

  53. Really interesting thread! You can tell a lot about someone by what they pick!

    My first experiences with electronic music, were so early in my life, and so intertwined with other musics, that at the time, I may not have even thought about them as electronic. At that point, music was music.

    Looking back, though.. The major acts I liked were, Aphex twin, Orbital (Hackers), Prodigy, Sneaker Pimps.. A major CD for me was the Spawn soundtrack.. You can now guess that I came into musical awareness in the 90’s, in America. And I’m about 30 years old.

    One of my most profound music experiences at that time was seeing Daft Punks “Around The World” music video at about 3am on MTV. Just picture being 14 and seeing that wired on gummy worms, yeah.

    Nothing ever made me scratch my head so hard as when I heard the Venetian Snares, though, a decade later. The complexity of that sound is what finally made me say “I need to go to school for this”

    And now here I am, about to log off the forum and make some beats.

    ~Good to know you guys~

  54. Kraftwerk, Autobahn. Bought it at the grocery store when I was 14 years old, I was intrigued by the album cover, at the time I had no idea who they were.

  55. Moog:The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman
    Sequencer — Larry Fast and Synergy
    Sorcerer — Tangerine Dream
    Nothing like listening to vinyl in the dark

  56. Not sure which album but I’m pretty sure it was Skinny Puppy. I was into metal and hardcore/punk. It made me think holy cow, guitar-bass-drums is so limiting when I could put any sound I can imagine in music.

  57. ‘Underpass’ by John Foxx. Wasn’t very interested in music previously, then heard ‘Underpass’ on ‘Top Of The Pops’ and almost immediately spent my savings on an EDP Wasp. Never looked back. 🙂

  58. DJ Tiesto – Magik Six: Live in Amsterdam.

    My great Uncle bought me the record when it came out for Christmas when I was 14. When I heard “Silence” for the first time, my world has never been the same. My only regret in life is not pursuing that feeling and emotion that it gave, and still gives me. I knew then that electronic music would change the world. I still want to be apart of that.


  59. Must have been about 4 or 5 at the time, but Pink Floyd – Welcome to the Machine.

    That synth solo even at a young age just blew my mind.. Ofcourse then I wouldn’t have known exactly what it was creating those sounds, but I knew it was something special.

  60. Acid Killer by Infected Mushroom. Soon followed by Polygon Window by the ‘Dice Man’ aka Aphex Twin. And so began an obsession.

  61. Early computer music maybe. But from a production point of view the most influential were Orbital – In Sides and Metalheadz – Platinum Breakz. That was really cutting edge. Autechre and Aphex from there on, even if i then discovered the master of “computer” music to be J.S.Bach.

  62. ah to answer that, i gotta give a short history lesson. As a little pre-pubescent kid i was exposed directly to synth experimentation from my father’s jazz band in the ’70s. Eventually they turned their backs on the instrument, but it had already left a deep impression on me. Then in the late ’70s it was the Dr.Who theme and rnb and disco. Obviously years later i realised that Giorgio Moroder had been a massive influence here. Then early ’80s i loved all the ‘new romantic’ – DuranDuran, Visage etc…
    Whilst getting heavily into metal and hardcore i also still loved Depeche Mode and New Order. Then ‘rave’ hit, and i fell in love with ‘techno’, but as soon as i heard ‘jungle’ it all changed. When i saw Meat Beat Manifesto live it changed my life – that’s the moment right then that i thought that this i what i want to do. Then i followed dnb into neuro etc. In recent years it’s been Bassnectar that re-connected my interest into kickstarting my electronic taste. SO, in hindsight, the synthesizer has always been in my concience from the start.

  63. The first time i saw / heard HEAD LIKE A HOLE. I was like ,
    ” techno………..

  64. And another for Too Dark Park by Skinny Puppy, Grave Wisdom, TWFO, and Natures Revenge.. first album that left me wondering how the hell did they create this, which opened the door in my mind to explore synths and the need to create on my own.

  65. The first electronic dance track that started a 20 year oddest for me was Opus III it’s a fine day. There wasn’t much synth music up at Humboldt state in the beginning of the 90’s I also found an Ultramarine record, and a house compilation called ‘House Music all night’ – Classic trax on there – maybe voodoo ray? But synths were always a sound that worked for me, so maybe it actually started with Depeche Mode’s speak and spell ore my dad’s copy of switched on Bach….

  66. Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene and Equinoxe – I’d never heard electronic music until I listened to those two albums. From that point on, I was hooked on synthesisers. Such a pity he has not done anything as ground breaking or as original in such a long time.

  67. all the early moog records in the 70’s.. strange as my dad liked jazz as well..
    couldn’t give you a track on them…
    but maybe depeche for my.. “just can’t get enough”

  68. I heard this Jeff Mills mix called “Illumination.” I remember the opening was a sample that said “welcome to the underground… the filament…” and then it was the hardest music I had heard in my life for the next 70 mins. Never turned back,

  69. Tour de France by Kraftwerk was the first electronica record i bought. But i guess Depeche Modes Construction Time Again was the album that got me really hooked.

  70. As a kid in the 70s it would have to be a combination of:
    Kraftwerk – Autobarn
    Gary Numan – Are Friends Electric
    Human League – Being Boiled/Empire State Human
    Jarre – Concerts in China

  71. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery – purchased 1973 in Lloyd’s department store in Middletown, New York – I bought it solely because of H. R. Giger’s cover art, stayed for the music.

  72. Either that or the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange, but I can’t remember where I bought that. On casette. Might have been at the Sportsman’s Trading Post and hardware store in Hancock, NY. I know that’s where I got Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show that Never Ends on dual pink casettes. Parless times.

  73. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Rydeen

    It played on the radio on a ‘new recordings’ show. I was mesmerised. Found a local record store with Japanese import records. I was hooked on electronic music ever since.

  74. Leftfield – Leftism

    I heard it in the car of some schoolmates while driving to a party. They didn’t want to tell me what it was, they wanted to keep it “underground”… Little did they know that this album would become so popular soon after… 😉

    Still one of my fav albums of all time.

  75. Switched on Bach. My Dad bought it. I was fascinated. Practical electronic got me stated making my own bubbly noises. Still got Dads record.
    Then Tonto’s expanding head band and Kraftwerk came into my life and I went out and got my first synth.

  76. John Carpenter/Alan Howarth- Escape from New York, Halloween, The fog, The Thing
    John Harrison – Day Of the Dead
    Vangelis- Blade Runner

  77. I don’t remember exactly, but my father introduced me to The Future Souns of London many years ago and I think that’s what woke my interest in electronic music.
    When I started playing Wipeout 2097 for the Sony Playstation 1 my interest for electronic music grew even faster, the soundtrack consisted mostly of tracks produced by Cold Storage and The Chemical Brothers.

    I am now greatly influenced by people like Anders Trentemøller and Trifonic, HybridSoundsystem is also a huge inspiration to me.

  78. Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music
    Karlheinze Stockhausen “Kontakte”
    Terry Riley “Persian Dervishes”
    any Pierre Henry…
    Tonto’s Expanding Headband
    Space Art
    Walter Carlos “Clockwork Orange”
    too many here. Record stores in Ann Arbor, Michigan and JEM Records for imports!

  79. Vangelis – the Chariots Of Fire Soundtrack.

    Not only the famous “Titles” piece, the whole album. I was 11 and I wanted to go to film school, until I heard that record. Changed my life.

  80. Hearing Stockhausen and Varese for the first time (a long time ago). If you aren’t radicalized by these two composers…

  81. Richie Hawtin – Spastik – heard it at the Riverside in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
    Could not believe music could sound like this, be so simple/complex and powerful – and I was sober..

  82. The Downward Spiral when it came out in 94
    I was 13 and liked the cover at the cd store.
    The sounds i heard were so alien. i was hooked

    1. It was Further Down The Spiral for me. Specifically, Aphex Twin’s “At The Heart of It All”. It caused me to search out more Aphex Twin, which led to Warp Records, etc.
      That record also got me into Coil.

  83. Three did it for me. In no particular order: 1. Switched-on Bach, (Walter Carlos), 2. Silver Apples of the Moon (Mort Subotnic) and 3. Emerson, Laker and Palmer’s first album. MANY followed.

  84. NIN – The Downward Spiral
    blew me away as a kid
    Fatboy slim – Youve Come A Long Way Baby
    that acid basssss
    Moby – 18

  85. I heard about Ekkehard Ehlers through a John Frusciante interview, but was 15 and thus couldn’t afford to order any through the local record store or buy any online. Eventually I found his contribution to the Invalid Object Series, entitled “(this)”, on Fällt Publishing’s website for free.

    The zip file of (This) was my gateway:

    I used to listen to track 13 on a loop for months. It may still be my favourite sound I’ve ever laid ears on.

  86. aphex twin – i care because you do and richard d james album
    autechre – tri repetae
    mouse on mars – vulvaland
    and then, the drum&bass scene exploded, and i was lost….

  87. The Doctor Who theme tune. 55 pence from my local record shop when I was a nipper. It was all downhill from there.

  88. My earliest memories of electronic music would have to be Speak and Spell by Depeche Mode and Blue Monday by New Order. I was around 9-10 years old or so back at the beginning of the 80’s and my little musical mind was blown. Still a big fan of both some 30 years later.

  89. Jon Lord running his hammond thr ough a Maestro Ring Modulator in the intro of Lazy on made in Japan.It made me aware that the electric guitar the wasn’t the only game in town, and lead me to such joys as Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Stockhausen,the list goes on. Such a shame that most electronic music these days is just a soundtrack for drug fucked kids to conduct their mating rituals AHH PROGRESS

  90. Coil – Love’s Secret Domain. First album I listened to where I couldn’t figure out how I would go about making some of those sounds.

  91. Dig Your Own Hole. Start to finish, absolutely amazing.
    “It doesn’t matter” how many times I listen to it I find it as inspiring & epic every time.

  92. All the down votes amuse me. No, you are not allowed to like that album. How dare you differ from me. Anyway, I’m happy to see several people have mentioned COIL. While COIL has stuck with me, I have to say that Skinny Puppy’s Too Dark Park was what really pulled me away from guitar based music.

    1. seriously…you have to be a bit of jerk (or maybe just struggling with puberty) to down vote someone because you don’t approve of what they like. i don’t get it.

  93. My first “electronic” lp was Solid Pleasure by Yello. The song I liked the most was Bostich. I bought a lot of reccords in those days, and have no idea why I came home with this one. I still like it today, and think it´s much better than most of the techno/house-crap produced these days.

  94. I’d have to say that the record that was the biggest influence on me to start making electronic music was Caberet Voltaires ‘Drinking Gasoline.’ I heard it in high school and I knew I wanted to do *that.*

  95. All the Krautrock stuff seemed to be very mysterious without the pretense of most Prog(I was a lucky kid ’cause Can’s Ege Bamyasi was at my local library)Jaki Leibizeit drums like a machine!, Faust, Amon Duul, Kraftwerk etc.

    Oh & yes, Suicide & Devo & early Eno. These were all gateway drugs to Autechre, Aphex Twin, etc.

    Drum machines & synths were considered rather uncool in the 90’s Seattle rock scene where I grew up & yet I took that as some sort of challenge.

  96. Some decent love for NIN here… Pretty Hate Machine blew me away and got me interested. But oddly enough I first heard Head Like a Hole waiting for Boston’s Think Tree to take the stage at the Paradise for their record release show for the eight/thirteen EP. So it was really the one-two punch of hearing Head Like a Hole at the club and then a live set from Think Tree. Great night!

  97. Showing my age a bit but i would have to say… “JAM ON IT” by NEWCLEUS. Used to rock this on my older sisters single speaker Panasonic boom box. Don’t remember how old i was, but I was too young to have my own boom box. Loved it. Hooked ever since.

  98. Wendy Carlos “Little” Fugue in G Minor. I was already enamoured by synthesizers, but this song really did it for me.

    I first heard it in 7th grade choir class, our instructor played it in the first week to inspire us. I liked it so much I took the record home and only gave it back at the end of the year.

    Interesting bit – the actual version of the album was titled as Walter Carlos. In addition to getting me utterly hooked on electronic music, it introduced me to the non-binary nature of gender identity too! Heh.

  99. It’s hard to say just one album, so I have to break it down a bit.

    The first heavy synth song album that made me take notice was Gary Numan’s The pleasure Principle. When I heard it for the first time I was blown away, it’s mixture of synth and guitar/bass greatly influenced me.

    Next up was Devo’s peek-a-boo from the oh no it’s devo record. That song and video was an obsession for me at the time, and made me a lifelong Devo fan.

    I also grew up during the Break Dance music years and all that really had an effect on me.
    My favorite break songs/ Rap songs at the time were Tour De France by Kraftwerk (which got me started on Numbers, and then grew to be a big Kraftwerk fan), Newcleus’s Computer Age, Electric Kingdom by Twilight 22, White Horse by Laid Back, etc. When the 80’s synth pop hit, thomas Dolby, Animotion’s I engineer, Thompson’s twins, all inspired me.

    I became a metal head and played in bands and focused on that for years, not listening to electronic music much until I heard Apotheosis’s cover of O’fortuna. My uncle said you got to hear this and it blew me away. That song is what inspired me to start making music on the computer, first with mods and 669 tracker files, then later midi when I had the PC and equipment for it.

    If I have to give credit for one record that started me on that road, it would have to be oh no it’s devo. I fell in love with them from the first listen.

  100. In the Late 60s, Cork Marcheschi and Fifty Foot Hose tweaked my ear and created a desire to investigate electronic music. I searched out Subotnik’s Silver Apples of The Moon and subsequently heard Walter/Wendy Carlos, Jean Michel Jarre and others. The programming on Japan’s brilliant 1981 Tin Drum opened me to a world of possibilities regarding aural structures. Laurie Anderson’s haunting 1982 Big Science is the recording that created a need to create electronic music. It was how her profound storytelling and electronics were so intertwined and integral to one another that was so incredibly powerful.

  101. Wendy Carlos “Tiimesteps” on “Clockwork Orange,” about a month after it was released. Heard it at a friend’s house about 8 times in a row. From the moment I heard that I was seeking out every synth record I could lay my hands on.

  102. Jean-Michel Jarre: Oxygene, part II and Kraftwerk: The Robots. The former, my first real music purchase (on cassette!) and the latter, my first vinyl that wasn’t a kids album. Went full circle a couple of months ago, when I got tickets to a Kraftwerk concert in Stockholm (some 35 years down the road…)

  103. Wendy Carlos – Sonic Seasonings. I had listened to the Switched on Bach recordings, and thought they were interesting, but when I heard Sonic Seasonings, I was really impressed by the depth of what could be done with the instrument.

  104. Oxygene by JMJ, the Miami Vice soundtrack (those guitar-sounding Moogs!!!) and early Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk, and Africa Bambataa.

  105. GusGus in 1999 – “Polydistortion” and “This is normal” than a year later “GusGus vs. T-world”… I got a cassette from my cousin and it was all over.

  106. goblin’s soundtrack to dawn of the dead was epic but gary numan’s cars and my friends electric was the first music outside of the doctor who theme to make me go what is this? however it was suicide that really made me go hell yes i need a synthesizer.

  107. I probably didn’t know it at the time. But when I was probably about 9 or 10 my grandfather played “The Happy Moog” for me, I was instantly mesmerized and he gave the record to me. My grandfather suffered a stroke before I was born and had aphasia, he wasn’t able to speak for the most part but he was able to communicate with some words he was still able to say and using gestures. For the most part though, he had a lot of different noise makers and toys including a collection of harmonicas and some Chinese hand exercise balls and he would use random objects with them to create different sounds and that is how he got most of his entertainment, but also sort of as a form of communication. Now looking back on it I think he would have loved to have a synthesizer and he truly influenced me as a child to explore sounds and just have fun with it.

  108. Switched-on Bach (1968), (Walter Carlos), Epsilon In Malaysian Pale (1975) Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream.

    I was in 8th grade when my music teacher Bill Bottom played it for me after class in Winnetka, IL.

    I thought the Leslie Speaker was the most amazing hybrid thing I’d ever heard or seen, until I heard what Wendy Carlos could do with a synthesizer. It was like finding something you didn’t know you were looking for and couldn’t describe. It was the first time I saw the intersection of art and technology thats been the most fun and creative part of my thinking.

    It was a moment I will never forget. 46 years ago I remember it like it was this morning. It was an inspiration and approval to think different.

    1. At one of his young people’s concerts Leonard Bernstein had a stagehand roll out an impressive-looking Moog modular, which he greeted by saying, “Hello, Hal.” I was hooked even before he played the track from Switched on Bach.

  109. These are some awesome leads. I’ve written down all the artists I didn’t know into a Notepad document and intend to work down the list over the next week.

    Newer generation here. My apologies if I name-drop a major mainstream artist and offend your sensibilities, but truthfully, deadmau5. He seems to have sold out and is useless in my book at this point, but his pre-2010 discography abounds with tasteful, cerebral, well-thought-out sonic gems. His work from ’98 to ’09 toppled my perception of electronic music as a lifeless entity; in particular, tracks like Waking Up From the American Dream, A Moment To Myself, Caliox A, 8bit, Strobe, Bleed, and Templar.

    After that came Vangelis with his electronic symphonies, and Kraftwerk; I realize there’s a whole other realm to explore there, which is partially why I saved all these artist names to a .txt file. I moved into the 90s after that – Astral Projection, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Aphex Twin, Moby, Plastikman. Recently I discovered BT – namely, his 2006 release This Binary Universe and his aural thesis on granular synthesis, Morceau Subrosa. I subscribe wholeheartedly to BT’s philosophy – that of using the DAW as a canvas for composition and seeking out new ways to paint with it.

    TL;DR, I’ve caught a slightly newer iteration of the electronic music bug, but it’s the bug nonetheless. And if it’s manifested as I think it has, it will continue to pull me further back in time… 🙂

  110. “Angel’s Egg” by Gong. I had listened to Tangerine Dream but this album made it all happen for me. Tim Blake’s synth work on it made me a life long fan and inspired not only my early noodlings but pretty much everything since. I bought it from Action Replay in Lichfield in June 1976.

  111. Amon Tobin’s “Bricolage”. Had always liked electronica just fine, but this one blew it open for me. Started listening to older (and newer) stuff with different ears. BTW what an amazing list you’re all pulling together!

  112. Dad played Kraftwerk while I was little but I didn’t get it. For me it was Further Down The Spiral by NIN in 1995 that sent me off down a crazy electronic rabbit hole quest to find more by Aphex Twin and Coil and my brain exploded from there.

  113. Without any doubt it was Kraftwerks” Autobahn”.Jean Michel Jarres “Oxygene” is a close second.

  114. I was ten, the first time I listened to DJ Marky’s LK. It was the background music of a story in a summer sports show in TV. First time I head drum&bass, it was the current trend in Brazil around 2000/2001. I rushed to the TV broadcaster website and looked for the credits of this specific story to grab the name of the music. After that got kazaa and discovered lots of stuff, got crazy with classic rollers. Since then I’m an official basshead, having left everything not related to electronic music and listening to drum&bass all the time. I enjoyed it so much that it is also what got me into music production. And I still listen to LK nowadays. 😀

  115. Dj rollenbutter, dj Krishna, dj Spacewierd @ bard college 2hrs north of NYC, Hudson River valley 1996. Two tabs of acid or an 1/8th of shrooms while they played the likes of dj spooky, decoder, aphex twin, panacea, dj scud, squarepusher, luke vibert. 96 is when I fell forever ill to the electronic music bug..

  116. If I really had to put it down to one event it was probably when my Grandfather played me Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre.

  117. Jean-Michel Jarre, _Equinoxe_ — immediately went out and got Oxygene as a result, and a friend introduced me to Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, and Kraftwerk.

  118. “the caca-later song” was a favorite around 1983. (Kraftwerk)
    “Here in my car” was a favorite at the rollerskating rink around 1985. (Gary Numan)

    1989 brought me NIN’s “head like a hole” and Front 242’s “hey poor!” via one very awesome cousin.

    It was a different time before the internet and Shazam…

  119. For me it was Ultravox`s album Vienna… sister played it once….i didnt know who it was but i sneaked into her room when she went out and sat and listened to it…i was hooked after that…..Kraftwerk followed and DM …Visage……it opened up a whole new world of raw infant electronic music for me.Now i have my own synth….the internet for all my electronic music…its wonderful

  120. Autobahn – Kraftwerk and Oxygene – JM Jarre. With a liberal dose of Depeche Mode, New Order, OMD Giorgio Moroder, Orange juice, Howard Jones, Cure, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Eno and so much more since.

  121. Lifelike – So Electric did it for me 🙂 Don’t remember where I first heard it, just kind of a random pick. It’s not a pioneering/classic work in the field of electronic music, but it somehow happened to open the door to a new world for me!

  122. My friend bought me Daft Punk’s “Homework” because he knew I liked punk, and for some reason (no idea why) thought that’s what it was. I did like electronic music before, but when I heard Rock n’ Roll, that’s when I decided I want to make it.

  123. Started with things like ministry and NIN when I was an angsty teen. Mellowed with screamadelica and the orb. But it really connected with a Ninja tune compilation with Luke vibert and a squarepusher remix. Totally mindblowing. Electronic music is the only musical constant in my life now. As rock and indie wax and wane, we’ve had an amazing ten years of digital stuff to inspire and entertain.

  124. G-Spot Tornado from Frank Zappa’s Jazz From Hell album. Most people may know Zappa from his Band and classical works, but he produced albums where it was all just him and his synclavier. Jazz from Hell is an amazing album, he took it a notch further with the posthumous release Civilisation Phase 3 which is just an amazing piece of music. If he had not died early in 1993, he would have taken electronic music to uncharted territories, he was just getting started when he left us aged 52 🙁

  125. Most of the tracks & artists mentioned got my attention, but at that age this music was just background sounds. The Doctor Who theme’s what got me realy interested, specialy the documentory about how it was composed. After that, any of the Vangelis soundtracks.

  126. A girl invited me to a rave and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I was into Tool, Radiohead and Pink Floyd at the time but hadn’t really listened to much “Techno” and didn’t understand the differences between house and trance. A friend of my brother heard I was going and gave me a few CDs. Sasha – Global Underground 013 – Ibiza was one of them and it’s still one of my favourites. Ended up marrying the girl 10 years later.

  127. I Remember Alot of 80’s stuff Growing up like bronski beat, frankie knuckles – Your Love. High Energy stuff. then 90’s rave An so on 🙂

  128. Probably something like The Hornet By Badcompany UK, Us Against The World mixed by Evol Intent, Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole by Venetian Snares or Skool Of Thought Heavy Weight Breakbeat . Can’t remember which one came first.

  129. Sort of three: Tomita’s version of the Planets would be first, but it coincided with The Man Machine and Tangerine Dream’s Stratosphere.

  130. The Downward Spiral by NIN. It actually was one of very few albums that changed the way I listen to music and is also why I got into production.

  131. Beatles. “Tomorrow Never Knows” changed my perception of music. Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and, somehow, Robert Miles got me interested in electronic music.

  132. For me it would have to be, and I’ve thought about this honestly. Sticking strictly to the question it would have to be 90 by 808 state. I had listened to electronic music before, but acid house and Detroit techno struck my 11 year old self. After that it would be Polygon Window (Richard D. James) with Surfing on sine waves. I have long been a guitarist, but listening to lots of Aphex Twin sent me to looping demo tapes through hi-fi, four-track tape recorders, guitar fx pedals and recording from mics at the speakers looping back through all that. It wasn’t very well received, hey-ho.

  133. Might I add, by the time I was pointed in the direction of artists by the likes of Richie Hawtin I was already set to buy some equipment.

  134. For sure it was Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express – the first time I heard the sounds and realised that it was all being created using nothing but electronics was mind blowing. As a 12-year old, all I wanted to do was to have my own synthesiser. Three years later I had enough saved to buy a Korg Poly-800 and what I think was a Boss DR-110 (both sadly long gone). About that time, I had also discovered Depeche Mode, which just solidified my love of electronic music, and I’ve never looked back.

  135. For me, Switched on Bach – Walter Carlos. I first heard it around 1974, and have been a Moog fan ever since.

  136. There’s a number of tracks where I noticed electronic sounds were made: M’s Pop Muzik, JMJ’s Oxygene, Roxy Music’s Same Old Scene or goofy seventies tracks such as Onyx with Space Art. A defining moment was absolutely hearing I Feel Love as a pre-puberescent kid, and realizing THAT was truly something else, not only because of the electronic nature of the track, but also because of the pumping drive of the sequenzed beat. And another defining moment did occur on hearing the Trans Europe Express-album: guess I first heard it around 1979, when it had already been out for some time already: the instrumental textures, estranged lyrics, downbeat humor and quirky melodies. It started a passion for all things Kraftwerk that has continued for thirtyfive years now…

  137. For me it strangley enough is the track “Blitz” by Digitalism. I was 16 looking for a punk-track by the same name, before that I disliked electronic music quite a bit (being quite a metalhead (still am)). Now I produce chillwave/hiphop and edm stuff, and have left the metal days behind me. (kinda)

  138. When I was a kid, Jean Michel Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Part 4 sparked some interest in this thing called a ‘sinfesider’, but when I heard Erasure’s Always in high school, I became obsessed with the sound of analogue synths.

  139. I would have to say its a tie between Tomita’s “Snowflakes are Dancing” and Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” as both were released around the same time. I had heard music with synthesizers previous to this (Yes and Emerson Lake and Palemr especially), but nothing purely electronic until these albums. At one point I even sent a letter to who I thought were Moog (including enough change for a return stamp) with a list of modules taken from te back of the Tomita album, asking how much these would cost in Canada. Unfortunately, the Moog company in Canada made car parts, and I was left disappointed.

  140. As a boy i knew in my soul after hearing ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by ELP, which is not only one of the best albums ever made, one of the best live albums and one of the bet albums featuring a synth, in this case the mightly Emerson Moog Modular, it howls, it screeches, it sings, its mind blowing what a genius like Emerson can get out of it… a masterpeice…. no other synth player has done it for me, I also love Zawinul from Weather Report, totally different style, more groove, but the layering of synths on Mr Gone is sublime, lots of Arp and Oberhiem, Herbie Hancock in the 70’s licked ass with Moog, Arp, etc, Stevie Wonder on Moog. I never really liked just purely electronic music, i like synths with other instruments to add another flava,

  141. I always liked electronic sound for as long as I can remember (I can remember at a very young age choosing ‘Telemann’ to listen to from my dad’s collection and hiding the disappointed that it wasn’t, in fact, quite what the name seemed to imply).

    A pivotal moment though was at age 14 going to an underwater concert of Michelle Redolfi, who was working with my dad a bit at the time.

  142. Chiptunes. Throughout most of my puberty, I had been infatuated with Chiptunes. Even though I knew nothing about how they worked and could only listen to low quality MP3s and the stuff you find on YouTube, I couldn’t get myself away from them. As my ventures into creating them dwindled, I went to their closest relative. Though, they will always hold a special place in my heart.

  143. Probably Switched On Bach was my first experience (circa ’68). And then watching/listening to A Clockwork Orange’s classical interpretations got me even more intrigued (’72 I think). Later, Devo doing things like Girl You Want (’80) made me realize you could even do dance music with these fascinating electronic creatures. Now a lot of what I do in my spare time is record with the little beasties. (Moogs and Korgs, mostly acquired at flea markets from clueless sellers).

  144. When I first heard ‘situation’ by yazoo in the eighties, for some strange reason this track made my hair stand on end!. The track in question has been remixed to death, the original 7″ record had ‘only you’ on the A side. The engineering genius behind yazoo was eric Radcliffe, now disappeared without trace. It is quite obvious that eric Radcliffe was the brains behind vince clarke’s early work, can’t stand erasure!.

  145. “Sequencer” by Synergy, and “Oxygene” by Jean-Michel Jarre. Then I saw Emerson Lake & Palmer live, and I was pretty much hooked. The first synth I owned (when I was out of college and actually had some money) was a Korg Poly-800. I also had a Korg KPR77 drum machine. Made a lot of great music with that combo.

  146. New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies. A mate of mine’s dad used to send him bootleg tapes from Saudi and he had 2 copies of this and gave me one. I played it to death until another mate gave me a copy of ‘The Crackdown’ by Cabaret Voltaire. Also heard an early Mainframe track on a tape that came free with ‘Electronic Soundmaker’ magazine late ’84. Bought a Jen SX1000 shortly after that and thought I was The Human League!

  147. Can’t forget Sparks – No.1 song in heaven. Giorgio Moroder?

    Hot Butter’s version of ‘popcorn’ still gets a listen too!

  148. Gary Numan’s “Cars”, Ultravox’s “Sleepwalk”, Human League’s “Love Action”, Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn”, John Foxx’s “Underpass”, and New Order’s “Temptation”. All these songs inspired me and many musician friends to purchase or rent synths and drum machines in the early 80s.

  149. Android Lust – The Dividing. I was literally fascinated when I first heard the track “Stained” on TV. That’s what made me wanna make electronic music in a majestic way.

  150. As an early teenager I secretly grabbed this record with the black cover with a lightningbolt out of my dad’s collection and played it… BINGO!
    (it was indeed An Electric Storm by White Noise… still my most favorite album ever!)

  151. The first time I heard Autobahn on FM radio back in ’74, I knew I was hearing the most original new sound on the radio since the Beatles.

  152. The first time I really paid close attention and thought “Wow, I want to do that!” was the work of Peter Howell and Paddy Kingsland for Doctor Who starting in 1980. That led to a fascination with the Radiophonic Workshop, but it was when I saw “Gallipoli” the next year, and Jean Michel Jarre’s tracks blew me away. I had to go to so many record stores describing it until some kind soul pointed me to JMJ’s “Oxygene”, in a category of records I didn’t even know existed until then.

  153. My earliest memories of electronic music are of hearing Soft Cell’s Tainted Love and Eurythmics Sweet Dreams on the radio in the early 80’s. In my early teens I was obsessed with the sounds of Human League Travelogue and Kraftwerk, then New Order, Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget, OMD, Yazoo, and Blancmange.

  154. I would have to say Kraftwerk’s Autobahn really got me hooked on electronic music. I had listened to some late 70’s, early 80’s synth pop and some acid house on occasion, but I really started listening more to electronic music after hearing Autobahn. Part of the reason was because of how innovative it was for the age, but most of it was because it sounded wonderful.

  155. I’d always liked Gary Numan “Cars” and my sister bombarded me with Depeche Mode, but the electronic artists that made me want to make electronic music the most were The Normal “Warm Leatherette/TVOD” and John Foxx “Metamatic.” Sparse analog sounds and JG Ballard themes are where it’s at.

  156. Those were the golden years in the early 80’s. I borrowed my friend’s walkman in school. Sat in the dressing room during a full gymnastics lesson.
    Not at all boring. I listened through the whole Computer World album. Then I was hooked!

  157. For me, it was Klaus Schulze , the 1st time (1975) i heard such sounds (excepts sometimes the Pink Floyds). i was 14 yo and i decided i will be a musician. and that’s i”m still now. Thanks to all these guys

  158. Human League’s “Dare” got my attention, but it was “Who’s Afraid of the Art of Noise” that really sealed the deal for me.

  159. it was kraftwerk’s trans europe express mandre’s solar flight on the electrifying mojo’s radio show on wgpr
    radio in detroit in the late 70’s. also cybotron’s enter album, but hip hop made me want to find out what machines were used to make those records. i knew they were drum machines. 808’s, 909’s, and SP-12’s.
    that was about 1978.

  160. Switched-on Bach by Walter Carlos on vinyl was the first for me.
    After that it was Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Vangelis.
    New Wave and Synthpop bands continued the exploration… it’s a long, wonderful road.

  161. Röyksopp, J.M.Jarre, Erlend Øye, E-type, Robert Miles, Moby + all that lovable/terrible 90´trance and techno 🙂

  162. In 1973 when I was 10 years old I was given Pink Floyd’s “Dark side of the moon” for christmas. I had never heard anything like it. Synthesizers and electronic music have been an obsession of mine ever since.

  163. of course Kraftwerk for me. But really touch of electronic music and a “dj feeling”, when i was 16 years old and make some lighting on acid party and a dj left the decks alone, dissapeared for a long time, and i have to put a record on, and really dont know who the f*ck is daft punk and ‘revolution 909′ it was a blind choice from a “dissapeared dj’ ‘s bag. So that was my first record on a deck … I counting from that time, and realized i am borned again with that music. 😉

  164. I just can’t get enough by Depeche mode – it was released in 1981 when I was 6 but I heard it first when I was around 8 and I knew that this whole electronic synth sound was something I’d be listening to for years. A couple of months later I heard Ain’t Nobody by Rufus & Chaka Khan and I found a whole new level of that electronic music sound.

  165. I was 5 yo and Jean Michel Jarre’s album called “Oxygène” definitely hooked my brain in electronic music. That’s the 1st record I have. Then, also FSOL, LFO, Aphex Twin, UR team brought me inna space also

  166. I was born in 1970 to suburban hippie-type parents. Dad had every Beatles, Doors, Jefferson Airplane etc but there was this one record that was different that in retrospect started me out, Switched on Bach by WALTER Carlos. I still dig through his records when I’m over there hoping to find it as I imagine it must be worth lots of $, but alas it’s long gone. I think the first electronic record I bought on my own was Some Great Reward.

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