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The year – 1978. The mood – revolution. The latest addition to the musician’s sound palette – the synthesiser. And so a new sound was born, and one which would free pop music from its guitar dominated tradition into something with a bright new future which would write itself. Almost overnight, via a handful of key single releases, the big bang of punk produced something the kids called ‘synth-pop’. The clue was very much in the name.
A broad church from the outset, this synth-pop movement wasted no time in embracing players from all corners of the musical dressing up box. From guitar groups drafting in a keyboard playing friend and the progressive rockers using their expensive banks of electronics in new ways to the modernists and the Thatcherists, full of unabashed aspiration, and the punks – arguably the purest punks of them all – who discarded the guitar and the drum kit overnight in their pursuit of something fresh that their generation could truly call their own. All were welcome, and all contributed to the many different directions synth-pop would mutate in over the coming five or six years.
‘Electrical Language’ captures this time and place in microscopic detail. The uptempo would-be hits with suburban nightclub aspirations, the science and technology enthralled proto-techno workouts and the otherworldy experiments are all here, sitting comfortably amongst each other in some cases, jostling for position in others. This was a post-punk revolution of another kind, played out on a stage free of the traditional boundaries and limitations, entirely alien to anybody over twenty-five and enthralled by the new and the exotic. For the first time in a while, the future looked bright, albeit illuminated with electric light.
– Chain Of Command
– Native Europe
– Local Boy Makes Good
– The Bodhi-Beat Poets
– The Fast Set
– Section 25
– Jesus Couldn’t Drum
– Eddie & Sunshine