Infobox Music genre
name = Electropop
bgcolor = silver
color = black
Krautrock Synthpop Post-punk
Electronic art music
cultural_origins = Late 1970s Germany and Britain
Kraftwerk, David Bowie
instruments = Synthesizer - Drum machine - Tape loops - Drums - Guitar - Sequencer - Keyboard - Sampler
popularity = Moderate, in early '80s Europe; return to prominence in early '00s America and Europe
derivatives = Electro
Techno Dance-punk Post-disco
Electropop (also called technopop) is a form of
electronic musicthat is made with synthesizers, and which first flourished from 1978 to 1981. Electropop laid the groundwork for a mass market in chart-oriented synthpop. Numerous bands have since carried on the electropop tradition into the 1990s and 2000s.
Electropop is different from synthpop because it is often characterised by a cold, robotic, electronic sound, which was largely due to the early limitations of the analog synthesizers used to make the music. The alienated deadpan lyrics usually have a science-fiction edge to them, and do not use the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl" theme that was so common among mass-market chart-topping new wave artists from about 1981 onwards.
Most electropop songs are pop songs at heart, often with simple, catchy hooks and dance beats, but differing from those of
electronic dance musicgenres which electropop helped to inspire — techno, house, electroclash, etc. — in that strong songwriting is emphasized over simple danceability.
Many early electropop artists were British and were inspired by
David Bowie's "Berlin period" albums "Heroes" and "Low". [Greg Villepique, "Salon", January 25, 2000. [http://archive.salon.com/people/bc/2000/01/25/bowie/print.html] Access date: August 11, 2008.] Other main influences on electropop were the German band Kraftwerk[Rachel Devitt, "Geeks of electro-pop meld man, machine in mind-blowing show", "The Seattle Times", April 28, 2004. [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040428&slug=kraftwerk28] Access date: August 11, 2008.] and the Japanese group Yellow Magic Orchestra. ["Yellow Magic Orchestra reunite for Massive Attack's Meltdown." "Side-Line". [http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=32511_0_2_0_C] Access date: August 11, 2008.] Some groups also took inspiration from the NYC synthpunkgroup Suicide, [Scott Thill, "All-Star Admirers Resuscitate Suicide", "Wired Listening Post", June 24, 2008. [http://blog.wired.com/music/2008/06/all-star-admire.html] Access date: August 13, 2008.] and the Krautrockgroups Neu!, Cluster, and Can.
There had been a long history of experimental avant-garde electronic music, notably in northern Europe, but this had little influence on electropop. The avant-garde electronic music tradition did, however, provide access to a bank of technical expertise built up over decades, via organisations such as the
BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the London Electronic Music Studios. These institutions were patronised by early rock synth pioneers such as Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Tangerine Dream, and Pink Floyd.
Electropop was strongly disparaged in the British music press of the late 1970s and early 1980s as the "
Adolf HitlerMemorial Space Patrol" ( Mick Farren) [The Seth Man, "Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage", June 1, 2004. [http://www.headheritage.com/unsung/thebookofseth/1114] Access date: August 14, 2004] .
Electropop later fed into, and its synthesiser sound became intertwined with, the British
New Romanticmovement of the early 80s. Early electropop laid the groundwork for acceptance of later ravemusic, which appeared from New Order's 1983 "Blue Monday" single. Within ten years of electropop's 'death' around 1982, the cultural meaning of its 'blips and beeps' had been shorn of the taint of modernism, and firmly attached to rave culture's neo-romantic 'nostalgia for the archaic'.Fact|date=May 2008
While electropop had been suspected of racism or
fascismby some, it flourished in the United States in black culture, particularly in Detroit. Musicians such as A Number of Names and Cybotronpursued a version of the style inflected by R&B and funkwhich eventually established the Detroit technoscene. Afrika Bambaata, from New York, also invented the electro style of hip-hop by sampling Kraftwerk.
Electropop later fed into synthpop with bands like
Pet Shop Boys, Soft Celland Culture Cluband afterwards the electroclash movements of the 1990s, and underwent a revival at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s through artists such as Felix Da Housecat, Luke Slaterand nightclubs such as Nag Nag Nag, Kashpointand Electrogogoin London (witness the "Random" tribute album to Gary Numan) with electroclash, and Metro Station.
A number of electropop musicians came out of the
electroclashscenes, going on to make popular albums from 2002 to present, from London, New York, Berlin, and Ann Arbor. These have included Fischerspooner, [Daniel Mumford, Fischerspooner review, May 6, 2002. [http://www.musicomh.com/albums/fischerspooner.htm] Access date: August 14, 2004.] Ladytron, Melnyk, Temposhark, Peaches, Gonzales, The Whip, Dragonette, Matthew Dear, ["Blender" Blog, "Live: The Electro-Pop George Clooney", [http://www.blender.com/news/comments.aspx?article=9898] Access date: August 14, 2008.] T. Raumschmiere, [John Sobolewski, "WZBC Recommends Electropop Radio Blackout", "The Heights", September 29, 2003. [http://media.www.bcheights.com/media/storage/paper144/news/2003/09/29/ArtsReview/Wzbc-Recommends.Electropop.Radio.Blackout-507048.shtml] Access date: August 14, 2008.] Ellen Allien, [Don Crispy, "Metropolis". [http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/586/clubs.asp] Access date: August 14, 2008.] Miss Kittin, [Christen Reutens, "Sonar 2008: Miss Kittin Interview", "Beatportal", June 19, 2008. [http://www.beatportal.com/feed/item/sonar-2008-miss-kittin-interview/] Access date: August 14, 2008.] The Knife, [Drowned in Sound: The Knife [http://www.drownedinsound.com/bands/8285] Access date: August 20, 2008.] Hot Chip, Dangerous Muse, Lady Gaga, The Tough Alliance, MGMT, Almamyand Does It Offend You, Yeah?.
At Latin-America since 2004 came out a lot of artists, specially from Mexico: Maria Daniela y Su Sonido Lasser, Fey, Belanova. Chile: Gastón Céspedes, Pali, Lulú Jam!, Mirwayz, ReDulce. Argentina: Modex, Gaby Bex, Murias, Miranda!.
Spain have their own scene with artists as Fangoria and La Prohibida
*"Depeche Mode & The Story of Electro-Pop", Q/Mojo magazine collaboration, 2005.
* "Electronic Music: The Instruments, the Music & The Musicians" by Andy Mackay, of
Roxy Music(Harrow House, 1981)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.