This nOde last updated January 12th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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_Green Desert_ 12" on Relativity (1986) _Green Desert_ MP3 (vK) _White Clouds_ MP3 (192k) _Astral Voyager_ MP3 _Indian Summer_ MP3 (160k)
From: pyuxjj!rlr (pyuxjj!rlr)
Date: 1982-04-08 20:33:03 PST
Many advocates of what was once progressive rock (especially the electronic end of this genre) have taken interest in the new "electronic"- oriented "new wave" (WHAT A REPULSIVE TERM!) music. Though some die-hard punks dislike (that's not the word) this music and feel it has co-opted the punk movement (if there ever was one), I find it interesting as 1) an alternative to guitar-hero-dominated, heavy-metal sexist-racist mainstream rock and/or "adult contemporary" MOR (middle-of-the-road, or preferably MORon oriented rock), 2) an extension of *real* progressive electronic music, 3) listenable, often danceable, pop (nothing to be ashamed of).
I think that (1) speaks for itself, especially if you've listened to the radio lately. A lot of people might disagree with (2), but on close listening, you have to admit there's a lot of the ELP sound, for instance, in those like Gary Numan. I know that neither of these two are candidates for the National Serious Music Committee award, but other modern musicmakers harken back to Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and maybe more importantly, Phil Glass, Steve Reich, and Varese. As far as (3) goes, give a listen to "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell, "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League, "Lawnchairs" by Our Daughter's Wedding, "Electricity" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), "New Life" by Depeche Mode, and see what I mean.
These songs may not be everybody's cup of tea, but for me they sure beat the latest Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand/BG's pap and/or the latest Styx/Foreigner/Rush/REO clonetone music. Many of them show a good deal more originality, too. Although it could be argued that it all sounds the same (funny, that's what I was going to say about Styx and their ilk), the same thing was said in the early days of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, etc. Indeed, it may be/have been true, but in both cases the reasons behind the criticism were identical---Here is something new that threatens the status quo of the music industry. Industry-controlled plastic singers and big bands were about to be shaken up then, as rock-guitar bands feel they are about to be shaken up now. Every so often things need to be shaken up.
In my opinion, those who have worked with the synthesizer as the main instrument in their music have done so with a real DIY, buck-the-system fervor. The early singles by the Human League and OMD were (more or less) independently recorded in small studios/on home recording systems, while groups like Depeche Mode and Our Daughter's Wedding rehearsed and formulated their songs using their synthis plugged through their stereos. "Being Boiled" by the H.L. was recorded with a couple of simple synths on a SONY 2-track. In some ways it sounds it, but that's part of its charm.
Given time, I think we are seeing the seeds of a new musical form to supplant (not replace) rock as we know it. Of course, the intransigence of the modern music industry is well-known, and it will work hard to secure its foundations (and capital investment) in rock and its home for the aged, MOR. I just sort of threw all of this out at the net to see what would be thrown back at me, i.e., do "electropop" and other new forms of music have a market out there, or are the longhairs and middle-aged among us (the two groups now often intersect) afraid of/repulsed by all of this? Send responses/comments to me, unless you think they are of general interest to net users or if you find you can't get mail sent to me.