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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Focus On Music: French Synth Wave

Synth pop is a style of popular music in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. While it might be argued that most current popular and commercial music in the industrialized world is realized via electronic instruments, synth pop has its own stylistic tendencies which differentiate it from other music produced by the same means. These include: the exploitation of artificiality (the synthesizers are not used to imitate acoustic instruments), the use of mechanical rhythms and "feel", the use of vocal arrangements as a counterpoint to the artificiality of the instruments, and the use of ostinato patterns as an effect. Synth pop song forms are generally the same as in "regular" pop music. Lyrically, synth pop has an affection for science-fiction themes.

Synth pop is sometimes referred to as electropop although electropop is generally regarded to be a particular style of synth pop that flourished during the early 1980s most closely associated with the post-punk New Wave music scene.

Several of these bands in the 1980s were quite successful. None of the newer acts have had more than a modicum of commercial success in the United States, although some have done very well in Europe, South America, and/or Asia.

Synth pop is increasingly used in gothic and industrial circles to describe various dark electronic artists, particularly those in the electronic body music and futurepop genres. It is otherwise generally used in its more classic sense, referring to early 1980s synthesizer driven pop acts (e.g., Depeche Mode, Erasure) as well as a variety of New Romantic pop acts from the same era (e.g., Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet).

Below we focus on the French New Wave Movement
click any track to listen

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