“We’re off to a place, where it’s always sunny
Pack your bags honey, we’re going to hell!”
Electropop is a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, electronic sound. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and influence since the 2000s. During the early 1980s, artists such as Gary Numan, the Human League, Soft Cell, John Foxx and Visage helped pioneer a new synth-pop style that drew more heavily from electronic and synthesizer music, while the electro style was influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk,
Are Friends Electric?
Synth-pop (short for synthesizer pop; also called techno-pop) is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the “Krautrock” of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. “Synth-pop” is sometimes used interchangeably with “electropop”. Synth-pop reached its commercial peak in the UK in the winter of 1981–2, with bands such as Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Japan, Ultravox, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and even Kraftwerk, enjoying top ten hits. In early 1982 synthesizers were so dominant that the Musicians Union attempted to limit their use. By the end of 1982, these acts had been joined in the charts by synth-based singles from Thomas Dolby, Blancmange, and Tears for Fears. Synth-pop was taken up across the world, with international hits for acts including Men Without Hats and Trans-X from Canada, Telex from Belgium, Peter Schilling, Sandra, Modern Talking, Propaganda and Alphaville from Germany, and Yello from Switzerland.
Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the “most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music” that was “initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation”. The term was broadened to include artists influenced by the original movement or using an “industrial” aesthetic. In the 1980s, artists such as Front 242, KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, Ministry, and Sister Machine Gun gained prominence on the industrial music scene. Electro-industrial music is a primary subgenre that developed in the 1980s. The two other most notable hybrid genres are industrial rock and industrial metal, which include bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, these distinct genres are often referred to as simply industrial.
Coldwave was a music movement that emerged in France and Belgium in the late 1970s. Characterized by its irreverent, detached tone and minimal use of electronic instruments, the scene came as a result of punk bands who acquired affordable portable synthesizers such as the Korg MS-20. It is an early synonym for what would later be termed “darkwave“, “goth“, and “deathrock”. In later years, “coldwave” has become subsumed under the retrospective labels “minimal wave” or “minimal synth”.
Darkwave is a music genre that emerged from the new wave and post-punk movement of the late 1970s. Darkwave compositions are largely based on minor key tonality and introspective lyrics, and have been perceived as being dark, romantic, and bleak, with an undertone of sorrow. Common features include the use of chordophones such as electric and acoustic guitar, violin, and piano, as well as electronic instruments such as synthesizer, sampler, and drum machine. The genre embraces a range of styles including coldwave, ethereal wave, gothic rock, neoclassical darkwave, and neofolk.
Electroclash (also known as synthcore, retro-electro, tech-pop, nouveau disco, and the new new wave) is a genre of music that fuses 1980s electro, new wave and synth-pop with 1990s techno, retro-style electropop and electronic dance music. It emerged in the later 1990s and is often thought of as reaching its peak circa 2002-2003. It was pioneered by and associated with acts such as I-F, Miss Kittin and The Hacker and Fischerspooner.
Synth-punk (also known as electropunk) is a fusion genre that combines elements from electronic rock with punk. It originates from punk musicians between 1977 and 1984 that swapped their guitars with synthesizers.
Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. The early post-punk vanguard was represented by groups such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Wire, Public Image Ltd, the Pop Group, Cabaret Voltaire, Magazine, Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Devo, Throbbing Gristle, the Slits, the Cure, the Fall, and Au Pairs. The movement was closely related to the development of ancillary genres such as gothic rock, neo-psychedelia, no wave, and industrial music.
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Electro-industrial is a music genre that emerged from industrial music in the mid-1980s. While EBM (electronic body music) has a minimal structure and clean production, electro-industrial has a deep, complex and layered sound. The style was pioneered by Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, and other groups, either from Canada or the Benelux. Dark electro is a similar style, developed in the early 1990s in central Europe. Aggrotech (also known as hellektro), is a derivative form of electro-industrial with a strong influence from the hardstyle/hard trance music (straight Techno bassdrum and oscillator sounds, especially Supersaw leads from Roland JP-8000) that first surfaced in the mid-late-1990s.
Electronic body music (EBM) is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of industrial music and synth-punk with elements of disco and dance music. It developed in the early 1980s in Germany and Belgium and came to prominence in Belgium at the end of the decade. EBM was generally considered a part of the European new wave and post-punk movement and the first style that blended synthesized sounds with an ecstatic style of dancing (e.g. pogo).
Futurepop is an electronic music genre, an outgrowth of EBM, that evolved in the late 1990s with groups like VNV Nation, Covenant, and Apoptygma Berzerk. It is characterized by the heavy use of sampling and an absence of vocal modification that is popular in many other forms of electronic music, such as Aggrotech.
Neue Deutsche Härte (German for “New German Hardness“, abbrev: NDH) is a subgenre of rock music that developed in Germany during the mid-1990s. Alluding to the style of Neue Deutsche Welle, the term was coined by the music press after the 1995 release of Rammstein’s album Herzeleid. Neue Deutsche Härte describes a crossover style that is influenced by Neue Deutsche Welle, alternative metal and groove metal combining it with elements from electro-industrial and techno. The lyrics are generally in German.
Gothic rock (alternately called goth-rock or goth) is a style of post-punk that emerged from post-punk in the late 1970s. The first post-punk bands which shifted towards dark music with gothic overtones include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and the Cure. The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from post-punk due to its darker music accompanied by introspective and romantic lyrics. Gothic rock then gave rise to a broader subculture that included clubs, fashion and publications in the 1980s.
Gothabilly (sometimes hellbilly) is an offshoot of psychobilly influenced by the goth subculture. The name is a portmanteau word that combines gothic and rockabilly, first used by the Cramps in the late 1970s to describe their somber blend of rockabilly and punk rock. Since then the term has come to describe a fashion style influenced by gothic fashion, as seen in its use of black silks, satins, lace and velvet, corsets, top hats, antique jewellery, PVC, and leather.
Shoegazing (or shoegaze, initially known as “dreampop”) is a sub genre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal-sounding mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. The term “shoegazing” was coined by the British music press to ridicule the stage presence of a wave of neo-psychedelic groups who stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state with their heads down. Most bands drew from the music of My Bloody Valentine as a template for the genre.
New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music (early new wave) or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.
“What’s a little eternal damnation?
Compared to drums of radiation
What’s a little eternal fire on the side
Compared to slaughter and genocide
What’s a little demonic ass spanking
Compared to starvation and investment banking”