bleeps & bloops


Electro-Magnetism Special on Late 90’s Synthpop
December 2, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best of European Synthpop

Today I felt disappointed and sad so I asked myself, what makes a person feel better? What is crack for the soul on a wintery day of sadness? What can continually lift your spirits and never let you down, no hangovers, no withdrawal (well, maybe), no negative side-effects? Late 90’s Euro Synth-Pop hits the spot every time.

I haven’t broken out some of this stuff for a very long time and for good reason- the shit’s so powerfully perky that my old worn heart might suffer a cardiac arrest on a typical day. But today is no average day and I needed a good strong dose of the music that I loved as a teenager, the music that helped me stay afloat through my awful high-school years and gave me a reason to live. I’ve also thrown in just a handful of tunes that are more recent (Freezepop and Soviet) and a little older (Erasure) for good measure.

These are the very songs that introduced me to electronic music as a whole, believe it or not, back when I was 15. There was just something very special about those bleepy sounds and melancholic melodies… It feels really good to indulge in them again!

One of my very first purchases in the genre was Hard Records’ “Best of European Synth-Pop,” released in 1996, though I have to say I began stealing music over the web at a young age since European Synth-Pop was so damn expensive. To obtain it was quite a task- It had to be bought through obscure German music stores over the internet, across the sea! And a 15 year old teenager can not afford a $28 CD plus shipping! OK no way, so I spent a lot of time downloading songs through really crappy old-school peer-to-peer networks over a barely existent dial-up connection. One song might take a few hours to download, but when it was done you had a killer song from a far off land where people understood you and that was totally awesome!!

I learned about a lot of my favorite bands through a radio show called Subculture Shock (what?! what?! 90’s Cville goth scene!), and I have to say I owe my pursued musical direction thanks to that radio show. From their Myspace page (it lives on, no shit!):

Started in 1995 by Andy Dean of Bella Morte Subculture Shock was Charlottesville, Virginia’s first radio show dedicated solely to all music falling into the Gothic Subculture. After 10 years, and a list of DJs that includes Virginia Goth Greats SubShock is still going strong as Charlottesville’s Premier source for the darker side of radio.

God bless it. Where would I be? It was a life raft in a sea of Jazz and Classical programming and Top 40 in my little Virginia town.  The show was directly related to a thriving goth scene of freaks and punks who would coverge for dance nights at the local sushi bar (I love how this is the same old story across the US…). This is also where I learned the joy of dancing.

Late 90’s synthpop has this wonderful innocence about it. It lost a bit of that glow as the genre progressed into the new millennium. It got a little too trance-y, a bit too obsessed with the most advanced musical technology, the lyrics got worse (is that possible?). A decade later I still love the old stuff!

And so, without further adieu- here is the 90’s Synth-Pop Mix for the Dead of Winter.

….and I apologize, there is a 20 second pause in the beginning where I forgot to crop  the recording…

Stream it here!

Download it for later here!

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Tracklist:

1. Silke Bischoff- Waste of Time (Extended)
2. Children Within- Efemeris (Seal Mix)
3. Daily Planet- Shame
4. Freezepop- Tender Lies
5. Elegant Machinery- Myself With You
6. Wolfsheim- …Can Manage…
7. Iris- Lose In Wanting (Lovett’s Sonar Eclipse Mix)
8. Neuropa- Lifeline
9. Dark Distant Spaces- Space Age Love Song
10. Yendri- Life is Sad
11. Erasure- Hideaway
12. Soviet- Candy Girl
13. Frozen Autumn- Painted Girls
14. Apoptygma Berzerk- Non-stop Violence
15. Neuroactive- Wonders of the World (Fragments Mix)
16. X-Act- Nothing Will Change

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