Boomkat Product Review:
28-track primer survey of UK’s DIY synth-pop, post-industrial, and new wave experiments, packing 2018’s Vol. 1 with a further set of 15 aces by likes of 23 Skidoo, The Future, Clock DVA/T.A.G.C., Eric Random, Konstruktivists, Ian Boddy, John Avery, Bourbonese Qualk.
“This isn’t simply another synthpop compilation, or some nostalgic frippery, but an eclectic mix of acts that were experimenting with newly available technology at a time when the punk scene had imploded and the music press was busy coining new genres as an attempt to continue its legacy, although synth-pop in part arose from punk rock, it abandoned punk's emphasis on authenticity and often pursued a deliberate artificiality, drawing on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock. Although electronic experimentation had been explored in the decades before, it was still considered ‘alien’, "eerie, sterile, and vaguely menacing", and even downright, ‘austere and fascistic’.
It may have taken the likes of Gary Numan or Depeche Mode et al to switch the record buying public to synthesizer music, but bubbling underground were a myriad of experimenters recording in relative secrecy in Industrial cities like Sheffield or post-war London, at a time when the Tories came back into power and utterly altered the political landscape, and produced a generation of, ‘Thatcher’s Children’ (selfish, arrogant and materialistic). The antidote seemed to be quiet rebellion in the shape of dark and alienating soundscapes by acts that are now considered ‘pioneers’, or achieving cult status, in a new era of throwaway pop and trite ‘new wave’ impersonators.
Many of the acts herein will be familiar with followers of synth or industrial music, some perhaps lesser known. We’ve also included slightly ‘later’ works by artists that were already firmly established in the early 80s as a comparison, and for the pure arrogance of it. It’s an attempt to rekindle those heady days of experimentation and to encourage new generations to rebel and forgo the fashionable posturing that comes with anything vaguely ‘interesting’."