It was a time of skinny ties, flamboyant outfits, teased hair, flashy MTV videos and in-your-face attitude. Ah, a fond reflection of that priceless stamp in time called the New Wave era of popular music. It was a time well over a decade and a half ago when boy bands were kept to a strict minimum, “grunge” music hadn’t been dreamed of and hardcore rap was still in its infancy and peppered with harmless naïvety. Don’t tell me you don’t recall scrawling Duran Duran or Devo on your Junior High textbooks or that you didn’t secretly hum “People Are People” on the school bus everyday. C’mon, admit it, you were a sucker for that stuff. And while all the other kids were rocking out to the latest hair band-of-the-week crooning another sappy love ballad or imitating Michael Jackson’s moonwalk (in the privacy of their bedrooms, of course) you were at the local corner record store picking up the new Dead Or Alive and Pet Shop Boys twelve inch vinyl singles and papering your walls with glossy new posters of The Smiths and Billy Idol. For those of you who are too young to remember those glorious, carefree days, take no pity on our deviant sins and pensive melancholy. Just empathize with us. Because we have no remorse. We’ve been immersed in a new era now, where our choices for real “alternative” music is, for the most part, limited to the next temporary fad concocted by faceless head honchos from the major label market to fatten their wallets. It’s our time to shine again, people…..
Those of you who bought this amazing 2 CD collection of today’s most respected modern synthpop artists performing covers of these timeless tunes which we so adoringly remember will experience a heightened sense of bittersweet nostalgia. After all, who could forget the first time they heard “Take On Me,” “Tainted Love,” “Blue Monday,” or “Fade To Grey?” Or for those of you really into synth driven music of the time, forget such influential groups as Celebrate The Nun, Boytronic, Ultravox or Cetu Javu? The bands who’ve contributed their unique interpretations of these classic tracks are also enjoying varying degrees of success. Quite a few of the artists found here are signed to an independent or major label and several have developed their own rabid following in a relatively short period of time and after just a few record releases. It’s a testament to the escalating popularity rise of modern electronic pop music and a fitting tribute to the pioneers who influenced each and every one of them. Some veterans in the scene, such as Rational Youth for example, who dutifully paid their respects to their “synthpop heroes” on this collection, have been literally forced out of retirement by their dedicated admirers to release new material for a new generation. Fellow Canadians Psyche, ironically, compose their own tribute to a classic 80’s Rational Youth track here as well. Fresh newcomers from around the globe like Echo Image, New Concept, Estatuas De Sol, Intact and Neuropa also take part in the homage as well. And the mother country of the European synthesizer revolution, Germany (can you say Kraftwerk?,) are represented within by such well known names as Edenfeld, Obsc(y)re, No Comment, Point Of View and Infam. Without delving into a yawn-inducing history of each and every artist who contributed, the new listener to these discs can rest well assured that they are widely considered the crème de la crème of the 21st century.
Many of the songs selected for this compilation were either bonifide radio hits or garnered one hit wonder status and shelved in the annals of pop music; but for each and every one of the bands represented here, new and old, it’s a time that won’t soon be forgotten and will be embellished upon our psyche, no pun, for many years to come. As usual, please support the acts participating on this release who are deeply committed to continuing the new wave tradition into a brave new technological world of music.