Time is cyclical. Clocks hands spin and the wheel of life rolls on through ages and ages and eons, never ending we spin. Everything has its season and with the years seasons come and go and we watch them fade away into nothing and then watch them grow and come back with such force that it is almost unrecognizable. Everything old is old and everything old is new again.
My favorite aspects of music are constantly being explored and re-explored until the music itself reaches almost a point of musical singularity. I must confess that I have a strange obsession with the cultural aspects of the embarrassing decade that is the 80’s. I am in love with the fact that I have a strange obsession wit
h the decade that birthed me, created electronic music and also made terrible fashions popular.
I don’t simply aim to speak on the idiosyncrasies of the decade, rather I seek to explicate on the decade that has formed the lifestyle that is electronic music. This decade and its sounds are eerily coming back into our culture and in certain ways its making it feel like it never left. Although there are endearing aspects of that wondrous decade can we even begin to imagine what might happen if it gains a strong enough foothold and sets in and refuses to leave of collective societal psyche?! Well Synth Pop might just be the next wave of sound to take over the radio. At first it was Pop-Centric House and then it was Dubstep. It certainly might not be Synth Pop but I sure am hoping it does make it big like leg warmers and Rubix cubes.
As the synth sounds of the 80’s creep back into our contemporary music, they find themselves in unlikely locations and ones that are uncanny, unsettling, brilliant and vibrant. Let the hot pink and day glow green die hard with a vengeance and let the 80’s live again in our hearts and our music but please just not our clothes.
One of the first and foremost electronic acts that is making waves bigger than sweating to the oldies are the sounds and enslaving stylings of GRUM. GRUM for those of you who are not in the know about 80’s parallel Electronica is a musician from Scotland. His debut album is released on his own record label Heartbeats! There is certainly nothing wrong with an artist who has the wherewithal to create his own label to release quality music and this gentleman does just that. Now I can’t quite remember the last time I heard anything 80’s like coming from Scotland but…..do a quick search online and find that Scotland holds an 80’s festival. Strange I know. This digression has nothing to do with the musical ability of GRUM. GRUM’s debut album “Heartbeats” has been compared to Daft Punk and has had a single featured in the video game Saints Row: The Third! Also, Grum is quite 80’s fantastical and sparks the mind and all sensibilities with such brilliance that it is quite hard to believe that this music is coming from a decade that we currently exist in. So please someone tear the facade and help me remember what year it is when you hear this GRUM’s 80’s madness in track titled “Can’t Shake This Feeling”. This video is reminiscent of a Traci Lords exercise video and part eating contest, I don’t know whether I should feel disturbed, excited, or both because well GRUM kinda has that effect! Watch and enjoy!
Now if that didn’t make you say what the…why the….huh….eating contest whaaa?? What is more important than the strange effect the video might have on you is that the music is so 80’s it makes me want to watch Miami Vice and wear really bad suit jackets! Maybe that is just me? Either way, GRUM is the kind of music that will make you dance in a retro style until that retro style is no longer fashionable, or until it becomes fashionable again. There is nothing more awesome than an artist who has remixed just about every one of your favorite musical acts and GRUM is no exception, the list includes, Nirvana, David Bowie, Passion Pit, Groove Armada, Goldfrapp, Lady Gaga, and the Pet Shop Boys. Now that list might not be impressive to some but when you pull out all the stops on your 1980’s reincarnation you need to just about cover the musical universe. So take a trip back to the future with GRUM’s track titled, “Through the Night” and if you are feeling adventurous please do check out the official video from GRUM of “Through the Night” which will also make you laugh, cry and possibly question yourself. This particular version is not the strange but awesome video version and this track is remixed by BITFUNK!
Now, we have explored the aspects of a re-emerging culture that refuses to die like the movies of the undead it spawned. (Day of the Dead and Evil Dead to name a couple) Thats another reason why this generation and then has so much in common, awesome dance music and terrifying zombie apocalypse scenarios! Well as the undead and synth-pop revival continues to spin their web of entrapment and delight, feel free to indulge in the works of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. This group is an English synth pop group from the merry old land of London. The band was on the label Fire & Manouvre and had released a couple of albums but even more notable is their appearance at Glastonbury 2009. Now even though the band is no longer together I feel it is notable that they be enjoyed despite their tragic ending, also the band is still quite effective in making me want to dance as it did in the year of 2009 and 2010 and so it definitely deserves more than a listen, so attention please for Ou Est Le Swimming Pool and their video titled, “Dance the Way I Feel” which not only brings a lost decade back to life but also brings me joy and exuberance.
If you are anywhere near into synth-pop as I am and many of my friends are than I would suggest lending some time to the fine artist that is FM Attack. His debut album was titled “Dreamatic” and FM Attack has been attacking the worldwide Electro scene ever since. He was apparently signed by Tiga to Turbo Recordings, Tiga is also an electronic musician, not to be confused with Tyga, the rapper over with our friends at YMCMB.
So now listen as time comes full circle and reminds all of us how we used to be and still are, listen quite literally to the magic of the 80‘s/10‘s in a track by FM Attack and their track “Magic”.
Now there is nothing as strange as being taken back into time and realizing you never left your current era. I love this era we live in now, I love how every moment is a re-imagination of something that has already existed and how that everyday nothing new comes our way, rather new occurrences of age old happenings that seek to refresh us and remind us that we aren’t so original but rather similar. We each and every one of us hold this collective memory and we are all the same, living, breathing, feeling the same air, experiences, love and life. We cannot escape, no matter how hard we try to hide our Teenage Ninja Mutant Ninja Turtles or how hard we try to forget we wore denim jackets, we have all derived something from ages before us and even if you don’t like it you still have to respect that it came before and it’s part of us now.