SYNTHY POP: LET’S GO
Simultaneously with the creation of the synthesizer, one of the most popular musical genres today was launched.
Mid Twentieth Century. The stage has already been filled with glamorous brilliance of pop divas and a violent 4/4 rhythm. The whole music world was bored waiting for a change. Diversity, new impressions were needed, which, alas, living instruments could no longer give. To create the impossible with sound – this was what not only musicians, but also the audience wanted. It’s sad or not, but the musician who wants to see will be on the stage.
So, since it was not tempting to observe smoke without fire, it was necessary to make this fire, that is, to create an instrument. The development of such were conducted in the nineteenth century, however, significant achievements arrived in the middle of the twentieth century. Rhodes Piano is the result of collaboration between inventor Harold Rhodes and Leo Fender. The instrument created a sensation, and the release of the first synthesizers Mark I and Mark II in 1955 and 1959 was not far off. With the release of more optimized models, the cost has dropped almost 12 times, and the sound quality has increased markedly. This meant that it was time to embody the most courageous ideas, using the latest developments. Experiments of musicians and the desire to fill the songs with new artificial sounds led to the appearance of a synth-pop flow.
A feature that singles out synthp among other genres is the use of a synthesizer as the dominant instrument. The keys began to sound in a new way, artificially, without imitating live instruments, drawing a special composition: the rhythm and key parts of the work were repeated cyclically, creating the feeling of a certain endless sound that will long remain in memory.
Special attention should be paid to vocals – performance within the framework of the genre usually leads to emotionality, brightness. Everything is done so that the music outlines the text, making it attractive. For example, singer Annie Lennox showed excellent academic vocals in synth-pop music – new melodies confidently coped with the function of the conductor of familiar pop songs. “And I heard these words too often,” she sings in the song “Why,” glittering with the peculiar brilliance of a pop star. But this is not the same. Uncomplicated lyrics smoothly reach the listener, and if the groups decide to make them darker (Depeche Mode “watch people die in real time” in the song “Going Backwards”), they will still be perceived easily.
The formation of synth-pop as a genre, occurred in the late 1970s. The father of the current is considered to be the jazz singer Stan Free with his song “Popcorn” – the work recorded using the Moog synthesizer instantly went into circulation, capturing the tops of charts from different countries. Agiotage, of course, was the first sign of disco and synthpop cultures.
In the US, the genre did not catch on immediately, but found its place in Japan and the UK in the person of the teams “Yellow Magic Orchestra”, “Human League” and “Ultravox”. Digital weighty sound attracted the audience, but could not provide instant popularity throughout the genre. Innovative elements turned against the mass audience, whose approval guaranteed a breakthrough. And such approval finally appeared – the groups playing synthpop were really loved by the general public in the 1980s. At that time, considered to be the best at times, soft and rhythmic, which became part of the “new wave”, replaced the avant-garde electronic music. The compositions have acquired a vigorous dance character, to some extent submitting to commercialization.
The dizzying success of the flow, in turn, contributed to the development of the synthesizer itself – its main capabilities were complemented by various special effects. Then came the development of MIDI, and with it the MIDI keyboard, which at times expanded the technical resources of the musicians. So by the end of the decade a new period began. Originality, mixing styles – all this has led to a ramification of synth-pop and the emergence of sub-genres: futures-pop, electropop, elektroklesh and others.
Nobody will tell about the genre better than its representatives.
Groups that had already gained popularity before the appearance of synth-pop quickly mastered the new and fashionable genre, giving the palm to their electronic synthesizer friend in their compositions. But on this whole wave of electronics, new, enthusiastic teams could not but gather. So, they all became fashion designers, who still invent images of future songs.
Justifying its name, the group is rightly called the trendsetter synth-pop. Gathered in 1980, they developed their own style and became one of the most successful representatives of electronic music in the world.
“Messengers” were formed from a little-known team of Composition of Sound, when singer David Gahan joined Vince Clarke, who later left the band, Andrew Fletcher and Martin Gore. In the first years of its existence, the group conquered the British charts with their singles, and in 1981 released their debut album.