Monday, April 20, 2009
It's time for some mindless 80's synthpop. Yes, it's simplistic and repetitive, but at its best, it can also create pleasing sensations for the listener, with its machine-like hums and throbbing synth chords.
I like this primitive early OMD video for their song "Electricity". They are making an electropop video, by gosh, and the earnestness with which they play the two or three notes on their synthesizers cracks me up every time.
OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is my favorite synthpop band from the '80's. Many of their songs evoke a romance of electronics, electromagnetic waves, engineering and machinery, suggested even more directly by song titles such as Romance of the Telescope. Other titles include Telegraph, Tesla Girls, and Radio Waves. One of their best songs opens and closes with the sound of industrial equipment in the distance, producing a steady beat as a backdrop to their eerie synths. I find OMD songs wierdly satisfying in the way they bring to mind the constant pulse of industry and technology, yet because they are from the analog age, they possess a pre-digital innocence.
The two main guys, lead singer Andy McCluskey and keyboardist Paul Humphreys, were two chums who grew up on the Wirral Peninsula in England, influenced by Kraftwerk and Brian Eno. Sometimes their music almost reminds me of toy pianos, it's so simple, but then I like the sound of toy pianos.