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Related: synthesizer - electropop - Kraftwerk

Hot Butter (1971)
image sourced here. [May 2005]


Synth pop is a style of popular music in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. While it might be argued that most current popular and commercial music in the industrialized world is realized via electronic instruments, synth pop has its own sylistic tendencies which differentiate it from other music produced by the same means. These include: the exploitation of artificiality (the synthesizers are not used to imitate acoustic instruments), the use of mechanical rhythms and "feel", the use of vocal arrangements as a counterpoint to the artificiality of the instruments, and the use of ostinato patterns as an effect. Synth pop song forms are generally the same as in "regular" pop music. Lyrically, synth pop has an affection for science-fiction themes.

Synth pop is sometimes referred to as Electropop although Electropop is generally regarded to be a particular style of Synth pop that flourished during the early 1980s. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthpop


The first wave of bands to make synthpop had nearly all been European, names like Telex , Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder will sound familiar.

The second wave was clearly American, with Detroit techno showing the way.


At the same time, Kraftwerk bought a Moog synthesizer, which enabled them to harness their long electronic pieces to a drum machine. The first fruit of this was "Autobahn," a 22-minute motorway journey, from the noises of a car starting up to the hum of cooling machinery. In 1975, an edited version of "Autobahn" was a top 10 hit. It wasn't the first synth hit --that honor belongs to Gershon Kingsley's hissing "Popcorn," performed by studio group Hot Butter-- but it wasn't a pure novelty either. - Jon Savage

Popcorn (song)

"Popcorn" is a reasonably famous early synth-pop instrumental. Composer Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kingsley) first recorded it for his 1969 album Music To Moog By. Stan Free rerecorded the instrumental and released it under the name "Hot Butter" in 1971. The record was one of a rash of Moog based releases that define "early synth-pop" for many people born in the 60's and 70's.

It's one of those pieces where, if you grew up in Europe, the United States or another European influenced country, you've probably heard it. The title most likely refers to the short staccato, or sharp "popping", sound used: --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn_%28song%29 [Apr 2005]

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