A lot of people get really upset when I say this, but I swear it's true; most of what we play at Atomic isn't technically new wave. Depeche Mode? Synthpop. Duran Duran? New Romantic. Joy Division? Post Punk. I could go on and on, but we're not that picky, and most people would probably be bored to tears with a pure new wave night anyway. When I think of real new wave, I think of the simple electronic pop that could be defined in no other way. I think of M, or even Devo, but personally I lean towards the darker stuff. And no one, I mean no one, did this better than the French in the early '80s.
Deux is a great example of this. The duo formed when Gérard Pelletier moved to Lyon and met art school student Cati Tete [her artwork is described as violent and grotesque, but sadly I couldn't dig any of it up online]. Their music is clearly heavily inspired by Kraftwerk and in current contexts is easily confused with Ladytron. Though they seem to have done rather well in France and at one point had their own imprint, the label went under after only a few years. After an attempt at more mainstream singles in the early '90s, Deux ceased to release anything. Too bad; I'd love to hear what they'd make now if they returned to the studio.
"Game and Performance" was their 1983 debut single, a pop song left naked, stripped of all but minimalist lyrics and melodies. Find it on their career-spanning 2006 compilation Agglomerat.
Available through the Deux