Actually hailing from Slovenia, New Wave Syria is Ursa Golob and Rok Pezdirc of Superheroes of BMX. Their rock background provides a more band-focused approach to this electronic side project that definitely comes across in the music. If you like Adult, you should probably just go download their whole album (link below).
"Random Logic" adds a layer of rough distortion over mechanical new wave, sounding like it was recorded in the middle of a factory. A delicate melody and Ursa's Ralf Hütter-style vocals provide just enough balance to keep the knob-twiddling from being overwhelming. This isn't necessarily the format that all of their songs follow; on some tracks, its the vocals that add the edge, at points the music feels almost ambient, at others poppy.
Available on thier album Hello, Yes, which you can download for free or purchase on cd via
If you go back far enough in electronic music, it all sort of starts to sound like one genre--and in the very early '80s, it sort of was. Before Justice and The Presets, THIS was the original electro.
Juan Atkins will be performing live as Model 500 at Movement on May 31.
Note: Whether you've never been to Detroit or a seasoned DEMF-goer, if you're planning on attending, I highly recommend reading this article from our friends at
Posted: May 14th, 2010
at 11:36am by qbot
Tagged with 1983, 1985, american, cosmic cars, cybotron, demf, detroit, detroit electronic music festival, djs, electro, juan atkins, just quality music, justice, kraftwerk, metroplex, model 500, movement, new wave, night drive, richard davis, robots, techno, the presets
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The particularly amazing thing is how while their early stuff still holds up pretty well after all this time, they've progressed so far as to sound almost nothing like those first albums--and yet still sound like the same band. To illustrate this, I've chosen to post "Monument", from the 1982 release A Broken Frame, a new wave track so minimal it can barely be danced to, whispering of techno and covered in fantastic '80s bleepy synths. In contrast, their recent single "Wrong" is loud and in-your-face, and the synths, now joined by guitars, are darker and harsher. This version is a remix by dubstep master Caspa [who coincidentally is playing at Smartbar on the same night]. The genre-overlay is really well done, and I think it says as much about the versatility of Depeche Mode's songwriting as Caspa's production skills.
Download and dig in, we'll see you on Thursday with a whole lot more!
Posted: March 22nd, 2010
at 3:44pm by qbot
Tagged with 1982, 2009, a broken frame, alan wilder, atomic, bleepy synths, caspa, dave gahan, depeche mode, dubstep, insane sample libraries, kraftwerk, martin gore, minimalism, monument, new wave, smartbar, sounds of the universe, synthpop, tribute, vince clarke, wrong
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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
Solvent is a robot. Now, I know what you're saying: "technically he looks like an android" or "robots do not live in Toronto, Canada" or "that's just some dude named Jason Amm", but I'm telling you, I'm a robot. I know robots. Listen to this music, and you'll hear what it is clearly the work of a robot.
It seemed like everyone at the Ghostly International anniversary party tonight was most excited about hearing his live set, and he did not disappoint. This is synthpop in it's most blippy, bleepy, Kraftwerk-inspired moment; this is what deserved the title "futurepop", because this is what we were told pop music was going to sound like in the 21st century. It's a shame that it never went the way so many of us thought it would in the '80s.
The lyrics say it all:
it doesn't seem so long ago
when i loved you, my radio
you promised me so much, but now you've changed
you always played my favorite songs
those robot-disco marathons
inspired me to buy my first machines
From his 2004 album Apples + Synthesizers, available in
I felt it was only appropriate to start with Kraftwerk. These Germans made modern electronic music what it is today. There may have been some doing it earlier, but, in the end, no one did it better. Their rhythmic, synth-driven sound influenced much of the music that was to follow. So much music has borrowed and/or stolen from them. Hip hop, House, Trance, New Wave, and Electronica, all borrowed material from Kraftwerk, especially from the Computer World album. Duran Duran, U2, Soft Cell, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Jay-Z, Afrikaa Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force, Coldplay, Senor Coconut, Laibach, and Peat Bog Faeries (a Celtic fusion band, thank you Wikipedia) have all used material from Kraftwerk or covered their songs.
Their early albums are usually themed. The album Radioactivity is all songs about radioactivity in the sense of radiation—“Geiger Counter”, “Uranium”, and “Radioactivity”—or activity involving radio—“Airwaves”, “Antenna”, and “Transistor”; Trans-Europe Express (an album named for a train) has the title track and “Metal on Metal” (wheels on rails) as examples. Vocals are sparse on any Kraftwerk album and are usually altered through some kind of vocoder or other sound altering device.
The easiest point of entry for someone wanting to explore Kraftwerk is the aforementioned 1981 album Computer World. Listen to this album and you will hear the source material for the samples of countless songs from the 80s and beyond. All the songs from this album—"Computer World" (1 and 2), "Pocket Calculator", "Computer Love", “Numbers”, "Home Computer", and “It's More Fun to Compute"—are solid tracks. Start your Kraftwerk tour here: