Disco + SynthPop = Retro Inspired Boogie & I'm Living For It!

It has been a little while since I have been quite literally obsessed with the sounds of synthesizers. I grew up in the 80s and as such the sweet melodies carried by these instruments bring back so many memories. Also, my uncle was a huge fan of disco music and it has always held a very special place in my heart. A few years back, I remember reading the local newspaper (yes, we used to do that back then) and noticed that a band I really liked was playing at a club in Vancouver. The band's name is Gusgus and I'm pretty certain you would recognize them by their popular song "LadyShave". I hadn't kept in touch with their work since leaving Mexico in the late nineties and therefore I was in for quite a surprise when I first walked into the venue. Once the show started and Gusgus came on stage I felt like I had finally found a perfect combination of sounds -- my sound! The vocals plus the deep bass and above all the heavy use of synthesizers really appealed to my ears. I literally felt like I was in heaven for those 2+ hours. If you haven't listened to Gusgus' music I highly recommend you check out their album "Attention" (more info here) - it's an incredible musical journey that certainly remains one of my top albums of all time. I'll give you a taste below: "David" is my favourite song in the album.

As you can see this genre of music is quite simply intoxicating and therefore ever since I had that experience watching Gusgus live I have been constantly craving more music like this. The eventually led to my discovery of two genres I love: NeuDisco and SynthPop/SynthWave. Of course one cannot talk about synth music without mentioning the one and only Giorgio Moroder who in fact quite literally invented this sound. You may not immediatly recognize his name but If you were around in the 80s and watched the film "Never Ending Story" then you should know that the movie's main theme was done by Moroder. This song is not only the perfect marriage of Disco and synths but it is also the soundtrack of an entire generation:

In fact, Moroder is so famous and revered that Daft Punk named one of their songs after him and had him voice parts of the song:

Ever since discovering "my sound" I have been actively listening to bands that reflect that in their music. My favourite SynthPop band is a local Vancouver band FM Attack. I am a bit particular when it comes to SynthPop music as I like to have the synthesizer components but also a melodic vocal and FM Attach always delivers in both. If you have not heard about them please do yourself a favour and check out their album Dreamatic:

For a while now, Disco and Synthwave have been patiently waiting their turn for a mainstream comeback and 2020 seems to be the year where it is happening. Huge singers like The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, Kim Petras and the one and only Kylie Minogue have all devoted entire albums to bring these classic sounds back to the masses. Long gone are the days of skinny jeans and reggaeton. Instead, we are seeing a massive comeback of 70's/80's inspired fashions such as bell bottoms and patterned shirts/dresses. You know this is a trend when GUCCI devoted their most recent campaign to it. Anyone out there wanting to buy me the blue GG trench below?
As mentioned earlier, Kylie and Dua Lipa both have albums entirely focused on the revival of Disco. Dua Lipa even released a club version of her hugely successful album Future Nostalgia called: Club Future Nostalgia. This album is a musical masterpiece mostly crafted by remixes by the revered DJ - The Blessed Madonna - formerly known as The Black Madonna. If you haven't tuned in to her mixes then I highly recommend doing so ASAP. And then of course there is Kylie's latest album very accureately name: DISCO. I have always loved Kylie but this particular album is very close to my heart as it truly encompasses what DISCO is all about - dancing and having a good time. I love how she guides her listeners through a journey where she starts getting ready to go out, ends up at the dancefloor and eventually follows the DJ to where they go dancing themselves to keep the party going. Take a listen below. You won't regret it:

If you enjoyed listening to Kylie's latest album then I highly recommend getting tickets to her upcoming fully virtual show INFINITE DISCO playing for the second time for NYE on December 31, 2020. I watched this virtual show the first time around and I cannot praise it enough. So well done!

Finally, I would like to leave you with "my baby" - a playlist that has taken me years to compile. I choose to call it Synth Renaissance and it is available in both Spotify and AppleMusic. I hope you enjoy getting to know my favourite genre of music and that it brings you as much joy as it brings me. IF you have any artists you'd like to recommend to me or any other comments please feel free to leave them below. Stay safe and remember to keep dancing regardless of what life may bring our way.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion for Synth music!

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