“Electronic music has a family, a legacy and a future…” : JEAN-MICHEL JARRE
“From all our work comes inspiration. We have been very lucky because the music we envisioned, the ideas we had of The Man-Machine and electro music, have become reality and technology has developed in our direction… and electro is everywhere!” : RALF HÜTTER
“Synthesizers can be explored and explored, and the music that can be made with electronic instruments is infinite in its breadth. KRAFTWERK may have said ‘we are the robots’, but anyone need only listen to Trans-Europe Express and compare it to most of the turgid, boring guitar-based rock that has been produced over the last 30 years to realise that electronic music can be deeply emotional. And anyone who says electronic music is not real music is just too simple-minded for our patience I’m afraid!” : MIRRORS
“Today’s luxuries are tomorrow’s norm” : WALTER GROPIUS
“A lot of people who bang on about the 80s don’t actually know what they’re talking about” : PHILIP OAKEY
“I don’t like country & western, I don’t like rock music… I don’t like rockabilly! I don’t like much really do I? But what I do like, I love passionately!!” : CHRIS LOWE
“Sooner or later, one has to take sides to remain human” : CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN
With informed opinion and trivia, it is an education about synthpop, pop music that uses synthesizers, while aiming to avoid lazy terms such as analogue, 80s and contemporary.
TEC is for like-minded people who are still excited about music and not afraid to try something new.
Whether it’s the heroes of Synth Britannia, the optimism of the new wave or the savvy electronic generation of the 21st Century, they all deserve your attention.
And if the music featured somehow reflects the roots of the past, then so what? As the highly respected Factory Records biographer James Nice put it: “I have no problem at all with something new being imitative, as long as it’s good”.
Those who are unable to tell their tape recorders from their drum machines need not apply…
The Electricity Club’s Contributing Team
Amy is a part-time J-Pop fan with a particular interest in the likes of PERFUME and ARASHI. She has cosmopolitan tastes and her favourite electro artists are LADY GAGA, LITTLE BOOTS and MARSHEAUX while she has recently been taken with TAYLOR SWIFT’s new synthpop direction. Her first concert though was ATOMIC KITTEN at Shepherds Bush Empire…
She likes to spend summers in France and has a keen interest in art. When she’s not listening to tunes or continuing her studies to become a Psychotherapist, she’s helping and assisting with the administration of The Electricity Club.
Paul has a chequered music industry-based background. His first official show was seeing DEPECHE MODE on the Broken Frame tour at The Brighton Dome and has been a regular gig goer since. His favourite current artists are Aussie electropoppers THE PRESETS and GRAFTON PRIMARY, INFECTED MUSHROOM, RAMMSTEIN and US Aggrotech artist AESTHETIC PERFECTION (who he has remixed). He also owns 26 TANGERINE DREAM albums.
Paul’s musical showreel includes songwriting and synth programming for Spice Girl MELANIE C, writing for J-Pop superstars ARASHI and a top 10 single with a dance version of the Sergio Mendes classic ‘Mas Que Nada’ as part of the duo ECHOBEATZ. As EMP, he has undertaken a variety of bootleg electronic remixes, some of which can be heard on his Soundcloud. He also works as a music technology lecturer at Basingstoke College of Technology.
Deb has been a key player in Synth Britannia having hosted the first live performance of a promising young quartet from Basildon in 1980; that band became DEPECHE MODE. She also co-founded the first DEPECHE MODE Information Service and when Vince Clarke left the group in Autumn 1981, later ran the YAZOO Fan Club.
In 2011, she founded Bas Productions and was behind the DM fan events BAS and BASII which featured artists such as BLANCMANGE, SARAH BLACKWOOD, TENEK and STRANGERS. Since leaving Bas Productions, she has been preparing an illustrative book on the early years of DEPECHE MODE using her personal collection of photos and memorabilia from the period.
Glaswegian musician Ian was a member of ANALOG ANGEL who released their third long player ‘Trinity’ in Summer 2014. His tastes vary from the classic Synth Britannia stalwarts ULTRAVOX, HEAVEN 17, THOMAS DOLBY and OMD to rock icons such as RUSH, MARILLION and GENESIS. Indeed, it is great surprise to learn that Ian’s favourite keyboard player of all time is Tony Banks.
His other favourite artists include ASSEMBLAGE 23, IMOGEN HEAP, VILE ELECTRODES, TENEK and ADVANCE. A big presence of the domestic music scene, Ian combines frank and forthright views with a sharp sense of humour.
Simon officiates over the Nordic friendly music blog Cold War Night Life, named after the debut album by Canadian synthpop trailblazers RATIONAL YOUTH. He developed his love of the Scandinavian electronic scene while studying in Stockholm.
His favourite acts include PAGE, SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN, TUXEDOMOON, TEST DEPARTMENT, PSYCHE and S.P.O.C.K. while his portfolio also includes two well received live music events ‘An Evening With The Swedish Synth’ and ‘A Secret Wish’. He also helped put together the event programme booklet for Electronic Summer 2015 in Gothenburg.
CHI MING LAI
Chi is a keen observer of the electronic pop genre whose work has rapidly gained respect and recognition over the last few years. His knowledge of the classic Synth Britannia era is almost encyclopaedic and he often gets text requests from friends needing help at pub music quizzes!
The legends he has interviewed for The Electricity Club read like a ‘Who’s Who?’ of the electronic pop. He has previously been a writer for the student newspaper ‘Times Up’ and the OMD magazine Messages. His first album was ‘The Pleasure Principle’ by GARY NUMAN while his first concert was OMD at Hammersmith Odeon.
Sophie is a dedicated electronic music girl who combines her passion for music with an everyday life of work and family in the South of Sweden. It all started when in the early eighties when listening to Radio Luxembourg and there she discovered bands like THE HUMAN LEAGUE and DEPECHE MODE. Her interest in synthpop then grew and she started to follow the likes of YAZOO, ERASURE and SIMPLE MINDS; the list can go on and on…
Nowadays, she enjoys going to gigs both in Sweden and Europe, especially when DM are on tour. If you ask her opinion, she will tell you that the combination of new and old electronic bands right now is just brilliant and bands like SPACEBUOY, SHINY DARKNESS and TENEK are just a few examples of the new acts who really mean a lot to her.
Richard first started taking live photos during THE HUMAN LEAGUE’s concerts in the noughties and his work has featured on some of their official merchandise. More recently, one of his images was used on an official T-Shirt sold through Urban Outfitters.
His portfolio has also been used in the OMD ‘History Of Modern’ tour programme and also on the OMD and LITTLE BOOTS websites. His first album was also GARY NUMAN’s ‘The Pleasure Principle’ while his live initiation was ULTRAVOX at Hammersmith Odeon in 1981 where he bought a ticket off a tout for the then extortionate sum of £7!!
Stephen is best known for ‘Back Stage – A Book Of Reflections’, a comprehensive account of GARY NUMAN’s imperial years between 1979 – 1981. The book featured contributions from GARY NUMAN himself and band members Chris Payne, RRussell Bell and the late Cedric Sharpley, plus support acts OMD, SIMPLE MINDS and the sadly departed NASH THE SLASH.
In 2015, he also successfully hosted an appearance by WOLFGANG FLÜR in his hometown of Norwich. His first gig was THE UNDERTONES, followed by Numan at Ipswich in 1979 while his first album purchase was DAVID BOWIE’s ‘Low’. Current synth acts who Stephen favours include MARSHEAUX and VILE ELECTRODES.
MONIKA IZABELA TRIGWELL
Bred on DEPECHE MODE, THE HUMAN LEAGUE and ERASURE from an early age, thanks to a synthpop loving older brother, the Polish born, multilingual Monika loves the arts and holds a Masters degree in British literature and drama. Her first album purchase was ‘Black Celebration’ although her first gig wasn’t DEPECHE MODE… it was PEARL JAM!
Alan Wilder is the only member of DEPECHE MODE she has met but on a recent holiday, she drove past Martin Gore’s house in Santa Barbara; however, she didn’t quite have the nerve to pop in to say hello! She made up for it with a pilgrimage to the Pasadena Rose Bowl, venue of the iconic ‘101’ film.
Jer White is a long-term synthpop fan whose website The Pansentient League even gets its name from the same sci-fi game as THE HUMAN LEAGUE. His work has been published in Rolling Stone magazine and his site has been featured in The Guardian, Wired magazine and Mashable. His devotion to THE HUMAN LEAGUE is recalled in Rob Grillo’s book ‘Is That The Twelve Inch Remix?’
The album that changed his life was JEAN MICHEL JARRE’s ‘Oxygene’ which eventually led to a musical journey that also included KRAFTWERK, OMD and ASSOCIATES. In an era where methods of listening to music are varied, Jer has been a strong advocate of the music streaming service Spotify.