Thursday, March 13, 2014

Minimal Wave

The year is 1980 a steady pulse from an analog drum machine beats hard and slow... analog synthesizers appear from the dark shadows dancing over the drum machines. Minimal Wave electronic music is being born. With many musicians being inspired by Kraftwerk and John Fox.

Mainly characterized by minimal musical structures, the sound of Minimal Wave was hallmarked by the use of the analog synthesizers and drum machines that were manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s by Roland, Korg, Yamaha, ARP, Linn, Oberheim, Moog and Sequential Circuits. Bed room producers recording electronic music to cassette tape is happening in France, The Netherlands, Germany, North America and Japan.

There is also a resurgence in this genre happening across the world at this time. Many people are wanting to return to a more pure, older way of writing and recording music. Music can be made so easily through a computer using ableton or garageband. The return to analog machines is a nod to the past and in some way tougher, harder way of writing and producing.

Many of the Minimal Wave bands recorded in their home studios and created their own album artwork, which naturally paved the way for a D.I.Y. aesthetic to emerge. At this time DIY meant something different than it does now. Information was harder to come by and word of mouth was how things would spread. The musicians were influenced by avant-garde movements such as futurism and constructivism as well as by the literature of science fiction and existentialism. They had an innovative, unique approach to music-making, which was less polished than the music that appeared on mainstream charts during the same time period.

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