Music album review: ‘Musik Music Musique 2.0’ (2021)

You can never have too much 80s synth pop. If you’re a cool person with great taste in music, that is 😉

I really enjoyed Cherry Red’s 3CD box set, Musik Music Musique: The Dawn of Synth Pop. I liked this sequel, subtitled The Rise of Synth Pop, just as much. There does seem to be a difference between the songs of 1980 and 1981. A little more confidence in the technology, perhaps, more mainstream artists joining the electronic bandwagon. Again, there is a mixture of well-known (Ultravox, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet…) and more obscure artists. It even boasts a chart-topper, Aneka. A few of the artists were also featured on the previous compilation. The packaging is different, being a clamshell box rather than a slipcase, but there is still a well-produced booklet included.

New favourites: The Passage – ‘Taboos’, A Flock of Seagulls – ‘Talking’, Japan – ‘The Art of Parties’, Yellow Magic Orchestra – ‘Cue’, Alan Burnham – ‘Science Fiction’, Schleimer K – ‘Nevermore’.

Weirdest songs: Second Layer – ‘In Bits’, Drinking Electricity – ‘Random Particles’, Zeus – ‘Cowboy on the Beach’, Virna Lindt – ‘Young and Hip’.

Most futuristic: Thomas Leer – ‘West End’, Analysis – ‘Surface Tension’, Naked Lunch – ‘Slipping Again’, The Limit – ‘OK Go’.

Catchiest songs: Heaven 17 – ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’, Devo – ‘Through Being Cool’, Aneka – ‘Japanese Boy’, Kim Wilde – ‘Cambodia’, Natasha – ‘I Can’t Hold On’, Mystery Plane – ‘Something to Prove’.

Acquired taste: Gina X Performance – ‘No GDM’, Voice Farm – ‘Sleep’, Pete Baumann – ‘Repeat Repeat’, Portion Control – ‘Brix’.

I hope there’ll be a third instalment in the series, because in the words of Depeche Mode (also from 1981) ‘I just can’t get enough’.

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