Synth Britannia

'Synth Britannia' is a doc­u­ment­ary fol­low­ing a gen­er­a­tion of post-punk musi­cians who took the syn­thes­iser from the exper­i­ment­al fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pock­ets of elec­tron­ic artists includ­ing the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Volatire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard, and they dreamt of the sound of the future against the back­drop of bleak, high-rise Britain.

The cros­sov­er moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan's appear­ance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army's Are 'Friends' Electric? her­al­ded the arrival of syn­thpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound, whilst post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits.

By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were show­ing that the future of elec­tron­ic music would lie in dance music.

Contributors include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant.

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