The story behind the origin of Electrozombies

Musical life stations

Thomas Frenken - Picture was taken 2013 in Meerbusch/Germany
Thomas Frenken – Picture was taken 2013 in Meerbusch/Germany

Take a closer look behind the scenes. At this place I would like to intro­duce myself, so you learn the per­son know behind Electrozombies. My name is Thomas Frenken and I was born on December 4th, 1974 in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Musically I grew up with rock music (father's side) and German pop music (moth­er). This was also the main­stream music which the radio has played most of the times.

Kraftwerk - Die Mensch-Maschine (1978)
Kraftwerk – Die Mensch-Maschine (1978)

In the early 80s, when I was around 7 or 8 years old, my big cous­in Stefan showed me the band Kraftwerk. Before that day I wasn't inter­ested in music at all, but this music had such a huge impact on me that I ask him to copy me this records on tape.

Since that time I love elec­tron­ic music, and I listened to this music cas­settes min­im­um a thou­sand times. My cous­in copied all reg­u­lar albums for me until to Computerwelt (Computerworld), but for me was the most impress­ive one Die Mensch-Maschine (The Man-Machine).

It could be that I got a very strong con­nec­tion to these albums because I was a big sci-fi fan at that time and still am. Even when I'm listen­ing today to some Kraftwerk songs, I have memor­ies of dif­fer­ent moods, how some things smell, taste and touch and as sea­son­al weather.

Depeche Mode - People Are People (1984)
Depeche Mode – People Are People (1984)

Discover new music without the internet is an adventure

I tasted blood. For a kid without the inter­net, you have to be cre­at­ive to find new music. An example: I went often to the car­ni­val, that appeared twice a year in our town, just to listen to the cur­rent Synthpop songs. I spent many hours at the fun­fair just to hear the music and it did not mat­ter how bad the weath­er was.

On a Sunday in 1984, I recor­ded a radio broad­cast with the new No.1 hit in Germany. It was People Are People from the British band Depeche Mode. This song was so out­stand­ing and extraordin­ary because the song has used no aud­ible, con­ven­tion­al instru­ments. A bril­liant song! I was only 9 years old, but on this day, a new devotee was born.

Almost the same music­ally impact hap­pens, as I listened the first time to The Great Commandment by Camouflage and Blue Monday '88 by New Order. Thus, the music­al path was paved. I also had a little punk rock/grunge/metal music phase for a few years in the early '90s, but I nev­er lost focus on elec­tron­ic music.

Electrozombies established in 2010

It all star­ted because I simply missed the music tele­vi­sion broad­casts. Yes, music tele­vi­sion was offic­ally dead. Of course, some pay tv broad­caster still has some music tele­vi­sion chan­nels in 2010 like MTV, Viva, etc…, but the most times they trans­mit­ted just stu­pid "real­ity shows" (except Jackass) and if they played music videos, then only those from the big major labels. It was only a great pro­mo­tion­al machine with a bor­ing heavy rota­tion with always the same main­stream artists.

Electrozombies first logo (Dec. 2010 - Feb. 2014)
Electrozombies first logo (Dec. 2010 – Feb. 2014)

For sev­er­al years the inter­net stream­ing became more pop­u­lar and with all the upcom­ing video blogs I assumed: "Perhaps there is a site with a focus on music videos for Synth‑, Electro- and Futurepop and genre-related.".

So I star­ted a long invest­ig­a­tion, but the res­ult wasn't as suc­cess­ful as I expec­ted. As a pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design­er and front-end developer, I decided to close the gap and so I launched Electrozombies in December 2010. Until today I think that was the best idea in my life.

Electrozombies revised logo since February 2014
Electrozombies revised logo since February 2014

The meaning of 'Electrozombies'

"Why the name Electrozombies?", you might like to ask. Fact one: In the begin­ning, I pub­lish among oth­er things a lot of zom­bie movie trail­ers. Fact two: For me, the zom­bie is in itself a pop cul­tur­al meta­phor that reflects the feel­ing of the time in which we live. And a gloomy mel­an­choly can also be found in almost every Synthpop song.

I don't think, that the "Electro" part in the name must be explained. So roughly Electrozombies means Electronic Pop Culture. But it's not only a brand. The mean­ing is much more com­plex and multi-layered. Because every­body who hunts for new elec­tron­ic music is like a zom­bie who hunts for brains. And fur­ther­more, I use it also as a syn­onym for "vari­ous artists". You see, we're all Electrozombies!

More than a regular music blog

The jour­ney con­tin­ues and grew to some­thing big­ger than I expec­ted. Besides the music videos, I also write track by track reviews of albums that I really like. Furthermore, I pub­lish DJ mixes and provid­ing links to free down­loads of albums that are worth to listen to. Since November 2013 I have exten­ded the Electrozombies brand with a 24/7 online radio broad­cast that is hos­ted by laut.fm.

For me, this was the next logic­al step, in order to pro­mote young and new tal­en­ted bands that have a rough start to gain a foothold in an old fan base. Mixed with Synthpop clas­sics, I hope that this young gen­er­a­tion keeps the music genre alive for the next few decades.

Undead And Open-Minded: Volume 1 (Jan. 2016)
Undead And Open-Minded: Volume 1 (Jan. 2016)

The first official Electrozombies release

In Autumn 2015 I star­ted to work on the first Electrozombies com­pil­a­tion to cel­eb­rate the upcom­ing 5th year anniversary. With the help of many pas­sion­ate bands, and also some genre well-known like Parralox, Machinista, Junksista, Psy'Aviah, Julien‑K, Twisted Destiny and many more, the com­pil­a­tion was a huge suc­cess for both sides. This com­pil­a­tion called Undead And Open-Minded is now planned as a con­tinu­ous series. I'm in gen­er­al not a fan of swear words, but I remem­ber I was "Proud as fuck" when I released our first com­pil­a­tion. A real milestone.

Besides the free down­load­able in-house com­pil­a­tions, I wanted to pub­lish trib­ute albums, in order to hon­our the bands that have left a big influ­ence in the scene. The first trib­ute belongs to Apoptygma Berzerk and I hope many more will follow.

Electrozombies TV — The next big thing

The next big future vis­ion is to estab­lish Electrozombies TV. I really want to start a 24/7 stream­ing tele­vi­sion for music videos. The same as an online radio broad­cast but of course with visu­als. "It's just a ques­tion of time" like Depeche Mode once quoted. Until we will have a stream­ing tele­vi­sion broad­cast, you're wel­come to sub­scribe to our offi­cial YouTube chan­nel Electrozombies TV.