What is “New Wave” music?

notesA friend didn’t know what “New Wave Music” is . . . to be honest, it’s not the easy to define the genre. Wikipedia says “New wave music is a musical genre of pop/rock created in the late 1970s to mid-1980s with ties to 1970s punk rock. The wide range of bands categorized under this term has been a source of much confusion and controversy. The new wave sound of the late 1970s moved away from the smooth blues and rock & roll sounds to create music with a twitchy, agitated feel, choppy rhythm guitars and fast tempos. Initially—as with the later post-punk—new wave was broadly analogous to punk rock before branching as a distinctly identified genre, incorporating electronic and experimental music, mod, disco and pop. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synthpop, college rock and gothic rock.

I just know it defined the sound of the 70’s and 80’s, some very strict New Wave groups changed their arrangements from a very punky (Guitar, Bass, Lead Singer & percussion) to semi symphonic (with choir, female lead backing vocal, synth, strings) and back between 1970 and 2010 and it’s hard to put the label “New Wave” on all their tracks. In my perception New Wave was also the genre the broke with a traditional sound, keep in mind that punk still used more or less classical instruments. New Wave reused  Synth, drum computers (they even gave it a name and tilte 🙂 ), sample’s of daily sounds (modem*, horizontal spinning wheel covers**, starting airplane*** ) and weird instruments like bottles****.

To define “New Wave” is like putting a definition on “bread” and try to incorporate piadina and tortilla and don’t mention pizza and Wraps.

It’s better just to tast the music using the 2007 “Black List” from Studio Brussel and I’ll provide you with some tracks on youtube :), just push on play in the youtube video above. The Blacklist can be found on “Epic – My Life is Music” blog.

1 The Cure – A forest
2 Anne ClarkOur darkness
3 Sisters of Mercy – Alice
4 Neon Judgement – Tv treated
5 Joy Division – Love will tear us apart
6 Depeche Mode – Just can’t get enough
7 New Order – Blue monday
8 Red Zebra – Can’t live in a living room
9 Human League – Being boiled
10 John Foxx – Underpass
11 Sisters of Mercy – Temple of love
12 Joy Division – Atmosphere
13 Anne Clark – Sleeper in metropolis
14 Bauhaus – She’s in parties
15 Fad Gadget – Back to nature
16 The Sound – Winning
17 The Cure – Charlotte sometimes
18 Front 242 – U men
19 Talk Talk – Talk Talk
20 Nacht & Nebel – Beats of love
21 Talking Heads – Once in a lifetime
22 Departement S – Is vic there
23 Front 242Headhunter
24 Dave Ball – In strict tempo
25 Kraftwerk – The model
26 Tubeway Army – Are friends electric
27 Fad Gadget – Ladyshave
28 Killing Joke – Love like blood
29 Fad Gadget – Collapsing new people****
30 Soft Cell – Tainted love
31 Visage – Fade to grey
32 Cabaret Voltaire – Nag nag nag
33 Daf – Der mussolini
34 Grauzone – Eisbaer
35 Jah Wobble – How much are they
36 The Virgin Prunes – Baby turns blue
37 Luc Van Acker – Zanna
38 The Smiths – There’s a light that never goes out
39 Reingold – 3klangsdimensionen
40 Liaisons Dangereuses – Los ninos del parque


And like all good music we Belgians are part of the movement . . . or the main members of the band just moved to Belgium :). Ooh, if you play some of these tracks . . . you can look for me on the dance floor :).


*The original “Being Boiled” from “The Human League”
* “Behind the Wheel” from “Depeche Mode”
* “Our Darkness” from “Anne Clarck”

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