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File under: New Wave

Electronic Sound

Issue 68: Devo - The Birth of American Synthpop (Magazine)

Label: Electronic Sound

Format: Magazine

Genre: Electronic

Out of stock

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Devo’s ‘Freedom Of Choice’, the album that sparked the American synthpop revolution, in this edition of Electronic Sound.

For this issue we’ve interviewed both Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale for our cover feature, which explores how Devo's record label were on the verge of sacking the band in the months leading up to ‘Freedom Of Choice’ and how the success of the album changed everything for the guys from Akron, Ohio.

The album inspired a host of other names on the burgeoning US electronic music scene too and, alongside our main story, we’ve picked out 20 of the finest American synth records of the 1980s. From big hitters to obscure transmitters, from the likes of Prince and Ministry to Screamers and Our Daughter’s Wedding, all of these artists owed something to Devo.

Elsewhere in this issue, we speak to Talking HeadsChris Frantz about his autobiography, which is a real treat by the way, and zip back to 2005 for a highly entertaining interview with Goldfrapp to celebrate the 15th anniversary reissue of ‘Supernature’.

We also catch up with Kelly Lee Owens ahead of the release of her new album and discuss all things Castles In Space with label boss Colin Morrison, as well as talking to Benge, Jah Wobble and Rival Consoles.

We take a peek into the madcap parallel worlds of pre-electronics and post-electronics too. Get ready for stone loudspeakers, feedback flutes, cuckoo pipes and instruments with 790 strings!

“I don’t think ‘Whip It’ was the song we’d have picked as the one that would be successful,” notes Mark Mothersbaugh. “But I look back and that’s our lack of understanding of pop music. It was all down to one of the programmers for the dance clubs. This guy would cut a compilation of his favourite tracks from every album released that month and he’d send copies to the clubs so their DJs could play them. When he put ‘Whip It’ on there, it became a hit down in the South-Eastern region of the US and then it just spread from there. We were like, ‘Well, go figure’.”


File under: New Wave
Cat. number: ES68

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