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A Personal History of N' Tiss and Wubwubwub
When I was a freshman in college in 1987, there was this weird record shop above a bar in the "Stadium Village" part of Minneapolis. They only sold import CDs of dance music. I imagine it was a forward-thinking student who went to Belgium and fell in love with the early version of techno.

Each CD was thirty dollars... an unheard-of amount when I was a college student. So, I only bought one. It wasn't very good, but I played the heck out of it. Here is what it looked like:

New Beat
(Front cover)

Back Cover
(Back cover)

And here is a sample song, "Me My Dream" by the forgotten artist "Off"


Sure, there was electronic music before 1988. In high school, I fell in love with Kraftwerk. "Computer World" had just come out, and my brother bought it on vinyl. I bought my own copy of "Electric Cafe" soon after. And a local IMAX movie theater played Alan Parson Project's "I Robot" before each movie, which wowed me, so I tried to find all the rock instrumentals I could: Vangelis, Tangerine Dream (still love the early stuff!), Tomita, and things on the Windham Hill label showcasing the then-new New Age movement.

But this music was different. It was louder, for a start. And you could dance to it. But unlike Giorgio Moroder's work (yay for the "Midnight Express" soundtrack!) this wasn't music for a disco. This was harsh and abrasive and weird, like the music they might play in a Blade Runner nightclub. My friends and I made mixtapes for each other. We discovered Front 242, and then Ministry. The really affluent ones bought import records and introduced us to "Charly" and "Strings Of Life" and "Clear". I did acid and listened to acid, too.

With the nineties around the corner, electronic music would explode, with rave music and Prodigy and a showcase on MTV. But for those two years in college, it felt like a secret experiment... a new world that only my friends and I were privilege to. I hope the current generation of kids are finding something unique and special to call their own. Because from my MP3 player, I'm not impressed by Bon Iver and Adele and Interpol and Animal Collective giving me that thrill of something I've never heard before.

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Looking at the credits on the back, one finds this recognizable name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sven_V%C3%A4th

I too love early Tangerine Dream, but (probably being a music snob) never got into Kraftwerk (they had hits, ewwww).

Around 2000, I discovered Front Line Assembly (along with Front 242 etc), but really, I should have discovered them 10 years earlier.

Since we seem to have somewhat similar tastes, except that I'm lagging behind, perhaps you can tell me what the next big thing in electronic music is. Electronic music with aggression/bite, though. Remember how even in 1975, TD could rock (listen to Ricochet, their live album) ?

Who are the next F242, FLA etc ?

People love dubstep! (or since the genre is almost ten years old, I guess now we are "post-dubstep")


I get the feeling that we're treading water until the "next big thing" that rocks our socks off. But in the meantime, dubstep is a whole lot of fun (unlike chillwave, which is no fun at all! {grin})

i think it's kinda funny that dubstep's blowing up now, since, as you mention, it's been around for quite a while in various incarnations (i still favor the earlier UK stuff). although i admit i'm getting a bit tired of teh wubs, i highly recommend Chrispy (Predator EP trailer)

not new, but i suspect you may enjoy Combichrist (Enjoy The Abuse)

Edited at 2011-11-11 05:38 am (UTC)

Dubstep ten years ago? Do tell.

Around that time I discovered lots of imported Euro techno music. And Euro is as big now as it ever was then. Like this one:

I totally had to watch that all the way through. <3

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