There has recently been (at least in Cape Town, South Africa) a flood of parties that have billed themselves as 'House, Techno and Electro' that have subsequently turned out to be long forays into synthpop nostalgia.
While synthpop originated in the 70's (anything from Kraftwerk on can theoretically be classified as synthpop) it mainly denotes the popular genre of the early 80's when bands like Human League, Depeche Mode and New Order were combining the dying sounds of New Wave with the over-the-top aesthetic of the New Romantics and piping it all through newly-bought synthesizers and samplers to produce bouncy, trashy, menacing tunes in the lead-up to acid house.
Synthpop was fine for that darkest decade (it's not like there was anything else available). But subsequent to the advent of the warehouse rave and the superclubs of the 90's what could possibly posses anyone to want to start a synthpop revival?
Surely there could be no reason to revisit the plinky melodies and impotently buzzing basslines inflicted on us by those men with bad hairdo's?
It seems there is.
The kids are going crazy for it. Every time a DJ drops 'Cars' by Gary Numan a whoop goes up from the crowd of assembled 19 and 20 year-olds which will all at once brush aside all the
progress made by electronic musicians in the last 15 years. Forget about Jeff Mills, Aphex Twin and Autechre - give us more Blue Monday.
But this phenomenon is not due to nostalgia (the kids weren't even there the first time round). It's about irony and satire. It's about digging those cheesy tunes. It's about sharing a knowing smile when another squeaky Yazoo song fires up.
It's exactly what I did in the early 90's when Rock the Casbah came on. It's cultural movement - not neccesarily
forward movement, but still, movement.