Synth Britannia

Gary Numan

The Big British Castle continues its excellent …Britannia series tomorrow with an instalment chronicling the oft-maligned but undoubtedly influential electronic and synth-pop movement of the late ’70s and 80s. Influenced by dystopian fiction as much as the music of Kraftwerk, British post-punk pioneers created music that soundtracked the bleak urban landscape, yet was filled with emotion and an alien warmth.

It’s a genre of music we’ve been paying more attention to and discussing a lot lately, so I’m really looking forward to what will no doubt be an exhaustive and in-depth exploration of this unique period of musical history. As post-punk expert Simon Reynolds mentioned in his write-up for The Guardian, the innovations of synth-pop have become intrinsic to modern music, continuing to shape pop: “electronic tonalities are omnipresent to the point of banality, thanks to ’90s techno rave and noughties R&B, videogames and ringtones”.

Synth Britannia begins on Friday, BBC4, 9PM. You can view several clips on the BBC site.

Video: Kraftwerk – Das Model

Gary Numan – Cars

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