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Electronic Pioneers Part Two

img  Tobias

It's a strange paradox: While the first generation of electronic artists were still heavily avant-garde and created a music influenced by early atonal experiments and musique concrete, they had more of the media's attention than some of their late, more accesible followers. Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, for example, made it to the cover of The Beatle's "Seargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" despite the absence of any kind of recognisable melody and despite his reliance on entirely new forms of structure (which were often even hard to decipher for frequent listeners). Meanwhile, Ron Boots' strongly melodic style, leaning on powerful, yet almost romantic harmonic progressions, has never extended beyond the confinement of a small scene. Sandwiched between the generation of the pioneers and the likes of Boots, are the sons of the revolution: Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk. Their own influences and interests ranged from Rock (Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream loved Jimmy Hendrix), Pop (Jean-Michel Jarre wrote a few Chancons before breaking through with "Oxygene"), Classical Music (Klaus Schulze was and still is a huge fan of Richard Wagner) to Modern Art (All the Kraftwerk boys were frequent visitors of exhibitions and galleries and emphasised the visual aspect of their music as much as the aural). Their success helped to make electronic music a force to be reckoned with and established an entirely new style, which owed as much to Ligeti as to Chopin. Their success in the Mid-70s inspired others to try the same. But extremely talented artists such as Robert Schroeder never really broke through - and are still today disappointed and disgruntled.  Some of these artists are still active today - mouvement nouveau has talked to them about their experiences and views on music and composition. Read the interviews on these pages in the course of the next weeks.

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