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Electroclash describes a style of fashion, music, and attitude that fuses new wave, punk, & electronic dance music with somewhat campy and absurdist post-industrial detachment - alongside vampy and/or camp sexuality. The movement combines the 1980s electropop/New Wave/Italo disco sound (using synthesizers, drum machines, etc.) with visuals that are equal parts post-1970's Westwood and Warhol fashion/art scenes, mid-70's, Kraftwerk-ian German influences, and early-80's New York Downtown dystopian avant-garde à la Liquid Sky.

Electroclash mainly developed in the late 1990s in the Hague, Munich, Berlin, New York City, and Detroit, with the first example of electroclash often cited as the Dutch artist I-F's cheeky 1993 track "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass." The movement came to prominence in 2000 - 2002 through Larry Tee's roving, primarily gay Mutants club nights, and later Berliniamsburg nights at Club Luxx in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - and his Electroclash™ Festival (which Tee used to trademark the word "electroclash"). Tee's early electroclash parties were defined by tranny MCs, cocaine, a crowd dressed in revealing 1980s-inspired outfits, and Tee's collection of obscure new wave and disco remix records.

Opposed to the American primarily gay clubnights, the International DJ Gigolo nights held by DJ Hell in Munich around the same time attracted a rather straight / mixed crowd. In Berlin where the style peaked around 2002, Electroclash was so omnipresent that almost any trendy club would encorporate the style. Electroclash Parties were topping the lists of young tourist guides.

The name derives from the early 80's electropop bands who provide the majority of the musical influence. Lyrics are generally tongue-in-cheek and punk inspired, and often more given to attitude and pose than poetics or theme; while the vocal delivery is typically atonal to the point of caricature.

A bleakly ironic, but indulgently hyper-sexual post-feminist/post-9/11 stance is often evident in the themes of many Electroclash outfits. The genre is generally not a musical style as much as a kitsch-ily cold distanced stance - infected by exhibitionist sexuality and a winking fetish-isation of wealth, indulgence, consumption, and glamour culture - directly reflecting back to the trend's roots in gay club culture. Style is definitely the victor over substance, as a point of pride.

But perhaps more exactly, "electroclash" is an aesthetic approach to a certain set of musical ideas and instruments, similar to "art rock" in that it's not so much a style as a way of doing things. This approach to electronic music--some distinguishing features being a proclivity towards aggressive, defiant lyrics (and performance persona) and deceptively simple, "retro" arrangements--is what denotes it as different from synthpop, IDM, or other branches of electronica.

Arguably, the movement has more in common with 'Paris Is Burning' style personal projection and dress-up than it has with any element of a musical genre. Essentially the trend of Electroclash, as fashion and pose, is its own driving force - the stylistic affectation is more important than anything going on in the actual music. The "band" Fischerspooner is an example of this philosophy in action - featuring indulgent, elaborately staged 1980s homage live shows with over-the-top backdrops, dramatic interludes, and costuming - rendering the music itself almost an afterthought to the production and image-making of the project.

In subsequent years, scenes in other cities and areas, such as in Southern California, spawned loosely affiliated, and generally more "serious" 80s homage projects adopting the electroclash moniker. The lyrical subjects and themes were often taken more seriously and were considerably darker than those of the original East Coast style, toning down the original tongue-in-cheek flavor of the genre.

By the mid-2000's, 'electroclash' had become a popular synonym for "80s retro dance music." The genre has since gone on to be associated more strongly with international rather than U.S. scenes; dominant now in Berlin, Barcelona, and Mexico City rather than New York, Detroit, and San Francisco. In the UK, Electro has been most popular in the alternative gay scene, with nights like Nag Nag Nag, The Cock, Anti-Social, Death Disco, and Fuck The Pain Away.

Representative artists and ensembles

A1 People
Aier Sauft
A Kiss Could Be Deadly
Alice in Videoland
Ambra Red
A.R.E. Weapons
Avenue D
BoygirL [1]
Cherry Bikini
Collider (band)
Chicks on Speed
Crazy Girl
Dirty Sanchez
Di$h and ShiQuana
DJ Hell
Dr. Wundt & Perfection
Electrosexual [2]
Felix da Housecat
Fairlight Children
Generation Aldi
Gravy Train!!!!
Green Velvet
Hong Kong Counterfeit
Houston Bernard
Hungry Wives
Jed Davis
Ju Ju Babies
Larry and the interns
Larry Tee
Lesbians On Ecstasy
Les Rythmes Digitales
Michael Human
Miss Kittin & The Hacker
Misty Martinez
Mount Sims
My Robot Friend
Nitsch & Glienser
Noblesse Oblige
Ping Pong Bitches
Rock Machine Records [3]
Schwefelgelb [4]
Sophia Lamar
SovietElectro [5]
Soylent Gringo
Station Wagon
Stuart Price
Tobell Von Cartier
The Act Of Being
The Most
The Laws
Tracy + The Plastics
Vive la Fête
Zoot Woman

See also

External links

Satirizing Electroclash:

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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