Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
13 OCT 09 DAVID VIENNA
For music nerds like... well, pretty much everyone at Concord Music Group, there is history to be found everywhere, even in an '80s electronic band called Cybotron. That band's Fantasy release Clear (a remaster of their original debut Enter) may sound dated to modern ears, but it essentially marked the birth of "electro" music, which gave rise to techno.
Admittedly, listening to Clear, one might have trouble not picturing Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg performing them as part of an SNL Digital Short. With song titles like "Industrial Lies" and "Cosmic Cars," the challenge grows. ("Laser Cats" anyone?) But if you look at it from the perspective of the era, it is a remarkable piece of music history.
Enter was released in 1983, the same year as Madonna's debut album, Mötley Crüe's Shout At The Devil and Billy Joel's An Innocent Man. To say the competition was thick is an understatement. Yet, the band found a cult following thanks to its then unique sound, making songs almost entirely using synthesizers and samplers.
In Clear, you can hear direct connections with latter day bands like Ministry, Big Black and Nine Inch Nails. Unlike those groups, however, Cybotron rarely veered into anything too heavy. Relying on steady beats and ethereal tones, Clear is a landmark on the journey of '80s music and beyond.