Various Artists

This Is Tech-Pop: 21st Century Electro and New Wave

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Whether or not the emerging style of music Ministry of Sound dubbed tech-pop has either the staying power or crossover potential to mirror early-'80s synth pop, the combination superclub/label/publishing concern has done a surprisingly good job summing it all up. Very loosely grouped around artists and labels seeking inspiration from a variety of closely related '80s phenomena (electro, robo-disco, new romantic, synth pop), the scene bubbled up around the world -- from Detroit to New York, and London to Berlin -- during 2000-2001. This Is Tech-Pop not only hits many high points -- the big hit thus far, a tossed-off cover of "Sunglasses at Night" by Tiga & Zyntherius -- but also ties together like-minded tracks by artists not considered part of the fold, like Chicagoan Green Velvet and Madonna producer Mirwais, or ace British production duo Swayzak. That still leaves plenty of room for the tracks listeners expect, beginning with Fischerspooner's excellent "Emerge" and also including tracks from emerging star Miss Kittin, FC Kahuna, Ladytron, and Selway. Though Ministry of Sound often falls flat when they attempt (frequently) to cash in on flavor-of-the-month sounds, This Is Tech-Pop is an excellent compilation.

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