Various Artists

MTV's AMP

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MTV designed the television show Amp as a way to showcase electronic dance acts that didn't easily fit into their other specialty shows. Premiering in late 1996, the show quickly became a hit, and it helped ignite the electronica craze of early 1997 by suggesting that American audiences were more interested in techno than many labels previously assumed. Considering its success, it wasn't a great surprise that MTV and Astralwerks assembled the MTV's Amp compilation to cash-in on its success and to provide curious listeners with a one-stop introduction to "electronica." Surprisingly, MTV's Amp works. Featuring nearly every major electronic artists of the mid-'90s -- Daft Punk is missing, but the Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Future Sound of London, Photek, Aphex Twin, Orbital, Goldie, Atari Teenage Riot and Prodigy are all present -- the collection illustrates the depth and variety within electronica, alternating between heavy club beats and trance-like drum'n'bass. For the neophyte interested in exploring electronic music, there are few better introductions than MTV's Amp.

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