Various Artists

Poptronica: Dance

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Buddha's Poptronica series boasts a title that's a play on the prevalent term for techno in the '90s, electronica. In the early '80s, however, synth pop was often called techno -- something that the compilers of Poptronica remembered when it came time to assemble a three-disc series of synth pop hits from the '80s. Though Poptronica has a bit of a jokey title, the discs themselves are excellent new wave retrospectives. Dance focuses on dance hits, including a number of hits that had "dance" in the title ("Dance Hall Days," "The Politics of Dancing," "Safety Dance"). Essentially, these are almost all pop hits that had strong beats -- "Who's That Girl?," "Too Shy," "Rock Me Amadeus," "Poison Arrow," Fun Boy Three's original "Our Lips Are Sealed" -- with a couple of selections that are just slightly off the beaten track (EBN-OZN's "AEIOU [And Sometimes Y]," Thompson Twins' "Love on Your Side," Nina Hagen's "New York, New York," INXS' "I Send a Message"). There's not quite enough unusual selection to make it of interest to serious new wave collectors, but it plays remarkably well, which is the reason why it's one of the better examples of this breed.

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