So, I was talking with a buddy about the fact that most people, at this point, are “electronic music natives”, in that electronic music isn’t that interesting as it has already been around.
However, for those of us a bit older, we saw it come out of multiple arenas, until it gelled in the early 90’s as a genre. Of course, there was Jean-Jacques Perry, and other Moog lounge stuff from the 60s. The Residents and plenty of other bands experimented in the late 70s, and industrial / goth stuff came to rise during the 80s, like Einstürzende Neubauten or Kraftwerk. New Order and Depeche Mode were doing interesting things, as well. Plenty of bands were messing around with samplers, loops, drum machines, etc. Art of Noise was on my radar due to their Max Headroom song.
So, it’s not about the literal history of the music, but when did you become aware you were listening to something “different”? At this point I look at electronic, not as a genre, but as a “filter”, because you can push blues through that filter (RL Burnside’s Wish I was in Heaven Sitting Down), or Rock, Disco, Classical, etc.
For me, I can trace it pretty easily:
There was some industrial and goth stuff in the 80s.
Then Massive Attack’s Blue Lines came onto my radar in the early 90s, as well as Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite II, as I was a Clash fan. Aphex Twin were hanging out there, a bit. Honestly can’t remember when I heard Selected Ambient Works.
But then I heard Little Fluffy Clouds. Oh my goodness. The Orb blew my mind.
Then around 1992 – 1994 is when it hit:
Sugarcube’s Bjork, and the album Human Behavior. That gelled it for me, around 1993.
Daft Punk was in there, doing Homework.
Stereo MCs Connected, which was so different, and opened up the whole garage and UK dance scene to me.
Then I was taken, hook line and sinker, and knew it would change my life:
Portishead’s Dummy, 1994
(EDIT: and a little album called “United State of Ambience III” on Moonshine Records)
a few years later…. Kruder and Dorfmeister’s K&D sessions.
So there you have it… a quick laundry list of what got me into electronic music.
What got you into it will be different, based on age, timing, etc. I am really curious what got you hooked, and when?!?