Throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, technology kept making it easier for bands to make music. But it was the home computer that finally gave artists the ability to fully write, play, record and even distribute music entirely from their bedroom.
In this final part, Andrew Collins talks to the bands, including Air, Radiohead and The Chemical Brothers, who used the computer’s power to go beyond human capabilities and free themselves from the pression of the studio and the record labels. They discuss what technology changed in the bands’ relationship with their audience, the return to low-fi analog and the synthpop revival.
In this second documentary on WHA, we explore the history and development of electronic music through the ages, from the very first experiments to its democratisation and evolution towards more complex techniques. Andrew Collins introduces the people, not only musicians, who chose to break away from rock traditions, changing the way we make music for ever.
We start with the birth of electronic music and the invention of the first electronic instruments in the 19th and early 20th century. After being used and improved during decades by a handful of DIYers, they were progressively employed in pop music, notably by the Beatles, Pink Floyd or even Stevie Wonder. But while for these bands electronic music was just a novelty element to add to a song, one act in Germany chose to get rid of all the traditional instruments and reinvent the way popular music was conceived: Kraftwerk.