French Synth Doesn’t Age As Well As French Wine
Covering a six year span, the compilation album BIPPP French Synth Wave 1979/85 revisits some of the earliest and most influential synth electro from France, a country that pioneered the genre. Contagion by Trois Dans Les WC starts off the album with an electronic crescendo that twangs in and out to a simple 4/4 beat, soon accompanied by awkward shrieking lyrics, whose clumsiness is nothing short of amusing. The vocals on many of the BIPPP French Synth Wave 1979/85 tracks, like “Touche Pas Mon Sexe” by The Comix, become borderline punk-pop when paired with their up-tempo synth riffs. As the album progresses it becomes easier to look past the silliness of overused drum machines and vocal dissonance. The guitar licks on Act’s “Ping Pong” and bass guitar on Casino Music’s “Viol AF 015” are charming, and a nice complement to the analogue synth lines that obviously pilot this album.
It’s easy to see how artists featured on BIPPP French Synth Wave 1979/85 had an influence on bands like Depeche Mode and Daft Punk, with many of this collection’s songs sounding like simplified versions of contemporary music. While trendsetting for it’s time, these artists remain an esoteric collection of minimalist electro-pop. BIPPP French Synth Wave 1979/85 is proof of how easily a catchy beat can transcend language barriers.