Russian Radio: Top 5 Tasty Cold War Synth Jamz

Categories: Retro Active

Flag_of_the_Soviet_Union april 24.png
Hey, remember the Russians? Before they had a gajillion oil dollars and all those supermodels, they wanted to kill us all. But it wasn't all creeping dread and mutually assured destruction.

Until the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War was a common subject in popular culture. Besides KGB trenchcoats on the runways of New York and Paris and movies like Red Dawn and The Day After, the struggle between East and West was a surprisingly popular subject among alternative groups of the day.

thompson twins april 24.jpg
5. Thompson Twins, "The Gap" (1984)

Was Ist Das?: Decades before Bollywood went mainstream (but decades after the Beatles got into Ravi Shankar), this Australian trio used subcontinental tones to spin a yarn about "two different colors on the map."

Key Lyric: "Can you smell the perfume of a hundred thousand years?/ Dare you look into the eyes that hide a hundred million tears?"

Verdict: Foreign espionage is confusing -- let's just hit the disco!

camouflage_voices_and_images april 24.jpg
4. Camouflage, "The Great Commandment" (1987)

Was Ist Das?: A keyboard and drum machine are the only thing standing between this brave German band and Big Brother's boot on their neck.

Key Lyric: "The needies believe you, they treat you like survivors of a disaster/ Reeducation for the infants, who demanded for an innocent instance"

Verdict: This song makes no sense whatsoever -- much like the international arms race. But the video is hysterical.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Let Them Come to Berlin:  The Weathermen

Johnatrisk did you write this ignoring the album "Cold War Night Life" by Rational Youth? Isn't that the definition of "Cold War Synth Jamz"? Saturdays in Silesia? Frickin' Dancing on the Berlin Wall? I mean the first line of the song is "Checkpoint Charlie..."

Massive fail. 


Pretty neat.  Although I think a lot of the electronic music preceded the Yugoslavian civil war are much more fierce. Borghesia and Laibach are great examples.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault