Like the settlers who traveled from the east coast to the west coast in search of manifest destiny, these EDM pioneers helped pave the way for electronic musicians of the future. For decades, musicians have been creating electronic music, but only recently have their jams become more mainstream. In each case, the artist or artists directly affected the future of electronic music, offering fans a totally unique perspective on the genre.
Who are some of the most influential electronic music pioneers? There are plenty to choose from, and a bunch got their start in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Groups like Kraftwerk, New Order, Daft Punk, and Depeche Mode are considered some of the greatest electronic music bands of all time. They helped lead the way for other electronica musicians and DJs to create some of the most mind-blowing electronic dance music of all time.
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Germany's Kraftwerk is arguably among the very best when it comes to influential electronic music. With a signature style that also includes some pretty awesome hooks, Kraftwerk remains a leader in the genre, influencing everyone from David Bowie to Afrika Bambaataa.
Depeche Mode deserves a place on any list that includes pioneers of electronic music, particularly electro-pop. This British band, fronted by the brilliant David Gahan, has recorded heavily synthesized tunes that range from the upbeat (early Depeche) to the brooding and dark (later years). Depeche remains hugely popular today. Bands like The Crystal Method cite Depeche Mode as a massive influence.
The Grammy Award-winning French duo Daft Punk collaborate to create innovative and fascinating electronic music that not only thrills critics, but also fans. Daft Punk is still collaborating with mainstream artists like Kanye West and the duo also composed the movie soundtrack for the 2010 film "Tron: Legacy." If you ever get the opportunity to check out a Daft Punk live show, do it. Move Heaven and Earth to get there - you won't be disappointed!
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The British alternative/electronic band New Order burst onto the scene in the 1980s, putting out a series of mainstream hit songs that remain a staple on radio today. New Order became extremely influential - the band's unique blend of electronic dance and new wave music spawned a host of other acts. New Order was also part of the alt dance supergroup Electronic, which featured members (or former members) of the Pet Shop Boys, the Smiths, and - lo and behold - a former member of Kraftwerk.