I just saw this fascinating BBC documentary on synth music in the UK. It features appearances by quite a few synth music pioneers. They include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant. If you are into synth music, this is a must watch.
Here is a description of the documentary from BBC:
Synth Britannia is a documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesizer from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.
In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Voltaire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard. They dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain.
The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan’s appearance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army’s “Are Friends Electric” heralded the arrival of synthpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound. Post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of the NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits. By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were showing that the future of electronic music would lie in dance music.