Electronic Musician


The 1980s was a golden age for music technology, popularizing the evolution of analog synthesis and giving rise to the birth of digital recording. At the heart of that groundbreaking revolution in sound was producer Trevor Horn. In September 1979, Horn’s chart topping single ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, with fantasy band The Buggles, helped pave the way for his electronic pop successors. He then moved into the production hot seat, where he used the latest innovative technologies to evolve and, occasionally, break artists such as Dollar, ABC, Spandau Ballet, Grace Jones and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

By 1983, Horn had set up the maverick Zang Tuum Tumb label, while his band The Art of Noise began to remap the synth pop landscape once more, this time using the latest digital sampling technology. Horn established the state-of-the-art SARM West Studios in London and, moving into the ’90s, produced the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner, Tori Amos, Cher and Seal. This year, Horn has spent time kitting out his home studio and gone back to his roots by creating an album of orchestral re-workings of ’80s hits, with live dates to follow.

You woke your parents at 4am in the morning to tell them you want to pursue a career in music. What precipitated that momentary excitement?

I had a job as a trainee cost accountant, but was playing in a band five nights a week. I was riding home on my

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