It's not exactly a secret that Europe has always been a hotbed for electronic music. German bands such as Kraftwerk experimented with synthpop during the '70s, the United Kingdom popularized house and "big beat" for two decades afterward, and the current scene is dominated by names from all over the continent. Daft Punk is rightly praised as one of the biggest names in electronic music, but it certainly wasn't the first French act to have an influence. Because Music is launching the compilation "Cosmic Music: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980)" to flesh out the nation's often overshadowed influence on the genre.
This won't all be electronic in the nightclub sense however. In fact, very little of it is. Like Kraftwerk, French artists weren't necessarily trying to create a new genre, but rather reinterpret what already existed. Among the gems included on "Cosmic" are an experimental piece by Serge Gainsbourg, a vocalist who covered everything from jazz early electronic music, a dance track from disco figurehead Cerrone, and the ambient synthesizers of Jean Michel Jarre.
A fun listen for casual electronic fans, and a must-listen for those interested in the genre's history. Check out the full track list below: