Music Briefs: Electropunk / Synthpunk


Electropunk (also known as Synthpunk) is a musical genre that originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines the raw energy and rebellious anti-establishment attitude of punk rock with the creative and new sounds of electronic music. Electropunk is characterized by its violent and experimental nature, combining punk’s DIY ethic with the futuristic and synthetic sounds of electronic instruments. This music frequently employs distorted synthesizers, drum machines, and unorthodox production techniques to provide a gritty, high-energy atmosphere.

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History of Electropunk music

Electropunk emerged as a mix of punk rock’s rebellious spirit with the developing electronic music scene. It’s difficult to pinpoint the genre’s originator, but several notable bands and movements played a vital role in its evolution. The following bands made significant contributions to the evolution of Electropunk.

  • Suicide (Late 1970s): This American duo is recognized for their minimalist electronic music and combative performance style. Their self-titled debut album is regarded as a pioneering effort in the genre, distinguished by its raw energy and use of synthesizers.
  • DEVO (1970s-1980s): DEVO’s blend of punk rock and quirky electronic sounds brought a new wave of innovation to the music scene. Their satirical lyrics and futuristic imagery influenced many electropunk artists.
  • The Screamers (Late 1970s): A pioneering electropunk band from Los Angeles, The Screamers are notable for using synthesizers instead of guitars, which created a unique and aggressive sound that helped define the genre.
  • Industrial Movement (Late 1970s – Early 1980s): Electropunk closely relates to the industrial music movement. Bands like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire combined punk’s raw energy with experimental electronic sounds, further pushing the boundaries of both genres.



Electropunk Characteristics

  • Aggressive Vocals: Electropunk often features harsh, shouted, or distorted vocals, reflecting punk rock’s rebellious and aggressive attitude.
  • Electronic Instrumentation: The genre heavily relies on synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments, often creating a gritty and abrasive sound.
  • Distorted and Layered Textures: Distorted, reverb, and other effects create a dense and chaotic sonic environment.
  • High-Energy Beats: Fast tempos and relentless rhythms are common, often driven by drum machines and sequencers.
  • DIY Ethic: Like punk rock, Electropunk embraces a DIY approach to music production and performance, often featuring lo-fi recordings and unconventional methods.
  • Incorporation of Diverse Elements: Electropunk artists draw from various genres, including techno, industrial, and new wave, resulting in a diverse and eclectic sound.



Pond5 Examples of Electropunk Music

Listen to the tracks dedicated to the genre and get inspired for your next production.


Submission ideas

  • Submit tracks between 1:00 and 3:00 minutes long.
  • The BPM should range from 120 to 160 BPM.
  • Characteristic instruments and approaches to Electropunk include synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, harsh shouted vocals, and various effects, such as reverb and distortion.



  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords. Please do not use a recognizable band or artist name!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social media use.
  • Don’t forget to add ELECTROPUNKP5BRIEF among your keywords so we can track down and promote your content.
  • Please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top Image: DEVO by LIFE_Picture_Collection .

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