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The term ‘cold wave’ was first coined on the cover of a 1977 issue of UK music magazine Sounds featuring Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk, and later by the same magazine in an article about Siouxsie and the Banshees, with the publication proclaiming, "Listen to the cold wave roar from the '70s into the '80s". It grew to take in the icy post-punk production and futurist, apocalyptic love songs of Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus and more.
So Low focuses on the perhaps lesser known protagonists of the scene, such as UK/European minimalists P1/E, Colin Potter and Gerry & The Holograms, and American industrial/experimentalists including Michigan’s Hunting Lodge and avant-garde San Francisco collective Tuxedomoon, as well as a number of French and Belgian acts such as Siglo XX, Front 242, Marc Verhaeghen’s The Klinik and Clair Obscur. Tracks from industrial forbearers Throbbing Gristle and band members Chris Carter and Cosey Fanny Tutti, who went on to record as Chris & Cosey, and Germany’s pioneering minimal wave musician John Bender are also included.