Between 1973 to 1976 it was Wolfgang Ambros and Georg Danzer who sculpted the Autropop scene to its very diverse fullest. Austropop was actually an genre compiled from rockbands to folkbands. By 1976 dialect factor was watered down a bit enabling Kurt Hauenstein’s group Supermax to have a huge international hit with ‘Love machine’. The band even toured South Africa being the first mixed racial band to perform there. Dialect music was kept alive by Kurt Ostbahn & der Chefpartie.

But by 1980, under the influence of New Wave and punk, a whole new Austropop generation stood up. Minisex were among the first to take Austrian sung music back in the charts. They were quickly followed Reinhold Bilgeri and Rainhard Fendrich. Old stars like Ambros and Georg Danzer saw a re-interest in their music. But the international success came in 1984 with Opus (‘life is life’), DÖF ('Codo', a collaboration between two Austrian comedians and the German Humpe sisters) and most of all Falco who had European hits with ‘Der kommisar’ (allegedly the first ever European rap single), ‘Jeanny’ and ‘Rock me Amadeus’ that even made the Billboard chart (making it the only Austrian languaged US-hit). A hidden international succes was the cooperation between guitarist Peter Cornelius and Michael Cretu who scored enormous succes at the end of the 80's with Enigma after Cretu produced most of Cornelius solo material in the years before. By 1990 Austropop became Alpenrock. Accordion player Hubert von Goisern gave a new definition to the traditional Alpine folkmusic by adding punk and rock elements. Later acts like singer Zabine (& the Alpine cats) and Aussee Hardbradler joined that scene.

From the mid-1990s, Austrian musicians and Austropop stumbled on the refusal by national radio to play local artists (in fact only small local radio stations played dialect songs). The reason given was that the DJ’s thought there was a shortage of promising artists. Danzer, Fendrich and Ambros organised a charity project, called Austria 3, to try to force radio to play more local artists. By the early 2000s the tide changed again with artists like Marquee or Tamee Harrison. ORF organised the talent show Starmania in 2002 / 2003 of which Christina Stürmer was the most eye catching artist. More pop/rock music comes from Zweitfrau with Diana Lueger at the helm. Other popular acts are SheSays and Luttenberger.

Halfway the nineties Austria showed a different side when duo Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister started to come up with form of Stoner dubbed electronics that would make school around Europe as downtempo. In the new age Vienna also started to form the centre of the so called Balkan Beats scene with artists coming from former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia starting to work with local DJ’s and remixers. Best known are the ‘SchliwoBeatz’ evenings under guidance of DJ Alihea. Duo Binder and Krieglstein mix old Austrian folk with modern beats.





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