Synthesizer Players and Musicians
Here is a list of composers and synth players who have greatly influenced my taste in music. I am sure I have ommitted a few so I will update periodically. The list is sorted by most influential to me.
Jean-Michel Jarre (Solo Artist) - I have been listening to Jean-Michel Jarre since the early 1980s, I bought Oxygène on cassette at a music store at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, and this is how I discovered the music: I was inside the store browsing various cassettes, Oxygène 4 was playing on the store speakers, so I asked who the artist was. I was totally in love with the music ever since. Jarre's compositions are not just repetetive synth arpeggios or chord variations with filters and effects, they are beautiful melodies, music that touches your mind and soul, melancholic music that when you hear it again you get transported to that place where you heard it the first time. Jarre played various instruments, including analog synthesizers like the imfamous Eminent 310U, the EMS VCS3, the ARP2600, the Elka Syntex, and digital synthesizers like the Roland D50, Roland JP8000, and others. Jean-Michel Jarre has made it clear that he prefers playing analog synthesizers, even if he has to spend hours tuning and retuning them.
Vince Clark (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Currently Solo Artist) - The first band I heard playing synthesizers were Depeche Mode, and Vince Clark was their main keyboardist, he played the infamous track "Just Can't Get Enough", "Photographic", as well as others from the "Speak & Spell" album. Vince Clark was a great synth player, but he left after one album with Depeche Mode to form his own band along with Alison Moyet called Yazoo, which became very successful in Europe, the US, and around the world. Vince Clark created a very distinct synth sound that made his songs very recognizable as the Yazoo sound. Vince left Yazoo to form his own band called "Erasure" which sounded like a a progressed version of Yazoo. As of 2020 Vince Clark is still writing music and is very involved in projects, including one with Jean-Michel Jarre.
Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode, Currently Solo Artist) - Alan Wilder became known when he joined Depeche Mode in 1982, although he had started playing since the 1970s. He is regarded as the artist which really propelled the sound of Depeche Mode. Many recognizeable riffs can be attributed to him, from Strange Love, World in My Eyes, A Question of Time, Stripped, Master and Servant, and last but not least he made a big contribution by re-arranging and re-producing Enjoy The Silence into a more melodic dance track, the song was originally written by Martin Gore of the same band. Enjoy the Silence became a huge hit and as of August 2020 still plays frequently on many radio stations. To many Depeche Mode fans Alan Wilder is the musical tone of the band, this is not to undermine Andrew Fletcher or Vince Clark by any means, but rather to give huge credit to Alan. He wrote a few B-side songs for Depeche Mode (B-sides are widely regarded as hidden gems). As of 2020 Alan is still writing and producing music.
Martin Gore (Depeche Mode, Solo Artist) - Martin Gore is the founder of Depeche Mode, one of the greatest new-wave bands in music history. He is not necessarily famous for playing synthesizers, although he does, but his contribution to the sound of Depeche Mode through synthesizers is what gave DM its unique sounds. Other band members were essential to the Depeche Mode dark melodies and riffs, by chronological order, Andrew Fletcher, Vince Clark, Alan Wilder, all made huge contributions to the band, although Wilder gave the band its most recognized riffs and sounds. Martin Gore did release two solo albums including "Counterfeit" which sounds like B-side Depeche Mode songs.
Andrew Fletcher (Depeche Mode)
Vangelis (Solo Artist)
Richard Wright (Pink Floyd)
New Order
Chris Lowe (Petshop Boys)
Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran)
Eurythmics
Didier Marouani (Space, Solo Artist)
Moby (Solo Artist)
Ralf Hildenbeutel (Earth Nation)
Giorgio Moroder (Solo Artist)
Cerrone (Solo Artist)
Kitaro (Solo Artist)
Gary Numan
Krafwerk
Firechild (YouTuber: MrFirechild)