Coldwave, also written as Cold Wave, is a French and Belgian style of rock music, inspired by post-punk band Joy Division and specifically Martin Hannett's production for the group, prominent in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Early French punk rock groups, forerunners to the scene, included Stinky Toys and Métal Urbain. As the scene took increasing influence from post-punk, disco, and industrial music, the musicians Marquis de Sade, KaS Product, Martin Dupont, Asylum Party, Twilight Ritual, Norma Loy, Clair Obscur, Richard Pinhas, Artefact, Opera Multi Steel, Trisomie 21, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, and Die Form emerged. In the late 1980s, groups such as The Breath of Life continued to practice the style. The journalist Jean-François Bizot initially documented the scene. The original coldwave groups were generally not distributed in the United States and did not sing in English. Pieter Schoolwerth describes the style as similar to The Cure's on the albums Faith and Seventeen Seconds. Maurice G. Dantec, later a Canadian cyberpunk author and conservative polemicist, was very active in the scene.
The groups began to achieve mainstream coverage in France in 1980, when Patrick Zerbib wrote an article for the magazine Actuel, covering Marquis de Sade, Artefact and Jacno, titled "Les jeunes gens modernes aiment leurs mamans" ("The Modern Young People Love Their Mothers").
A recent retrospective article enumerates various stylistic and conceptual influences:
“ Profiting from the double efficacy of the Do It Yourself methodology and the provocation established by the activist strategy of experimentation which Punk had permitted, the New Wave recalled at the same time the historical artistic avant-gardes (constructivism, futurism, symbolism, dadaism, socialist realism...), literature (romanticism, science fiction...), the cinema (French new wave, German Expressionism...) and the latest advanced technologies (electronics, robotics, nuclear ...)."