G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Re-Member » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:20 am

AnalogKid wrote:If you like early synth music, you should pick up a copy of Metamatic.
I'm actually a massive fan of John Foxx as well and literally own every album he's put out. The past two albums he's released with "The Maths" have been some of the best work he's done in his career. His new keyboardist Benge has a studio with a ton of vintage synths and modulars and that all they used on the two albums they've released so far. There's some studio pics here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manof2worl ... 734957256/

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:07 am

Have any of you guys seen Gary Numan playing live recently? I hate to say it but it's pretty embarrassing to watch, his band sounds like a bad teenage NIN cover band and it's all angst and eyeliner. Not a good example of what a Virus sounds like IMO.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Dr. Phibes » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:35 am

I think I saw Mr. Numan, or at least a man that looked very much like him, in an Uckfield supermarket three years ago. Unfortunately, I was too shy to approach him. :(

That said, after reading these stories I feel that I may have dodged a bullet.
Last edited by Dr. Phibes on Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by AnalogKid » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:21 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Have any of you guys seen Gary Numan playing live recently? I hate to say it but it's pretty embarrassing to watch...
I don't know. The audience seems to like it. I'm not a huge Gary Numan fan (I am a huge Ultravox fan, chomping at the bit waiting for the new Ultravox album that is finally being released in a few weeks). I saw Numan live a few years back, and I thought that he put on a great show. The place was packed, and he kept the energy level up the entire show.

I think that Numan's music sounds pretty darn good live. However, to each his own. Different people will have different musical tastes.

Here's a clip. Doesn't seem too embarrassing to me:


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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Cybercardinal » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:43 pm

AnalogKid wrote:This will be a real treat for you Gary Numan fans and fans of early synth music in general:

Great. Thanks...never saw that one before



I recommend getting the remastered Micromusic DVD. It's exellent.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by burnsjed » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:08 pm

I remember listening to 'Are Friends Electric?' in 1979 on the radio while it was still climbing up the charts, and feeling like I had listened to music for the first time!
Watching 'Top of the Pops' that week and being totally hooked!
It might be hard for the U.S posters to appreciate, but by the time of his concerts at Wembley in 1981, he was about as big as you could get, at least in the U.K!
Like AG mentioned, I have always looked on Numan as closer to rock than electronic, and to a large degree was more of the appeal, for me anyway. I also believe that gives his concerts a more exciting feel.
Now I also love the Depeche Mode's and Ultravox''s of the world, but prefer the darker sound of Numan.
Love his last few albums after it went a bit off the boil for me, but getting on to topic, Numan has always been a advocate of modern synths.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by GuyaGuy » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:22 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
GuyaGuy wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:It's some guy who had a rock band that had a hit in the U.S. in 1979 that had a synthesizer in it.
Hrm. He was obviously a fan of Bowie and sure there were guitars and real drums. But most of the riffs and textures in Tubeway Army and Numan songs are from the synths. Karl Bartos has even dissed Numan for ripping off not only Kraftwerk's sound but also their look. That's not entirely accurate either, as far as I'm concerned, but it demonstrates that he was definitely considered electro at the time.

Or did you mean Randy Newman?!
I would definitely say he was inspired by Bowie and Kraftwerk, and absolutely... there were synths.
But I do feel inclined to bash at the mythos that has developed largely due to the internet and the very different European perspective.
When "Cars" came out, I was entranced. I had never heard anything like it, really (although amusingly enough, he reminded 10 year-old me a little bit of some of the darker synthy parts of The Cars). I bought "The Pleasure Principle," just like some Americans did. There was no internet to tell us it was anything other than rock with synths and a dark robotic mood. And that's what it was. There was much more "futuristic" and "electronic" music that came out 10 years before it. It was just rock with a cool aesthetic, and a focus on the synth (despite the fact that there was a bass player and drums). It was just another song on the radio, and synth-dorks-in-the-making like me really liked it and the rest of the album.
Nobody called it "Electro." Everyone called it "New Wave."
Frickin' "Wonderful Christmastime" had more synths in it.

I know that Numan was FAR more popular in Europe, and since the synthesizer/popular electronic music community is international and tight-knit, it's easy to blur history to fit a general perspective. But in 1979, all of us American kids just called this "rock." Just like we did with Bowie, and Tangerine Dream, and etc.

And as far as I recall, Numan only had the one hit in the U.S. And, if you were someone who lived in New York or L.A., and were able to go to clubs, you may have heard more from him. But as a 10 year old, if it wasn't on the radio, it simply didn't exist. Yeah, there were record stores, and sometimes they had weird stuff you didn't hear on the radio... but still. Gary Numan, in American terms, was a rock one-hit-wonder.
If the mythos you are bashing is that of Numan as godfather of electronic music I will happily bash with you. He influenced a lot of electronic musicians (as well as rock musicians) and brought certain elements of electronic music to the mainstream. But he didn't define a genre. He was one of many musicians who took the energy of punk and new wave and matched it with synthesizers--Suicide, DAF, The Cars, Devo, Joy Division, etc. I don't really see electronic music being a genre anyhow. It can be a useful label to differentiate between guitar-driven popular music and synth-driven popular music. (For whatever it's worth I would still maintain that Numan is electronic because it's driven more by the synths than by guitars.) But really there are few similarities between Skrillex, Massive Attack, and Yaz, so a term like "electronic music" starts breaking down at some point.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:05 am

AnalogKid wrote:The biggest influence on Gary Numan's early music was not Bowie or Kraftwerk (well, it can be argued that all synth/techno music was influenced by Kraftwerk). It was early John Foxx era Ultravox. Here's Numan talking about the influence of John Foxx era Ultravox on his music. Numan even says in this clip that he is credited with things that John Foxx/Ultravox did first:


The interesting thing about the Ultravox influence is that you can see the tie to early Roxy Music more clearly. A lot of those late 70s post-punk and synth bands adored glam, especially of the art school variety. It's easy to draw a clear line between early 70s rock and late 70s punk/new wave/post punk/UK synth pop. But it was really just a few years apart and glam is what the cool kids were into.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:05 am

The term "electronic music" never breaks down until about 1970, where people started applying it to rock with synthesizers in it.
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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:11 am

AnalogKid wrote:(well, it can be argued that all synth/techno music was influenced by Kraftwerk)
You can only say that if you've never listened to any of the artists from the sixties and early seventies who were inspired by the history of electronic music and applying it to electronic-only pop. I can play you s**t that happened previous to 1970 which has the whole dark futuristic mood and is completely electronic in nature.
This notion that Kraftwerk was seminal in electronic music is as incorrect as the notion that Gary Numan is godfather of anything. Electronic music existed easily 60 years before 1970, and artists had already discovered many aspects which became dance music and even techno conventions previous to 1970.
Kraftwerk was a novelty act. Whether they were inspired or influenced by previous electronic music is unimportant, but the fact of the matter is, they merely added an aesthetic to synthesizer pop which had already existed. We all think they're cool and everything because they were "futuristic" and we can hear how they influenced synthesizer-using musicians who came later, but THEY were influenced by synthesizer-using musicians who came before them who didn't have a fancy visual aesthetic, and happened before synthesizer music was really radio-friendly.
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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by stillearning » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:59 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: I would definitely say he was inspired by Bowie and Kraftwerk...
Wait... Inspired, or influenced?
As always, kindly allow for the possibility I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:10 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:The term "electronic music" never breaks down until about 1970, where people started applying it to rock with synthesizers in it.
Do you mean "electronic music" as a term describing electronic classical/avant garde? I just think of "electronic music" as a term very generally describing music made with electronic instruments. Early on it only defined electro avant garde/classical because hardly anyone else used the machines. But now I think of it as general as "acoustic music," which can be anything from Western classical and blues to Indian classical.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:
AnalogKid wrote:(well, it can be argued that all synth/techno music was influenced by Kraftwerk)
You can only say that if you've never listened to any of the artists from the sixties and early seventies who were inspired by the history of electronic music and applying it to electronic-only pop. I can play you s**t that happened previous to 1970 which has the whole dark futuristic mood and is completely electronic in nature.
This notion that Kraftwerk was seminal in electronic music is as incorrect as the notion that Gary Numan is godfather of anything. Electronic music existed easily 60 years before 1970, and artists had already discovered many aspects which became dance music and even techno conventions previous to 1970.
I don't think anyone really believes that Kraftwerk invented electronic music. But that doesn't mean they were not seminal. In the same way, the Rolling Stones sure did cop a lot of their style from what went before them but f**k me if they didn't influence generations of musicians. Sure it would be nice if Kraftwerk's predecessors got more recognition but that wouldn't change the fact that it was Kraftwerk that inspired UK synthies and techno, not the Silver Apples or Stockhausen.

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:17 am

stillearning wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote: I would definitely say he was inspired by Bowie and Kraftwerk...
Wait... Inspired, or influenced?
:)

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by Cumulus » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:19 am

That was the second song of his I ever heard. He played it on Saturday Night Live.

The video was good but after a while all I could focus on was the interviwer's chanting of " yeah...yeah........yeah.......yeah......yeah...yeah....yeah......yeah.....yeah......yeah.......yeah........yeah.........yeah..........yeah...........yeah............"

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Re: G. Numan drops wise words - old vs new - blahblah

Post by bochelli » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:06 am

When i think Gary Numan i think Arp Odyssey Arp Pro-Soloist Moog Minimoog and Moog Polymoog , Gary may well have been inspired by Kraftwerk, he also admits he was inspired by pre Vienna Ultravox is that such a bad thing ?
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