Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are "Friends" Electric?

Gary Numan was the weird gay robot bloke who freaked you out a little bit when he came on Top Of The Pops. I have to admit though, I was really into synthesizer music when I was a nipper. I was into science fiction and computers, so stuff like the Pet Shop Boys, The Communards, and yes, Gary Numan seemed like the music of the future. After reading Simon Reynolds' post-punk history Rip It Up And Start Again I started revisiting some of that stuff. Some of it I just had to dig out my old records, but even more of it I found at Amoeba in the bargain bin. There wasn't a lot of demand for Heaven 17 singles for some reason. When it comes to this stuff, not much can touch The Normal or the first Human League single, but lately I've been coming back to Gary Numan/Tubeway Army a lot. I usually always drop 'Cars' when I DJ but he's got loads of good songs with some super hard, solid guitar or synth riffs and some amazingly solid drumming. Not showy, but expertly holding down prog/kraut rhythms and giving life to what could otherwise be fairly soul-less music. Maybe that's what a lot of electronic music is lacking: live drums. Anyway, check out the two Tubeway Army albums (s/t and Replicas) and the first Gary Numan album (The Pleasure Principle) if you get a chance. You won't be sorry. There's a Tubeway Army demos album which is supposedly more punk/new wave but I haven't heard that. Oh yeah, and as it turns out he wasn't actually gay; in fact, he married a member of his fan club.

1 comment:

Lunatic Dolphin said...

Janet Jackson 'pleasure principle' is ill too