Posts Tagged ‘Gary Numan’

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Friends (Or a Reasonable [Electronic] Facsimile Thereof)

February 24, 2011

I first heard Gary Numan on a Beggars Banquet compilation (which also featured some brilliant tracks by Peter Murphy, Rollerskate Skinny and Tones on Tail). Well, I had probably heard Cars first via the radio, which at that point was still trotting out that lurching classic 15 years on from its heyday, myopically reducing Gary Numan to a single song.

And that’s really the problem with radio. Every band exists only as their hit, no matter how many other just as catchy tunes reside on their albums. For instance, the US knows Love & Rockets as So Alive.

At least if you lived in Britain, you had All in My Mind or their cover of Ball of Confusion added to that arbitrary list. Oh, and No New Tale to Tell, which was one of about three salvagable tracks from Earth-Sun-Moon, which many people still insist on calling “underrated.” I don’t know. To my ears, the “underrated” scores are right where they should be.

But we’re not here to discuss my lover for Love & Rockets or the poorly done tattoo of the band’s logo I have tattoed on my right arm.

The follow-up question to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Are Friends Electric? is vintage Numan, all icy synths, monotone vocals and a melodic hook as big as the dystopian outdoors. The huge synth line is twice as good as the one in Cars, if only half as popular.

Here’s the original in all its synthetic glory:

Now that you’ve gone to the source, here’s two different takes on the masterpiece:

Moloko – Are Friends Electric? (live).mp3

Moloko takes the first swing, opting for a rather straightforward rendition. The main twist is part-time singer Mark Brydon’s vocals, which out-deadpan Numan’s original, lending a bit of ironic distance to the cover. It turns out a bit like something that wouldn’t sound out of place in the more restrained portions of Fischerspooner’s discography.

Giresse – Mon Ami.mp3

Giresse heads off in a different direction, using the outsized synthline as the foundation for a dancefloor killing machine. The patented Numan riff gets distended, altered, pitched and otherwise electronically manhandled over the course of the pounding track, one which wouldn’t sound out of place in Mauro Picotto or Yves Deruyter‘s setlist.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 26 – Pop Tarts and Retro Night

December 6, 2009

Heading back to the pop end of the spectrum as a palate-cleanser after last week’s weed-and-uppers bender. After spending what seems like hours with unfocused proto-metalheads and their paranoia, it’s time to head back to the future (the present) and stroll around in the past (by way of some artists of the present who are hard at work on the future of music). 

This will all become clearer as the music starts. Let’s let a little light in here.

That’s better. Your eyes will adjust. So will your ears.

Previous adjustments available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Annie – Chewing Gum (Mylo Mix)
Blonde and Norwegian as hell, Annie hit the pop scene in 1999, as the Kylie Minogue it was “cool” to like. (This was up until Kylie became the Kylie it was “cool” to like, with the release of Can’t Get You Out of My Head. Danni still remains mostly unlikeable. She’s like an Ashlee Simpson.)

A saucy little pop tune, about disposable boys who can be tossed aside like chewing gum once the “flavor is gone,” is toughened up by the production of Mylo, who gives it a little more bass swagger and some thumping kick drum.

Enjoyable as a brisk walk in the altogether and nearly as memorable. (The police will “remember” it permanently in that ever-swelling file of yours.)

Goldfrapp – Ooh La La
Alison Goldfrapp, the Annie it’s still “cool” to like, makes some truly sensual synthpop with impeccable production values. Ooh La La invites you to “dial up her number” and “switch her on.” Who are you to say no?

No. Seriously. Who the fuck do you think you are? Listen to the breathy, seductive voice. Listen to the galloping, lithe backbeat. That infectious chorus rising over some buzzing synths and guitar-tweakery.

And then there’s the drop. Removing everything but some bass rumble and spare handclaps, bringing Ms. Goldfrapp’s “voice that raised a thousand tent poles” to the front.

You won’t be saying no.

Late Nite Tuff Guy – Changes
Late Nite Tuff Guy, aka House Master Cam, aka Carmelo Bianchetti, takes a throwaway Gary Numan track (from 1989’s Automatic) and turns it into a low-key house monster.

Hailing from Australia but following the Italo-House blueprint of his forefathers, DJ HMC tuffens up Numan’s electro with some 808 drums, some quavering synths and a bassline that wouldn’t seem out of place during disco’s mutation in house music.

Compares favorably to proto-house classics like Cerrone’s Supernature or Laid Back’s White Horse and wouldn’t seem out of place in Danny Tenaglia’s rotation or being rerubbed to perfection by the guys in Deep Dish.

Den Haan – Heist
Exploding out of the gate (with an actual digital explosion… um… sound) like Georgio Moroder covering the Miami Vice theme, Den Haan carve themselves into history through a careful and brilliant reimagining of every early-’80s instrumental theme song into a surgical synthtastic strike that sounds simultaneously familiar and like nothing you’ve heard before.

There’s musical shoutouts to everything in here: drums from Can, the aforementioned Moroder, Jan Hammer’s clattering electro-drums, chanted vocals a la Bow Wow Wow or A Split Second and here and there a few piercing synth stabs recalling John Carpenter’s soundtrack work.

DJ Geometrix – What You Know About a White Wedding (T.I. King vs. Billy Idol)
As I’ve said previously, I have a weakness for hip hop. But my weakness is usually only fully exposed once said hip hop tracks in unchained from the same-old, same-old 808 beats and given a new leash on life with an unexpected life partner.

Enter DJ Geometrix, whose mind added 1+1 and got “fuck yeah,” with his reimagining of our musical world which now views T.I. and Billy Idol as co-partners in a rebirth/rekilling of rock and roll.

All files in one white-hot pop mess:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 26
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 4

June 28, 2009

Another round of amazing tracks, brought to your courtesy of Fancy Plans. All killer, no filler.

numan

Gary Numan – I Die, You Die
Numan’s late 70’s-early 80’s work promised a bright, shiny dystopia lying somewhere between the Jetsons, Blade Runner and 1984. Perhaps not so bright and shiny. However, the impression given was that the future of rock would be shiny synths and affectionless vocals, dealing with conspiracies, cyborgs, brain implants and the pure love of a man for a sex machine.

None of this happened. The future of rock became the endlessly echoing of post-grunge riffage and nu-metal detritus, which just kind of sucks. On the bright side, all of this can be easily avoided by ignoring the mainstream and your radio.

This is not love
This is not even worth a point of view
In Echo Park, I
Pause for effect and whisper ‘who are you?’

They crawl out of their holes for me
And I die: You die
Hear them laugh, watch them turn on me
And I die: You die
See my scars, they call me such things
Tear me, tear me, tear me

human people

Human People – I’d Run Just Like You
In just under two minutes, Human People manage to encapsulate everything that was great about the New Romantics and synthpop in general. Beautiful, shimmering snyth lines, a propulsive bass line and some dark, but not too dark, lyrics.

Like any great entertainer, they leave you wanting more. I’d kill for a good 6-minute version of this track. Perhaps I’ll get my wish, as this is only a demo.

James-Ring-The-Bells-164893

James – Ring the Bells
A blistering kiss-off to apathy, religion and general indifference, this track kicks more ass than any song relying on this much acoustic guitar should. It starts a quietly before building to the chorus, subsiding briefly before returning to beat you into submission. Definitely worth screaming along to, preferably at a high rate of speed after nightfall.

When you let me fall, grew my own wings
Now I’m as tall as the sky
When you let me drown, grew gills and fins
Now I’m as deep as the sea
When you let me die, my spirit’s free
There’s nothing challenging me

😦 – embedding disabled…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxB4KcHFL1I

editorialMCDcover

Murder City Devils – I Want a Lot Now
With drums that echo Iggy Pop’s classic “Lust for Life” and shouted lyrics that bring all that’s right about wanting to just be the fuck out of the house and up to no good somewhere else to a full-on, head-stomping peak, this song will lay your stereo to waste.

We are not responsible for any hard drinking, drug snorting, fist fighting or casual sexing that may result as a result of this song. Rocks so hard that you may forgive your fellow roadtrippers for drumming along on the dashboard.

I’m feelin’ cooped up, you know it sure is shitty
I don’t want to live here anymore
I know it’s late
I said I know it’s late
I don’t wanna go home
I don’t wanna go home

Livin’s no good across the lake from the city
Don’t want to live there anymore
Take your dad’s car and we’ll go to the city
Just like last week and the week before

primalscream

Primal Scream – Come Together
A song about the unquantifiable power of music, when it becomes something more than the sum of its parts and transcends, uplifts and unifies. Ramblin’ Rooster knows what I’m talking about.

Those rare moments when a song can conjure up all the great hazy memories you have about staying out for far too long. Exchanging your responsibilities and better judgement for a few hours of sonic bliss. Today we dance, tomorrow we die.

From Primal Scream’s first masterpiece Screamadelica, featuring Adrian Sherwood’s restrained dub production, all echoes, reverb and masterful sampling. A gospel chorus turns up around a third of the way through, aiding the sample of music-pushing preacher, just in case you were missing the point of good music getting you closer to God.

This is a beautiful day
It is a new day
We are together, we are unified
And in one accord
Because together we got power
Apart we got power

Today on this program you will hear gospel,
And rhythm and blues, and jazz
All those are just labels
We know that music is music

(Not really a video, per se, but if you want to hear the track without downloading, click this:)

Switching file hosting due to some rampant popups at Mediafire. All in one zip file – take ’em all, ditch what you hate. (Link will open in new window.)

Heavy Rotation V. 5 (zip)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]