I’ve always thought Gary Numan was highly underrated. Go back today and listen through his albums and see if you don’t agree. Honest loud real analog synths and interesting vocals. They don’t make them like they used to.
“Gary Numan (born Gary Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (with Tubeway Army) and “Cars”. One of the first musicians to use electronic synthesizers successfully in rock music, his signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.” – Wikipedia.org
The official Gary Numan homepage: http://www.numan.co.uk
This entry was written by interviews, live performance, music, synthesizer and tagged 1980's, concert, Gary Numan, interview, music, new wave, Recording Studio, synthesizer, synthpop. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Every now and then I come across a vintage synthpop gem that I never heard before. I found today’s song via the Matrixsynth blog and it’s called Computer Games by a band called Mi-Sex. Apparently the song was a huge hit in Australia. I checked out other Mi-Sex songs on Amazon and discovered they are really a rock pop band and this was one of the few tracks they released that were synth heavy. Amazon link: Computer Games/Space Race
“Mi-Sex (also spelt ‘’MiSex’’) was a New Zealand / Australian new wave rock band active from 1978 to 1984. Led by Steve Gilpin as vocalist, they were best known for their singles “Computer Games” in 1979 and “People” in 1980. Their first single for CBS, “But You Don’t Care” / “Burning Up”, was released in Australia in June 1979 and their debut album, Graffiti Crimes was issued in July 1979 to coincide with their national tour as the support act for Talking Heads. The LP included their biggest hit, the synthesizer-driven “Computer Games”, a Burns/Stanton composition released in Australia on October 1, 1979. The single went to #1 in Australia, made the Top 5 in New Zealand, and also charted in 20 countries including Canada and South Africa.” – wikipedia.org/wiki/MiSex
So I’ve really been enjoying the new Depeche Mode song “Wrong“. As a superfan each new album floods my brain with memories of years gone by. One way I knew Depeche Mode were special was the fact that no other band could really sound like them. A few came close with a song here or there such as Camouflage’s The Great Commandment but in general the clones never arrived. Usually when you have a super strong band it’s creates a genre on it’s own… Nirvana as an example. It’s true you could attribute synthpop to DM but let’s face facts, most of that music is terrible.
I find it pretty amusing that one of the best Depeche Mode style songs comes to us as a joke. Take a listen below to Liam Lynch’s Fake Depeche Mode Song. If Liam ever wanted to be big in the German goth scene it would be pretty easy for him.
“Lynch also made the album Fake Songs, released in 2003, produced by his own company, 111 Productions. This album featured the song “United States of Whatever”, which charted in the Top 10 in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is one of the shortest songs to get to the Top 10 in both countries. The song did get Lynch a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for shortest UK song to go top ten. Liam Lynch is also known for directing music videos. He’s worked with Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Spinnerette, and No Doubt. In 2003 he directed the UK music video for the Foo Fighters single “Times Like These”, although it was rarely played in the United States.” – Wikipedia.org
Clearly the best lyric here is, “You can’t see me because I’m wearing black.”.
Buy this song: iTunes
This entry was written by music and tagged Depeche Mode, Liam Lynch, new wave, synthpop. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Today I found more obscure electronic music from the 80s I didn’t know about. Interestingly the artist “Frank O’ The Mountain” lived in Rockland County, NY where I grew up. He has a large amount of music on his website but what really has my interest are his two albums “The Ramapo College Sessions 1984-1985” and the “Casio Cassette Sesssions 1985-1987“. This is exactly the kind of music a hunt out and cherish. Something about the pure analog toys mixed to 4-tracks with vocals just has me, tape his and all!
“I took an electronic music class at Ramapo College in NJ. They had a Moog 12 modular synth, and two four track tape machines in a little room. This is where I started song writing and multi-track recording. I spent many hours there by myself experimenting with sound. All songs were monitored through headphones since the speakers were blown. Mastered to cassette tape, usually adding another live track and vocal during that stage. About 150 songs. 1984-1985.” – frankothemountain.com
One has to wonder if his name kept him from the big time. Besides his MySpace and website he also has a YouTube channel: click here. So my question is has anyone heard of him before? I like it… now where did I put my Stiff Stuff?
Related post: Apparently I can live in the 80s forever. Jeff and Jane.
This entry was written by music and tagged 1980's, electronic music, Everything Sucks, Frank O' The Mountain, music, synthesizer, synthpop, The Ramapo Sessions. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
One result of the internet invention is I can find a constant flow of electronic songs recorded in the 1980s that I never heard before. Now I want to point out that I know several million electronic songs from the eighties already so this is an astonishing fact! Synthpop, new wave, ebm is my freak obsession. I seek every word of every song and every synth note played from that decade. I’m dumbfounded when I come across something that I never heard of before.
Don’t worry, my blabbing is leading this blog post somewhere… Yesterday I decided to jump around in MySpace to find some new music. I click on a friend or artist I know and then just randomly click on one of their friends and see what I can find. We all do that right? To me this replaces going to a record store and searching the bins or even dial surfing on the radio. I landed on the Daft Records page because Daft Records kicks ass (it’s the Belgian electronic body music label run by Dirk Ivens). The top friend in their top 8 is a band called Jeff and Jane. As soon as I saw the black and white scanned photo they used as their profile picture my eighties radar started going off so I had to click. This is one of the songs on the Jeff and Jane MySpace page called Los Alamos:
Some of you are thinking right now… eeew that was shitty. I however think that song is fucking awesome. When he sings, “You’ve got lots of political power!” I knew I had to grab everything these guys made I could find. That lead me to click on their website officialjeffandjane.com and discovered you can download a lot of there music for free!
The band performed in venues in Boston, New York and Philadephia. The music was electro-pop employing early Roland synths and the TR808 drum machine. For some performances, Wally Gagel appeared on drums with Russ Smith on bass. In 1985 the band stopped performing and recording. In 1986, Jeff started to direct music videos and Jane produced video art. Both were teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. – officialjeffandjane.com
I had to share Jeff and Jane with you. This is what music is all about… discovery, feeling, memories, getting fired up! What’s so cool about finding an old song like this is you can open Ableton on your laptop, add some tape noise, retro synth and drum machine vst’s and shoot for a similar sound.
There is great music happening in 2008 (MGMT, Justice) but my heart still lives in 1988.
This entry was written by music and tagged 1980's, Daft Records, Jeff and Jane, new wave, synthpop. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.