Gary Numan ~ The Amazing 80s Icon is Back Stronger Than Ever

From the “it doesn’t get much better than this” department….Gary Numan’s live set presented by KCRW in its total exquisiteness.

This was merely a warm-up for the mini-eastern US tour he was about to embark on, and the later more extensive UK tour.

Unfortunately, I missed Numan in Sunrise, FL when he opened for Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails on October 30. I had a ticket, but circumstances way beyond my control prevented me from attending.

Next time…and there WILL be a next time, so I hear. Perhaps in March 2014.

Until then, there are always quality videos such as this–and my dreams–to sustain me.

With thanks to Andrew Lister for calling my attention to this video.

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80′s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Karl Hyde / Freur/ Underworld

~July 13, 2012~

Imagine a world where gifted artists from your favorite music decade continue to create brilliant music for over 30 years. Not tired, recycled retro; but new, reinvented, and cutting edge. That’s what I love so much about Gary Numan. And that’s also what I love about Karl Hyde, formerly of Freur and currently of Underworld.

For me, the past year and a half has been, in a word, stressful. Music is the salve for my tortured soul, the magic medicine that sees me through each day. During this period, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to travel back in time and rediscover some of the finest music the 80’s had to offer. One such “discovery” is Karl Hyde, front man for the unpronounceable group Freur. The iconic song “Doot Doot” is the stuff classic 80’s electronica is made of.

Freur – “Doot Doot” via YouTube user AreFriendsElectric:

In 1987, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith moved on from Freur to start the group Underworld, along with  bass player Alfie Thomas and drummer Bryn Burrows. Hyde and Smith have been the constant members over the past two decades. Underworld was an experimental band from the beginning. Karl Hyde used his electronic roots in a very unique and cutting edge way, establishing a strong foothold and forging ahead with dance/techno music. “Underneath the Radar” is an excellent illustration of Hyde and company’s successful segue from New Wave into this new genre.

Underworld – “Underneath the Radar” via YouTube user AussieFive:

Underworld continued to push the limits of their creativity, landing in the techno/trance realm with a breakthrough hit named “Born Slippy” which was featured in the critically acclaimed movie “Trainspotting.”

Underworld – “Born Slippy nuxx (Live)” via YouTube user bandulu:

Underworld – “King of Snake (Everything Everything) via YouTube user 3xrymek:

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this incredible band perform live. But, I can’t get enough of watching Karl Hyde onstage via YouTube. His enthusiasm for his music is eminently evident and contagious. The privilege of experiencing a live Underworld concert must be something similar to a religious transformation. The level of euphoric participation that Hyde exudes cannot be faked. He literally loses himself in the music, and no matter how many times he performs, his excitement and love for his music shines through. It’s almost as though his face is a window to his soul as his body moves of its own accord on its own spiritual plane.

“Scribble” from 2010’s CD Barking is my go-to song when I need a lift. It’s infectious upbeat is difficult to resist. I highly recommend exploring the phenomenon that is Underworld. Very few 80’s-based artists have successfully survived a tough and unforgiving music industry. When they do, they definitely have a gift that’s worth adding to your treasured collection. And when you’re down, spin a few of Underworld’s tunes.  In addition to bouncing up and down to the beat, you just may get that same Hyde-esque euphoric look on your own face.

Underworld – “Scribble” live from KCRW radio via YouTube user Alin82:

Underworld – “Scribble” via YouTube user UnderworldLiveTV:

80’s (and sometimes 00’s) Music Rules ~ Introducing Martin Eve

I have had the great pleasure of meeting Martin Eve through our mutual love of 8os electronica. I was searching for Fiat Lux’s “Photography” on YouTube, somehow Martin found out, and he ended up uploading a copy for my enjoyment. In getting to know Martin, I have found him to be charming, engaging, and an extremely talented electronic musician. Martin has graciously agreed to be interviewed for Rave and Roll, while waiting for the imminent release of his latest collection of music. Be sure to check his music out on SoundCloud, under the user name 4th Eden. I believe you’ll be very impressed.

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How long have you been a musician?

Well, I guess since my teens, as I studied music at school which was in the late 70’s. I really started writing in the early 80’s, the time of the electronic music explosion. So, I wrote music with my friends on our synthesizers.

What/who inspired you to become a musician?

I have to say my first music teacher inspired me to begin with when he played me Tomita’s – The Planet Suite. Ok, written by Holst, but all done with synthesizers…awesome. He also played in class a guy called Mike Oldfield. So, Tomita and Mike Oldfield are an unlikely inspiration together, but that’s how it began.

Tell us in what way that inspiration influences your music.

I try not to be influenced by music I listen to but it’s always going to be there in your subconscious. Inspiration however, is all around me, particularly where I live in Mid Wales. One moment I will write about the Welsh Hills and the next about a burial chamber. Real life and people inspire me, as well. I was recently inspired to write a piece about George Mallory (the man who almost made it to the top of Everest).

How would you describe the genre of music that you create?

I don’t stick to one genre, so I guess I genre-hop. With my influences from the 80’s with bands like Ultravox, there will be the electronic pop feel; but then I really like the folk/new age side. However, I do enjoy writing in a Cinematic dramatic way, where possible.

What current artist/group do you listen to most often?

At the moment it’s Ultravox – “Brilliant” the new album after 28 years away! But I also am listening to School of Seven Bells – “Ghostery” and Polica – “Give You the Ghost.”

Which decade of music do you feel is the most influential on current up-and-coming artists, and why?

The artists I listen too are influenced by many different decades of music. They then make it their own to make it sound bang up-to-date production techniques.

If you could spend your time doing anything at all, what and where would that be?

Hmmmm…. walk, live by the sea, and write music…as I say on my forums, “Composing Until I’m Decomposing.”

Do you prefer the studio or performing live? Why?

I’m a studio musician…the thought of performing scares the hell out of me.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve ever received?

I rarely get compliments!

What type of equipment do you use?

I use a variety of software based instruments and samplers with my Digital Audio Workstation, Sonar. These are all connected to my Korg MIDI keyboard. Favourite instruments are probably Omnisphere and Kontakt. Once a track is finished then my preferred location for publication is Soundcloud where fellow Soundcloud members can comment on my tracks.

Do you work alone, or do you collaborate with anyone? If you collaborate, what is their role?

I mainly work alone but recently I have been collaborating with a singer in Los Angeles, a musician in France and another musician in Sweden. It’s great collaborating; it pushes you further out of your comfort zone, but can be more time-consuming.

I generally find that my role will be mainly to write the songs and then produce them, but this depends on the other artist. If they want more involvement, then I’m happy for a role-reversal.

Where can we go to listen to/purchase your music?

You can listen to my music on my SoundCloud page at http://soundcloud.com/quietman. A new CD is imminent, but I cannot mention where it can be purchased from yet until it’s finally released by the record company. However, it will be available in our cafe’ (that’s the day job) at the ‘Wye Knot Stop’ Cafe/B&B in Llyswen in Wales.

“Dead Son Rising” CD by Gary Numan with Ade Fenton ~ A Review

Please do not copy any portion of this article without the express written consent of the original author. Requests for permission may be left in the form of a comment on https://raveandroll.wordpress.com.

“Dead Son Rising” CD by Gary Numan with Ade Fenton – released September 2011

(Photo credits: Ed Fielding Photography http://www.edfielding.co.uk/)

Long awaited, Dead Son Rising is a theme-driven collection of electronica only the way Gary Numan, along with Ade Fenton, can create. Pounding and wistful, demanding and longing, tender and brutal, it is a study in impossible contrasts that work together so seamlessly as to be other-worldly. Words can only inadequately describe the music on this brilliant CD. If you love electronica/dark wave/industrial/goth, this is a must-have addition to your collection.

Resurrection
The swell of the synthesizers backdropped with breathing sounds and static is a perfect indicator of what is to come on this epic CD. Something sinister yet magical is in the air, and we are about to be willingly drawn into its merciless grasp.

Big Noise Transmission
Static noise and a driving rhythm section catapult us into a staccato mind-puzzle fraught with urgent, whispered pleas. Fully Numan-esque and gripping, this industrial anthem is a rock-solid testament to a direction Numan has whole-heartedly embraced over the past sixteen years. He shows us he has this genre fully mastered and ready for our listening pleasure. The abrupt end leaves us aching for more.

Dead Sun Rising
Numan uses his signature vocals against a deeply satisfying electronic backdrop. There is no one on this planet that could pull off an electronic ballad as successfully as Gary Numan. It is the perfect melding of lyrics, vocals, and synthesizers that captures the soul and transports it to another dimension.

When the Sky Bleeds, He Will Come
Numan and company use everything but the kitchen sink to deliver this masterpiece. Left to the devices of mere mortals, this song would result in listening confusion; in Gary and Ade’s more than capable hands, it is an extraordinary testament to pushing music to its limits and successfully achieving perfection.

For the Rest Of My Life
Don’t let the title/lyrics fool you. This is no tender love song. It borders on an obsessiveness that is both scary yet oddly compelling. It is similar to approaching an accident scene on the highway, and not being able to avert your eyes. In fact, it makes the listener want to hit the “replay” button; not only to hear it again, but to validate the message.

Not the Love We Dream Of
The stark piano notes that open this song are gorgeous. Enter Gary Numan’s voice, and what we end up with is a slightly off-kilter and purposeful story woven of disappointment and sadness. Who can’t relate to the melancholic message delivered here? We have all made mistakes that have devastated us. Numan and company put context to those feelings so we can unleash the demons within.

The Fall
Gary advises us how to deal with being shattered, even telling us point blank that the world still goes on even if we cannot. This is a perfect song to play when things are falling apart in our lives, if only for the rhythm, which makes it impossible to sit still long enough to feel sorrow.

We Are the Lost
The powerful and driving drumbeat that opens this track and anchors it throughout is a welcome diversion from the keyboards that usually take the limelight. Coupled with a Middle Eastern flair that Numan has previously and successfully brought into his music, this song resonates down into the listener’s toes. The textures are rich and colorful, like an open market full of hand-woven cloth displays.

For The Rest Of My Life (Reprise)
Like a path winding its way through a dark forest, we are gently guided to a clearing where Gary awaits us to remind us of the lost love he introduced us to earlier in our journey.

Into Battle
This track is a cacophony of sounds that starts out somewhat reminiscent of wind chimes in a stormy summer garden. But don’t be lulled into submission. The seemingly harmless wind chimes morph into the cadence and timber of something destructive and sinister. Even if you are on your guard, you are not going to be ready for the abrupt end. Signifying eternity, perhaps?

Not the Love We Dream Of (Piano Version)
Again, we are treated to the stark piano notes winding through the introduction to this song. Slowed down and purposeful, almost funereal, we are reminded of mortality, mistakes, and failed missions. It is definitely a song of introspection, but with the change-up in tone and tempo midway through, Numan informs us musically that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

Dead Sun Rising (Early Version)
This version feels like it is played at a slower speed. Numan’s vocals are the focus with the lush accompaniment of electronica there merely to support the master as he works his craft. It is a delightfully welcome version of the title track, and the perfect close to a perfect CD.

Well done, Gary. You are a perfectionist, and our lives are enriched because of it.

Visit Gary Numan’s website: http://www.numan.co.uk/

“The Fall” official full-length promotional video via YouTube user GaryNumanOfficial:

“The Fall” live by Gary Numan – via YouTube user GaryNumanOfficial:

80’s (and sometimes 90’s and 00’s) Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Kit Rumble

I have been so fortunate to meet some exquisitely talented people from all over the planet thanks to the magic of the Internet. A couple of years ago, I met Australian Kit Rumble’s acquaintance on YouTube because of some gracious comments he left on video montages I had made for Gary Numan songs. Unfortunately, I was forced to remove those montages because the greedy suits at Eagle Records decided they didn’t want free advertising, even though I had Gary Numan’s permission via Tony Webb, his father and manager.

At any rate, one happy consequence of all that drama was being exposed to Kit Rumble’s music. This genuinely friendly and humble man has been creating music since the late 70’s. He cites his very first influences as Suzi Quattro, Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, and, of course, Gary Numan. Once Kit heard Numan’s “Cars” for the first time, he was smitten with electronica. His tastes going forward ran the gamut of Numan, John Foxx, Kraftwerk, and Bowie, whose chameleon-like evolution and innovation he admired greatly. Iva Davies, Australian-grown like Kit himself, was another iconic musician whose work was highly influential.

Kit purchased his first synthesizer, a Roland System 100, in 1981. That was a defining point in his own music evlolution. The first Roland led to a Roland Jupiter and an Arp Odyssey. Kit reports that since then he has probably bought and sold at least 100 keyboards ranging from early analogues to “amazing machines like the OpenLabs Neko LX76.”

In the early 80’s, Kit moved from Melbourne to Sydney to start his first band called “Subway.” They mostly covered the work of their synthesizer heroes. The band broke up, double-teamed by the repercussions of a bad automobile accident and the arrival of the New Romantic genre. Kit returned to Melbourne to a self-imposed exile, where he shut himself up in a room full of synthesizers, drum machines, and multi-track reel-to-reel decks, and set about writing and recording demos.

Life intervened, Kit found himself caught up heavily in the party life, and creating music ended up taking a backseat as a result. After giving marriage an unsuccessful try, and fathering a child, Kit reordered his priorities and settled back into his first passion of writing and performing music. Unfortunately, given the time that had passed, he felt he didn’t quite fit into the music scene he found himself thrust into.

The early 90’s and the mainstream music that the corporate suits were foisting upon the masses was not Kit’s cup of tea. He couldn’t stomach “the Michael Bolton/Vanessa Williams/Whitney Houston dominated radio” and even found the 90’s Annie Lennox to be unpalatable compared to her brilliance in the 80’s.

Kit withdrew from the public eye and lay low until forming his next band, “The Factory Boys.” The line up was Kit Rumble (vocals/keyboards), Stuart Casey (lead guitar), Brad Hodge (drums), Little Wilks (guitar), and Darren Rosier (bass). Kit, in his own words, describes this period of life as “terrific fun as we played in the back of this large warehouse…..often local people would hear us start up and wander down, and eventually we had this thing going where it was OK to wander in, listen to us play, and leave. We hardly got to speak with any of these ‘fans.’”

Kit recorded his first CD at Soul Studios (Gold Coast Australia) with Anna Maria LaSpina (who later toured the world with Savage Garden), provided backing vocals. Darren Hayes, too, would often pop in and out, prior to his own success. This proved to be a turning point in Kit’s musical career. He writes, “The internet saved my creative life, to be honest. I discovered a website called Dmusic.com and began to upload my music. Suddenly, I found there were people who liked my sound from all around the world, but not so much in Australia. To add another dimension, I became interested in creating music video for my tracks which led to me winning the Dmusic video of the year award with my track ‘Sayonara Baby.’”

Currently, Kit reports that he is content with creating music and video for the Web. When he was young, his dream was to be heard on the radio. He has realized that dream with radio play throughout the world, thanks to the wonders of the Internet. Not only that, Kit’s music has found its way to one British movie soundtrack, Paul Easter’s film called “Stagger,” with another soundtrack soon to be added to his resume. He has recently teamed up with a brilliant artist from the UK, Dave Webber. Together they are producing some powerful dark industrial music with a view to producing a CD collection very soon. I, for one, can’t wait.

Kit has a fan base (of which I am very happy to be a member) who are very loyal to his sound. He offers his music for free download at the following sites:

http://www.ilike.com/artist/Kit+Rumble

http://kitrumble.dmusic.com/

http://www.myspace.com/kitrumble

http://www.icompositions.com/artists/KitRumble

Take advantage of this great opportunity and get acquainted with his music. Kit will welcome you into his circle of friends by treating you as though he has known you his whole life. It is this warm and selfless attitude, along with an undeniable talent, that will go far in bringing Kit the success he has worked hard for his entire life.

“Hostile” via YouTube user kitrumble:
 

“Sayonara Baby” via YouTube user kitrumble:
 

“Shame” (2009 remix with Dave Syn) via YouTube user kitrumble:
 

“Dull Reality” (using images of Gary Numan onstage) via YouTube user kitrumble:
 

“Always” (music by Dave Syn) via YouTube user kitrumble:
 

Kit Rumble Discography

Talk To Me – 1996
Ghost – 1997
Misguidance – 1997
Now I’m Alone – 1998
Say Goodbye -1999
Mayday – 2000
Intermission – 2000
Hymn for a mortal – 2000
I’m Silenced – 2001
You Drown Me – 2001
Sayonara Baby – 2003
Your Time – 2004
Save Me – 2004
Dull Reality – 2005
Shame – 2006
Make Me Bleed – 2007
Die for the Children – 2008
When You Move – 2008
Shame (remix 2009) – 2009
Always – 2009
Hostile – 2009