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our friends electric

Just finished watching Synth Britannia (i-player link but it's 1.30 long so don't start watching it now!), an astonishing run of happy men in rooms full of significant synthesisers punctuated by the occasional rant about how the music press HATED them. I'm a little confused about this as I read Smash Hits -- or Q, if I wanted to feel sophisticated, and they loved all that stuff. I was aware that people who were into music read Melody Maker or NME and had tried one or other of them a few times, but frankly they were inpenetrable, bewildering nonsense, full of in-jokes and bitching -- and my limited capability for that was already taken up reading 2000AD and its chums. For those who are fans of either, pretend I picked up the other one. I'm sure they were wonderful if you got to know them.

Anyway, Synth Britannia played out on Moroder/Oakey's Electric Dreams and I ended up telling Tim the plot of the film which he had never seen but which, it seems, is branded on my brain for all times. The plot is that old chestnut -- boy meets computer, girl moves in next door, girl borrows computer, computer prefers girl, girl prefers boy, tragic love triangle finally resolved by computer leaving for -- well, the internet didn't exist then, so it went off into the electrical grid. The computer got intelligent by being struck by lightning and having half a bottle of champagne spilt on it, in a dramatic, blue-lit scene. I'm forced suddenly to conceive of the possibility that my emotional life has been permanently warped by preferring the computer to either of the romantic leads in a terrible 80s romcom. Changed! I mean changed.

Gary Numan looks a bit nervy, and there's a sense of great sorrow about the guy from Soft Cell, but the rest of them seemed quite cheerful; happy men and women in huge nests of electronics and blinkin lights, reminiscing about favourite drum machines and hairstyles. Strange how things which originally presented as dystopias just turned out to be new habitats; ones to which certain people were ideally suited, and quickly became habituated. Concrete islands full of happy electric people in technological nests, beeping and tweeting.

Speaking of music, anyway, Audioscope. Highlights were twinkly delicacy from Remember Remember, beepy electro played with REALLY LOUD GUITARS from Bilge Pump and Maps's new dance/no dance stuff -- here's a preview of Love will come. (Youtube links)

Comments

( 6 worms — Feed the birds )
t__m__i
18th Oct, 2009 22:54 (UTC)
Which guy from Soft Cell? The one who wasn't Marc Almond looked quite chirpy & well-preserved, I thought.
Had a bit of a senior moment before I realised the chap talking about Heaven 17 was one of the ex-HL bods and not Glen(?n?) Gregory. "Bloody hell he's lost his looks!" I was thinking (Oakey OTOH still looks delightful).
cleanskies
18th Oct, 2009 23:02 (UTC)
yes, we're thinking of the same guy
He was certainly pretty well preserved. Most of them were, really. Actually, they're not that old, are they?
stylishbastard
18th Oct, 2009 23:43 (UTC)
Strange how things which originally presented as dystopias just turned out to be new habitats; ones to which certain people were ideally suited, and quickly became habituated. Concrete islands full of happy electric people in technological nests, beeping and tweeting.

I like this.
mzdt
19th Oct, 2009 11:10 (UTC)
ah, someone else who has even heard of Remember Remember - heard them on Stuart maconie, and made one of a few CD purchases this year.

How the hell does it work live, though?
cleanskies
19th Oct, 2009 12:41 (UTC)
quite well!
One guy with a bunch of neat toys on a couple of keyboard stands, tiny scraps of self-effacing banter between tracks. He had a normal guitar, some keyboards, pedals, samplers, noisemakers, a glock-in-a-box, a melodian and some oddities like a pair of chattering teeth and a plastic shark. Also a weird guitar-type object from Brazil, but it had blown a fuse during soundcheck :(

We also had projections behind and I think he might often perform like that

Edited at 2009-10-19 12:42 (UTC)
timscience
19th Oct, 2009 14:24 (UTC)
Re: quite well!
Also, and I think this is crucial, a whole bunch of sample-and-hold pedals
( 6 worms — Feed the birds )