We’re starting to get into numbers so absurdly high it’s beginning to beggar belief, but yes, friends: it’s the 175th episode of We Have A Technical! To mark this somewhat (but not really) auspicious milestone, we’re talking about Savage, the new record by the namesake of the website and podcast, ol’ Uncle Gary Numan hisself! How does this latest chapter in Numan’s industrial-cum-synth rock renaissance compare with its predecessors? How does it draw upon the poetics and theatrics Numan’s staked out since the beginning of his career? Where are we in the strange dialectic of influence between Numan and Nine Inch Nails? All these bits of minutiae and so many more are discussed in this week’s episode of WHaT! As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.
I want to like “My Name is Ruin”, I really do. But every time I hear that synth hook from “Love, Hurt, Bleed” I think to myself “Did they just run out of ideas?”. I’m quite enjoying the album otherwise.
Dear fellas, much enjoyed the podcast. The new Numan LP is fascinating isn’t it? It’ll take me a few months before I can begin to articulate about it. The first time I heard tracks from it was on the (almost always awful BBC) when I’d sat through songs by all the mainstream media critics’ favourites, including Sigur Ros, The Stone Roses and others, and in terms of sound design and sheer excitement the Numan tracks in comparison sounded like the work of a God. And yet it’s an album with many flaws (lazy lyrics being one). I think your comments about the near cultural appropriation of Eastern imagery, fonts and sounds is a bit creepily touchy-feely naffy lefty. Unlike yourselves, I’ll never be the kind of man who says that black people shouldn’t be allowed to play Hamlet (and other cliches). All men and women should be allowed to dress up how they want and use all of the world’s art in their own art. I’d love it if Numan extended his big dressing up box of Warrior imagery on the next album and went full Samurai, with a pseudo-Japanese font – although his ‘Warrior-era’ colleagues Tik and Tok did if brilliantly before him. Have a look at Tik and Tok’s performance in the video for Nazia Hassan’s ‘Dum Dum Dee Dee’. It topped the charts in Pakistan and was a huge hit all across Asia – clearly Asians of all creeds loved it, and no Western men worried amongst themselves about English men in full Samurai regalia. Eastern history and Eastern culture survived it.
An interesting discussion point could be Billboard’s foot-shooting act of banning Gary Numan from the Electronica chart. BMG reported that Savage outsold the USA Billboard No.1 by about 600 copies. The corruption of the mainstream media (Billboard, the BBC et alia) is why informed and impassioned podcasts like yours are so welcome and so necessary (so please don’t tie yourself up self-flagellating to mainstream nonsense like cultural appropriation).
With my best wishes to you. Paul S
Respectfully, if you think questions of cultural appropriation and imperialism are analogous to thinking a black man shouldn’t play Hamlet, you should probably do some reading up on the subject.