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Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

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Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby beatmunga » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:44 pm

Ok brothers and sisters, who watched this and felt all tingly inside.

Watching an early Human League appearance as I type.

Like Andy McCluskey says, genuinely puzzled - 'by the mid-90's we have Oasis'

What happened?
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby RegressiveRock » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:00 pm

Watching it as I type, I can see exactly what happened. The music is all quite depressed. People wanted to be happy so they voted for someone to repackage the Beatles for a modern audience. ;)
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby ken long » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:10 pm

Yazoo. Awesome.

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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby beatmunga » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:14 pm

Depressing maybe, but at least a little original.

And anti-rock, which is always very good.

Cerebral, literate and cool. Not sweaty or greasy macho yobbish pubescence.

Count me in, Spinal Tappers!
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Guido3 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:14 pm

I have just finished watching it and found it fantastic viewing. Some of the music played from the late 70's was seriously left-field!!!

I got a bit annoyed at the end when the likes of Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins got totally discounted and pigeon holed as pointless synth pop. Whilst not synth pioneers like some of the others, each had a role to play in the emergance of synth music to the masses. Especially Howard Jones IMHO.

Oh and where was Thomas Dolby? He was one of the early brigade.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby beatmunga » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:24 pm

Guy7 wrote:I got a bit annoyed at the end when the likes of Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins got totally discounted and pigeon holed as pointless synth pop. Whilst not synth pioneers like some of the others, each had a role to play in the emergance of synth music to the masses. Especially Howard Jones IMHO.

Oh and where was Thomas Dolby? He was one of the early brigade.

It was very heavily influenced by Simon Reynold's generally excellent "Rip It Up and Start Again" which expresses similar sentiments. I'm guessing he had a lot to do with it (The Charles Shaar Murray of post-punk - he appears a few times on the program).

I should point out however that his other meisterwerk, "Energy Flash", is rubbish...
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby RegressiveRock » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:28 pm

beatmunga wrote:And anti-rock, which is always very good.

I am currently watching Howard Jones surrounded by a bank of keyboards that would happily have graced any prog rock stage.

I am not being down on the genre, I am huge Heaven 17, Tourists, Eurythmics and Yazoo fan. I was merely pointing out that public moods changed. ;)
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby beatmunga » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:38 pm

Got a point there RegressiveRock...

Jones the synth hasn't dated well.

And the public gets what the public wants. And probably deserves.

But OASIS?

Play the game... depressing dirge if I ever heard one!
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby hollowsun » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:40 pm

Guy7 wrote:I have just finished watching it and found it fantastic viewing. Some of the music played from the late 70's was seriously left-field!!!

I got a bit annoyed at the end when the likes of Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins got totally discounted and pigeon holed as pointless synth pop. Whilst not synth pioneers like some of the others, each had a role to play in the emergance of synth music to the masses. Especially Howard Jones IMHO.

Oh and where was Thomas Dolby? He was one of the early brigade.
+1 on all the above.

The whole program seemed to just grind to a halt in the mid-80s and just dismissed the likes of (as you say) Howard Jones, Dolby, The Thompsons but also Nik Kershaw, Japan, Freur (who went on to become Underworld), Fashion and many others (including - to a degree - Peter Gabriel and arguably Trevor Horn) who were all doing great stuff with the emerging synth, sampler and sequencing gear of the time ... even the much-maligned Stock, Aitken and Waterman.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby ken long » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:52 pm

hollowsun wrote:... even the much-maligned Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

SAW was a great outfit. Waterman knew what he wanted and got the best out of everyone. Sure, alot was copy verging on pastiche but it was forward. I hear they were working with the Sheilas (from the Sheila's Wheels advert) just last year.

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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby funkyant » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:12 am

I wonder if us Aussies will ever see it? :?
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby RegressiveRock » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:25 am

funkyant wrote:I wonder if us Aussies will ever see it? :?

I don't think you can use BBC iPlayer out in Oz can you?
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby jayzed » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:29 am

No, BBC iPlayer is limited to IP numbers based in the UK (and I've heard of local numbers that get blocked, a call to BBC tech support to explain why you are in the UK and using a non-listed IP is needed).
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:26 am

Zuke : 55.29 ;) :D


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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:21 am

JB Surlie wrote:No, BBC iPlayer is limited to IP numbers based in the UK (and I've heard of local numbers that get blocked, a call to BBC tech support to explain why you are in the UK and using a non-listed IP is needed).

Give Firefox and the FoxyProxy plug-in a whirl to view it outside the UK. Can be painfully slow and not guaranteed to work though....
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby hogberto » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:27 pm

yeah the programme was fairly good. lots missed out but that's inevitable, unless it's a 12 part series, which is probably too much to ask for. :bouncy:

found myself looking over phil oakey's shoulder though and trying to make out the large modular behind him. looked like a shedload of doepfer. :shock:
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby desmond » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:30 pm

Enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:29 pm

RegressiveRock wrote:I can see exactly what happened. The music is all quite depressed. People wanted to be happy ;)



An understated gig of a few lasers, light show, in downtown Houston would've sorted that ;) :D

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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby grahawk » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:35 pm

I was quite disappointed with this program. Trying to shove so much into 90 minutes meant it was very patchy and lacked cohesion. Although I knew it was largely about synth pop I felt the title was misleading - it should have been called Synth Pop Britannia (plus a bit of Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle). It needed to be three parter.

There must have been other influences besides Kraftwork, Wendy Carlos and Moroder (with the likes of Son of my Father rather than just I Feel Love). The Residents and Brian Eno for example. Some of the seventies stuff must have been influential such as On the Run or even Space (was for me at least). For all other seventies synth users it just dismissed and said you had to be rich to own one. Surely there were bands using cheaper options like Hawkwind with their audio generators.

It would have also been interesting to explore what synth pop might have influenced with the likes of Orbital et al. Then it might have deserved the Synth Britannia.

The syth Britainnia at the BBC was interesting. Mainly it demonstrated that these bands weren't much good, although I quite liked them at the time. There was good stuff like Are Friends Electric, Vienna and Ghosts but most of the songs played were poor (although there was better tracks around).
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby hogberto » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:35 pm

table for two wrote:An understated gig of a few lasers, light show, in downtown Houston would've sorted that ;) :D



yeah, that's a point.

i know he's french, but jm jarre didn't get a single mention.

but kraftwerk did.

what can it all possibly mean?
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