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Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Shambolic Charm » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:25 pm

.........they were never going to please everyone
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Dave B » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:16 pm

Wot no Dolby??
Wot no Blancmange??

I can forgive the latter (only just - they were trying to move synth into a more 'world' music area and were still a little art-y so deserved a mention at least), but the former is comical!

Come to think of it, no mention of The Buggles and how VKTRS was a) hugely influenced by the electronic beat and b) was then influential on the the charts.

One other stupid thing - in the 'At the BBC' bit afterwards, why was the footage for Howard Jones (one of the best actual players that the pop world had) a mimed performance? How ludicrous is that?

Still, good marks for effort : 8/10
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby desmond » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:26 pm

Yep - would have liked to see more HoJo, who I was a massive fan of back then - great synth arrangements on his early stuff.

But the program was really about the bit between the late seventies and the early eighties, the journey of the whole synth thing becoming mainstream fashionable. By the time HoJo was having hits, synth pop was a given, really.

Heck, I would like to have seen Propaganda in there as well, but that's beyond the program's scope, I fear...

I didn't see the "At the BBC" thing - is that on iPlayer too?
Edit: Yes it is...
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:54 pm

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

but kraftwerk did.

what can it all possibly mean?




:D



Eye fink, KW showed that needn't have the music dexterity of Prog Rock or Berlin School EM or French wizardry to make EM.
Kind of like Punk for EM.



TBH when i was at 2nd yr "rebel" at school in the mid 80's i thought musically these chart bands were generally shite ...
but when I first heard JMJ i was hooked.


Time has mellowed my views & I love 80's synth pop .

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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby desmond » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:16 pm

Hehe - I remember that Pet Shop Boys performance.

For a young synth-spotting geekhead in the making, two guys with (deep breath), A DX7, Emulator II, a DX1, a PX1, and *two* Fairlights in 1985 was majorly squee worthy.

Let's make lots of money, indeed.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby jayzed » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:12 pm

Just saw the Tears for Fears on the Synth Brit at the BBC.

Ahh - rat tails, t-shirts with rolled up sleeves and Steinberger basses!
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby DJW » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:35 am

I missed this, but managed to find it on BBC iplayer. Nice to see John Foxx on there and Depeche Mode. The bands that I grew up listening to. I didn't really get into synthesizers until around 1985/1986.

I do, however, remember admiring these exciting looking machines from afar in 1985. At the time I was reading a magazine called "What Keyboard" which I think was a forerunner to Sound on Sound? I could be wrong.

Can't wait for the next episode tonight.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:45 am

I remember singing to Tears for Fears & Howard in me 2nd year at school & Nik Kershaw of course. Loving PSB's WEGirls as soon as i heard it.
My Sis played Vienna to death ... even as a youngun i thought it was fab.
Got into New Order big time in 1989 ... my first covers were of blue monday, confusion.
Swapped mix tapes with me best mate at school maaaan i luved casettes.

I think a mention should have gone to Bananarama's Cruel Summer ... big worldwide thanks to K Kid.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Dave B » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:13 pm

Also, no mention of Art of Noise spearheading the sampling option!

It was TfT mentioning swapping music with mates that jogged my memory. Mate of mine thought that I might like 'Who's Afraid' - 'It's like Jarre but with funny noises instead' was his comment...

;)
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby The Pearl Works » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:29 pm

Watched this last night.

I remember the PSB performance and admiring the DX1. That thing is huge!!

Great to see DM...love that band. Going to see them in December. "Some Great Reward" is totally responsible for me being a gearslut! Always remember them being on channel 4's "The Tube" performing "A Question of Time" live, in fact I have it on VHS! I was mesmorised by the PPG Wave 2.3 Fletch was paying the bassline on.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:17 pm

Dave B wrote:Also, no mention of Art of Noise spearheading the sampling option!
Mate of mine thought that I might like 'Who's Afraid' - 'It's like Jarre but with funny noises instead' was his comment...

;)


:D


I think it might be in a next episode.
90's big beat Chemical Bros, Underworld owe it AoN.



May also show some Paul nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnineteen HC.

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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tea for two » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:19 pm

desmond wrote:Hehe - I remember that Pet Shop Boys performance.
a DX1


The Pearl Works wrote:I remember the PSB performance and admiring the DX1



Oh No ! Dont mention the DX1




table for two wrote:Zuke : 55.29 ;) :D



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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Kwaidan » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:19 am

Isn't this week (Friday) a focus on Krautrock ?

They also missed out Tony Mansfield's outfit New Musik and Swiss pioneers Yello.
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Yago » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:28 am

I haven't watched it yet , but I presume they didn't mention the start with Joe Meek and Telstar ?
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby hogberto » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:09 pm

Kwaidan wrote:Isn't this week (Friday) a focus on Krautrock ?

They also missed out Tony Mansfield's outfit New Musik and Swiss pioneers Yello.

yeah this friday there's a programme on Krautrock and also one on Kraftwerk.

set your videos again people. :D
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby Richard Graham » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:36 pm

I watched it and it mostly reminded me of why I instinctively hated and despised this dead-eyed, cold-blooded type of thing at the time, and preferred bands who played their instruments with some kind of skill and passion. As for Simon Reynolds and his invention of the word 'Rockist', like it somehow contravenes some equal-opportunities nonsense if you deprecate Depeche Mode for playing the keyboards with one finger, what a tosser!
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby tomafd » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:43 pm

It reminded me of how excited we all were about new instruments etc, at the time - simply because they were at least vaguely affordable (well, not the Fairlight)

It was never my kind of music, really, but some things stick out - the long held top note in Gary Numan's 'cars', in the main hook, the sheer catchiness in the Human League stuff, and Alison Moyet's voice. Great stuff. Kind of wondering why Vince Clark appears to be a bit grumpy, though ! Maybe he prefers playing all those old modulars to wittering about the old days ...
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby ramthelinefeed » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:04 pm

there was precious little new in Synth Britannia if you were already a fan of this stuff...
it was more aimed at people who'd watched Life on Mars and thought "gosh, yeah, I love some of that old stuff!"

Personally I'm excited about next's week show, which is KRAUTROCK - there's a ton of people getting interviewed on there who have very rarely been spoken to on British TV before (Roedelius/Moebius, Klaus Schulze, etc etc)
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby djangodeadman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:30 am

beatmunga wrote:
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...

I enjoyed Rip It Up and Start Again, although I've always considered Simon Reynolds to be a tad pretentious. He's at his unintentionally brilliant best when betraying his complete lack of technical knowledge, though. Particualr favourite bits are his description of the Young Marble Giants' use of a "technique known as" palm muting (as if this was a new idea which no guitarist had ever thought of before) and the revolution brought about by the introduction of a "device" called midi!
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Re: Synth Britannia (BBC 4)

Postby caveman82 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:32 am

It wasn't a great programme by any stretch of the imagination but it wasn't that bad.

What outstanded me though was inflated some of the egos were, in particular the guys from The Human League. The chap from OMD's dig on Oasis was pretty bizarre too. Did he forget about 'other' electronic music of the time in the charts.

The Prodigy were around at the same time as Oasis and were probably the evolution of the synth band. Let us not forget Aphex Twin too. More interesting and more fun than OMD ever were! Probably sold more records too.
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