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Gary Numan - Telekon (1980)


Review : It's 1980 and guitars are bad. Synth-pop is in it's zenith and who will save us from the morose of tedium coming from Europe that was threatening the UK's supremacy of Moog? Outfits such as Belgium's "Krall", Hollands "Schlecked Dioddity" and of course the great German Trio "Schnellste Katze!".
Enter the fray, one Gary Numan, with this (his third release) and now lovingly recreated by a team of Portuguese sound engineers from a budget basement somewhere in Porto.
Having disbanded his band "Mornington Crescent Uberfuhrer" two years previously, Numan was branching out on his own and trying to capitalise on the success of his first solo effort "Points of View", inspired by a coffee morning with the late, great Barry Took. It was he (Took) who suggested that Numan learn to relax from the pressures of the rock business by taking up submarinership. All the proceeds of this release were ploughed into buying a British Naval surplus C-class submarine which Numan  repainted in the colour scheme of exhibit lovingly displayed at "Navy Days" throughout the length and breadth of the land.
The original release didn't contain the singles of that period, "We Are Grass" and "Boxer Twist", but they are included here for compleatists. In fact "We Are Grass" is a landmark in horticultural tributes, as Numan used a modified Flymo Mower for the intro 150Hz drone. With none available in the UK at the time, this was specially imported......producer Teirey Wadds remembers...
"Gary wanted this Flymo, but they just weren't available in this country, so we asked the label, Bigger Banquet, to buy us one. He (Gary) wanted the model Pete Zero used on his '79 album "Brass Trick" but the Salmon Pink '78 model wasn't available, so we ordered the now famous '79 Black and White Jester ....the rest is history"

...or so they wished. Telekon was the watershed album and marked the summit of electro-synth madness that was 1980. If only.......
Standout Tracks : "Down on My Luck", "Bandits! Bandits!", "Is HAL there?"
Standout Moments : 1:31 into "Zahnpaste Zeitgahst", Numan cries "Mary!"
Standout Lyric : "Synapse Flash across my brain, like a Tokyo Bullet Train" 
Try This : "Underpants" - John Fixx, "Milk Float" - Arts and Crafts, "Temporal Kirsche" - Schnellste Katze
Rating : 1001001 SOS!

Mark Tallon

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