Praying to the Australiens - Snippets
Sydney Daily Telegraph : 26 April 2000
Collision EP by Genetic
TV Week, issue dated 31 October 1998
TVWeek : Who has been your favourite talent to interview?
Jane : Boy George. I was always a huge Culture Club fan and he was my childhood hero. I interviewed him about 3 years ago and became even more of a fan after meeting him. He was lovely and full of wise anecdotes. Gary Numan is also a big fave, too. He's being hailed as the Godfather of Electronica, but in the Eighties he was considered this wierdo pop star with very white hair. I've interviewed him twice and he's just so much fun.
Exile review : Rolling Stone Issue 550, July 1998
Evidently heartened by a recent rash of recorded homages, '80s synth-pop pioneer Gary Numan returns to the world stage. His trademark icy electronica is refined to Manga-movie bleakness here - Imagine Icehouse on a bad acid trip - and his horrific-futuristic vision is intensified accordingly: God is treachery, Hell is nigh, the children are slaughtered in every other song and all hope of salvation has been cancelled. The titles offer a taste of the Biblically-proportioned terror that reigns within: "Dominion Day", "Dead Heaven", "Dark", "Innocence Bleeding", etc. While the inherent lack of humour does nothing for Numan's credibility problem, the over-wrought
concept is offset by good pop sense and a mighty sci-fi soundscape, a pristine techno-sculpture with detail enough to keep the headphone-oriented credulous and cowering.
Review by Michael Dwyer.
Exile review : The Australian, Wed May 6 1998
Review by Jeremy Chunn.
Hmmmm. I think the reviewer is a complete and utter bastard. Obviously his full name is Jeremy Chunnder, because that's exactly what his review makes me want to do. What a fuckwit. My guess is that he's using this review in an attempt to get a job with the NME. It won't work - not enough vitriol.
Sunday Age review of Exile
Exile is chilling, anti-religious and other worldly. True to form, Gary Numan, whose keyboards do so much to craft out a bleak ambience, does little to experiment with changes of mood, pace and theme. Lyrically, Exile relies on verse patterns that are simplistic. Note : "Glory is dead heaven/Glory is shadows and pain/Glory is dead heaven/Glory is death in 'His' name" (Dead Heaven). Still, while diversity and humour are not on Numan's agenda, the starkly haunting Dominion Day is happily garnering extensive airplay.
Review by Terry Reilly.
Beat review of Premier Hits
Long before Spice Girls, early 80s icon Gary Numan was foolish enough to come out in support of Thatcher and her closeted Tory party. Unfortunately for Gary it got him tagged as a fascist. Added to his other tag as an arrogant and pretentious art wanker, he really didn't have much hope for a long reign at the top of the pops. But he has continued to release albums long after his pop star has faded and now, some two hundred and thirteen flop albums later, his early work has been thrown together on this compilation. There are the slick, sharp-edged electro-classics Are 'Friends' Electric?, Cars, Down In The Park, etc. There are also inclusions from his early, pretend-punk days (when he was Tubeway Army) such as Bombers. It also covers his faux-Japan period (he was no David Sylvian), his attempts at pompous prog-electro, his flirtations with Janet Jacksonesque funk and the campy Stormtrooper in Drag (no wonder there were rumours flying around about his dating a certain Australian 80s pop star). While this is probably the best way to listen to Numan (his studio albums tend to have lots of filler tracks) it unfortunately includes a pompous, recent remix of Cars and doesn't have his wonderful rendition of On Broadway (a personal favourite).
Max magazine and HQ
Review of Random in Digital
A 2CD set tribute to Gary Numan, in which the '80s squelchy synth popster's tunefully dramatic songs stand up surprisingly well. Though some of the contributors simply approximate the author's gurgly, grinding and riffy synth manoeuvres, most find fresh to different ways of dealing with Numan's songbook.
Strong pop to heavy grunt is supplied by the likes of Dubstar, Amanda Ghost, Kenickie, Gravity Kills, Bis, Pop Will Eat Itself, Republica, EMF, Jesus Jones, Chris Holmes, and the Moog and vocal sharing team-up of Matt Sharpe and Blur's Damon Albarn, while The Orb, Sukia, St Etienne, Peck Slip, Earl Brutus, Underdog and Dave Clarke remodel proceedings as groovier to hypnotic electronic fun.
Among many highlights are a spectral solo acoustic piano take of 'Are Friends Electric' (three wildly diverse versions aboard), Jimi Tenor's oompah band at the fairground 'Down In The Park', Magnetic Fields' breezy banjo and cello soaked 'I Die: You Die' and Towering Inferno's whooshy machine-driven epic rebuild of 'Metal' (with guest vocals from Sadenia and Dubstar's Sarah Blackwood).
All up, a mostly fantastic collision of spirit and reinvention.
Performance : 8/10
Reviews in the Sunday Examiner
Tributes can often be a case of blowing off the dust and rehashing but the two-disc tribute to the super-wierd Gary Numan, RANDOM (Shock), is alive and refreshing.
And Numan's brilliance is captured by the London boy himself on the best-of CD PREMIER HITS (Shock).
The reviewer, an obviously enlightened guy called Brian Semmens, gave both albums 3 stars out of 5 (perhaps a bit stingy considering how positive the review was!).
Article in International Express
Another sighting in Australian Rolling Stone
Random review in Australian Rolling Stone
In addition, when I recently went into the excellent (if expensive) Red Eye Records shop they had a monster great Random poster displayed in a prominent position. They also had several smaller adverts around the shop - these turned out to be clipped from music papers. I asked if I could have one of these to scan in for Outland, but they told me to get stuffed (well, more or less).
"Cars" sighted on Channel 9
Random is Triple J's album of the week
NuWorld in "Weekend Australian" 13th July 1997
NERD GOD REVISITED NuWorld: The Official Gary Numan Website
Random review in TV Week
First there was the Gary Numan best-of collection, Premier Hits. Now his electric friends (including Jesus Jones, EMF, The Orb, Bis and Pop Will Eat Itself) have delivered a double-disc tribute album, containing no fewer than three versions of his 1979 breakthrough smash, Are Friends Electric. The stand-out is An Pierle's haunting, Tori Amos-like piano version of the song. Numan fans will love this work - and look out for his autobiography.
The reviewer gives the album 2 stars (out of 5).
Premier Hits review in TV Week
Remember Gary Numan? Nowadays he spends most of his time flying planes, but at the end of the Seventies and start of the Eighties he was flying high on the pop charts with his quirky electro-pop (Are Friends Electric, Cars, We Are Glass). Premier Hits is a collection of 17 Numan singles. A timely release, given the current electro-rock success of the Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.
The reviewer gives the album 2 stars (out of 5).