Influences Part 1 (Matt)

January 14, 2007

When I started to think about my influences for the NK biography there was obvious a theme relating to electronic based bands and artists. I started to wonder where such tastes in music had originally come from.

The early 1980′s where when my tastes started to develop, with bands like Depeche, Human League and Ultravox appearing on TOTPs, I was fascinated by the instruments they were using and the sounds they were creating. Whilst bands like Kraftwerk weren’t in the charts that much, bands like DM and THL would always credit them in interviews. There were also a few TV programs that I had watched, one in particular was a documentary about Jean Micheal Jarre playing in China. The program not only focused on the fact that JMJ was the first western artsist to play in communist China but also the insutruments he used. I started to buy his albums, he would always list the instruments. There was always a vast array of Synthesizers and bits of equipment mentioned so I guess my interest in Synths started there.

I had been aware of the term Synthesizer after reading the sleeve notes on my mums Abba albums, Benny Anderson would always be credited with Piano & Synthesizers. I noticed when the appeared on TV there would always be this little keyboard sitting on top of his Piano. I wanted one even though I didn’t really know what one was, my mum said it was a kind of organ and that Christmas 1978 I got a Bontempi. It wasn’t quite what I had expected but never the less I learnt basic keyboard skills even though it sounded like a cross between a hairdryer and a recorder.

When Punk was in it’s heyday 1976/77 Kraftwerk and Jean Michael Jarre were making totally electronic music. For me Punk was nothing new, it was just guitars and drums. To me electronic music was the future, I became very blinkered in my music buying and refused to buy anything that had a real instruments on it. This became more difficult when bands like DM started getting into sampling, I let them off because they were still being played via a keyboard and at that time sampling was cutting edge technology.

All of my school friends seemed to be following the trends in music and fashion, the 80′s started with Two Tone/Mods & SKA then came the New Romantics with bands like Duran & Spandau. Although I liked their music I stayed pretty faithful to electronic music which was fairly underground still.