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John Foxx & Friends On Identity Amidst The Machines
Luke Turner , January 10th, 2013 04:18

Foxxy, Benge, Gazelle Twin and Scanner discuss music and identity in a digital age

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John Foxx & Friends Discuss Identity Amidst The Machines from theQuietus on Vimeo.

Last year, The Quietus headed to a synth-packed studio in East London to speak to its owner, Benge, his collaborator John Foxx, Gazelle Twin and Scanner about humanity, identity and electronic music. The conversation, filmed and presented above, fits the spirit of collaboration that surrounds these four musicians - Foxx' new album, Evidence includes a track recorded with Gazelle Twin, who is herself working with Scanner on a project looking at the very workings of the human body.

The four musicians start off discussing how in electronic music they're a great freedom to play with identity, from Gazelle Twin's costumes to Scanner sending people away to play live events on his behalf. Foxx, though, has a warning: "it gives you the opportunity to step away from your old self, and that can be good for you, because you're often burdened down with a lot of old baggage that you've collected through your life. And you see people who don't understand that, and die, because they've confused themselves with the object they're creating. If they think they are that object, it kills them. It's an interesting lesson to learn, and I've seen a lot of people do that."

For all you synth-porn types there's discussion on the evolution of the instrument, apocalypse, and how music works as communication. Says Foxx, "you can look at all the cultural and even scientific history of the human race as an unconscious desire to connect everyone together by some means, because all the technologies have gone into communication, or warfare. Even warfare is a communication of a kind, because when you throw a spear at someone you're connecting with them. We are on this ocean of information, and surfing it to survive".

Gazelle Twin's Mammal EP is out on January 28th. John Foxx & The Maths' new album Evidence is released on February 25th, and Scanner's compilation of early work, Colofon & Compendium 1991 - 1994 is out now. Film shot and edited by Ethan Reid, thanks to Steve Malins and Benge.

John
Jan 11, 2013 11:48am

What happened to the poor tramp that Benge stole his jacket from?

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John
Jan 12, 2013 12:09am

I didn't mean that, I'm clearly a nob.

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Benge
Jan 23, 2013 11:20am

In reply to John:

I stole it off a corpse.

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Ilsa
Jan 27, 2013 5:57pm

In reply to Benge:

What did the person die of? Did he or she try a new personality? Or a fashion victim?

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Mark
Apr 3, 2013 12:51pm

not sure i'm comfortable with the concept of playing 16 gigs at the same time with stand-ins.

I'd feel quite cheated if i was one of the punters that found out the artist i'd paid money (even if it was as part of a fuller night) to see, wasn't the actual person and was just standing there, pretending to press buttons and twiddle knobs.

i wonder if this is the future?

perhaps if the same performance had been streamed simultaneously to the 16 venues, i'd have less of a problem about it, cos the reality would be upfront, as opposed to the unspoken deception of 16 stand-ins.
Still, nobody died, i guess.

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