Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. Gary NumanThe Pleasure Principle

The first time I was aware of him was through ‘Cars’ but he didn’t really catch on with me until I was a bit older. There’s something about his music, the sound he had was massive, immense. There’s just something about the sound of loads of synths and Gary Numan got me into the idea that you should always use them. A criticism of synths is that they don’t sound from the heart, they don’t have emotion but I always say to people who think that, listen to some Numan. I love the idea of getting all this machinery and creating a sound that is really beautiful and emotional, it fascinates me. 

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s and Numan has been quite upfront about his. I think that’s why I connect to what he’s doing, it sounds really natural to me. Music is maths especially when you go into music theory, it’s all numbers and it’s all connected – well, it is in my strange little head! I guess bringing in computers and synths and zeroes and ones – maybe Numan would know exactly what I’m saying but there’s something infinitely beautiful about it and he makes that into really strong, melodic pop music. When I discovered sequencing software I started making music really quickly. I didn’t have to read a manual, it was so natural, and I made an immediate connection. It sounds unusual but it’s quite typical for those with Asperger’s. It’s like this little place I can go to where it’s really quiet and I can just… tinker.

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