John Foxx & Friends On Identity Amidst The Machines

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

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.

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today