Tuesday, 10 May 2016

2016 Moog Innovation Award goes to Gary Numan

Photo: LaRoache Brothers (Woolhouse Studios)
Moog Music has just named Gary Numan as the recipient of the 2016 Moog Innovation Award.

The British synth music pioneer, whose seminal debut albums in the late 1970s have set a novel tone within the emerging electronic music genre, has been a consistently unique voice in what has rapidly become a vast landscape of imaginative records.

His darker, yet instantly accessible and recognisable, influential sound was not the result of some superficial stylistical choice. For me, Numan has always been the Philip K. Dick of electronic music - a dark, to some perhaps on the surface 'cold' sounding electronica, yet actually deeply human and, above all, deeply concerned with the human condition. As in the case of Dick's seminal science fiction, in Numan's works we find complex meditations on the (increasingly) difficult relationship between humans and the technological environment they created around them.

It is a quite special achievement, as it is the the case of Dick's works, too, that Numan's meditations, some dating back almost four decades, are currently more relevant and poignant than ever.

It so happens, that Gary Numan has actually began his experimentations with an early Moog synth he found in a studio - and it triggered in him, as he described in recent interviews, too, an instant realisation of its potentials and creative possibilities.

"Replacing guitars with heavily effected synthesizers, Numan’s early work is almost single handedly responsible for introducing post-punk electronica into the popular consciousness, while propelling synth music beyond Prog Rock to inspire the wave of 80s synth pop that soon followed. His impact on the three generations of music since can’t be understated.", writes Moog Music, "Gary Numan is a manifestation of electronic culture’s progressive nature to explore the limits of traditional sound and develop new mechanisms for expression."

The Award will be presented on 22 May at this year's Moogfest.

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