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Suburban Robot

by Android 80

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credits

released September 9, 2011

Android 80: vocals and synthetizers ★ Claire Wilcock: backing vocals

Recorded at Android 80's Studio and Freaksville Office by Android 80 and Miam Monster Miam

Additional drum programming : Jérôme Danthinne at Lynx Royal Studio ★ Vocals overdubs recorded and mixed by Raphaël Wynands at Stuio 5, Liège ★ Assistant: Antoine Litt

Composed by Brain Carney

Design: www.scalp.be
Photos: www.pascalschyns.com

This album is dedicated to Tom McGrath

[EN]

One man band consisting of Brian Carney, synth-man with UK underground psychedelic band Poisoned Electrick Head (1986-1997), ANDROID 80 sees the Belgium-based Englishman return to his first love: 80s synth pop, vintage synths and the robotic melodies of Kraftwerk and early The Human League.

The composer defines his eccentric project as “one man on a lonely platform listening to the voice of Buddha”, but ANDROID 80’s ‘Surburban Robot’ is a wry reflection on “Search for a Star” Pop culture (“Materialism is the new vision/You’re nobody if you don’t want it all/’Cause Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll/has sold its soul to the shopping mall” on ‘Punk’s Not Dead’) with one nervous eye on an apocalyptic Orwellian future.

1984, a symbolic year for ANDROID 80, a slice of electronic culture, which he tries to honour with tales of twisted digital pop (‘David Bowie had a Discotheque’) and warped vocoder anthems (‘We Love Drugs’) in an effort to assure the Hacienda that “the party ain’t over yet”.

Born in St Helens - in the suburbs of Liverpool - a chance hearing of Warm Leatherette by The Normal became a defining moment that changed everything for the teenage cyborg, he traded his heart for a Roland beat box and fell in love with the analogue synth. He composed his first song shortly after an embryonic 1980 concert of The Human League and was further inspired by a “life-changing” show by Kraftwerk in 1981.

He discovered the power of stage-costumes from observing Devo and The Residents, aided and abetted by the drug-fuelled excesses of the free-festival/rave movement of the late eighties/early nineties. Swept along by the never-ending madness of the era, he was once declared “the most wasted person I’ve ever seen in the entire history of the Glastonbury festival” by Michael Eavis himself no less! (founder of the English rock festival), not knowing that twenty years later his solo album would read like a synthetic snapshot of his decadent mis-spent youth.

Singer of enraged garage band UFO goes UFA, keyboard player with Phantom feat. Lio and author of a recently published book (‘Take Your Protein Pills – The Poisoned Electrick Head Story’), Brian Carney is a far cry from radio-friendly singers, his music is his life and his Jupiter 8 synth an extension of his twisted brain.

Conceived in Brussels in 2010, ‘Surburban Robot’ sounds like a nihilistic electropop symphony, an endless urban nightmare spiked with ascerbic melodies, barbed lyrics and lush synths that drip acid rain down onto the English suburbs. A mutant echo of early Depeche Mode with Dr Strangelove at the controls.

Warning! Unidentified Flying Object alert…

[FR]

One man band composé de Brian Carney, synthé cyborg du feu groupe psychédélique Poisoned Electrick Head (1986–1997), Android 80 permet à l’anglobelge de revenir à ses premiers amours : la synth-pop des 80’s, les claviers vintage et les mélodies robotiques de Kraftwerk ou Human League.

Si le compositeur définit son projet excentrique comme “l’aventure d’un homme solitaire écoutant la voix de Bouddha”, Android 80 n’en reste pas moins un projet mûrement réfléchi décrivant sur de petites touches en plastique le quotidien des nouvelles stars (“Materialism is the new vision / Cause sex and drugs and Rock’n’Roll have sold their soul to the shopping mall” sur Punk’s Not Dead) ou puisant sa modernité dans le futur apocalyptique de George Orwell. 1984, une année symbolique pour Android 80, un pan de culture électronique que l’homme à tout faire honore sans nostalgie, avec un storytelling alternant popsongs digitales (David Bowie had a discotheque) et hymnes au vocoder (We Love Drugs) pour rassurer les membres de l’Hacienda : the party ain’t over yet.

Enfant des 80’s, Brian Carney est né à St. Helens - dans la banlieue de Liverpool - sur le morceau Warm Leatherette des Normals, un déclic pour cet apprenti cyborg qui décide alors de troquer son coeur contre une boite à rythmes Roland. Sa première chanson ? Il la compose au retour d’un concert de The Human League puis, sur le tas, notre garçon apprend à se déguiser en observant les Residents avant de découvrir la magie des drogues dans les premières raves qui déferlent sur l’Angleterre au début des années 1990.

À cette même époque, alors qu’il erre dans les limbes d’un siècle interminable, Brian se voit décerner le titre de “plus grand ivrogne de tous les temps du festival de Glastonbury” par Michael Eavis (fondateur du festival anglais) sans savoir que vingt ans plus tard, son premier disque se lira comme une carte postale de ces années d’errance, une madeleine de Proust synthétique et décadente.

Chanteur des enragés Ufo goes Ufa, claviériste de Phantom feat. Lio et auteur d’un premier roman publié cette année (Take your Protein Pills), Brian Carney ne ressemble pas aux chanteurs de radio-crochets, sa musique est sa vie et son synthé une extension de son cerveau malade.

Conçu en 2010 à Bruxelles, “Suburban Robot” s’écoute comme une symphonie electropop nihiliste, un interminable cauchemar urbain avec des mélodies acerbes et de longues plages de synthés qui dégoulinent telles une pluie acide sur la banlieue anglaise, un écho mutant aux premiers Depeche Mode avec un Docteur Folamour aux manettes.

Attention, Objet Violent Non Identifié !

[Quotes]

"Allusions of Berlin-era Bowie, Kraftwerk and Eno. Dancey and deliciously retro futuristic"
Froggy’s Delight

"Musical Blade Runner…hits your head like a jackhammer"
Gonzaï

"Energetic and unstoppable,one of the electro-pop records of the era”
MuzzArt

"Music for cyborgs to coldly knock our brains flying with the nonchanlance of a decadent mutant"
Metro

"Suburban Robot s’écoute comme une symphonie electropop nihiliste, un interminable cauchemar urbain avec des mélodies acerbes et de longues plages de synthés qui dégoulinent telles une pluie acide sur la banlieue anglaise, un écho mutant aux premiers Depeche Mode avec un docteur Folamour aux manettes. En résumé, l’homme-à-tout-faire honore sans nostalgie, avec un storytelling alternant popsongs digitales et hymnes au vocoder pour rassurer le monde : the party ain’t over yet"
bitchlemagazine.com

"Humanoids of all nations unite! The great punk revolt isn’t dead – it’s not us who say it – it’s mad dandy-borg Brian Carney, escapee from the 80s (we’re not sure of the precise year but we reckon ’84). “Materialism is the new vision/ you’re nobody if you don’t want it all (…) Punk’s not dead but it’s getting sicker…” A bitter sentiment that fits our era equally as well as that of this strange man-machine (and vice versa) If the above paragraph doesn’t spell it out (or if you’re asleep or read it sideways) then clean your glasses: the Suburban Robot in question is evidently an album of synth-pop, and not a bad one. Brian “Android 80” Carney knows his Human League inside out, and passed with honours at the Martin L Gore University without revising. He springs up at a strange time (after all, the synth-pop revival happened four years ago) so his infernal machine bleeps away bereft of strong competition.
But the silver one man synthetic orchestra has a serious trump card; his finely honed sense of melody. Don’t imagine for a moment that the person writing this is a synth –pop fanatic. At Interlignage we receive dozens of albums of this genre every year, so we’re not afraid of speaking our minds. They’re either abominably old hat or turn out to be boring as hell. Android 80 is the exact opposite of that: his music grooves like few synth groups can boast (Ah! Pop Idol!) and his songs really deserve the highest praise. V.I.P. is a delight, David Bowie had a Discotheque sets the room on fire, even Ed Bishop, though instrumental is terribly, insistently catchy. For a Kraftwerk fan calling himself “Android”, the least one can say is that Carney displays on Suburban Robot human and sensual music, even sexy sometimes (Game Over), far from the frigidity of all those groups who forget that synth-pop is pop, and stupidly believe that it’s enough to sound like a water-treatment factory from the year 2082, to build a monument to the genre (I’m kidding – everyone knows that in 2082 there’ll be no more water left on the earth). And let’s not forget his squeaking robot chums on We Love Drugs (robot addicts, no less!) Android 80 is fooling no-one: his Suburban Robot is a particularly inspired album from a real flesh & blood man – and this is immediately evident from the quality of his compositions" Interlignage.fr



Catalog number : FRVM28
Catalog number CD : FRVR28
℗ Freaksville Record
© Freaksville Music
Published by Freaksville Publishing / Android 80 Music
www.freaksvillerec.com

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Android 80 Liège, Belgium

One man band consisting of super cyborg Brian Carney, ex-synth-man with UK underground psychedelic band Poisoned Electrick Head (1986-1997).

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Track Name: Pop Idol
POP IDOL

They broke into his appartment
That's how they found him
Lying in his own blood
Still holding the shotgun
God Knows where he got one
I think he must've liked Nirvana
He didn't pass the audition, an omission
And the cause of all the drama
And beside him a letter, his final message
And this is what the note said

I wanna be a Pop Idol
I wanna join the Star Academy
I wanna be on the X Factor
Join the ranks of mediocrity

There's no room for second
When celebrity beckons
It's time to take the lead
But determination is just desperation
With the sorry life you lead
And to be discovered
You'd sell off your mother
And you'd throw in the kids for free
Now they're giving the masses
Celebrity classes
And this is what they all sing

I wanna be a Pop Idol
I wanna join the Star Academy
I wanna be on the X Factor
Join the ranks of mediocrity

A simple verdict
The gallery heard it
A case of suicide
They said it was tragic
The kid couldn't hack it
When his dreams had been denied
And stood by the coffin
His girlfriend was sobbing
As she gave the final word
She didn't look nervous
Addressing the public
And this is what they heard

I wanna be a Pop Idol
I wanna join the Star Academy
I wanna be on the X Factor
Join the ranks of mediocrity
Track Name: Punk's Not Dead
PUNK's NOT DEAD

Materialism is the new vision
You're nobody if you don't want it all
'Cause sex and drugs and Rock 'n Roll
Has sold its soul to the shopping mall

The boys in the hood are acting tough
'Cause some Rap video said they should
And Punk's not dead but it's getting sicker
Now the baseball cap is the new swastika

Goodnight individuality
Everybody's gotta dress the same
But if it worked for Chairman Mao
For Calvin Klein it can work the same

The boys in the hood are up to no good
'Cause some Rap video said they could
And Punk's not dead but it's getting sicker
Now the baseball cap is the new swastika

So if you want to go to hell
Bon Voyage I wish you well
Just don't expect me to drive
Or even sit in the passenger side

If you want to go to hell
Bon Voyage I wish you well
Just don't expect me to drive
Or even sit in the passenger side
Because punk's not dead

Youth cultures all come together
To wear designer labels in the street
What shall we do with all the black leather
Now that rebellion is obsolete?
The boys in the hood are feeling alright
They're chasing the dragon in broad daylight
And Punk's not dead but it's getting sicker
Now the baseball cap is the new swastika

So if you want to go to hell
Bon Voyage I wish you well
Just don't expect me to drive
Or even sit in the passenger side

If you want to go to hell
Bon Voyage I wish you well
Just don't expect me to drive
Or even sit in the passenger side
Because punk's not dead

Punk's not dead
Punk's not dead
Track Name: David Bowie Had A Discotheque
DAVID BOWIE HAD A DISCOTHEQUE

David Bowie had a discotheque
Debbie Harry was the cloakroom girl
Gary Numan ran the cocktail bar
And Adam Ant was on the disco decks
Burn baby burn

Brian Eno ran the chill-out room
Shaun and Bez were dealing drugs in there
Henry rollins kept the drunks at bay
Poly Styrene danced the night away
Burn baby burn

D I S C O - THEQUE

Jarvis Cocker was a VIP
Gary Glitter didn't make the list
Ozzy Osbourne cleaned up all the puke
It was a favour for the thin white duke
Burn baby burn

D I S C O - THEQUE
Track Name: V.I.P
VIP

I'm the VIP, but there's nothing very important about me
I'm second class, I'm just a big nobody with a backstage pass
Part of the scene, I'm here to be seen, there'll be no show without me
I'm the VIP

I'm the VIP, so won't you let me in your club for free
I'm a parasite, so give me front-row tickets to your opening night
Corporate sleaze is such a disease and I am Mr HIV
I'm the VIP

There's nobody left in the crowd no more
They're all passed out on the dressing room floor
And I'm not sure if you're a corporate whore
Or a genuine fan of my Rock 'n Roll band
I don't know anymore

'Cause little by little the worms crawl in
And that's how they get under your skin
And I'm nobody and I've neever been
But this says otherwise this says otherwise

I'm the VIP
I've got more bracelets than Mr T
And all my clothes are dingy
Because I'm dumb and gullible
Track Name: Game Over
GAME OVER

Little by little they're rolling up the carpet
Ever so slowly so we don't even notice
And all of your freedom, they put it in the garbage
If you're looking for justice you might be disappointed

The hip the hop the people on top
Brick by brick and they're not gonna stop
The tick the tock no turning back the clock
We were such pushovers and now it's game over

Little by little they're turning out the house lights
Bringing in the curfew and it's gonna be a long night
And new technology it isn't gonna save us
But they'll use it against you for torture and surveillance

The hip the hop the people on top
Brick by brick and they're not gonna stop
The tick the tock no turning back the clock
We never saw them take over and now it's game over
Track Name: We Love Drugs
WE LOVE DRUGS

We love drugs

But I get so introverted
And I become confused
And I get so opinionated
And I go on and on and on and on

We love drugs

And I'm comimg up like a bastard
But it isn't any fun no more
And I'm getting paranoia
Why's everybody looking at me?
Why's everybody looking at me?

We love drugs

'Til the drug me got stronger and the real me got weaker
'Til the drug me got stronger and the real me got weaker